Then it got sorted very swiftly via the press office

Remember when cigarettes went dark? Manufacturers were offering to switch branded stock that retailers were left with for plain packaging.

I remember getting involved in chasing up a few where retailers had complained of difficulties in getting their leftovers swapped. But I was surprised to hear from Nitin Shah, who was still trying to get about £2,500-worth of stock replaced at his store, News 4 U, in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.

He says that some of his stock had been replaced three years ago by BAT and that he was promised that the rest would be switched when they had enough stock to do so.

All his previous reps continued to promise to change it and asked for pictures and a list, which he had provided.

But his current rep said it could no longer be swapped. “Now he isn’t answering his phone,” says Nitin. “They said they could only give me vape products, but I said give me vouchers and I can go to the cash and carry and buy cigarettes – I’ll even buy BAT.”

I got in touch with the company and Nitin got a visit in very short order – within two days in fact – and was promised replacements. Five days later he rang me again to say that he had been given 12 outers.

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