My notebook this week seems to be full of stories about getting - or not getting - ones' money back.
It doesn't look as though Jashbhi Patel will get his money back from Smith's. Recently the news wholesaler picked up his Saturday and Sunday return bundles but only credited him for one day's returns rather than two. Thinking the second day's credits might appear on the next statement, Jas waited a bit. Too long I guess. Smith's has told him he is now too late to claim even though he has the paperwork. He is owed £25 and says it is not the first time.
I made a few phone calls on his behalf and was shunted from one depot to another. Finally I was told: "We will only speak to the retailer."
I urged Jashbhi to go through the Industry Standard Service Agreement's complaints procedure.
This next story has a happier outcome. Rajendra Patel was the victim of, to give it its technical term, an admin screw-up. He has a TRM ATM machine. Last year a customer tried to withdraw £140 but was rejected. She subsequently went to her Halifax bank and learned that someone else had somehow got the money as it had been extracted from her account.
It was also subtracted from Rajendra's transactions commission by his service provider. There ensued a long painful process whereby he telephoned and wrote and sent in, as requested, an 'EJ' (an electronic journal which is a record of transactions). An engineer visited and here we are many, many months later with lots of promises of reimbursement but no money. And, of course, he had to go through the whole story again each time he chased the company.
I rang Note Machine (which now runs the TRM package) to see if this impasse could be resolved and it worked a treat. The woman I spoke to readily acknowledged that some human intervention at the top was required.
Within a day the sales director had called and explained that the transfer of paperwork between the two companies had resulted in this cock-up and he promised that Rajendra would indeed be reimbursed.
Jolly good. Should've been quicker though.