They say letter writing is a lost art. Well, not entirely, although it may have become a bit sidetracked into those great stacks of emails and txt msgs u get 4 eg. But the writing of a good, coherent letter of complaint, now that is often a difficult thing, given that the writer ranges from ticked off to having totally lost it.

Dave Moss, who runs Alfington Stores & Service Station at Ottery St Mary in Devon, writes a good letter. Dave, you may recall, issued a warning about Barclays Bank’s impending rise in charges for small businesses, which featured on this page in the July issue. Having studied the Office of Fair Trading’s website at length and therefore being well aware that the OFT had elicited undertakings from the clearing banks to either pay interest on business current accounts or allow free transactions, he wrote to complain that Barclays was flouting it (a tactic which allowed it to double its charges in Dave’s case in the space of just one quarter).

He has faxed me the OFT’s response which states the obvious wrapped up in a large amount of waffle. It lists the various types of account on offer at Barclays and wanders around to the point that Dave might not have been on the best tariff for his business. The tone of the letter is, as Dave points out, relaxed.

Dave has responded to the letter, pointing out yet again that his main intention was to draw attention to the fact that Barclays Bank appeared deliberately to be circumventing the requirements of the Competition Commission quite blatantly and cynically to its own benefit. He has asked how the authorities plan to police these undertakings.