A ROW has erupted over the use of a PayPoint service at a Barrhead shop.

Paul Quinn, 43, said he was left embarrassed when he was challenged about his custom while using the service at Lee’s Licensed Grocers, in Main Street.

PayPoint is a system that allows people to pay their household bills at their local shop, which is often open late.

However, Mr Quinn claims he was made to feel unwelcome at the Barrhead store as he wasn’t buying any other goods while using the service.

In response, shop owner Peter Lee said he would never refuse a customer who wants to use his PayPoint service but added that the system ends up costing him money if people don’t support his business by purchasing goods at the same time.

Mr Quinn, meanwhile, insists he won’t return to the shop, as he is so angry about the way he was treated.

He told the Barrhead News: “I’d been going there for the last year or so but, as the shopkeeper saw me bring out my utility cards, he asked if I was there to cost him money again. I asked him what he meant and he went on to say about how I never buy anything from the shop.

Barrhead News:

“I was stunned. It made me feel terrible, as though I’d done something wrong.

“PayPoint is a free service but I felt like I was being pressured. It made me feel really embarrassed but I was perfectly within my rights to use it.”

Mr Lee, however, defended his actions and said the PayPoint service cost him a total of £1,300 last year, through an accumulation of service charges.

He said: “I didn’t refuse him use of PayPoint, I asked him ‘do you know the concept of PayPoint? The idea is to support your local shop.’

“I am very supportive of the service and I always stay open late in case somebody has to come in last minute at 10pm to use it.”

A spokesperson for PayPoint said there are clear guidelines on how the service should be used.

“Our terms and conditions clearly state that our retailers are not allowed to require customers to purchase additional items when they come in to make transactions through PayPoint,” added the spokesperson.

“When we are alerted to PayPoint retailers refusing service to customers who don’t buy additional products, we investigate swiftly and take action where appropriate.”