Store owners who feel they have been poorly treated by PRS for Music, which licenses the use of music in the UK, are being urged have their case heard by the organisation's ombudsman.

The ombudsman, which was set up last July, will address complaints if customers are unhappy with the way their initial grievance has been handled, but PRS for Music confirmed to C-Store that, so far, not a single case had been referred.

The Forum of Private Business said most of its members did not know the service existed. Policy representative Matt Goodman said: "We have received call after call from members complaining about PRS and the first they have heard about this option is when we tell them."

Dozens of retailers have contacted C-Store after finding PRS for Music to be heavy-handed in its dealings with small stores. In October 2009, Sandra Burt of A&T Food store in Clackmannanshire was told she could not sing while she stacked shelves without a licence. PRS for Music later reversed its position and apologised. The same month Pam Dhesi of Pentra Stores in Mid Glamorgan was told she needed a PRS licence for a TV in a private room above the store.

The music ombudsman can be contacted on 0330 440 1601.

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