This was a nice result. Michelle Bailey from Stoke-on-Trent sent a message to our website (www.convenience-store.co.uk) to say: "I spoke to you a while ago about problems I was having with Payzone. Just a small update - we've been on holiday this week, and received a call while we were away from the managing director of Payzone no less! He said that their PR people had seen an article you'd done on my gripes.
"The upshot of it all is that he wants to meet us to discuss things. So thank you for getting the ball rolling, and hopefully we can stop the same things happening to other retailers.
"Oh, and by the way, there was a big bouquet of flowers from Payzone on the doorstep when we got home from our hols to 'apologise for any inconvenience caused'."
For those who don't remember the tale, Michelle and her husband Kevin sold their store yet continued to get four-figure Payzone direct debits. Before I could intervene, Barclays Bank jumped in and got the Baileys their money back.
When I reported this I got some further good feedback from Ian Perry, who runs Paul PO & Stores in Penzance, Cornwall, and who spent 25 years with Barclays.
He says: "The majority of bank customers don't realise their 'right' to a refund for a disputed direct debit. Most bank staff have little knowledge of such matters, their main purpose in life being to reach sales targets.
"Before any organisation can use direct debits as a means of collecting monies due it must give a guarantee (to anybody and everybody from whom it might claim funds) that it will refund without question or delay any sums disputed by the payer. In addition, the direct debit mandate that will be signed by the payer must contain the following wording (usually in very small print): 'The direct debit guarantee - to be retained by the payee'."
He adds: "The guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that take part in the direct debit scheme."
Ian points out that banks may try to fob you off, but don't be having it. It is a right, and one that should be fiercely protected.