Paresh Vyas is a bit mystified. Once upon a time he applied for a lottery terminal for his J&D Stores in Droylsden, Manchester. He was so determined to get it that he camped outside Camelot’s headquarters in Watford for three days. He was successful five years ago, but was only given a terminal on condition of depositing a £5K bond.
He says he didn’t know why they made such a demand, but adds: “It was probably because my limited company was very new. They gave me a week to raise £5K. I had a good credit record, but beggars can’t be choosers so I borrowed from my dad. They wanted it for three years.”
Those three years are well up but Paresh says he can’t seem to get the money back, despite numerous calls and emails.
I contacted Camelot and its spokeswoman said that the team had now been in touch to talk it through with him.
She adds: “My colleagues have told me that we received his bond in May 2012 - the bond is kept for a minimum of two years. All bond payments are held in a separate Camelot bank account, which is managed by the Camelot Finance Team.
“After the two years is up, my colleagues check the retailer’s payment history. If the retailer has no failed payments, then they re-run the Experian credit check. The bond will only be returned once a retailer has had no failed payments in a 12-month period and has passed the credit check.
“The checks were subsequently re-run against Mr Vyas’ Camelot account and it was determined that the bond needed to be retained - my colleagues have been in touch with Mr Vyas directly to explain the reason for this. They will re-run the checks on his account in January 2016.”
Hmm, what about that clean record then? I spoke to Paresh again and he said there had once been a missed direct debit in the past, but it had been the bank’s fault and this had been reported to - although apparently not picked up by - Camelot.
Paresh has now directed his bank to re-contact Camelot and he is going to go onto Experian’s site to check how it has rated him so that he can add an explanatory note.