Most months I get Camelot complaints and December was no exception. Camelot is such a careful company that it can wave away most by brandishing the rule book. But not always.

Bela Patel rang from her family business, MR & BM Patel, at Forest Hill in south-east London. She said she had had terminal problems back in July; it kept losing its signal. Four different engineers attended and twice replaced the terminal.

On Saturday, July 12, a £12 ticket didn’t print – no signal. The customer went elsewhere. When the terminal came back to life some four or five hours later, it printed (I suppose it was sort of stuck up the spout). It was well beyond the time allowed to cancel so she rang the hotline to request an adjustment. She chased it three times. By the end of November she was told that credit control had declined to reimburse her in October. She rang credit control and asked for something in writing and still had heard nothing. She says: “Four engineers, two replacements, lost signal = not retailer’s fault!”

She seemed to have a point so I contacted Camelot and this time got a great response for Bela.

Camelot admitted to a sort-of misunderstanding. And it said that, given the issues Bela had with her terminal five months earlier, would make a goodwill gesture to her account. Bela was delighted.