A retailer I spoke to recently said that last Tuesday, the wholesaler that delivers to him totally failed, who then compounded the problem by not quite telling the truth about when the newspaper delivery would be made.

Because the retailer does HND, he got into his car and drove to the wholesale house which is just a mile from his store. There he found the van, but no driver. He took his newspapers back to his store and had a busier than usual morning as his was the only shop in his neighbourhood that had papers to sell.

The store that I ran in West Sussex was 25 miles from the news wholesaler; so going to collect was out of the question. My solution was to make a noise on my blog about prolonged poor service. It got noticed and a solution was negotiated. I got the newspapers that had arrived before the wholesalers ‘cut off time’, but would get late titles on a rerun.

My HND customers of the late title would receive a letter from me letting them know that we would be unable to deliver their newspaper and that we would hold their copy at the shop for them to collect. Not perfect, but it worked.

With Twitter, Facebook and the other social media channels, savvy newsagents can quickly and easily inform customers, publishers and wholesalers of late arriving titles.

We would be delighted to hear how you manage this irritating problem, please use the comment box below.