Darren Gallimore of Crescent Newsagent, Crewe, Cheshire, rang me to say: “I always play by the rules.” He meant Payzone’s rules.

But he was unfortunate enough to get a machine which didn’t play by the rules: it just played up for some nine months. “They changed everything two or three times, even the junction box,” he says.

It is fixed now (largely because his mate, a telecom engineer, has bypassed the junction box as its circuitry didn’t seem right to him). But in terms of compensation for loss of business all he has been offered are free till rolls and fifty quid.

His accountant has worked out that, conservatively, he is down £3.5K as he lost out on debit/credit card transactions, Health Lottery, top-ups and so on.

His PZ account manager rang him and said he would get the only person who could authorise more than £50 compensation to contact him. The man did call but said not possible. It’s in the T&Cs: no compensation.

Re head office’s attitude, he says: “They seem to have gone down the ‘it’s just bad luck’ avenue.”

Payzone acknowledged his frustration and pointed out the number of times they had sent out engineers (yes, but that was because the equipment was faulty). But they refute the loss of earnings.

Lenny Davies says: “We have looked into all his transactions for both card acceptance and Payzone service sales for the period and can confirm his transactions through the Payzone terminal have not suffered, making it difficult for us to agree with Mr Gallimore’s claim of loss of earnings.

“Payzone have offered free till rolls and up to £50 compensation as well as improving Mr Gallimore’s card acceptance rates and rental fees. In addition, Mr Gallimore is part of the phase 1 rollout of Payzone’s new tablet, providing valuable and additional services to his customers within his community, plus a host of business saving benefits for running his business.

“With all Payzone retailers, we genuinely care and would like to take the opportunity to discuss further with Mr Gallimore, his claims of loss of earnings and take him through his sales during this frustrating period.”