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By | John Oates 6th November 2008 12:56

Computacenter denies stringing along small biz

Payment term changes not aimed at the little man

The UK's largest reseller Computacenter has denied claims it has doubled its payment terms for small suppliers.

According to the Forum of Private Business, backed by The Sun, Computacenter doubled the time it takes to pay small suppliers from 30 to 60 days and gave them just days to respond.

The FSB made Computacenter the latest entrant in its "Late Payment Hall of Shame" alongside Boots, Matalan, House of Fraser and Heals.

But Computacenter said the claim is untrue and unfair. It admits changing terms for some suppliers, but says most of these are giant distributors not small firms.

Computacenter said:

60 day payment terms currently apply to 60 of our suppliers, which is just 2 per cent of our total active supplier base and many if not all of these are large distributors. We have a responsibility to our stakeholders to make our supply chain as efficient as possible, which in turn helps the many small businesses that are our customers.

Through services like Computacenter Express, we actively support small and medium sized businesses by giving them access to advanced technology usually only available to big enterprises, using our supply chain to save on their overhead costs.

Mandelson's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has promised to make prompt payment a priority - it also promised to settle payment with its own suppliers within ten days. ®

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