PayPoint has been accused of “bullying” retailers in the face of rising protests from independents against the company’s commission cap cuts.
Retailers taking their own action against the payment services provider told RN they have received calls and letters from PayPoint “threatening” to take their terminals away, while one store owner claimed a PayPoint rep tore down posters urging customers to buy extra products with their PayPoint transactions.
Vas Vekaria, owner of Lever Edge Convenience Store in Bolton, was one of the stores that received a written warning last week.
The letter included an excerpt from the PayPoint handbook, which read: “Staff must not require customers to buy goods from your store as a condition of accepting a PayPoint transaction.”
It also said such behaviour could lead to contracts being terminated, and asked retailers to contact PayPoint to confirm they had understood the letter.
Mr Vekaria added: “My nephew told me that a PayPoint rep came into his shop and took down a poster asking customers to buy something extra to use the terminal. PayPoint are bullying us and we need to take action.”
Marcus Bergin, owner of Supernews in Gloucester, said PayPoint’s head of retail sales Simon Lambert and marketing director Steve O’Neill will visit his store this week, after he challenged the company over its terms cuts on social media.
Mr Bergin said: “It would appear PayPoint is threatening us, so I want to use the meeting to show how these cuts and banking charges are damaging the livelihoods of retailers.”
If retailers are asking customers to voluntarily make contributions to subsidise a service that they may not be able to provide because it’s uneconomical, there’s no issue within the contract or the common law
A PayPoint spokesman denied the company was threatening retailers and said claims of reps ripping down posters in stores were “totally untrue”. He added: “We’re simply reminding retailers of what the consequences of charging might be.”
NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “If retailers are asking customers to voluntarily make contributions to subsidise a service that they may not be able to provide because it’s uneconomical, there’s no issue within the contract or the common law.
“PayPoint should stop acting like a bully and sit round the table and talk.”