All Service Centre articles – Page 11

  • News

    In for a penny...

    2004-06-01T00:00:00Z

    Can I pay someone off in pennies asked a bitter retailer who is facing a nightmarish £50K bill involving a sub-lease/tenant legal wrangle. It started out at a lot less than £50K but barristers got involved along the way. The retailer, who doesn’t want any publicity, had some sublet property ...

  • News

    The hottest new scam

    2004-06-01T00:00:00Z

    News comes from the Federation of Small Businesses of fraudsters claiming to regulate Health and Safety legislation. A swathe of official-looking letters have gone out to small businesses demanding registration payments of up to £249. The conmen are using the titles Health and Safety Enforcement Agency, Health and Safety Registration ...

  • News

    There’s a relief - maybe

    2004-05-01T00:00:00Z

    They say that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Both are sometimes mysterious as well. Certainly there is a bit of a mystery concerning Alfington Stores Service Station in Devon. Dave Moss sent me an urgent query on business rates relief. For several years ...

  • News

    Internet cons

    2004-05-01T00:00:00Z

    I got a badly-worded email on April 14, full of what journalists call ‘screamers’ (exclamation marks!! to make the contents seem important!!). The email informed me, as a “dear client of Barclays Bank” (I’m not), that the night time safety system had been cracked!!! To prevent any problems would I ...

  • News

    Age sensitivity

    2004-05-01T00:00:00Z

    Retailers often ring up after the ‘sting’. Trading standards officers wear quite a few hats these days (not as many as you, but enough for them to turn up in a different guise on any given day). Sometimes they will use entrapment techniques. They like to call it ‘test purchasing’ ...

  • News

    Joined forces

    2004-04-01T00:00:00Z

    I’ve had some interesting feedback since reporting on Thumbs Up Security’s thumb-print kit, which tackles both the inability to pay problem that besets some customers, and the fraudulent use of cheques/cards. Margaret Reid, managing director of Thumbs Up Security says she has been inundated with requests for the cheap ...

  • News

    Water, water, everywhere...

    2004-04-01T00:00:00Z

    For those who get off on schadenfreude, the news that Coca-Cola has withdrawn ‘Sidcup tap water’ over bromate levels will have also brought an I-told-you-so to many minds. You can’t quite unscramble the Dasani label to spell ‘disaster’ but many will see it that way. For at least one ...

  • News

    Mystery of Direct Cash

    2004-04-01T00:00:00Z

    ATM supplier Direct Cash owes a few retailers some money. Karlos Ambrus of Knowehead Filling Station at Harthill in Lanarkshire, is among them. He paid £475.13 for three months rental upfront to Direct Cash to get an ATM installed, which came with PayPoint as part of the deal. He was ...

  • News

    Priced out of market

    2004-03-01T00:00:00Z

    No petrol retailer will be unfamiliar with price wars. But Allan Broughton, from Fisher’s Motor Centre at Sutton in Ashfield, was totally ticked off when he discovered that his local competitor, a symbol c-store, was selling newspapers for 10p less than cover price. “I don’t mind competition on a ...

  • News

    Giving it the thumbs up

    2004-03-01T00:00:00Z

    Here’s the theory: if a customer has forgotten his/her cheque book/cards and promises to come back later, they will do so unfailingly if you have taken their fingerprints. Furthermore, if you take their fingerprints even when the cards are present, they won’t be engaging in fraudulent practice using duff plastic. ...

  • News

    Am i breaking the law

    2004-03-01T00:00:00Z

    Roger Smith, who runs Bapchild Service Centre at Sittingbourne in Kent, got quite wound up when he read the ‘No ID, No Sale’ info packs left by his cigarette merchandiser as part of a campaign to stamp out sales of restricted goods to the under-aged. The fact sheet spells out ...

  • News

    Making your own luck

    2004-02-01T00:00:00Z

    The world divides into the reactive and the proactive. Sebastian Nonis, who runs Forfar Road Service Station in Dundee, is not the sort to take things lying down. I know this because I have a file This Thick on my desk illustrating the lengths that he will go to promote ...

  • News

    The silver lining is Jet

    2004-02-01T00:00:00Z

    Still on the above subject, January comes and I get a calendar through the post. It features a fine picture of Forfar Service Station, brightly branded Jet and with the message that the business is sponsoring the Dundee Tigers under 16s ice hockey team. It had all happened very ...

  • News

    Take the bull(ring) by the horns

    2004-02-01T00:00:00Z

    A Birmingham retailer rang with an average tale of woe – roadworks had re-routed business for a while, general competition was up, place needed a facelift but he couldn’t afford it. I say an ‘average’ call as I do get many like this. It doesn’t compare with the ones I ...

  • News

    Rules is rules

    2004-01-01T00:00:00Z

    As one petrol retailer observed to me recently, you can hardly walk across the forecourt without breaking some regulation or other. The Association of Convenience Stores phoned with a query on age-related goods. One of their members wanted to know the legal age for selling petrol. Apparently trading standards ...

  • News

    Smell a rat?

    2004-01-01T00:00:00Z

    Here’s a seasonal story for you. Chris and Marion Clark, who run Marion’s Shop and Filling Station on Rousay in the Orkneys, wondered why every Switch transaction via Streamline in the run-up to Christmas involved a call to Streamline’s authorisation centre. “As a consequence,” says Chris, “our customers have ...

  • News

    Sue online

    2004-01-01T00:00:00Z

    One of the forecourt operators who contacted me about Deal Direct/Our Price was Bernard Knowles who runs Forge Garage in North Yorkshire. He had his fingers burned in dealing with Deal Direct and issued a small claims court summons over the internet. The company, which had not been responding ...

  • News

    Does this sound familiar?

    2004-01-01T00:00:00Z

    The flyer from Our Price offered ‘amazingly low priced, fast-selling chart DVDs’ along with a free counter display, window poster, delivery, 25 per cent profit margin on every DVD sold and a 100 per cent sale or return guarantee. A number of you rang up to enquire whether Our Price ...

  • News

    Occupational hazards

    2003-12-01T00:00:00Z

    I don’t suppose you need me to tell you what a dangerous industry you work in – deadly substances on tap and tills full of high turnover (shame about the profit). But you still might be stopped in your tracks by some shock-horror statistics from the Health Safety ...

  • News

    Off licence confusion

    2003-12-01T00:00:00Z

    Susan Young, who runs Nantybwch Service Station at Tredeger in Gwent, was bemused to get a letter from a firm of solicitors in Merthyr Tydfil, suggesting that she might like to use their services in renewing her off licence and urging her to reply by November 10. Susan wondered if ...