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to not want to pay for the papers twice?

(25 Posts)
Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 14:40:52

I hope someone can help us here.
We subscribe to the Guardian- we have a Direct Debit and they send us vouchers, which we then give to the shop, who deliver the paper to us and charge us a delivery charge of about £1.50 a week.

I came home from shopping the other day to find a man waiting on my doorstep, angrily saying he was from the papershop, and we owe him money. I went inside and found the latest voucher booklet to give him (we were a couple of weeks late in giving it to him). He said it isn't enough- we owe him £66 as we haven't been paying for weeks.

Now, we know that we have given them the vouchers. He swears that if we had, the shop assistant would have put them on the computer in front of us, which has never happened (in fact, the shop assistant tends to look really baffled and say they have to ask the manager when they come in as they don't know what to do). We gave him £15 and the vouchers, and said we would ask the Guardian subscription office. The subscription office can't help.

What can we do? We don't want to pay twice for our papers, but this man was quite intimidating, especially since he waited for me and hassled me when I had my baby in the sling and the toddler in the pram, outside my own house. He made me empty out my pockets to show him that I had no more money on me.

He wants us to go in tonight and pay the balance. What do I do?

(cross posted with legal matters, as it is pretty urgent and I am scred that he will come round again)

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 12-Jul-10 14:43:27

Was this twonk the manager or a jumped up member of staff?

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 14:44:25

Anyone? Sorry, Dp has just rung the subscriptions office on his break at work, we had assumed that they would have a computer telling them whether the vouchers had been cashed.

If it is relavent, tha man tried to refuse to take the vouchers we did give him, saying they expire after a week and he can't cash them. It says three months on the back of each voucher.

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 14:45:22

I think he was a friend of the (female) manager. He was in his 50's or 60's, but well built.

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 14:47:04

I'm a bit scared tbh- I know it isn't a huge amount of money, but I don't want him coming round hassling me, and I can't afford to just give it to him- it would leave us with no money for the week.

Cretaceous Mon 12-Jul-10 14:48:10

Surely the subscription office can say whether the vouchers have been cashed? They have a registration number on them. Ring the subscription office again, and ask to be passed to someone who can tell you whether your vouchers have been cashed.

(They have a time limit on them. Were they submitted late by the newsagents and returned by the sub office?)

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 12-Jul-10 14:51:17

Phone the paper shop up, they shouldn't be sending a beefy man to your house.

Maybe the paper shop have not been redeeming them for the money? Especially if the staff don't know what to do with them, this isn't your fault.

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 14:55:16

But how can I prove we have given them the vouchers? I know now we should have got a receipt, but you don't think little old ladies in the village shop will do this, do you?

Fuchzia Mon 12-Jul-10 14:55:17

Sounds like it will be really hard to prove either way - it's your word against his re the tokens. The bigger issue is that he came to your house and made you turn out your pockets (!) you have a right not to feel scared in your own home. I should ask him not to come back to you house but put anything he has to say in writing. I don't think it would be unreasonable to call the police if he persists. Citizens advice might be able to help with the payment issue, but I would have thought there is little he can do other than take it to a small claims court?

RunningGirl Mon 12-Jul-10 14:57:03

If the subscription agency can't help you then call The Guardian direct - they outsource the subscriptions but someone actually in their office may be able to help.
If nothing else they'll be able to confirm whether or not the newsagent can still claim wwith those vouchers (and I bet he can, newspapers usually have a very long cutoff point for newsagents redeeming vouchers)

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 12-Jul-10 14:57:25

They would have them in the shop. Give the shop a call, ask to speak to the manager and take it from there. Please do mention her friend. If you call and she doesn't want to know then go to the CAB.

bran Mon 12-Jul-10 14:57:32

Could you phone the non-emergency police phone number and ask them about this? I'm pretty sure that making you turn out your pockets is demanding money with menaces. Plus if he does come back and frightens you and you need to phone them there will be a record of this encounter.

What I would do is phone the manager and ask her if she has asked the assistant about the vouchers. Can you identify the assistant by name or description?

I would also cancel the direct debit to the Guardian for the time being so that the problem doesn't get any worse.

Did you get a receipt for the £15 and the vouchers that you gave him?

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 15:05:31

He said he couldn't give me a receipt, he just signed a scrap of paper that DP (who had come home by this point) wrote the details on.

I've just come off the phone to the Guardian subscription office- they can reissue vouchers if we find out what dates the man is saying we haven't sent them in for, as long as it is within the last 90 days. i'm now going to ring the shop and find out. Wish me luck.

LittleMissHissyFit Mon 12-Jul-10 15:36:46

Definitely call the police, that is not ON!

Complain, complain and complain!!!

THEN, Get your papers from another shop. This behaviour is outrageous!

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 15:38:10

There are no other shops in the area that sell the Guardian though. The nearest one to us just refused flat out to stock it.

I have no idea why.

Misterroberts Mon 12-Jul-10 19:25:03

Sounds awful Butterpie

I work at the Guardian. If you send details to Mumsnet Towers I'll ask someone here to help sort it out.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Mon 12-Jul-10 19:26:18

Can you CAT butterpie? It's alot quicker smile

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 20:05:12

Misterroberts- how would I do that? I'll try "contact us" at the bottom of the page

LittleMissHissyFit Mon 12-Jul-10 21:16:00

Click contact poster at the side of the post written by Misterroberts

Butterpie Mon 12-Jul-10 21:52:24

I don't have CAT
I think I have got in touch though...

funnysinthegarden Mon 12-Jul-10 21:57:12

we have the Guardian vouchers and most of the time the shop assistants have no clue what to do with them. I bet they are sitting behind the till and the assistant will say 'oh yes, I have them' if the bullyman asked her.

Don't be scared, surely he won't resort to violence for 50 odd quid?

BarkisIsWilling Sat 08-Jan-11 23:06:03

Butterpie - What happened in the end?

TheMeow Sat 08-Jan-11 23:29:29

DH works with in a papershop and he said you should contact the Guardian and subscription office again because the vouchers are barcoded so when they are redeemed they know.

If the shop is independant go to trading standards or if it's a franchise or multi chain store contact their head office and head office.

He also said that if you can it may be worth paying what they are asking for (getting a reciept) then claim it back when it's proved you are right. Cancel your papers with the shop so you don't owe any more (At least until it's sorted, then you can reinstate them or find another papershop).

TheMeow Sat 08-Jan-11 23:29:54

bllody hell...just noticed this is an ancient thread blush blush blush

TheMeow Sat 08-Jan-11 23:30:59

Well...I hope the OP comes back now because I want to know if dh was right about the barcodes

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