All Service Centre articles – Page 10

  • News

    A token gesture

    2005-01-01T00:00:00Z

    Don’t you wonder where they go? Like odd socks, like teaspoons, like the half dozen biros you bought last week, air and water tokens just gradually disappear into thin air, don’t they? I am a bit wiser having discussed this mystery with National Car Wash. Director David Henshaw told ...

  • News

    Dealing direct

    2005-01-01T00:00:00Z

    I do hope this isn’t opening a can of worms, but is anyone else having problems getting their money back from Our Price? James Robertson, who runs JR’s Filling Station in Fife, sent back 15 DVDs to Our Price in September and was promised his money (£112.50) back. He has ...

  • News

    Stamp duty

    2004-12-01T00:00:00Z

    Another complaint about the Royal Mail. As I’ve reported previously in this column, the margin on first class stamps may have gone up to 7%, but the reduction on second class stamps to 3% has really put some of you off. Tim Neal rang from West Coker Garage, near ...

  • News

    Wrong data

    2004-12-01T00:00:00Z

    Some information I passed on in the last issue about Data Protection wasn’t quite the full ticket. I pointed out a refinement to the Data Protection Act 1998 which excuses retailers from registering if they have static cameras which don’t particularly target anyone. David Cuckson, of Parkside Service Station ...

  • News

    All pull together

    2004-12-01T00:00:00Z

    There’s never been more attention paid to low-level crime (litter, graffiti, drive-offs as opposed to shotgun-up-your-nostrils) by the authorities. The government has its anti-social behaviour orders and most communities have some form of crimewatch. But most impressive of all is Kent Police. I’ve reported on the success of their Forecourt ...

  • News

    What’s the real deal?

    2004-11-01T00:00:00Z

    How important is price? What a question to ask retailers. Owen McKay, who runs Smithy Garage at Warrington in Cheshire, thinks that image is important but that it is inextricably linked to price. His business is quite comprehensive, offering car sales, MOT, bodyworks and a Londis shop. “People in ...

  • News

    The choice is yours

    2004-11-01T00:00:00Z

    Or is it? The grocery supply chain is generally thought to be a fairly free and fluid thing. You can more or less buy your baked beans from anybody. The government hasn’t had to intervene the way it did with banks to make it easier for you to shop around ...

  • News

    Change for the better

    2004-11-01T00:00:00Z

    There’s been a refinement to the Data Protection Act 1998 which means that retailers with basic CCTV cameras – the type that cannot zoom in and out – no longer have to register with the Information Commissioner. The thinking behind this is that you are not ‘targeting’ anyone with a ...

  • News

    And he spoke too soon

    2004-10-01T00:00:00Z

    While having a satisfying rant over stamps, Steve had tempted fate by saying that at least the reduction on margins for phone cards had finally stopped. Oh dear. Five days later, down they went again. His next delivery from Dextra Solutions revealed margins reduced to as low as 3.5 per ...

  • News

    Stamping out profits

    2004-10-01T00:00:00Z

    Do you sell stamps? If so you’ve probably noticed the reduction in margin on second class stamps to three per cent. Were you informed? I must admit, if there was a whole heap of hype as claimed by Royal Mail, I missed it. Steve Dyer, from Thornfalcon Garage in Taunton, ...

  • News

    It’s free - but there’s a catch

    2004-10-01T00:00:00Z

    Here is a bit of a masterclass on ‘free’ drinks coolers. When Mohammed Arif bought his filling station and store two months ago in Cannock, Staffordshire, he thought he had bought all the fixtures and fittings as part of the deal. He renamed the business Top Shop Services, filled the ...

  • News

    Code cracking

    2004-09-01T00:00:00Z

    Ever wondered what the various phone codes represent and whether you are being ripped off or not? I’ve been in interesting email discussion with regular correspondent Dave Moss (Alfington Stores and Service Station, Devon) who has made a study of them, fired by an abiding passion to expose BT ...

  • News

    Don’t disable your business

    2004-09-01T00:00:00Z

    The deadline for offering a user-friendly environment becomes official on October 1 when Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 comes into play. A most timely call on this subject came from Raj Patel, who runs RP Service Station in Manchester. He was about to have work done ...

  • News

    For whom the tills roll

    2004-08-01T00:00:00Z

    It’s an old rep’s trick, the agreement-seeking question: ‘You DO want to buy this, don’t you?’ Mike Cheskin was on the receiving end of a variation on this theme recently at his forecourt, Chatfield Service Centre in Gloucestershire. Merchant Retail Suppliers (of York and Canada apparently) rang up and ...

  • News

    Stamp, stamp, the sound of jackboots

    2004-08-01T00:00:00Z

    Trading standards officers in Norfolk would appear to be armed with magnifying glasses and an I’m-going-to-get-you-no-matter-what attitude. This story is breathtaking. John Collins runs Parkside Garage in Norfolk. When the TSO showed up John wasn’t in the least bothered and told him to help himself, have a good look ...

  • News

    No longer a ’Hot Shot’

    2004-08-01T00:00:00Z

    A couple of retailers have rung to ask what’s going on with Hot Shot Beverages, supplier of the ‘Shake and Stir’ tea and coffee machines. They had been promised sale or return on unused product and weren’t getting any joy from the company. I enquired at head office and Robert ...

  • News

    Where is the loyalty?

    2004-07-01T00:00:00Z

    This question was posed by Asif Kassam, who runs KP Hill Service Station in Manchester, and who was royally ticked off with PayZone because the company had just installed a competing terminal next door to his own. A few years ago I used to get bitter complaints from retailers ...

  • News

    A cheap shot

    2004-07-01T00:00:00Z

    Hello, have you got a minute? (Or 20 as it turned out.) Would you like cheaper phone calls? Well, yes, who wouldn’t? The company that phoned Barry Chandler up at his service station in Walthamstow in London’s East End, offered to send him a welcome package introducing him to more ...

  • News

    It’s a people business

    2004-07-01T00:00:00Z

    Often described as ‘your best asset’, staff can also be a pain in neck (or much lower down, as this retailer put it) and not to put too fine a point on it, they can also be crooks. My caller wanted to know what he could do about a youngish ...

  • News

    A result

    2004-06-01T00:00:00Z

    I’ve had some satisfying feedback from Dave Moss in Devon on his quest for business rates relief. For those who missed the last issue, Dave, who runs Alfington Stores and Service Station, was horrified when his business rates demand arrived this year in all its crippling glory and with no ...