Janet & John Stones, who run Bampton Village Store Bed & Breakfast in Penrith, had a gripe about Menzies - starting with the gripe that the news wholesaler had ditched their Forum on the old website, and have done nothing to replace it. “Therefore we newsagents have no way at all of communicating with each other with warnings/gripes and so on.”
So John brought his grievance to this column instead.
On the new website John saw an item introducing ‘Euro 2016 Stickers, an exciting new range from Panini!’ It also informed retailers how they could request stock of the product. And said they must be ordered in multiples of 100. Each box contained 100 packs of stickers with an rrp of 50p per pack.
“Now, you will note two things,” writes John. “It clearly states 1) You can request stock etc and 2) Please make sure to order in multiples etc.
“With this in mind, I searched my orders (as you are aware, I do not like having goods foisted on me that I cannot sell), just in the event that Menzies would again attempt to supply me with goods I do not wish to receive. My search for these stickers revealed nothing, and I breathed a sigh of relief.”
This relief was short lived as a week or so later he received a pack of Euro Stickers. He regards these as unsolicited goods.
“What annoyed me more was the fact I believe Menzies were underhanded in their tactics, because there was no way that I could have refused this product, as it did not feature on their system. As I was not given advance notice of a supply to me, I could not refuse said supply. On my magazine charges that day it stated that this was a ‘1 Shot, late supply, now delivered’.”
When he rang Menzies he was assured that it was a one-off, and he would not receive a further supply.
“Sorted, I thought,” he says.
One week later and along came more Euro Stickers. “Groundhog Day had arrived,” he states.
Another phone call and he was informed that the 100 packs come as a pair (2 boxes) so he shouldn’t get any more and the allocations team would be notified.
Oops, she apparently notified the wrong department so along came Groundhog Day part two.
A now very miffed John rang the call centre again and was assured that a constraint would be put on the stickers and any other partworks.
“I said that was fine, but I had had a delivery of unsolicited goods that I didn’t request or want, and that I intended to leave them outside my shop and, as they were sent to me unsolicited, they should send a man and van to collect said goods, for if any person tripped over them the fault lies with Menzies.
She told me that if they were stolen from outside my shop I would be liable, to which I disagreed strongly (said stickers are still outside my premises).”
John finished his email by saying: “I now eagerly await next Wednesday’s delivery, but I, for one, want out of these Euros.”
I did contact Menzies for a response and a spokesman said they would investigate, but the deadline came and went. I rang John and all is sailing as smooth as it ever gets on the news front.