Trapped by credit provider

16 May, 2008

I am writing to you as I am so disillusioned with my merchant credit provider, Barclaycard, which two years ago gave me what I would consider very good rates for processing my credit/debit cards as long as I took £100-plus in mobile top-ups .

This was not a problem until recently, when roadworks and a few other factors affected my takings . I received a letter from Barclaycard informing me my prices were rising by a staggering 125%, which I find crippling - as it would be to any business. The roadworks have now gone and my top-up mobile business

returned to £150-£200 a week within two weeks.

When I contacted my provider

it was not interested in the problems I had experienced and would not even discuss my

price increases for three months, and then not even guarantee they would again be lowered.

I have one year left on my contract and feel blackmailed and trapped by what I consider underhand tactics. I am looking to settle my account and find a

more reliable provider . If anyone can recommend one I would be grateful.

I just felt compelled to

warn others of some tactics these providers will use, and I feel

as if I have been taken for a ride.

David Mitchell

Director, The Last Oasis, Macclesfield

The Local is a misnomer

I am a longstanding manager of a Local off-licence. Th e name is supposed to signify that we are serving our local community. My lines are constantly being reduced and my customers


what they want at another store which serves their customers well.

To get goods for customers we have to provide names,

addresses and, if possible, phone numbers . On one occasion I was even asked what the customer wanted 12 bottles for. My sales have consistently fallen since the introduction of posters

and removal of stock from the windows -

thus customers only know a very limited number of deals as shown on posters and blackboards).

Managers have been suggesting constantly to their DMs at district meetings that the posters be reduced in size and offers put in the windows, but we are met with the same response : "It is company policy."

To rub salt in the wound , staff received two copies of the same letter in separate envelopes inviting them to be branch managers.

There are 102 vacancies for managers and 109 deputy managers

- this must tell the chief executive something.

Branch managers

strive to improve profits with imagination, but are stopped


corporate mentality. We are not all the same and please give our customers the dignity of knowing that

neither are they.

The Local manager

Name and address supplied

Who's really praising Thresher?

In response to letters

(OLN May 2) supporting Thresher Group , are they really managers

or are they head office staff claiming to be managers on behalf of the big cheese?

What planet are you from? Whatever you want to call the communication system of Thresher head office, it is not working.

You bet our new chief executive doesn't like it when managers and franchisees write to OLN, but they get to the point where it seems

nobody listens at head office. And if they want it to stop, they should get on with sorting out the problems

they cause in the first place. Stock availability, deliveries fiasco, POS mayhem and also total meltdown on promotions change.

Let's be honest

- somebody has been trying to change too many things at once without really doing his or her homework.

Thresher franchisee

Name and address withheld

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