My caller has an £8,000 bone to pick with Camelot. He asked to remain anonymous, but doesn’t mind being labelled as Abbey Street Mini Superstore in Derby. He went through a tough patch last year and had two failed direct debits. Camelot switched off his terminal last June and told him that he would need to post an £8K bond before it could be switched on again.
“They sent people with no ID card, no writing on the van, to take the machine away,” he says. He refused to let them since access would be through a side door used by people living upstairs. He wanted something in writing. There followed a lengthy wrangle with head office until he got a letter of confirmation at the end of February. The terminal has now been removed.
Ironically, Camelot’s letter pointed out: “Terminals not in operation have a detrimental effect on monies raised for the Good Causes.” He says it took almost eight months to get that letter.
Previously, he did well with the lottery, earning £250 a week in commission, and would love to have it back, but £8K is too high. He could have rustled up a lower bond.
The bond would have been returned to him after two years providing he passed credit checks and had no payment failures.
But as several retailers have told me recently, getting bonds back from Camelot can be like extracting those proverbial teeth.
Perhaps in this instance they are better off without each other.