“Retirement is wonderful,” said Marion Lowe, who emailed from Swanbourne Stores & Post Office. Marion got in touch when she read my report on Unicom and its contractual contortions. She wanted to recount her experience with BT Business line.”We have just sold our village stores and post office business and phoned BT to inform them that the incomers wished to use the same phone number and, more importantly, the email address, only to be told that our two-year contract runs until next July and we’d have to pay it off.

“How can it be legal or morally ethical for BT Business to get paid twice for the same service? It’s diabolical!” 

She was outraged on behalf of the takeover retailers, too. “Our purchasers, who emigrated from South Africa, had to have internet in order to apply to the Post Office, and had what they thought was a short-term broadband contract from BT Residential, only to be told that they had signed up for 18 months.

“You don’t expect this sort of scam from a company such as BT, but perhaps I’m naive!”

Marion also has a Handepay debit card machine, and was told that this contract was also non-transferable. “I have to pay for the three-and-a-half years rental (about £480 + VAT) remaining and if the new owners, who have to get a new machine, want to go with Handepay, we get a max of £125 rebate.”

She has settled up, but has also written a strong letter to the company saying that she would never have gone for a five-year contract that was non-transferable when she knew that retirement was on the horizon. 

She ends on a lovely note, though: “I’ll really miss reading your column - it’s the best for highlighting scams. I shall recommend it as essential reading to our purchasers.”