DIARY: The tale of the paper bill that wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on

Britain’s self-acclaimed ‘fav-ourite mail-order paper supplier’ is in danger of losing some potential admirers.

Britain’s self-acclaimed ‘fav-ourite mail-order paper supplier’ is in

danger of losing some potential admirers.



National Paper Supplies, which emblazons the above legend on its

stationery, recently wrote to Warwickshire-based Peter Bowen Publicity,

enclosing a document which appears at first, and even second, glance to

be an outstanding invoice.



The said document, which was forwarded to me by Peter Bowen, resembles

an invoice in almost every respect, with the agency details in the

addressee box and listing the Ilford mail order company’s VAT number, a

descriptions of goods ordered and so on.



It is only in the very small print below the form, that you see the

words: ‘This pre-payment invoice represents an invitation to purchase

the above described goods; it is a request, not a demand for payment’.



Fortunately for the finances of Bowen’s business, which has never had

any dealings with the mail order firm, his people spotted the small

print at the bottom of the page and resisted the request to ‘pay this

amount’. Let us hope that all other businesses receiving ‘invitations’

from National Paper Supplies, which proved constantly engaged when I

tried to call, are as vigilant.



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