Don Busby, who runs a Londis in Morecambe, Lancashire, bought his ATM from MoneyBox three years ago. Now that it has been taken over by Cardpoint, Don's transaction fee to the customer has risen to £1.80, which he says has cut business.
Now he has received a letter telling him that, as his transaction levels were too low, commission will be paid only after the first 150 transactions per month. I understand that a number of retailers have received similar letters.
Dennis King also rang to complain. He runs a Spar in Cardiff and was shocked to discover that his customer transaction fee had risen from £1.50 to £1.99.
"When I said I'd pull the machine, they said 'We'll sue you'," he told me. "But I'll have the last laugh because, when the contract is over, they will be out on their ear."
I do wonder what will happen if the government, which keeps talking about whether fees should be charged at all, gets round to making the charges illegal? It could mean that the contracts will remain in place until spent, but the customer base will surely dwindle to nothing before some of these contracts run out.
I have contacted Cardpoint for a response, but was told that there are a lot of executive changes taking place at the moment. Should a response arrive, I will report it in the next issue.