The new contract sent out to PayPoint retailers created some confusion and dismay. Kamlesh Patel, who runs Fulford PO in Bristol, was already paying £10 a month for his yellow terminal, which he uses only to process bill payments. Being a subpostmaster he was never going to be in the running for an upgrade to the new PayPoint One, which comes with a fee of £10 per week. But he thought that he was being told that this charge would apply from 1 June.
I read all the paperwork, then sought clarification from PP that, as Kamlesh was already paying the tenner monthly (for broadband connection), he could just carry on until technical support was withdrawn - at a time not decided yet - and then he could leave the contract with no penalty. PP said yes.
“The correspondence from PayPoint did not make it clear at all that doing nothing was an option,” says Kamlesh. “It appears to me that this correspondence from PayPoint is fishing for more retailers to switch to its premium PP1 offering.”
Lynn and Andy Thurston, who run Gemco in Braintree, Essex, still have the old dial-up machine, but say they can’t afford the new monthly charge. “Commission on this has been going down and it costs a fortune in bank charges,” says Lynn.
So they will be leaving the network.
I suspect Kamlesh will, too. He says: “Hopefully there is an option to use the new machine just to operate bill payments at the current rate of £10 per month.”
I can’t see anywhere to suggest that this is an option.