When asked last week how concerned PayPoint is that retailers will stop offering its services, a spokesman said recent complaints are from a “small and vocal minority”. Most retailers are happy with the company’s service, he said. But everywhere I turned last week I saw the opposite.
Hundreds of stores have been tweeting, posting on Facebook and commenting online, making this the biggest issue I can remember from the four years I have edited this magazine.
One symbol group boss told me last week he supports RN’s stance on the issue and is sympathetic to the position his retailers are in.
Portsmouth retailer Linda Sood, meanwhile, certainly isn’t happy with PayPoint’s service. [pull_quote_right]If PayPoint wants the “small and vocal minority” to go away it is going to have to face their challenge head on.[/pull_quote_right]She had to phone the police over the weekend because an irate customer challenged a transaction and the PayPoint customer service line, which could have backed her up, was closed for the day.
Retailers have got good reason to ask for better service. PayPoint blamed “tough market conditions” for cutting margins, but an RN investigation shows it posted £46m profits last year, up 41% since 2010.
At the same time it paid chief exec Dominic Taylor £2.6m, with £1.9m for finance director George Earle and £1.6m for business development director Tim Watkin-Rees. Glasgow retailer Mo Razzaq, meanwhile, is down £1,486 a year by offerung PayPoint to his customers.
PayPoint obviously thinks it will withstand the legal challenge being prepared by NFRN, but there is a rumour doing the rounds that another major supplier also has its lawyers preparing a case.
Keeping its head down and parroting the line about increased footfall will only get PayPoint so far. If it wants the “small and vocal minority” to go away it is going to have to face their challenge head on.