Umesh Bathia, who runs U&S News, Food, Wine, at Farnham in Surrey, got in touch over a problem with PayPoint’s contactless cards.
“I have been a customer for 12 years and about four years ago their rep came round and signed me up for Chip & PIN. His main point for this was they could do contactless cards, which customers wanted.”
Umesh says it had worked well for a long time and it was only at the end of 2014 that things started to go wrong. “The problem is, if we do more than three transactions in a row, the terminal goes offline and the pin pad cannot be used.”
Obviously, this meant lost sales and lost customers. “This has happened at least 10 times in the past year. Each time I have to ring PayPoint, who then ring the bank, then switch me on. This process can take at least 20 minutes.”
Sometimes he also gets cut off and doesn’t get a call back and has to start the whole tedious process over again.
“Now PayPoint tell me that I signed a contact and have three years to run and they will charge me if I change to another provider, but I signed to a service they can’t provide. I only want to change to another provider for merchant services. I am happy to keep PayPoint for all the other services. Each time I complain about this they just blame a software issue.”
PayPoint advised him to do only three contactless transactions in a row, then a normal one.
This is not easy, he says, when you’ve got regular customers, you are busy and have shift changes.
I managed to catch Steve O’Neill, head of marketing at PayPoint, just before the Christmas break and he put his team on it straight away.
One of them got back quickly to say: “The team were in touch with Mr Bathia before the Christmas break regarding the issues he was experiencing. I understand Mr Bathia is now in the process of extending his broadband connectivity into the store, which we expect will resolve the issue. We will continue to work with Mr Bathia on this.”
And Umesh says: “They say they will give me a new terminal with broadband which they think should help.”
Fingers crossed all around.