The number of calls I’ve received from retailers about DVD supplier Deal Direct is now just shy of 60, so here’s an update. One of Deal Direct’s recent tactics for delaying payment of sale-or-return money was the excuse that the accounts lady was off sick. It had been offering therefore to pay people back via their credit cards. This worked for some, although Chris Wardle at Wardle Service Station was told by Visa he couldn’t get a refund unless he’d paid with Visa in the first place.

He contacted sales director Steve Dixon at Deal Direct with this info and tried a ruse of his own. “Steve Dixon is a hard-nosed salesman. I dangled an order in front of him and I’m convinced he went round to accounts and kicked ass,” says Chris, whose refund arrived by cheque a short time later.

Elaine Williams, who runs Glanusk Services near Brecon was also asked for credit card details. “They didn’t care whose – even my daughter’s would do.”

Nigel Whitefoot, a Vauxhall/Spar retailer, had been offered payment via a credit/debit card but it never happened. He queried it and was told Deal Direct’s bank had put a stop on this repayment method and that, categorically, anyone who sent their paperwork for returns in after January 1 would not get their money back because the terms and conditions had been changed via a notice on the Xmas catalogue to the effect that sale-or-return had been changed to sale-or-replace regardless of when the stuff was first ordered. Nigel is consulting solicitors.

James Robertson, who runs JR’s Filling Station in Fife, finally received his refund, several months later, but…they owed him £521.31; the refund was £349.46. “They’re crooks,” says James. “They said the goods were now on sale so have kept the £171 difference. They said if I placed an order I would get back the full amount, so it’s like blackmail.” He too is pursuing it