They do say that you cannot please everyone, and since this story concerns a news wholesaler I might add that you can hardly ever please anyone.
Mary Birchall from Derwen Stores in Bala, Gwynedd, wonders if she is the only one to complain about Menzies Distribution switching from an 0845 number to an 0844 one. Anyone on a similar BT deal to Mary would no doubt object.
Last year Mary signed up for a BT package that included free calls to 0845 numbers. Calls to Menzies, as anyone who is their customer will know, can really mount up.
“I changed phone supplies last year as it was costing me an arm and a leg to ring Menzies - one month it was a total of 55 calls and all they offer us is 10p back if the fault is theirs. Sometimes you can be on the phone 10 or 15 minutes.
“When I queried it, I was told it was a business decision and they have had only a handful of complaints.”
Menzies says that 0845 costs 3.3p per minute to call whereas 0844 costs 2p per minute.
It also says in the letter sent to customers: “We did investigate the option of adopting 0800 Freephone numbers however, there is a significant additional cost to running such lines which would ultimately have been reflected in the cost of your service.”
Either way, you pay.
The company also says it does not profit from calls made to its service centres and it does offer alternatives to telephone contact such as through the i-Menzies website and the new i-Menzies Smartphone app.
There must be a growing band of you who do communicate with Menzies online - after all it has 22,000 newsagents and retailers on its books. Perhaps someone will get in touch to tell me how easy it is and how much it saves in time and money so that Mary can be persuaded to learn new tricks. Otherwise she will need to negotiate a different package with BT.