Two got in touch with useful information for anyone else receiving unsolicited goods from news wholesalers’ third party partners.

John Stones (Janet & John Stones, Bampton Village Store Bed & Breakfast) says he was sent a box of gum which he did not order and did not want.

“Feeling rather vexed, I sent the following letter to the complaints department at Menzies.”

And this is what he wrote: “Today, Saturday 4 October 2014, I was sent a box of Blockhead Energy Gum, valued at £26.33.

“At no time whatsoever did I either agree to receive these, nor was I given the opportunity to refuse these, by way of declining these on your system ‘I Menzies’, utilising the allocations advice/orders page.

“Under the auspices of the Consumer Contracts (information, cancellation & additional charges) Regulations 2013, you do not have the right to send me goods that I did not request, further known as unsolicited goods, and that I have the right, should I wish, to retain these goods, Blockhead Energy Gum, without payment to you, as they were delivered to me as unsolicited goods.

“Furthermore, it is a criminal offence, under the Unsolicited Goods & Services Act 1971, for you to request payment for this item, ie to charge me for these goods.

“I am aware that this amount would eventually be credited to my account, but the issue is that it is goods I do not want, nor wish to retail.

“I have made repeated telephone calls, altered allocation notifications page, re similar items/one-shots, stating that I do not wish to receive such items and I only wish to receive newspapers/magazines that I wish to sell, and not magazines/products that you wish to sell to me.”

He adds that his is a very small business, in a very rural valley. “Therefore I, and only I, know what sells in my shop. This type of product, and the way it eventually gets re-credited back to me, does nothing to help my cash flow.”

He concludes: “I have been advised that, should I wish not to retain these or similar goods that are sent to me in the future, in an unsolicited manner, and have to await pick-up the following day, that I am within my rights to charge you, Menzies, a storage fee for said goods; this I believe would equate to £2 per hour storage.”

The upshot was a reply, an apology and a promise that constraint would be put in place to prevent promotional goods being sent out. So he has been removed from the allocation list of third-party suppliers.

“So a result for the small guys!”

Then Jayesh Patel rang from Classic News in Northampton. He plays the Euro card. His son took a call ostensibly from Smiths News and he got sent a big supply of e-cigs. “EU law says that anything you buy on the internet or over the phone has a 14-day cooling off period. I wrote to say take it back, and they did.”

So you see? There is all kinds of law on your side.