Jaspal Gill, wrote from Church Hill North News, Redditch, to say that his family had an account with Smiths News from August 1992.

He adds: “My parents retired in January 2006 and I took over the account. I joined Costcutter around four years ago and paid my account through them. I left Costcutter and have been making payments to Smith’s from around the middle of February 2021.”

But then he received correspondence requiring him to pay a deposit of £1,773. He says he has tried to explain to them that he has not opened a new account with them. “I am an existing customer who made payment through Costcutter for a few years. They have sent me final notice to make payment or they will suspend supplies to me by the 12th of April. I will make a payment but I am extremely annoyed that Smiths being a monopoly can do as it pleases.”

I referred Jaspal to the Press Distribution Forum for guidance through the complaints process but have not heard back yet.

Meanwhile Jaspal warns: “I wish others to be mindful of joining fascia groups then leaving them to expect Smiths to treat them as new customers even though they are not.”