As Camelot retailers know, the National Lottery operator must be seen as being beyond reproach. It is answerable to the National Lottery Commission and is tightly regulated.
My caller, Mr Anon from the North, had a concern about a call-out charge dating back to February. After a conversation he sent me chapter and verse on email. He writes: “I am wrongfully being charged by Camelot after calling out a maintenance request, which proved to be a genuine problem that needed to be fixed by the engineers; however, I am being charged £234 for a ‘No Fault Found Charge’, despite the fact the engineers identified and fixed the problem.”
He told me that he had repeatedly sent Camelot emails refuting the charge, but they had been just ignoring his claims with no genuine proof that he had been at fault. The problem had been dust on the inside of the lens on his Scratchcards terminal – an area that he knows he is not allowed to access.
He also sent me Camelot’s letter saying that it had investigated thoroughly, but it did seem an odd one for a retailer to have made up. His proof, his CCTV footage, had been ditched a few months back.
I asked Camelot whether I should be telling retailers that they should keep their CCTV footage for longer? And asked why did Camelot wait for so long?
The good news is that Camelot has waived the charge. A spokeswoman said: “From what my colleagues have told me, it sounds like he has had a couple of engineer visits – one in February and another in May. The charge was for the visit in February but, to your point, we waived the fee because of the time that had elapsed since the visit.”
She added: “As some additional background, National Lottery retailers contribute towards the cost of specific services they receive: for example, internal or external equipment moves, expedited or unusual installation requests, aborted installations, and engineer visits where no fault is found with National Lottery equipment. This is in line with our longstanding shared-cost policy, which helps contribute to Camelot’s position as the most cost-efficient major lottery in Europe, with about 4% of total revenue spent on operating costs.”