Emma Gibbs took on a big responsibility for her boss, Stephen Tolman, who owns Eggbuckland Stores in Plymouth. She wrote: “I could seriously do with some help please! I have been working in a small independent for the last 20-odd years.

“The shop took a hit a year ago when the council saw fit to dismiss a covenant and allow a Co-op to open at the bottom of our hill despite there already being one at the top of the hill! It closed the local post office within a month and [took] most of our passing trade. To alleviate some stress I unofficially stepped up to manager last December and started looking at ways to cut costs.”

She decided that one of two terminals they had should go and kept the Payzone one for a month’s trial. This was in early December 2017.

“Unfortunately, after using the Payzone terminal the money disappeared into a black hole and we haven’t been remunerated. The turning point should be three-five working days. When I phoned Payzone (13 December 2017), they told me to phone Barclays, who told me to phone Payzone, who told me to phone Barclays…”

Oh dear, this went on and on. The store banks with NatWest, not Barclays. Meanwhile, the commission was sorely missed.

I got in touch with Payzone and got the following response from Rona Warne, digital marketing manager: “We have looked into the details of this account and have been in touch with Emma directly to apologise, inform her of the process and our actions to rectify.

“Unfortunately, there has been an issue with the way the account has been set up with our acquiring partner Barclaycard, which is why Emma was being asked to contact them by our customer service team, as our systems were indicating that there was no problem.

“When funds are processed through our terminals we use Barclaycard, a trusted acquiring partner. It is their job to process the funds taken through transactions and allocate them to the merchant’s account.

“In this case, there was an error with their merchant ID, which caused the issue. We are working with Barclaycard to correct this.

“To ensure their business is not out of pocket we are providing them with all the money that is due from customer transactions, while we work with Barclaycard to resolve the problem. We feel that this is best for the customer, rather than trying to go through the lead times supplied by Barclaycard.

“We take seriously any problems our customers face, and will always go out of our way to help them. We have updated Emma and have provided personal contact details for a member of our team, should she need any further assistance.”

A good answer.

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