It’s very handy for customers when they can get cash at your store even better when they get free money. But it’s the last thing you can afford.

Mal Singh, who runs a Premier in County Durham, had his self-fill machine for two years without problem. Then a couple of weeks ago he took both the cassettes out to refill them, lifted the clearly-marked lids and got distracted. He filled one cassette with tenners/twenties mix and the other with twenties/tenners mix, but then put the lids on the wrong bases. The bases are unmarked.

Some customers asking the machine for £10 got £20. These customers did not tell Mal. Another, requesting £200, got £130 and alerted him to the problem.

He reported this to Cashzone and customer services suggested it was his fault. But he says it was the first time he had ever changed both cassettes at the same time. An engineer has now marked the bases.

Mal is out of pocket by about £700 and he believes this is not his fault.

Customer services director Simon Westgarth says the company is sympathetic and will be visiting Mal to ensure all sections of his cassettes are clearly marked.

“Our policy is to reimburse (cash machine withdrawal) customers who receive less than they have asked for when one of our machines is at fault. However, we do not reimburse cash machine customers who suffer a loss due to human error. This applies to merchants who fill their own machines as well as when we provide cash as we cannot recover the cash from cardholders.

“We will continue to work closely with customers to ensure product feedback is reviewed and products are adapted accordingly, and we will be reviewing labelling on our products to ensure it is adequate.”

Meanwhile, do take care when filling those cassettes.