Wholesaler Service Failings

From time to time the level of service you receive from your news wholesaler does not meet the standard you expect, which in turn can have an effect on your business and your profits.

To help members report such issues, the NFRN has compiled the different options you have.

Report the Issue & File a Complaint

1. Use the Wholesaler Service Failing Form

Using the Wholesaler Service Failing Form can help bring the service level to the standard you expect and deserve. It also helps in preventing future re-occurrences.

What should the Wholesaler Service Failing Form be used for?
 – The principle purpose is to record service dissatisfaction in a number of core areas of wholesaler service.

What happens to my completed form?
 – If requested to do so, our helpline will investigate your complaint and contact you within 72 hours.

If you decide to inform us only, your complaint will be logged for future reporting. The information you provide will help in preventing future re-occurrences.

2. Got a News Supply Problem? Why not Tweet?

You can do this by tweeting our twitter handle @News_Complaints, using the hashtag #NewsComplaints.
Publishers and news wholesalers have committed to following these and to taking action at the earliest opportunity. Twitter is a forum so please do not forget to report your issues to NFRN Connect as well.

3. Contact NFRN Connect

You can also inform us by contacting NFRN Connect (previously known as the NFRN Helpline) on 0800 121 6376 * or email connect@nfrn.org.uk

NFRN Connect gives members immediate access to advisors for help and guidance on a range of issues including wholesaler problems and publisher complaints. By phoning NFRN Connect members can report a number of issues including; late deliveries, shortages or credit queries.

*Free from UK landline phones only. Charges may apply when calling from abroad or from a mobile phone.

To Claim Compensation

Late Deliveries – overview to compensation


Whether it’s a one-off event, or whether persistent late deliveries continue to cause consumer dissatisfaction, and are likely to be affecting your profits, the NFRN raises this subject at all local and national meetings and continues to ask both publishers and wholesaler to improve this aspect of their service to you.  However, as progression

However, as progression on improvement is slow, we feel that Enough’s Enough.

For that reason, we have collated the information below.  This is intended as a reference guide to remind you of your options in the event that you decide to claim for losses you have suffered and how you go about claiming them.


Making a claim for any losses can be done in 4 ways:


  1. Directly to your news wholesaler using the publishers’ and wholesalers’ preferred mechanic http://www.pressdistributionforum.com/pdc_forms.html
     The NFRN acknowledge that there is a preferred process that publishers and news wholesalers would like retailers to follow (http://www.pressdistributionforum.com/pdc_forms.html).
    However, the NFRN does not believe the process and documentation used is fit for the purpose intended. It is not readily available or accessible when required, and is restrictive when a need to make a claim when loss is clearly evident.
    The NFRN has produced a Restitution Quick Guide that can help members when claiming for serious and/or persistent issues.
  1. Via the NFRN Connect team, who are on hand to assist or make applications for compensation on your behalf
    Alternatively, using the same form as step 2, contact one of the NFRN Connect team, who may be able to help you and submit the form on your behalf.
    The NFRN Connect team will keep you up to speed with its progress, along with any replies from your news wholesaler.
  1. Small Claims Court
    We also remind you of your legal right to address failings if your invoice is ignored or is not paid or the matter is subsequently not addressed amicably. In these instances,  you have a right to claim for compensation through the Small Claims Court.
    Please find an explanation of the Small Claims Court process below.



Please remember that in all cases, the information you state has to be correct and you must give your wholesaler sufficient time to process your claim (usually in most circumstances 1 week) after a confirmation from them that they have received it (you should expect an acknowledgement within 48 hours).

The Small Claim Court Process

Prior to making a claim

  • Claimant must adhere to ‘Pre-action’ protocols
  • Failure to comply with these can have a negative impact with the court’s order for costs.
  • Protocols provide that every effort must be made to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation
  • Examples of efforts before going to court:
    • negotiating an agreement
    • Involving ombudsman
    • Using a mediator
    • Contacting a regulator




Important:  You are expected to find another way of reaching an agreement before taking your claim to court.  Otherwise, the Court may decide that you will not get your costs back or that you should pay the other party’s costs, even if you win the case.



Making a claim




Helpful links:


Information you need to fill the N1 Form:

  • Both parties’ names and addresses
  • how much the claim’s worth (the amount of money you are claiming)
  • the ‘particulars of claim’ – you can use extra paper if there isn’t enough space to set out your claim (you can send this bit up to 14 days after you send the claim form)
  • additional documents (if you have any), eg an agreement to purchase goods or services if that’s what the claim is based on


Additional Notes:

  • You MUST keep the original copy of the N1 form and serve the sealed copy to the defendant.
  • The purpose of the form is to provide the court with the reasons behind your claim
  • Instead of a cheque, you can pay court fees by debit or credit card
  • Please note you may be able to claim interest on your claim.
  • Once the court has received all the relevant documents, it will enter an issue date on the form and notify you.
  • The court will retain one copy and send you one copy and a sealed copy.


Next Steps




Additional Notes:

  • The court will send a directions questionnaire to both parties after hearing back from the Defendant
  • As the Claimant, when you return the directions questionnaire, you have to pay a fee
  • The court will use the questionnaire to decide which track the case will be allocated to


Notice of allocation & hearing date


  •  It is a form that explains what you have to do and prepare for the hearing.
  • The notice of allocation will usually specify a time, date and place where the hearing will take place plus the amount of time that has been allowed for it.
  • As the Claimant if you want to attend the hearing, but cannot, you can write to the court and apply for a later date – a fee is payable for this and court will only agree if there are good reasons
  • Alternatively, the Court may not set a hearing date but instead:
    • Propose to deal with the claim without hearing. If parties do not object, the case will be decided on papers only. If parties do not reply by given day the judge may treat this lack of reply as consent.
    • Hold a preliminary hearing


Preparing the Case


It is important the case is prepared carefully- the court has to be convinced. Make sure you do the following: 


The Final Hearing


  • Is usually held in public
  • Is usually quite informal.
  • Judge can lead the hearing in any way that they consider fair
  • At end of hearing judge will give the judgement and has to provide their reasoning
  • If you win the case, you will receive court fees back + your claim
  • If you lose, you will not get your court fees back, but it is unlikely that you will have to pay any other costs.

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