This is a hoary old point, but perhaps worth a reminder. You will have heard the one about PayPoint not permitting any competing terminals in your store. (Although sometimes I still get the likes of ‘Outraged from Orpington’ ringing me up to tell me this and asking whether I’ve heard of such a thing. Um, yes, for the past however many years.)

Navin Gathani, who runs Camphill Superstores, Northampton, was taken aback to get notification from PayPoint that he must get rid of his Payzone terminal. Since he had had both for yonks and only used his PZ terminal to process payments that PP does not offer in his area (ie Anglian Water and his Northampton Borough Council rates), he wondered why the sudden change of heart. New rules?

Since Navin said he could prove his position on this - his customers are mainly elderly residents of some 60 bungalows over the road and his PP business is six times his PZ business - I was pretty sure he was on safe ground.

PP would not want to be seen to be penalising people by making them go to the next town to pay their water bills. And once it looked at its records PP could see that Navin was telling the truth about the transaction levels.

It was quickly sorted and Navin can keep both terminals. PP was just updating its records and sent him one of those finger-wagging letters about retailers who think they can use a PZ or a 3R terminal to process transactions just because they feel like it. Old rules is rules.