As most of you know by now, following concerted campaigns by the two interested parties - the PRS (Performing Right Society) and the PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd), you need licences to play music in your stores. But I must say the tactics are a tad heavy-handed at times.

Pradip Patel, who runs Fillebrook News in Enfield, Middlesex, told me: "I took over here in 2005 and I think the previous owner may have had some sort of radio, but I don't. PPL kept sending me invoices for 2006 and I kept sending them back."

It then got passed on to debt collectors. "When I got threats from Intrum Justitia (a credit agency) around Christmas time I panicked and took legal advice and was told to make the payment. I was afraid of a court hearing at such a busy time so I made arrangements to pay off £518.75 in instalments."

Clearly, the NFRN - who gave Pradip the legal advice - was not in possession of all the facts.

He paid two instalments, in December and January, leaving a remaining balance of £160.

The calls continued and the amount appeared to be going up (PPL now said he owed £346.75) so he emailed me a load of documentation, adding: "Trying to run a business and having to keep responding to their demands is giving me sleepless nights. In today's trading conditions, paying out another bill is getting harder and harder. So I would be grateful if you could act on my behalf with this problem and help me get back money I already paid them."

A call or two to PPL and Pradip was sent a copy of its Declaration form to say that he wasn't broadcasting anything in his store. A refund has been duly processed.

It is very difficult not to cave in when debt collectors get involved, even when you know perfectly well it isn't your debt. I know because it happened to me after my handbag was pinched. After seven years of credit agencies illegally selling on my so-called debt (ie the crooks' debt) it took a solicitor to finally get it sorted last year.

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