“They’re not listening,” says Navrit Patel. He’s talking about Menzies Distribution. He was responding to Sailesh Sedani’s big issue with Menzies in our 9 September issue over his RDT (Retailer Delivery Time) which had been set at 5.49am, but was arriving a lot later.
Navrit, who runs Yogi News at Upminster in Essex, has an RDT of 5.20am, but they arrive between 5.40am and 6.10am. This is playing havoc with his home deliveries, as it does with Sailesh’s. “It’s not acceptable,” he says.
He says it is for the same reason - the merging of two delivery rounds into one, albeit it from different depots, for economies of scale. And he has the usual niggles of wrong numbers of copies, getting charged wrong amounts and having to claim it back.
He adds that he knows lots of newsagents with the same problem and points his finger at Menzies’ geographic monopoly of the area. A dozen of them from the South-East went to a Press Distribution Forum meeting to complain about the situation but, as he said, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
But Navrit reserves his greatest scorn for the call centre. He’s in rural Essex, down a country lane, and the call centre is in Sheffield. “They tell us the driver is stuck in traffic (from the depot at Grays about 10 miles away); they are making fools of us.
“When the M25 shut for a serious accident, we all knew why, but everybody got a different excuse.” And he’s still chasing credit for the papers that didn’t/couldn’t arrive on that day.
As he wryly points out: “The invoice is never late.”