Andy Heal wrote from Hoopers News, Plymouth: “Our National Lottery terminal failed on 9 March and since then nearly a month later we are still no nearer knowing if Camelot’s technical services can, or will, effect a lasting repair.

“I have tried daily to chase them and now the department’s managers are refusing to speak to me! In fact, yesterday the helpdesk told me it will be 10 days before an engineer can attend to the problem. This then will be five weeks, bar four days when it actually worked before failing again.”

He added that he was losing trade hand over fist. “It is not just the lottery sales that are affected, it is the loss of other goods sales which is hitting hard, too. We have a loyal band of customers for National Lottery and Scratchcards who we are now letting down. We have 24 dispensers for Scratchcards and many are now empty as we cannot activate packs or receive new packs!”

He asked whether there was any way I might be able to get help for him from further up the management tree.

I could, but I think they were a bit ahead of me. This was Camelot’s response. “Looking at the notes for Mr Heal’s account, there was a lot of communication with BT over the past few weeks to get this issue fixed as quickly as possible - as the outage was due to a technical issue with the line to Mr Heal’s terminal.

“I’ve now had an update, and it sounds like Mr Heal’s terminal was back up and running on 5 April and a permanent solution has also been put in place, so hopefully this should prevent anything like this happening to Mr Heal again.

“We’re obviously really sorry for the time this has taken and appreciate Mr Heal’s patience.”