This was unusual. Belinda Rawlinson is a Lanwall retailer in Rochdale who actually paid some £3,500 for a photocopier that never earned her the promised return over the five years’ term (nice one, Bank of Scotland) and is now told she has to pay a further £150 to transfer the lease so that she can finally own what is now a broken photocopier.

In her case she was missold and had to pay for it the hard way. Happy-ish to report that Belinda is telling the fourth company involved in this bogus venture that they can come and pick up the duff machine.

Belinda is the first retailer I have come across who has actually paid Lanwall for the duration of the contract. There may be others I don’t know about.

And, meanwhile, time for yet another warning. Contracts shouldn’t have to be pages long in 6pt type, but since they are drawn up by lawyers they cover every conceivable angle. And because they are legal documents no one except another lawyer is going to truly understand them.

As I have said before, if you do nothing else, check two or three things. If it’s for equipment, will you own the stuff when the contract ends? How long is it for? What are the cancellation penalties? Can you transfer it if you sell the business?