Harendra Bhatt is not scared of a face-off. Harendra, a long-term correspondent who runs Universal Newsagent next to Highbury & Islington tube station in North London, left me a message in response to several pieces I had written concerning News UK’s attitude to credits. “You need a hammer with them,” said the message, “or they will flatten you.”
He’s been in business for 27 years and has learned to go straight to the top. He sent his terms and conditions to News UK, in response to theirs, and wrote to the chief executive when he saw that his T&Cs weren’t being followed.
“They sent one of their foot soldiers and I showed them the video evidence of my returns (Harendra is well up on all the latest gadgetry - while on the phone he played me a recording of his latest reporting of missing items to News UK). The foot soldier took the message back.”
Now, when there are shortages, he just deducts what he is owed before paying online. “I’m not afraid to take the legal path,” he says.