The number of restitutions refused by wholesalers is increasing, leaving retailers out of pocket following unresolved complaints, RN has been told.

According to NFRN head of news Brian Murphy: “There’s a new increase in complaints over restitution, which is already the most complained about matter at wholesalers and the NFRN – it has been for a very long time.”

Waqar Chaudry, from WH Chaudry News in Glasgow, fought for reimbursement for two weeks following packing problems at Menzies Linwood.

He said: “I received 67 copies of the Daily Mail instead of 67 copies of the Daily Record. After I returned them, I didn’t receive the £60 credit for the wrong delivery. It took me two weeks of complaints and a letter to Menzies head office in Edinburgh until I was refunded.”

He added: “It happens around three times every couple of months, and each time it costs me more than £10 to fix something that wasn’t my mistake. If they make a mistake, they should rectify it.” 

Meanwhile, Duncan McCutcheon, from McCutcheon Newsagents in Tyne and Wear, has been fighting for his voucher credit for over a month. 

“I usually have no issues with Smiths Gateshead, but at the moment I’m fighting over an envelope of vouchers worth £179 they said went astray,” he said. “I’ve been complaining for six weeks but still haven’t received any credits.”

Meanwhile, Mr Murphy said retailers are having to take matters into their own hands to resolve issues with wholesalers. “The number of retailers wasting huge amounts of time phoning wholesalers about restitution is increasing. It is an area where wholesalers need to reconsider how they’re treating retailers,” he said. 

A Smiths News spokersperson said: “Credit is not refused without good reason. We deal with 10 million weekly returns, so mistakes happen occasionally, but we work hard to limit operational issues and quickly resolve any brought to our attention.”

Menzies declined RN’s request for comment.