Covid continues to leave its disruptive mark on many. When Jodie Parkin read my piece about Musahid Syed’s £1,200 bill from Camelot for expired Scratchcards, she wondered if I could achieve the same result for her (Camelot had apologised and said it was a mistake that had occurred due to lack of reps’ visits and an automated charge being levied. Musahid got full credit.)

Scratchcard_terminal

Jodie, who runs Concord News in Washington Tyne and Wear, wrote: “Scratchcards not being collected from my store during Covid by reps. It’s the exact problem. I’m getting nowhere with them. They have switched off my machine as I just don’t have the money to pay them and it’s ‘still under investigation’ that’s all I get off them…we’re still struggling to get back on track as a small newsagent and this has just set us back even further can you help at all!?”

She added that the total amount she had been charged was £1,400. “We did in the end get a mailing bag after calling them many times and being charged for them so I have sent them back and have proof they were received by them and signed for on the 6th of October; however every email I send I just get a response of ‘our investigation is still on going and please be patient’.”

I contacted Camelot and a spokesman replied: “We’ve looked into this in detail and, while a bag was left in the store for the retailer to return the Scratchcard stock themselves, we’re going to waive the charges for them on this occasion given the unique circumstances and are sorry for any misunderstanding. We’ll be calling the retailer to let them know and then following up in writing to confirm.”

And he added: “For future reference, we communicate the Scratchcard returns process in a number of ways to National Lottery retailers and would advise them to follow this process to avoid putting themselves in a situation where they may inadvertently incur charges.”