An email from someone not wishing to be identified but whose address included the designation 'Cuddly bear', has sent words of support
for Ivor Thomas, who asked via my last column how newspaper suppliers get paid.
As Ivor's supplies from his wholesaler, Smiths, were frequently wrong, he assumed he was not the only one and worked out that, if you multiply it by the number of customers, there ends up a tidy sum of money earning interest before the refunds are paid back for unwanted/unsold copies.
Cuddly tells me that he has put Smiths on his 'friends and family' frequent calls telephone plan. "We are constantly ringing up about our returns, mainly magazines. When credits have not been given and we call to claim, eight times out of 10 we get the pat answer of 'all contents of the tote boxes were scanned' and that is the end of the matter."
Like Ivor, he presented me with a little sums scenario: one mag costing £3.23 a month for, say, half of the 385 customers served by the branch. This would be £192 x £3.25 = £624 - 25% discount = £468.75.
(I don't understand the discount bit but undoubtedly all you newsagents out there will.)
"It makes you think about the odd magazine going missing," adds Cuddly. "Of course, I'm not suggesting that this goes on, but it would be nice to find out where our odd mag (that we have not been credited for) has gone."
He concludes: "At least I'm saving on the barber's bills, as there isn't a lot of hair left. After a 'good' session, most of it has been pulled out!"