…but I have also had good news on that front too.

Ram Sidhu, who runs Sidhu News and Convenience Store in Birmingham, wants to thank Linda Windsor who runs the Press Distribution Forum’s complaints process.

His regular delivery time is 5.30am and up until a year ago this worked fine. But then it became 6am so now he collects them off a driver some seven miles from his store. He also hands over his returns at the same time. He said he had spoken to the depot manager, the assistant depot manager and several others. The manager said he would pass it on to the transport manager. Ram says this is the first he’s heard about a transport manager.

Obviously it was costing him money in time and fuel and he is still paying carriage costs.

Linda got on the case and reported back that she had received the following from the night manager at the Birmingham depot: “We have spoken with the customer this morning and taken the following actions: Driver will deliver direct to the customer’s premises; we have checked on the system and the customer has an RDT of 05:15 set; we are reviewing where this round is packed to see if the route could depart earlier; we are looking at the route order to see if any time can be gained; we are not able to switch rounds at this moment in time due to the other route having RDT commitments;

ADT’s will be continually reviewed to ensure compliance; Mr Sidhu has my contact details should any issues arise.”

Indeed 10 days later Ram rang to say it was a so-far, so-good situation.

However, Subhash Varambhia (Snutch News, Leicester) has an issue with Smiths News over carriage charges going up. “One of the factors cited for the increase is the fuel cost!” He points out that fuel costs have since “gone through the floor”.

He asks: “Dare we ask for a reduction?”

He also takes issue with the Nottingham branch that appointed another manager, moving the existing one sideways as a project manager. “More like empire building.”

And finally Amar Dhillon writes from Park Stores in Cheltenham: “On your familiar topic of Smiths News, I received a reply to my complaint about consistent errors. They have started blaming errors on their part on the current pandemic. You can laugh at the excuses used by incompetent companies.”

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