Vaping is the new vogue in the legal inhaling market. So when a rep for One Lite e-cigarettes came into Prakash Chotai’s shop, VC Wine Stores in Leicester, last October and offered him some sale-or-return stock it didn’t seem risky. The rep promised to come in every fortnight. Never happened. Prakash says he rang the company and left messages several times saying they’re not selling.
Fast forward to May of this year and his Philip Morris rep told him that the One Lite stock was non compliant (no health warning signs) so he put it out the back.
Two months later he got a letter reminding him that an earlier invoice for £110.58 was overdue and threatened court action.
When he complained the company said well, it was legal when we sent it out.
I rang the company on Prakash’s behalf and it was an odd phone call. The guy who answered said he could respond to queries from the press. He also said - without even knowing the retailer’s name - that there was no way he had ever left a message. And that he didn’t need his story because he knew his story. “He didn’t read the terms and conditions. It is sale or return for 30 days. Then you have to pay.”
He didn’t accept that Prakash had rung within that time. It was his word against ours, he said. He added that court is a last stop option but one they would take.
He did say that the stock would be swapped if Prakash paid the original invoice. As this is being written it is still being negotiated.