A new automatic payment scheme to Smiths News customers when papers are “materially late” has been described as a major game-changer by the NFRN.

National President Stuart Reddish said: “The NFRN’s news team has campaigned long and hard for news retailers to be automatically compensated for late papers so we welcome this bold step by Smiths News. We are pleased that a key industry player has finally recognised that it can no longer do nothing when the service it is paid to give its retail customers fails.

“At the earliest opportunity we will be working closely with Smiths News to further enhance this scheme, given that the £5 payment will only come into effect when papers are two or more hours late reaching retailers’ shops and reruns and claims are excluded.”

Mr Reddish continued: “The NFRN will not give up campaigning for supply chain improvements and we hope that publishers will take heed of this new scheme and look again at their arrival times into wholesale depots.

“Finally, I will be urging both Menzies Distribution and News UK DTR to follow suit.”

The new automatic payment scheme will come into effect from 1 September 2019.

For more information on this announcement, including how the compensation process will work, download the trade letter that Smiths News has sent to its customers.

Smiths News £5 Compensation Scheme – FAQs

If you have some queries about the new scheme, our answers to frequently asked questions will help.

What has made Smiths News go down this route?

Smiths News want to acknowledge the seriousness of very late newspaper deliveries to your business and following discussions with the NFRN they have come up with a solution which they consider to be fair in recognising extremely late deliveries.

Why is it only Smiths that have launched this scheme?

Rest assured we will be approaching both Menzies and News UK (DTR) requesting that they get on board as well, thus making this an industry recognised scheme.

How will it work?

Smiths will make an automatic credit of £5 for every live newspaper delivery (excluding re-runs and claims) which, arrives at your store two or more hours after your Required Delivery Time (RDT).

When will I receive payment?

Any payment will be credited to the following week’s summary invoice, using a reference of ‘Service Payment’, and you will find it under the miscellaneous items section.

When will it come into force?

The new scheme will come into play from the 1st September 2019.

It's not a great amount is it?

Whilst £5 is not a huge amount for compensation, it is still a step in the right direction and a starting point for when you receive your deliveries over two hours late.

How do I know what my RDT is?

Unfortunately, Smiths News will not share members’ RDTs with us centrally, however, you can contact your depot to request your RDT, and alternatively if you are on SNapp you will be able to access your RDT there.

How do I claim the £5 if they are 2 hours late?

You do not need to make a claim, this is an automatic payment. You will need to keep accurate records of your delivery times to ensure you know when or if you are entitled.

Who will be monitoring any lateness?

Smiths News have to record all delivery times to retail as part of their publisher contracts, which is visible on the National distribution monitor and is broken down by each depot www.ndm.anmw.co.uk/

What if Smiths News blame publisher inbounds for any lateness?

Regardless of publisher delivery, the RDT achievement for the primary delivery is still down to the wholesaler, unless of course a specific title or titles are being a re-run.

Why are re-runs not included?

The payment is from Smiths News and not the publishers who are generally responsible for titles being re-run, industry standard claims for consistent and /or serious lateness can still be made via NFRN Connect, where we have already claimed £25,000 back for our members in 2019 alone.

Will I lose money on HND copies if my deliveries are two hours late?

The £5 compensation is a goodwill gesture payment from Smiths News – this does not affect your current rights to claim for excessively late delivery with the help from NFRN Connect or through the Industry PDC (Press Distribution Charter) process.

Where do weekly papers sit as these are often classified as periodicals?

If the weeklies are delivered with nationals (primary delivery) and they are two hours late, then £5 will be paid.

Is there a process for challenging if I believe due payments have not received?

Ensure you have accurate records of your delivery times when your delivery was late and contact the Smiths News helpline as with any other invoice query.

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