Staff do their best but it’s up to publishers to keep newspapers alive

We have had our store and HND service for seven years and during that time we have indeed experienced some dire situations of short supplies and late deliveries, contact difficulties, non-response situations, and in some circumstances, what has appeared to be a total ignorance of our enquiries – not to mention the extended disputes we’ve had to go through with credits not being processed correctly.

I don’t blame the delivery driver – he can only do what he can – I don’t blame the depot staff – they can only do what they can. In fact, I try to work with them to gain the best possible result for us and our customers. I praise the staff at Smiths News in Redruth, Cornwall, for the diligence they show to provide the best possible service they can – within their means.

What we all need to do is just work together to ensure our customers – either HND or “casuals” get the best possible service. 

What the publishers need to realise is that if we can’t get the product on time, we can’t sell it. Newspapers are a dying product – unless publishers get their act together.

Mike Pennington, Bosvigo Stores, Truro, Cornwall 

 A retailer’s tale of woe from never never (credit) land

Once upon a time in a faraway land there was a wholesaler who always got things right. No packing errors, no “checkers” who cannot count, credits always passed on time and in full, and managers who returned your phone calls.

A fairy story? Yes it is.

Every week I have packing errors and every week I have to phone and tell Menzies they have not credited these shortages, usually to be told by the person on the other end of the line “the claim was refused” aka “we don’t believe you”.

This, despite the fact I even return the packing note to their manager showing who the packer was and presumably from the scribble, who the “checker” was and yet I am still getting packing errors. To compound the problem, they now do not even return my phone calls.

I was short of my full supply of national nespapers and all my Saturday supplements on 28 October. I used I-Menzies to report these shortages, the supplements were duly delivered, but not the national newspapers. So far – after numerous phone calls and returning the packing notes – I have still only received credit for six copies despite being charged for 12.

Actually, perhaps the fairy tale is in Linwood after all, or never, never (credit) land as I like to call it.

Jim Moorhead, Top Cards, Johnstone

Menzies did not respond before RN went to press

Do publishers know wholesalers let them down?

Once again I am spending my tea break to send this email regarding Smiths News’ poor service and helpless publishers who cannot control the wholesalers, who they are responsible to appoint.

On Tuesday 28 November I was short of nine copies of The Times. After claiming them I was expecting them to arrive, but it seems to me Smiths have adopted the policy not to deliver. Are the publishers aware of this? So this now results in lost sales and profit to my business. 

Recently I have been charged for the magazines which I have not received but my pleas for credit on these seems to be falling on deaf ears.

Finally, I have been having problems with Times supplements due to Smiths’ poor service. I am not too sure if publishers are aware of it. 

Vijay Patel, Higham News, Higham Ferrers

Smiths News did not respond before RN went to press

Correction

RN apologises for an incorrect picture of Walkers’ Choose Me or Lose Me campaign in our Retailer Choice Awards feature last week. For the correct image and to vote in the awards, go to betterretailing.com.