Busy store. Staff takes call and agrees yes, someone there to accept a parcel. Familiar? Kanaga Loges has complained that Smiths News handed on the contact details of his store in East Sheen, London, to Worldwide Magazine Distribution, which then sent him mobile phone accessories and suchlike (£140+ vat deducted via his Smiths account).

He didn’t want them. He didn’t even try to sell them.

He wrote to Worldwide Magazine Distributors twice to try to get them to pick up the unwanted stuff - no reply - and complained to Smiths News and then to me.

Unfortunately, too many months have passed for Smiths to now take back the goods, says Smiths, and anyway, they acted perfectly legally and have the tapes to prove it. Smiths has now ‘opted out’ Kanaga from future calls from third parties.

The clincher for me in writing this story, I have to say, is that when the public relations person called with a reply, the first thing she said was, “We don’t think this is a story.” She repeated it half-way through our conversation, too. No phrase ever interests a journalist more than ‘this is not a story’. I don’t know why they don’t teach that at PR school.

Meanwhile, I must stress that you must stress to staff: never accept anything over the phone - it amounts to ‘authorising’.