Andrew Simpson emailed: “We are a very small corner shop in Cumbria which my daughter and I have been running for about five years. In the early days we were visited by a salesperson from (a coffee vending machine) - in our naivety we signed a lease agreement for five years, on the basis that we “only needed to sell four cups a day to break even”. We then discovered that at least three other outlets had the same machine, that we had to pay for ingredients and pay three months’ payments in advance. We never heard from the rep again. We tried (the company) themselves, but got absolutely nowhere and have resigned ourselves to suffer the losses and learn from our mistake. Is there anything we can do?”
You’ll note I didn’t name the company. This is because Andrew didn’t come back to me with some necessary details in order for me to confront the firm. It’s a very big company and clearly Andrew wasn’t offered an exclusion zone. He says he took this on “in the early days” and that he’s had the shop for five years and the contract was for five years. So, there can’t be much time left to run. I don’t know what it has cost him or what he has made out of the deal clearly not what he expected. But he wanted to warn others.•