Susan Lee, who runs a Spar store near Preston with husband Andrew, wrote on email: “We have been Camelot retailers from day one. In November I changed our bank account from Santander corporate to Santander business. I advised Camelot on 28 Dec. No correspondence so I contacted them again and filled in new d.d. forms. They carried on taking money from the old account, but on 28 Feb this was closed.
“They then switched our terminal off with no contact. I set up a bank transfer and paid instantly. There is no answer when you ring. I have held for up to an hour. I email, but they do not reply.”
She adds that, although a direct debit had been set up, Camelot had never taken any money, so Susan resorted to paying by bank transfer. Then, to top it off, she received a letter saying that they owed £2,357.45 and threatened them with debt collectors.
She goes on: “Santander assure me the bank transfer is going to Camelot’s account so what’s going on? I’m at my wits end. I don’t know what to do. Do they have an ombudsman?”
No, there is no ombudsman for retailers, but again Camelot responded very quickly saying: “My colleagues have spoken to Mr and Mrs Lee and reassured them that their direct debit is up and running and their payments are up to date. The outstanding balance was a result of them transferring their retailer status from a sole trader, over to a limited company account. They’re happy that everything is now resolved.”
I have to conclude that Camelot is good at communications when it comes to the press, but other levels of the organisation don’t do so well when it comes to dealing with their retailer agents.