My fears voiced in the last issue over who would respond to my PayPoint queries/complaints now that its head of communications had left the company have proved to be groundless so far. Group marketing director Steve O’Neill has taken on the role and has responded promptly to two cases after full investigations. Here’s one of them.

Hitendra Patel (Costcutter, Harold Hill, north-east London) complained about the fact that when a Simple Payment fails it doesn’t explain why (ie, it isn’t due yet) and can lead to customers getting annoyed (especially the druggies/drunks on benefits, he says).

He had a problem a while ago with a transaction for a regular customer who picks up £400 a week for an elderly disabled friend. The transaction failed three times and the woman gave up. He adds that it’s a lengthy process as it involves two sets of ID. She came back the following day and it went through okay.

He says: “You have to keep looking at the screen and enter the right passport number or driving licence and can’t keep an eye on the store.”

PP got in touch with Hitendra, saying it has a legal requirement to make sure there are stringent security checks. Failed receipts have error codes and the advice is ‘refer to handbook’.

PP also explained that, for legal reasons, it does not hold information about customers or payments that are due; it is down to the customer to find out when it is due.

And finally: “We have told Mr Patel that he has the right to ban SPS customers from his store if they become aggressive or disorderly with staff members. PayPoint does not expect our retailers to put up with such behaviour.”

In fact, Hitendra has been given a direct number to call if he has any further problems with SPS.