Update – 2 June 2017
The NFRN has welcomed the news that Camelot is reinstating a free retail hotline for retailers to use for day to day help and advice from Monday (June 5).
The new free Retailer Hotline number from June 5 is 0800 8 40 50 60
In autumn 2015 the national lottery operator enraged NFRN members by transferring its previously free retail hotline to an expensive 0844 number. No formal notice was given about the move before the new telephone number took effect from Friday October 8.
The NFRN raised members’ concerns directly with Camelot warning that the move would mean retailers would be paying more to use the hotline than they would earn in commission from selling lottery tickets and scratch cards. It described the move as “unwarranted and unfair”.
Today (Friday June 2) Camelot announced the launch of its “AllStars” support package for independent retailers, which along with the reinstatement of the free retail hotline number includes a £4 million plus investment in new and extra pos materials and signage and increased contact from its team for expert advice and support.
NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter said: “Through this new package of support, including the return of a new retail hotline to report service-related issues, Camelot is demonstrating that it recognises the vital role that independent retailers play in the success of the national lottery and the money it raises for good causes.
“The NFRN and its members welcome this vote of confidence in the independent sector and we look forward to working closely with Camelot to generate extra sales.”
Update – 25 November 2015
Camelot has announced that its free retail hotline number will cease on 7 December 2015.
The new expensive 0844 number will see retailers charged 16.96ppm for the privilege of reporting service-related issues.
The NFRN has again appealed to Camelot to rethink its strategy.
Update – 23 November 2015
After discussions with Camelot, the NFRN is advising members to continue to use the free Camelot retail hotline number until further notice. Alternatively, you can email Camelot at email@example.com – though this isn’t suitable for urgent technical queries.
The National Lottery operator has confirmed they are launching a new online retailer advice service, which they believe will resolve 50% of the technical and scratchcard queries they receive. The NFRN has asked Camelot to continue with its free hotline given it was not ready to launch its new website to resolve service-related issues from retailers.
No lucky number for National Lottery retailers
Camelot has enraged NFRN members by transferring a previously free retail hotline to an expensive 0844 number.
No formal notice was given about the move to either the NFRN or its members who sit on a Camelot retail forum before the new telephone number took effect from Friday October 8.
To add to retailers’ woes, many independent retailers have said that when they call the Camelot helpline they are held in a queue for an agent to become available but that on many occasions their issues are not addressed
They are then turning to NFRN Connect, with its free number, for assistance.
NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter said: “As a result of this charge, retailers will be paying more to use it than they earn in commission from selling lottery tickets and scratch cards. This move is unwarranted and unfair.
“It is our firm belief that this hotline should be free as it exists for retailers to report service-related issues. They should not be charged for doing this.
National President Ralph Patel added: “I can only describe the move as sheer greed and totally unacceptable. Retailers will now be charged when they contact the Camelot Helpline for urgent assistance and I know from experience that it can take several minutes before a retailer actually finds themselves talking to an agent. We strongly urge Camelot to think again.”
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