Apologies to Smiths News whom I incorrectly fingered as the source of Paul Moscardini’s newspaper woes in the last issue. It was actually Menzies. My excuse for the mistake is the fact that I got three complaints in three days involving both wholesalers and got his one mixed up.
That is by the by the supply problem at Hallfield Lane Stores, Wetherby, remains an infuriating mess. Paul writes that he got no deliveries on the August bank holiday, despite filling in three copies of the ‘Yes I am open’ slip and verbally confirming he would be open.
He wrote to Menzies: “I end up losing a whole day’s takings and incurring all the costs of opening my shop and spending all my time on the phone to your call centre for which I have to pay because you do not have the decency to run a free call line. Will you amend my delivery charge pro rata? Will I be compensated, or will this be just another case of let’s stretch this out and grind down the customer and hope he goes away?”
Dorothy King from the Press Distribution Forum is trying to straighten it out, but meanwhile Paul has emailed business secretary Vince Cable and written to the prime minister. Here’s some of it: “Will you for god’s sake get involved in the ridiculous monopoly situation of the newspaper distribution network? This is a small business trying to kickstart the economy as well as stay afloat. This is what a monopoly does. This is what I am faced with on a day-to-day basis. Is it any wonder the SMEs in the UK are giving up?”