Skip to content

Altercation with the Newsagent

For years, I’ve had newspapers delivered at the weekend by the closest newsagent, who is several miles away in the nearest village. It’s too far (and probably too dangerous, given how fast the main road is) for a regular paperboy/girl to do the round on their bike, so a chap drives out in his car to do the deliveries for me and my neighbours. He gets here too late to catch me in time for breakfast during the week, but I tend to have a lie in at the weekend, so it doesn’t matter so much if the paper’s not delivered before 09:30. I do pay through the nose for the convenience of getting the papers delivered though.

For a small company, the newsagents are surprisingly blasé about cash flow. They send me a bill monthly in arrears, I put a cheque in the post a day or so later, and then they don’t cash it for weeks. But three months ago, I put a cheque in the post as usual but they didn’t cash it at all. The following month, they sent me bill for two full months, assuming I hadn’t paid. I went to see them in person, and pointed out that I’d put a cheque in the post, showed them the counterfoil in my cheque book, and said I’d only pay the second month’s bill, since as far as I was concerned I was up to date. The chap said he hadn’t even got around to opening his post from the previous month, so my cheque was probably in a drawer somewhere!

However, the same thing happened again last month. Again, my bill hadn’t been made up to date. I really don’t like being told I’m delinquent in my payments, when I know that I pay my bills regularly. I’ve had enough. So I’ve gone to my bank to cancel the outstanding cheque, paid the newsagent’s bill in full and closed my account. It’s a bit of a case of cutting off my nose to spite my face, as now I don’t get a paper delivered at the weekend. If it was an isolated case, I’d be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and consider that the cheque might have got lost in the post. But it strongly smells of bad organisation at their end, and I’m not prepared to put up with bad service – I’d rather do without. 

There doesn’t appear to be any other newsagent that will deliver this far out of town, so they’ve got a monopoly situation. My choices are either to drive into town, spend a token amount at Waitrose and pick a free paper up from there as part of the MyWaitrose benefits, or consider a digital subscription on my iPad. I suspect I might go for the latter and see how it works out.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. pauld | 21 October 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    round here newspapers are dropped off in an old telephone box and people just walk down, take their paper and throw money in a box. BUT this is rustic Cumbria (away from all those horrible tourists) and not the crime ridden south of england 🙂