In the last issue I reported Mark Canniford’s gripe about the Daily Mail’s pre-paid voucher promotion. Mark’s home delivery service from his Spar at Weston-super-Mare meant that he was losing up to £100 a year due to customers coming into his shop only every few months to pay their HND bills and presenting the vouchers. He felt he had to honour them, but wasn’t getting reimbursed from the DM because they had an expiry date, long since passed (he also made the point that the other main daily rags all gave a longer redemption date so his issue was only with the DM).

Glenn Smith from Thelwall Stores, Warrington, wrote: “I also run a reasonably-sized home delivery service with a range of customers who pay by vouchers for their newspapers.

“To overcome the problem that Mark has, I insist that they leave their book of vouchers with me. I file them in an alphabetical expanding file, and I send the vouchers off each week. If they’re going on holiday they come and collect their vouchers and at the same time give me the cancellation dates, and with a bit of luck pay their account up to date for the delivery charge.”

He adds: “I have a spreadsheet which shows the expiry date of the current book for each customer, which is filed in date order, and I set a reminder in Outlook with a week’s notice for the expiry date, so that if they haven’t brought the new book in I send a note with their paper.”

And Glenn concludes: “I NEVER have out-of-date vouchers using this system, and my cash flow is as healthy as it can be for HND.”

I’m very impressed with Glenn’s diligence, but then they do say that retail is detail.