In the last issue I reported a worry from Matthew Wetton about chilled food drivers who appeared to be freezing his assets. This elicited a response from John Greenwood, who runs Tickton Convenience Store at Beverley in Hull.
He writes: "Mentioning no names, we have had many similar problems with a very well-known supplier. These include short deliveries, supposedly SOR products which turn out to be firm sale, and goods close to or even past their use-by date.
"The trouble is it is next to impossible to get redress; drivers are gone before it's possible to check the delivery. Credits are promised for goods wrongly supplied, but often not given.
"The drivers are clearly cheating the retailers, but I fear it goes deeper than this; whenever I have tried to contact the local depot there's no reply and answerphone messages go unanswered.
"When we began to have problems we decided to change to a different supplier. When they were taken over by our original supplier, the problems returned. We changed again but it has cost us money."
His advice is to trust nobody. "Check every delivery meticulously - if you're at all unhappy, don't sign for the delivery until it's been checked; this won't please the salespeople but don't forget it's your money. Change to another supplier if you're at all suspicious."
These are pretty serious allegations. I sent John's email on
to Matt, who is now fairly sure that they are talking about the same supplier.
Matt adds: "Someone's got to bring this potential national problem to the attention of convenience store operators who might be blissfully unaware of the fraud being perpetrated against them.
"It's a David and Goliath scenario. The sad thing is that missing items are probably ending up on disreputable retailers' shelves who have paid cash for the receipt of effectively stolen goods."
Any more out there where this came from?