My most recent coverage of the PayPoint saga has prompted another flurry of responses, not all of them negative. It also prompted another email from PayPoint which said: “In addition to the points about service and support already mentioned, PayPoint brings footfall to a store. We have found that as a general rule, agents almost double their existing e-top-up volume when they move to us. In addition, the extra footfall brings other sales.” 

This coincided with several retailers ringing up to complain, ironically under the circumstances, about footfall. 

Hitendra Patel, who runs a Costcutter in Romford, Essex, sums it up: “It never brings in footfall these days. Now they walk in and say: ‘A fiver on the electricity, a fiver on the gas and a fiver on the phone.’ They don’t even look at anything else.” 

However, Glyn Reece, at Penny’s in Chester, has a lot of time for PayPoint and none for Payzone. He writes: “We have been pestered daily for several months by Payzone to take their service. PayPoint ‘lost’ the United Utilities contract to Payzone in the spring. As a result, Payzone has ‘Penny’s Food & Drink’ and the name of another store that closed down several years ago printed on our customers’ bills as places where they can pay.”

Furthermore, adds Glyn, following Payzone’s recent performance on the London AIM market, he has no intention of doing business with the company. About this, he is nothing if not emphatic.

“We are not, and never will be, Payzone dealers!” 

Somehow I have a feeling the matter will not rest there, but only time will tell.