Mike Andrews, who runs a Spar store and Maiden Newton Service Station in rural Dorset, sums up the sort of complaint that I frequently receive about news wholesalers. He writes: "On October 31, we were short- delivered seven copies of Farmers Weekly magazine at about £3 each. My supervisor tried several times to get through to the wholesaler during the course of the next couple of hours, but there was no answer from Dawson News.

"She also tried phoning on Saturday morning with the same result. Finally, she managed to get through on Monday at about 8.45am, only to be told that you have to make a claim by 8.30am on the date of delivery. How could we when there was no reply? And the same applies for Saturday. We were told no, we won't get our credit as it wasn't reported on time."

He adds: "I myself rang and managed to get through, only to be told you have until 4.30pm on the delivery day to report items missing - a different time factor, however the same result: no deal.

"I asked to speak to a supervisor who rang me back and told me, 'We weren't very busy on Friday so you could have got through', so I said 'We're lying then are we?' Of course, he replied 'I'm not saying that'. But what else was he implying?"

As Mike also says, he is running a business and doesn't have all day to sit on the phone until such time as Dawson can answer.

"What kind of company is Dawson News that it doesn't even have an answering system that we can leave a message on?" he asks.

He then emailed me a sequel to say that, having phoned the publisher direct, he got a very good response. "A gentleman there said leave it to me - I know the right people to speak to at Dawsons, but in the meantime I will send you by post the seven copies, even though they will probably be too late to sell - but use them if needs be to send back to Dawsons to get your credits back. They arrived the next day in First Class post. Super service."

And again he asks: "Why is it that a company the size of Dawson News doesn't even have an answerphone? What an outfit!"

It's a good question.