Some companies attract constant complaint. But in this case it had been so long since I had reason to contact Choices UK that the number I had was years out of date. Kevin Davies, who runs a Londis in Llanberis, Caernarfonshire, sent back about £1,200-worth of retail DVD stock that he had bought from Choices as it was agreed that old stock could be returned.

Parcel Force picked it up, leaving no receipt. When a credit was not received Kevin chased it. What ensued was a fair bit of confusion as phone call followed phone call, trying to establish the whereabouts of the DVDs.

I contacted Choices UK on Kevin's behalf to see if we could get some clarification and, in his response, sales director Jerry Hooper explained that there are two sets of procedures for retailers to return stock: one for rental exchange and one for retail (sell-through) stock. For the latter you need a returns authorisation and the parcel bloke will leave a receipt.

The company thinks it has pieced together what happened. "We have no record of the retailer phoning in to request a return and no record of us ever issuing an authorised returns note," says Hooper. "As we never received a request to return the product from the retailer we also never arranged a collection.

"We have no record of receiving this product back at our warehouse and have no information available to trace the product as the procedures in place have not been followed.

"Mr Davies told us that the stock was located in a box behind the counter, so when the Parcel Force driver came in to collect a rental exchange parcel, a member of staff sent the retail stock back in error."

The company has checked its systems for details of unidentified returns parcels to try to match the details but with no success.

"We have absolutely exhausted all avenues to try to resolve this matter, but it simply boils down to the fact that he did not follow the correct procedures and we therefore have no way of tracking down the stock. We are, however, still looking at all returns that had no paperwork attached. We handle between 30,000 and 35,000 parcels a week in our Bradford warehouse, which almost makes the task an impossible one."

It does all sound needle in haystack-ish. But Choices assures me it is still looking.

Do any of you out there remember the shenanigans that Crazy Eddie's and its spin-offs got up to when it was running its little rings around the cheap video market? Back then I was receiving a complaint a day to this helpline.