Jac Roper


This will be the second time I’ve reported on Ian Beaumont’s problem with NoteMachine. He runs Junction 37 Filling Station in Howden, East Yorkshire. His business, J Wardle & Son Ltd had had an ATM on-site for quite a few years.

Then, last November the site was ram raided. The building was damaged but no money was stolen and people were arrested. NoteMachine promised a replacement machine. “But it was only when the building work had been completed in April that we got in touch to see what was happening,” says Ian.

NoteMachine said that, as the machine had been attacked once, then it could be attacked again.

“I find this to be a ridiculous statement, because any cash machine is a potential target and, as the machine was insured, then there would be no expense to NoteMachine. That is the whole purpose of having insurance.”

When I first contacted the company for a response they told me they were reviewing the situation and would keep Ian ‘informed on how to proceed in due course’.

In fact the only informing they seem to have done is to fob Ian off whenever he chases them.

“When we had the machine NoteMachine were content with the security they had in place. They were happy with the alarm and happy with the placing of the bollards. What we were trying to discuss with them was improvements that would have prevented any further attacks but it seems that they know best.

“When the machine was attacked the crash bollards proved to be useless as they were a few millimeters of metal tube filled with concrete which just snapped off. We would have suggested solid metal bollards as we have to protect our fuel pumps from lorries. In our opinion the bollards were located too close to the machine and we would have suggested fitting them further away to form a distance barrier as well as a physical barrier.

“When the machine was struck it activated the alarm inside the cash machine but there was no visible or audible alarm to act as a deterrent. It was only when they attacked the machine from another direction and damaged the building that our alarm system was activated. It was only when our lights and alarm was set off that the robbers fled the scene.

“We would have suggested connecting the alarm on the cash machine to the buildings alarm. We would have suggested fitting motion sensors so that any attack would have activated our alarms.

“We would have liked to discuss these improvements but due to the complete lack of communication from NoteMachine we were not given the opportunity.”

When Forecourt Trader approached NoteMachine for a response, they said: “NoteMachine strives to maintain access to cash across the country and is proud to work with small retailers to do this. Unfortunately, in some instances it is not viable to maintain a machine due to ongoing security risks, as is the case here. We have been in regular contact with the retailer to outline our concerns and reasons for not replacing the machine on this occasion.”

To this Ian says: “When NoteMachine say they have been in regular contact and have given security reasons then this is not true as all they have said is a decision has been made and they refuse to discuss the matter further.”

He also says: “During the pandemic NoteMachine wrote to us and asked that we keep taking cash when many businesses stopped. We always took cash and supported NoteMachine.

“We used to get a rent from NoteMachine but in order to keep the machine for the benefit of our customers we waived the fee. When the machine was attacked it was holding £56,000 which I would say means it was a busy machine.

“I feel that NoteMachine are just using the attack as an excuse to avoid replacing a machine which was covered by insurance. I think that rather than a security reason its an economic reason. It’s very disappointing when you try and discuss a problem but the other party doesn’t want to know.”

And he concludes: “They obviously have no intention of even speaking to us let alone installing a new machine. They must think that if they ignore us then we will go away. I believe that the cash pods are not insured other wise there would be no cost to them to put a machine back in.

“In the contract they have a get out clause which says that they can remove a machine for security reasons which would apply to every site that has one of their machines. If a machine was not being used enough it’s a good excuse to remove it regardless of having a contract.”

Ian sent me a video of the attack and photos of the damage which he had given to the police. It’s disturbing to watch – especially when the creepy-looking driver in a balaclava is caught in the bright light of the camera.

You can email your queries, news and views to Jac@roper-biz.co.uk or call 0208 8502 9775