Ian Phipps, who runs Ian Phipps Newsagent in Bolton, Lancashire, had a moan about Scratchcards. He says he has problems getting stock to sell, yet is still having to pay £25 per month for the terminal. He tried emailing Camelot’s CEO (turned out to be the wrong one, but that’s not the point; he wrote to the position rather than the person) but says a publicity officer told him to ring the telephone number that he had already rung, only to be told that it would take five days including the weekend for new Scratchcards to arrive.

He says: “Camelot are so big they seem not to care for the smaller retailer. With all other stock I can order and buy items as I require so if Camelot want to control the ordering they need to get it right.”

I sent his comments to Camelot and a spokeswoman replied: “We’re sorry to hear of Mr Phipps’ dissatisfaction with the level of stock he has been provided. One of my colleagues has already been in touch with him directly to discuss his individual situation.

“By way of background, our automated National Lottery Scratchcard replenishment system was introduced four years ago and has been extremely successful. The system bases order sizes on the number of windows the retailer has in their dispenser (eight, 12 or 16 windows) and their rate of sale.

“As Mr Phipps was advised, if retailers have any concerns regarding Scratchcard stock they should call us directly on 0800 0649 649 and we will be happy to discuss their individual circumstances with them.”

Sounds like Ian’s store has too many blips in its selling pattern/rate of sale to fit the template. Isn’t that most shops?