Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tesco's "Think 21" policy needs a rethink!

I am a 27 year old teacher from Newcastle, who will be 28 in a few months. For the last four years I have shopped every week at the North Shields Tesco Extra branch, just off the Coast Road.

Several months ago I noticed your think 21 policy on alcohol sales. As a secondary school teacher I appreciate the need to be alert to under age drinks sales, it is hard to judge the age of some children. I visited the store on many occasions since the posters went on display, without being asked for any identification.

However, today I was asked for identification by the checkout assistant and was unable to provide it in the form requested. I have never been asked for this before, and clearly do not look 21 or under. I was even in my formal clothes, having come directly from work. I had a Newcastle Council pay slip which showed my job title as an Advanced Skills Teacher (equivalent to a Deputy Headteacher status). Obviously I must have graduated some time ago to be in this post. My trolley had a full weekly shop which included 4 bottles of beer and a bottle of wine.

I spoke to the manager who would not accept the pay slip as a form of identification. He would not directly answer my question when I asked if he thought I looked 21 or under. He was rather patronising and suggeset that I "take it as a compliment".

Today I left your store feeling humiliated and offended that I could not complete my shopping visit. I was most upset and drove home in tears. I wasted an hour of my time and had to visit my local Sainsbury branch, who did not ask for proof of age. Their staff are obviously able to judge the age of a customer.

It is unfair that adults who are clearly in their late 20's are refused service because of the subjective judgement of one member of staff. Have the checkout staff at this branch received any training and guidance on estimating a customers age? This is obviously an issue at the store. The checkout assistant commented that she asked lots of people, and that a lady earlier that day "had claimed to be 30". You will offend and loose many customers with this approach

I still have the problem that I have no acceptable form of identification that I can carry with me. My driving licence is a bulky old style paper issue which does not fit in my purse. I am not prepared to carry my passport with me at all times, in anticipation of an impromptu visit to one of your stores.

I do not wish to be embarrassed in this way again, so will not be shopping at your store. I will also alert my friends of a similar age to this, and suggest that they do the same.

Regards, Helen.

Tesco's Double Standards for Staff

I work at Tesco and was shocked to find that when I park in the carpark as a member of staff that I am treated differently to customers. On a very windy day my car had its back lights smashed in by a wind blown trolley, I filled the necessary forms in and someone came out to look at the car. Forms were sent off to Dundee from where I received a reply saying that they were not accountable. I wrote back and a second letter basically confirmed the first. I then spoke to the Regional Manager who looked into it for me and told me that it was Tesco’s policy to only pay out to customers. I had witnesses to the event and I know that customers who had the same problem on that particular day were paid out for damage to their cars by the store.

I can’t believe that this is right, there isn’t a staff car park so we have to park amongst customers, some of whom just abandon their trolleys anywhere. The particular trolley in question actually blew out of a trolley bay which should have had a raiser on the ground to stop this happening. Shortly after this they put these raisers in place but the trolley boys removed them as they said it hurt their backs pushing trolleys over them. Obviously a problem which still needs resolving. Think I’ll buy a tank!

Fed up employee of Tesco

Monday, November 27, 2006

You shop, we block your street (illegally)

Following on from this rather splendid picture of a huge Tesco truck blocking the High Street while parked illegally on a bus stop, we have just received a fresh set of pictures of a Tesco van blocking not one but two streets in Crouch End, London (Harold Street and Hillfield Avenue)! Please send in any more pictures of Tesco's excesses to:

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Every Little Helps Credit Card Fraud?

I was thinking about this issue after Tesco failed to deliver my home delivery on Wednesday - a failed delivery which Tesco maintain was delivered! The issue I have is with the way they handle potential card fraud. If you ever use Tesco online to order groceries you will notice that Tesco never ask for your billing address. I realised this most recently when I used my card to pay via my housemates Tesco account.

Any responsible retailer online has security measures in place to prevent card fraud. I'm not talking about the encryption, but rather the level of information you have to enter about the card. Tesco asks for the name on card, the card number, the issue number, the expiry date, and the security code; all information present on the face of a card. If this transaction was in a High Street store there would be the added security of a signature check (or Chip and Pin). On the internet that's currently impossible. Which is why, all other online stores I know of will ask for the billing address for that card. In most cases it would be the same as the delivery address. But in my case it is different as I live away from home at uni halls.

I intially thought the whole billing address and delivery address was all just pointless data to enter until I entered the wrong details on another site. It refused my payment and flagged the card for fraud. Pretty drastic perhaps, but at least I knew it was there for security (and the bank did release the card once they rang me and I confirmed everything). Anyway, sorry about the diversion. My point is, Tesco online don't ask for billing address. There isn't that added security which I think is damn well required.

Consider the possibility someone found a credit or debit card on the floor (or how about someone who quickly notes the details off it say in a restaurant?). Consider they go out to try and use it. They can't go down the high street, they'll want a pin number. And you can't normally use it online because it'll ask for a billing address. Both the PIN number and billing address you wouldn't know. But, go onto and you can use it. You don't need to know anything other than the details that are on the card.

Now, my question is, what is the legal stance of this? Isn't this somewhat irresponsible of Tesco as a retailer. What do you think Trading Standards or whoever would say about this? Something like this could hit Tesco pretty hard I think. What's your take on all this?
I anticipate your response, JC.

TESCO-COMPLAINT EDIT: Thank you for highlighting this issue. It is not the first time that Tesco's lapse attitude to credit card security has been exposed - see our "news and links" section for this entry: "Tesco helps credit card theft" via self scan terminals without chip and pin.
Continued in the comments section...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tesco-Complaint ready to sue Tesco for Misleading Price Indications

We here at Tesco-Complaint have had enough of Tesco's rampant misleading price indications and failure to consistently honour it's own "Refund & Retain" policy, particularly on higher value goods. The Tesco R&R policy is "In the ... event you are charged a higher price than on the shelf or the product we will refund your money and you can keep the product" but is purposefully ignored as reported on Tesco-Complaint by a Tesco whistleblower.

So it's time to act. We need to find someone who has purchased something from Tesco and has been refused a Refund & Retain on that item. You must:

  1. have evidence (receipt, emails, letters, names, dates etc); and
  2. it must be a clear case of a misleading price indication; and
  3. you must be willing to allow the case to be written about.
By doing this we hope to force Tesco to act consistently with all their customers and apply their own policies fairly whilst at the same time providing our visitors with an example of how to litigate. For us to consider your case please email us at our gmail address:

Home NON delivery

Please find attached a Complaint in respect of your Home Delivery Service from your Peterborough Branch. I have also sent hard copies to the above recipents. Regards, Sally Duffen.

TESCO-COMPLAINT EDIT: Sally, Attachments only work to our gmail address as shown on the right. We're guessing Tesco didn't deliver. If you could send another email it will be posted here. Good luck!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

ASA: Tesco Lies to Customers

The UK's Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has upheld a complaint made against Tesco Personal Finance, for a misleading TV advertisement that promised a 50% discount for consumers who bought a home policy online but failed to actually provide such a large discount.

In fact the discount was as little as 15% even though the advert implied that customers who enquired within the promotion period would receive a 50% discount compared to the price that would have been quoted prior to the beginning of the promotional period.

The ASA ruled that the ad breached rules relating to misleading advertising and accurate pricing, and has told Tesco Personal Finance that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

More at Brand Republic and Insurance Business Review and click our labels for more false advertising by Tesco.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pensioners mugged in Tesco store!?

Pensioners were robbed of £350 pension money in the Pingle Road store on 15th November by a known offender in this store. These pensioners had almost completed their shopping when this happened.

The store manager let them go home with no shopping as although they had a Cheque book they had no card to go with cheque book! How heartless and unprofessional to let them go home without their shopping, especially when after being robbed they were trying to pay for the food they had struggled round the store to buy, unbelievable!

Today is the 18th November and they have had no contact from the store. Now for all Tesco knew they could have had no food in the cupboard, I think this is disgusting behaviour from Tesco. I spoke to customer services on the day this happened and we have heard nothing. I am about to ring the store again now!

TESCO-COMPLAINT EDIT: If you posted this complaint please post a comment to let us all know the UK town/city where this Tesco Store is.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Asda cheaper than Tesco - OFFICIAL

For the last eight years Asda has beaten all the other main supermarkets to be the cheapest according to industry magazine The Grocer. Tesco doesnt like this fact and so complained to the ASA that Asda was claiming to be Britain's lowest priced supermarket.

Why are Tesco always complaining about Asda anyway? Like was said before - it's time to roll back some justice - maybe Asda should start adding small text to TV campaigns saying
"Asda is cheaper than Tesco -The Grocer"
- that should get the point across without allowing Tesco to run to the ASA.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rotten Tomatoes for Tesco CS

I recently complained to customer services in my local Tesco (Flitwick Bedfordshire) that I could not buy loose - unprepacked- tomatoes. I filled out a customer complaint form but was told that the complaint would stay "in Store" and that the reason they did not have loose tomatoes was that they had changed supplier and the supplier did not supply loose toms. "You can buy tomatoes on the vine" they said. "Not the point" said I. If this complaint stays in store how can the managers of Tesco know that there is another dissatisfied customer out there and try to do something about it. The assistant said she would pass the complaint on and eventually phoned me later that day to confirm she would.

Waitrose have recently opened a store in the next town -3 miles away. When reminded of this the supervisor said that I would be very lonely there as she had been in Waitrose the day before and there were only two people in the store. I suggested that shopping for me was not an exercise in social interchange but a need to buy goods. The staff at Waitrose are helpful well trained and very polite. I have no connection with Waitrose except as a customer who used to spend nearly £1000 a year in Tesco.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Misleading prices keep on coming...

I am a checkout operator at Tesco. After reading through a number of posts here about misleading Point Of Sale information being displayed on shelf edges and on products, I want to share some of my own experiences.

There is no coherent policy. The displayed 'Our Promise' sign is often blatantly contradicted by staff members of all levels, including senior managers. This has led to a number of checkout operators (myself included) never divulging ANY information to customers about whether they will get a refund, discount or whatever on an overcharge in case a manager blatantly contradicts us five minutes later.

Most of my colleagues have developed ways around this. For many 'Buy 2 for £2' and similar offers, the tills used to offer ways around this in case of automatic discounts failing to apply. However, being able to do this has been gradually taken away, and the checkout operator is only able to alter the price of a few 'price verified' items which are subject to 'price-flexing' (also borderline unlawful, and used to drive down competition), leaving the only solution to a failed automatic discount to be a full refund, which stores are not inclined to do.

Tesco's policy on overcharging backfires against itself, which is why so many stores are unwilling to rectify their mistakes. Having to go 'above and beyond' what the customer expects (in theory) has led to the policy of a full refund + keeping the product, but when this happens for expensive items it becomes less appealing than when it's for a £1.99 bag of salad. The reports I've read on this forum of such incidents where stores have refused to refund expensive items are truly appalling. It is about targets - stores are monitored on their individual profit and loss figures - but this doesn't make it right. The fact that you could be refused a refund one day, then go in the next day and speak to a different manager and then actually get a refund isn't right either.

It's also interesting to note that all my knowledge of the refund and overcharging process has been gained from experience. Neither I nor any of my colleagues have received formal training on correct, legal refund procedures. This only adds further to the stupidity of Tesco's refusing to honour their refund policy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tesco's Misleading Price Indications

Whilst reading the earlier post about Tesco overcharging and being guilty of misleading price indications contrary to the Consumer Protection Act 1987, I recalled an incident in Norfolk in September 2001 where Tesco complained to Trading Standards about Asda resulting in Asda being investigated and ending up in court with a hefty fine for misleading price indications. Read about that on BBC News.

It seems to me most ironic that today whilst Asda don't seem to have a problem with wrongly labelled prices, Tesco have a huge problem hence their refund and retain (R&R) policy. Isnt it ironic that whilst Asda have sorted out their misleading prices, it is Tesco who complained about Asda that are now facing problems. Report any misleading prices to Trading Standards who can see to it that hefty fines are imposed and if Asda are reading - perhaps it's time to roll back some justice?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tesco-Complaint Logo

We're looking for a graphic logo to go across the top of the page. Can anyone help? Please email. Hope you like the new sidebar design :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Does Terry Leahy Care about Customers?

Since Sir Terry took over as chief executive of Tesco eight years ago he has more than doubled profits and pulled in a record number of customers - but does he care about those customers? Nearly two months ago I emailed Sir Terry Leahy and was promised that he would respond to me personally by letter. A month later and emails go unanswered; he has clearly breached that promise. Here is the email promise as proof:

From: Tesco Customer Service []
Sent: 06 October 2006 19:09
To: [EDITED by Tesco-Complaint]
Subject: Tesco

Thank you for your e-mail addressed to our Chief Executive, Sir Terry Leahy. We are currently looking into this matter and I can assure you that Sir Terry will personally reply to you by letter once our investigations are complete. Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards
Paul Welsh
Tesco Customer Service
So I ask the question in the title - does Terry Leahy care about Tesco customers? My experience is that Tesco breaks promises and so clearly Tesco and Terry dont care. If the CEO of Tesco doesnt care about his customers, why should any of their staff care about us?

TESCO-COMPLAINT EDIT: We have added a lovely picture of Sir Terry, apparently he stacks shelves one week per year but we cant seem to find a picture of that - keep your eyes peeled next time you're shopping for some baked beans and perhaps snap off a picture for us! Like you, we wont be holding our breath for Terry's shelf stacking picture...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tesco-Complaint off to a good start!

Great news for this public Tesco complaint blog! Since we opened up on 6th October to take the complaints of Tesco customers and make them public we have had nearly 1000 visitors from all over the world and almost 2000 page impressions:
We even made it into the top ten search result in Google at number 6 (for Tesco Complaint) and that was after languishing in position 357 just a few days ago! Now that we are becoming more prominent on Google the visitors are really rising rapidly and this blog is certain to continue to grow from hereonin.

Please add your comments to posts and get involved; this blog is powered by YOU and is here to stay!

Richard Eisner
*Special thanks to Jean McKinlay, a Tesco Disservant, who is the inspiration for this blog. Keep down the bad "work" Jean...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tesco Express blocks the high street...

The Tesco Express on England's Lane in NW3 Belsize Park should never have been granted planning permission. It sits on a small street with a number of old (and very good) local shops which are now seriously feeling the strain - thankfully the very good butchers next door is still open, but one wonders how long it will last.

However, this is not the reason for my complaint - my problem with this Tesco store is that they have nowhere to park their lorries except directly outside on a double yellow line within 20 yards of a zebra crossing and close to a T-junction. Every day, at least once a day, they purposely illegally park the lorry on the corner and seem oblivious to the resulting choas and danger to pedestrians and other road users. A £50 fine for the parking ticket that is always issued is I guess a small price to pay for Tesco. I fear that it is only a matter of time before this delivery routine causes a serious accident.

Why is it that Camden council didn't ask Tesco how they planned to make deliveries when they waved their planning application through without a second thought?

TESCO-COMPLAINT EDIT: You should somehow force tesco to use a smaller delivery vehicle just as this man did using the simple weapons of a chair and a cup of tea! You might want to log your comment here as well.