Payzone Contract Updates: Success for NFRN in Payzone Dispute

Please find below information and documentation about the change in Payzone’s contracts.
This page will be updated as changes occur in the situation.

Update 17th August – Press Release

 

FAIR DIALOGUE – FAIR TERMS

 

The NFRN and Payzone met formally on Wednesday 16 August to discuss Payzone’s proposed new Terms and Conditions for their new tablet technology.  The new Payzone contract, which has been introduced to coincide with the new tablet technology, includes some significant changes from the existing retailer arrangement and the NFRN challenged principal areas in representation of its members.

NFRN’s CEO Paul Baxter said “A full and frank discussion took place with Payzone and we are pleased that Payzone have reconsidered the salient points we raised which included:”

  • a reasonable period of notice to consider the new contract.
  • retailers’ ability to terminate the current contract without penalty as an alternative to signing the new contract if they considered the new arrangement is not suitable for their business.
  • retailers may give 60 days’ notice to terminate the new contract, once the terminal and the new terms and conditions are operational, instead of 6 months.

Mr. Baxter continued “The NFRN is appreciative of the constructive way that Payzone approached our discussions. We are supportive of Payzone’s technology investment and future business plans and will work with them to ensure that our members receive fair and equitable terms. In the interim, we wish to work with them on a number of important clauses and charges still within the new contract that we believe require further review. Payzone have agreed to work with the NFRN to consider more practical solutions in support of retailers that decide to enter into a new contract.

> Key Facts the NFRN and Payzone have agreed on:

  • Retailers will receive 28 days to consider the new terms and conditions.
  • Retailers that believe the new terms and conditions are impractical will be able to terminate their current contract without penalty charges at the existing expiry date stated on the current contract or sooner if the legacy hardware is discontinued.
  • The new T&C clause required retailers to give 6 months notice to terminate – this has been reduced to 60 days.
  • Any retailers that have had terminals already installed or have had charges levied already on the ‘new’ basis will be given the same “revised” terms and conditions.
  • NFRN will continue discussion on some other fundamental elements of the contract with Payzone.

Rupert Lowery, Chief Commercial Officer at Payzone commented: “We are totally committed to our core convenience market and have spent millions creating a better retailer and consumer experience which will bring several improvements to retailers, namely:

  • Increased range of services, including parcels and Transport Ticketing
  • Increased footfall from new services
  • Reduced transaction times
  • More robust security.

We are providing this at a market-leading price, as we believe in a fair deal for our customers and are happy to work with the NFRN on the changes outlined above. We recognise the role the NFRN plays and welcome the chance to get things right to the benefit of all sides.”

> Editor’s information

  • The NFRN has been the champion in highlighting the unfairness of supplier contracts that are unworkable and will continue to defend such injustices in its collective support for its members.
  • Retailers will be required to access broadband facility platform and pay the associated charges for the new terminal. Such charges will vary by provider, (Payzone offer a PlusNet service at a discounted rate)
  • The new terminal charge is £0.99 per week.
  • The new “low usage” transaction has risen from 35 to 40 transactions per week and the cost for any retailers below this level is £2.50 per week
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Key Points

Retailers will receive 28 days to consider the new terms and conditions.

Retailers that believe the new terms and conditions are impractical will be able to terminate their current contract without penalty charges at the existing expiry date stated on the current contract or sooner if the legacy hardware is discontinued.

> The new T&C clause required retailers to give 6 months notice to terminate – this has been reduced to 60 days.

> Any retailers that have had terminals already installed or have had charges levied already on the ‘new’ basis will be given the same “revised” terms and conditions.

> NFRN will continue discussion on some other fundamental elements of the contract with Payzone.

Update 15th August

It has been confirmed that our CEO Paul Baxter will be meeting with Payzone tomorrow (16.08)- we will keep our members informed on the outcome.

The NFRN is committed to fighting what we believe are invalid and unacceptable changes to retailers contracts by Payzone.

 

Update 11th August

Urgent advice regarding the new terminals: 

Should Payzone make a telephone call to organise the installation of their new terminal – please be aware agreeing to this will seal your acknowledgement of a new three-year contract, six months notice to terminate and all the other new clauses contained within their new T&C, and as outlined in their recent letter.  Moreover, it will include the additional charges e.g. Broadband £15 per month cost for your business.

Moreover, it will include the additional charges e.g. Broadband £15 per month cost for your business.

If you are ambivalent about agreeing to the new contractual changes, we would encourage you to delay any terminal installation date with Payzone, until you obtain a further legal update from the NFRN.  At this point, you may have a clearer vision on the options available and understand fully what you are agreeing to sign up for.

We are expecting a full response from Payzone by the 14th August.

 

Update 10th August

Following NFRN’s solicitors’ letter to Payzone, Payzone have said that they will “contact all of [their] customers and offer them the chance to get back in touch if they don’t want to extend their contracts“. That is all.

NFRN’s view is that the attempt to extend contracts is invalid, so there is no need for retailers to ask to have it cancelled.
We also note that Payzone have ignored NFRN’s point that increasing the notice period to terminate the new contracts to six months is also invalid.

NFRN is therefore not satisfied with what Payzone have said. NFRN’s solicitors have written to Payzone and told them so.

Read our latest letter to Payzone

Payzone have offered to “discuss this further in person“. NFRN is, of course, willing to meet them, and Paul Baxter has confirmed (through NFRN’s solicitors) that he will do so urgently. The issue of legal proceedings by NFRN has therefore been deferred until after such discussions that week in the hope that they will succeed.

Update 4th August

Lawyers working for the NFRN have written to Payzone challenging their imposition of new contracts on NFRN members.  The letter can be read below, as well as an informative document for members.

Please Note:  If you are a Payzone retailer and haven’t received this letter to date, Payzone are actually making changes in 3 phases, meaning some retailers are receiving it after others:

  • Phase 1: retailers that sell utility and top ups only
  • Phase 2: retailers that sell utility and top up and Health Lottery
  • Phase 3: retailers that sell utility and top up, Health Lottery and Smart Travel

Read the Lawyer’s Letter to Payzone

Read the Documentation For Retailers

Key Points

Solicitors acting for the NFRN have written to Payzone challenging the attempt to impose new contracts on retailers.

We have received legal advice that:

 

  • Although the existing contracts allow Payzone to make changes unilaterally, the changes proposed attempt to impose greater obligations on retailers than is generally permitted.
  • The attempt to extend the contracts by three years deprives retailers of the rights to make the business decision to remain or exit the contract in accordance with existing terms is beyond what can be considered reasonable and Payzone are unlawfully trying to exercise restraint of trade.
  • In cases we are aware of, the required seven days notice for changes to the contract was not given.

The NFRN have called for Payzone to suspend the changes and to discuss their aims with us.

The NFRN will be supportive of retailers who wish to oppose the new contracts but is acting only to inform members of the advice we have received.  The decision on what action, if any, to take is for individual members. (The NFRN would of course never encourage members to take any action that would put them in breach of contract).

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NFRN slams new Payzone contracts – Download our response document

First published 27th July 2017

The NFRN has expressed concern at new contracts being imposed by Payzone.

The changes, which represent a fundamental change from existing arrangements, are being forced through with a minimum time for retailers to consider the detail of the new contract.

The NFRN has questioned large parts of the new terms and is awaiting Payzone’s reply.

You can download our response document here (updated on 2 August 2017)

Commenting on the new contracts, NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter said: “Retailers need to be given time to consider the implications on their business of Payzone’s new terms.  Attempting to force the new contracts through in under two weeks is not acceptable.

Mr Baxter continued: “Retailers who decide that the new terms do not suit their business should be allowed to terminate the contract without penalty.

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