16/9/16 We all like to have a dig at banks of course, and I want to explain a small change in our siterent tariff. Banks have always made a charge of one sort or another for payments made by card. This was either a fixed fee per item or a percentage of the amount being transferred, or a mixture of the two. And there were many differing rates depending on the card provider and whether the transactions were over the phone, the websites or through the terminal with a PIN. It was all a bit complicated, and in the past credit cards (mainly VISA) had a charge – nearly 2%, which customers have come to accept was being passed on. But just recently debit cards –which used to have a fairly nominal fixed fee – have changed to a percentage based charge as well. The people we deal with are Barclaycard, but it seems that other service providers are doing the same. What we have decided to do is add a small element to the siterents to cover the bank fees – and there will now be nothing extra on top as there was for credit cards in the past. So customers paying siterents by debit card will be marginally worse off and those paying by credit card will be slightly better off. As you know, we don’t take AMEX, but now we are discouraging BUSINESS credit and debit cards as well. They have significantly higher charges and we may have to refuse to accept them in the future. Nobody on the receiving end likes them. To find out more about all this (they don’t make it easy!) you could look at www.cardswitcher.co.uk (“Barclaycard increase merchant services rates”). Then while we’re on about the static caravan siterents, customers occasionally ask about the inflation index: this is to be found through the statistics portal on statista.com (“UK RPI forecast”). Some of the other odd factors that have affected us this year have been things like the new national living wage/pension contributions (a substantial proportion of our outgoings are employment related) and much increased waste disposal costs/taxrates. We’re feeling a bit nervous about the imminent business rate revaluation figures as well. The business rates are included in the siterent instead of Council Tax of course.
Next, about gas bottle refills. The market leader for gas is Calor. We deal however (and have done so for very many years) with Shell Flogas (“SF”). Propane cylinders have a standard (reverse thread) regulator which means that the cylinders interchangeable. Butane cylinders however have different snap top regulators. Not a problem when SF cylinders are being changed. But we don’t stock Calor which means you have to obtain it from elsewhere, which is not always possible at the drop of a hat: they always seem to run out at the most inconvenient time don’t they. Calor refuse to supply us because we deal with SF. Anyway, what I have arranged is for a free SF regulator to be supplied to anybody who may wish to change from Calor (or indeed any other type) to SF. There is no difference to speak of costwise per kg. You don’t have to do this of course, and as ever can obtain your gas from wherever you wish. But this is an option that you should be aware of.
We’ve had demand for battery charge facilities. Mainly for mobile phones. You can now top up devices FREE of charge at the Dolphin and Seadell Bars, where our new charging units accept almost all device connections.
More before long!