Another regular correspondent, Hitendra Patel, who trades as a Costcutter in Harold Hill, Romford, in Essex, got in touch over the column’s content in the January 31 issue. Main discussion point was whether it’s worthwhile handling parcels. He’s a PayPoint retailer, but he eventually got rid of the parcel service Collect+.
“I had people come in to collect and then just send the parcels straight back. I’ve had them blocking the counter and other customers queueing. Eventually, I lost my temper and resigned the service.”
And he reiterated that almost all came in to pick up or send parcels and didn’t buy anything else. It reminded me of similar complaints I have heard from sub-postmasters. Queue through the shop to the counter and never reach out to buy anything else. Then straight back out the door.
‘Hit’ also had a beef with PayPoint’s Sim cards. “You have to buy a bundle and the minimum is £200, and some are never going to sell. I told the rep I’m never going to support you on this one.”
He might sound fierce, but I can assure you that Hitendra is a charming man.
He goes on to tell me that on the Coca-Cola cooler issue (and the company’s insistence on retailers sticking to the brand on the doors of the fridge) he told the rep: “No way I’ll have one of your fridges, even if it’s free. I can get one for £1,200 from Husky and free stock worth £500 - and these fridges require very little maintenance. It’s far better to be independent!”