Frequently Asked Questions

To help you today we have shown below the questions asked most frequently. If you don’t see a relevant questions or answer, please contact us

How can the Charter help me?

Because it sets out clearly a set of standards regarding the service every retailer should receive from the press supply chain.

The PDF has no retail representation, is this just a cosy club for publishers & wholesalers?

In fact the PDF has retail representation with two board members from the The Federation of Independent Retailers (The Fed). We acknowledge that not all associations are committed to work together to enhance the existing supply chain, some have other objectives. The PDF will continue to liaise with other associations and hope they will engage with further enhancements to the PDC to the benefit of their members.

Will I get a fair hearing by either a wholesaler or publisher?

Yes, and if you are not happy your complaint has been resolved you can refer to the chairman of the Press Distribution Review Panel (PDRP).

Who are the representatives of the PDRP?

The chairman is Steve Cripwell and other members are Paul Smith (SN), Fiona Campbell (MD), Ryan Waterhouse (MD) Diane Sampson (NMA) & Trevor Hudson (PPA). The constitution also allows for up to 4 retailers and currently they are Graham Read, Paresh Vyas and Brian Murphy.

If similar complaints get to step 2 about a particular aspect of service from a wholesaler of publisher, do you contact them to try and improve service?

The Press Distribution Review Panel will consider complaints when they meet and if there are regular complaints about a particular part of the supply chain, publisher or wholesaler than representation will be made to see if the issue can be rectified.

Are larger retailers and supermarkets given precedency over smaller independent retailers?

Every retailer has an agreed Required Delivery Time (RDT) with their newspaper and magazine wholesaler and all delivery routes are based on those agreed RDTs rather than the size of a retailers’ store or the number of titles they stock.

Before an RDT is set, the wholesaler will take into account the retailer’s needs in terms of their opening time and whether they provide a HND service. They will use this information to agree an RDT which will see the wholesaler deliver all titles no later than that agreed time.

However, most retailer’s Actual Delivery Times (ADT) are made earlier than their RDT and their average ADT is consistently earlier than their average RDT and it is the average ADTs that are used in any planning for changes to routes.

Also, some retailers may well see ‘pre-run’ supplies delivered to larger retailers, but these pre-runs contain magazine products and supplements and are made in advance of the live news. Pre-runs are carried out in the early hours of the morning, typically at weekends with newspaper supplements. This practice makes the core delivery more efficient, enabling the wholesaler to meet their retailer delivery times.

Wholesalers will look at/consider changing a retailer’s RDT if their business needs change and sometimes a Scheduled Delivery Time (SDT) will be set when a wholesaler and retailer are not able to agree on a specific delivery time. This normally happens when the retailers request is too close to the publishers inbound cut-off time and it being physically impossible to meet the retailer requirement.

Why produce this Charter?

To ensure all retailers of press product understand the minimum level of service they can expect from the press supply chain.

Who do I speak to if I think standards have been broken?

This is clearly detailed in the Charter.

Do you publish the numbers of complaints you receive?

These are published on this website within the PDRP section and the reports section.

Can the Press Distribution Review Panel make recommendations to improve service?

Yes, the PDRP Chairman will act on behalf of the Panel and report recommendations to the PDF.

Is there any way to appeal beyond step 2 of the complaints resolution process?

Yes, nothing in the complaints resolution process shall prohibit a party from applying to a court for relief.

Why are retailers unable to speak with the appropriate person at their local distribution house or receive promised return calls back?

As newspaper and magazine wholesalers operate 24 hours a day, staff who work at local distribution centres are not always available to speak at the time of a customer’s enquiry. Therefore, to ensure retailers experience a good standard of customer service, wholesalers prefer to divert customer calls to their contact centres after the early hours in the morning to ensure all calls are answered promptly and efficiently.

If an enquiry cannot be dealt with via the wholesaler’s customer contact centre, the customer will either be put through to a staff member that can help, or the customer’s details will be taken and a call back can be arranged and made by close of business that same day. Any unresolved queries will be transferred to the relevant departments to resolve and all enquiries are monitored until a resolution is made.

A retailer can request a call back by a particular individual, but sometimes the customer’s requested time may not be compatible with the staff member’s working shift pattern, and so the call may be made the following day.

If any retailers feel that they are not receiving a good service from their wholesaler, they can contact the Customer Careline on 0845 125 5222 (if they are a Smiths News customer) and Menzies customers can call the number shown on their daily paperwork.