Misleading prices keep on coming... ~ Tesco-Complaint

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.


tesco-complaint said...

Welcome to the blog! Great articles from tesco insiders are something that we had in mind when the blog was set up and now we have two of them (the other one is about the seemingly forced redundancies of british workers in favour of cheaper euro-workers).

Please keep blogging tesco employees as your posts are very much read and are very welcome here as are you.

If you get the time it would be interesting to get an article on 'price-flexing' which you briefly touched on in your explanation of why there is mispricing.

Anonymous said...

Policy is quire clear - if you are overcharged you are entitled to a full refund and keep product. Unfortunately certain people are taking advantge of this and trawling stores looking for errors and passing information between themselves "I'm buying 4 copies of the same game as thats what my kids want"?.

Anonymous said...

Some customers also feel it there destiny to personnaly profit from genuine errors. Rarely is there any responsibility towards anyone else, and at the end of the day would you like to be in the queue behind a customer who may benefit from this mistake. Who do you think pays for this long term? The policy is there to compensate genuinely inconvenienced people and also gives Tesco a chance to register and fix any problems. As for managers contradicting a policy this person is clearly unsure about, well again when dealing with people, policy aside, you need to judge the mood of the complainant, the experience of people dealing with this minefield of interpretation and also what may have been said to the customer before etc. It seems to me this cashier has formed their opinion based on their own interpretation: exactly that is the problem, the policy gives a framework to reach an agreed solution. This policy is not law, Tesco developed it itself, and customers that demand items free, and their money back after blatantly using their knowledge of errors to gain refunds should be aware of this.

TM said...

Couldn't AGREE more with the last post!

This is one of the very few posts on this site that is truthful, well thought out and realistic.

Jerry said...

The 'price flexing' you are referring to on a PV line is nothing misleading. On certain lines which are already priced by the supplier, different batches may have different prices printed on them due to buying in costs for example or more likely because there is limited quantity of stock at a promotion price,(quite often found on faster moving lines with shorter sell by dates, such as cakes). This is not dealt with by price labels on their own as it would mean 2 labels for the same product at 2 prices, possibly very misleading. These 'Price verify' lines are picked up at the till when scanned and a message comes up to ask the cashier which of the 2 prices apply, they then ok the price or ammend it accordingly. Naturally most customers will pick up the cheaper variety and this ensures they are charged correctly by the cashier. Hope this helps.

I like this site and will be helping TM to give balanced views on comments posted here so please keep it up.

TM said...

A great explaination. Thanks for your support Jerry.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Anonymous @ 3:00 PM, January 22, 2007

You make it sound like just because it is a policy it is not legally enforceable, which of course would be absolute rubbish. The policy is (or was) very clearly worded, charged too much - you get a refund and keep the product. There is only 1 way to interpret that. And any other 'interpretation' by a store manager would have been easily overturned in court.