London retailers have reacted angrily to the "draconian" terms and conditions of News International's (NI) new Direct to Retailer distribution scheme (C-Store, May 15).

NFRN London District president Omkar Patel accused NI of "driving a dictatorial relationship with its newsagents" with terms including a requirement to place a large deposit with NI for the duration of the trading relationship, mandatory weekly payment of account, and charges of 3% above the base rate for late payment.

"All this applies even if the invoice sent to you is massively inaccurate," Patel added.

Exisiting wholesalers take a deposit from new customers which may be returned after the first year, demand weekly settlement, and charge interest of about 1.5% on late payments.

Other retailers praised the clear and concise terms of the document, and pointed out that as NI would deliver only two newspaper titles a day, "massively inaccurate" invoicing was unlikely to occur.

NI said it would deal with individual retailers' queries on its helpline, 0808 238 9599.

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