An MP has fallen foul of retailers after speaking out against stores that refuse to allow customers to make a PayPoint transaction without buying anything.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper highlighted a case in her constituency after hearing of problems with a retailer not allowing anyone to complete a transaction unless they bought something. The unnamed retailer has had “formal action taken against it by PayPoint following numerous complaints and warnings,” she said.

Cooper called PayPoint to confirm its policy and issued a statement saying the action should serve as a warning to retailers. But her move has been criticised for not understanding the problems.

“I’ve heard about problems in the area,” said one retailer in Cooper’s West Lancashire constituency, who asked to remain anonymous, “and there’s been coverage in the paper. I’ve heard of retailers refusing to make transactions unless there’s a purchase, while other retailers in the area have given their terminals back or had them switched off. I’ve even heard of one retailer near here who charges 50p per transaction.

“There is no excuse for shops adding to their profit by forcing customers to buy an item when the shopkeeper is being paid commission by PayPoint”

“I’ve just told customers about the problems with PayPoint and asked them to buy something to help us out, a lot of them have supported us. I don’t think the MP understand the problems with PayPoint changing the commission.”

Cooper said: “There is no excuse for shops adding to their profit by forcing customers to buy an item when the shopkeeper is being paid commission by PayPoint for the transaction. This is just pure greed and must stop.”