Camelot has an image problem and its systems are not working, NFRN members who sold more than £1bn of lottery tickets last year told head of retail James Pearson.
At the NFRN’s annual conference in Torquay on Monday, delegates queued to raise service issues such as the company’s monthly charges, allocation of terminals, commission and helpline charges.
Graeme Pentland, of Ashburton News in Newcastle upon Tyne, called on Camelot to do more to restore its reputation with consumers to attract them back to stores.
“Customers aren’t happy after winning £20 for matching five numbers,” he said.
He explained how he struggled to pay the £50 monthly fee for his new unit because five other stores in a two-mile radius also had Lottery terminals.
Julia Bywater, of Bywater News in Dudley, told Mr Pearson retailers hadn’t seen an increase in commission in 22 years. She asked if it was only retailers who lost commission on giving out free tickets, or whether the good causes Camelot supports also miss out.
Mr Pearson said Camelot had no plans to cut the £50 charge or increase retailers’ commission. “We need to be a profitable business to do what we do,” he said. “So do we,” delegates responded.
Retailers told RN they feared being transferred onto a £50-a-month charge when their contracts came up for renewal. 40,000 retailers contributing £600 a year would generate £24m a year for Camelot, while damaging retailers’ profitability, they said.
National vice president Linda Sood was recently charged £240 by Camelot to fix a faulty terminal. She said she needs to sell 4,800 lottery tickets to earn enough commission to cover this cost.
Mr Pearson said: “We want to build better relationships with retailers. The way we work with the NFRN is changing and will continue to change.”