Off-licence chain Wineflair has finally declared war on PayPoint and Payzone after years of dissatisfaction with the networks.

Chris McKay, operations director at Wineflair, which has 42 stores, said it had already removed 12 of its 43 PayPoint and Payzone terminals and was looking to scrap a similar number in the next six months, before reviewing the situation.

The decision by Wineflair follows comments made by McKay to The Grocer last year ('Wineflair says it is losing patience with PayPoint', The Grocer, June 11, 2005, p5).

McKay said staff theft - including collusion with customers - had become a major problem. He said: "We've been having a problem with shrinkage and it is becoming too difficult to police terminals. It's also too easy for customers to make fraudulent transactions."

He refuted claims that the terminals were footfall drivers and said the commission that retailers made on transactions was too little to make it worth all the trouble. "People are paying bills and buying mobile top-ups and not buying so much as a Mars bar. All this nonsense about terminals driving footfall is absolute crap."

He claimed sales had actually gone up at many Wineflair stores where terminals had been removed. "Shoppers are no longer frustrated by the queues created by the terminals," he said.

Wineflair said it would aim to find alternative means for people to pay bills at stores that had ditched terminals. Two stores had already arranged facilities with the Post Office.

PayPoint said it was unable to comment on Wineflair's grievances, while a Payzone spokesman said: "We take fraud and theft seriously, and would be happy to work with the retailer to help resolve the issue."