Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quentin Wilson: Tesco's Dirty Fuel Not Fit For Purpose (Reported Here First!)

The media have now started reporting widely that Tesco's fuel is not fit for purpose and Quentin Wilson, motoring journalist, is warning drivers not to run their cars on Tesco's seemingly dirty fuel which he states seems to be contaminated after coming here to the UK on unclean chemical tankers. Tesco have been saying since early February when we first covered this complaint that they had tested their fuels and nothing was wrong and also that hardly anyone was complaining - given what is emerging in the media now it seems probable that Tesco were lying to customers, certainly about the number of complaints. Can we ever trust Tesco again when they appear to lie to customers so readily?

While we wait for the official line to come through (via Trading Standards who are now investigating Tesco's dirty fuel), here's another report of Tesco's fuel damage that we have recently been emailed:

I had a problem with diesel I bought on Tuesday 30th January from Tesco Bursledon, Hampshire. In the afternoon I had a new fuel tank fitted and my 'old' diesel put back in, then I filled up in the evening with diesel from Tesco. On Sunday 4th Feb I was driving home on the M3 near Winchester when I started to lose power. I drove very slowly to my friends house as she and her daughter were passengers at approx 10mph or less. As the car was getting worse I decided to call the RAC who did various checks and drained off some diesel which I still have. I managed to get home with the RAC van following and then took the car back to my local garage the next day. I had to use two buses to get to work for two days so it was inconvenient as well as the cost of labour, fuel filter and fresh fuel.

Judy Dunkley

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tesco: A Picture of Pathetic Customer 'Service'

When I arrived back from my Christmas holiday in Las Vegas I compiled a photo-book on the Tesco Photo website, paid for 2 copies and sat back and waited for them to arrive. After 2 weeks of waiting I emailed them to ask where my books were and was told that they were 'investigating'. Soon after I was told that there had been a problem with uploading ONE of the photos and that if I wanted to re-send it they'd try again. Not likely! How did I know it would work a second time?

I emailed David Petrie (head of Tesco Photo) back to ask Tesco Photo why they have NO computer exception reports in place to tell them that an order has been outstanding for 2 weeks and hasn't been printed, or to tell them that there has been a problem with a photo upload. I got no reply.

I then emailed Terry Leahy and got a reply from Suzi Harris on Feb 13th 2007 saying she would investigate further because my direct email to David Petrie at Tesco Photo had not received my email. Yeah, right! To date (27 Feb 2007) I have not received any more correspondence from Tesco Photo or Suzi Harris, showing that they really don't care. I will not be using Tesco photo in future and have been advising everyone I know not to use them.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tesco fuels another knackered diesel engine!

Dear Tesco-complaint readers, I am writing to you after reading with interest your feature posted on Sunday 11th February 2007 entitled ‘Tesco lies about ‘petrol mix-up’ fuel driver anger.’

On Friday 9th February, exactly the same situation which happened at Tesco Newton Aycliffe in your feature happened to my wife. She filled up the family Diesel Nissan Pathfinder with a full tank at Tesco Watford Extra with what she believed to be Diesel. She even has a Diesel receipt to prove it.

Five or so miles after leaving the Tesco fuel station the vehicle started a ‘knocking’ noise from the engine accompanied by bellowing black smoke. The RAC ‘saved’ my wife, father in law, and my two young children from the hard shoulder of the M25 on a wet Friday afternoon and took the car to the local main dealer (Glyn Hopkin) in Watford, Herts.

Glyn Hopkin reported to me on the following Monday morning that the car had petrol in the tank, therefore it was broken due to fuel contamination. I have taken a fuel sample from the car which is currently being analysed by the RAC.

We are currently up to £2,000 in costs to pay for cleaning of the fuel system and new fuel injectors. Worst case scenario is that the pump is damaged which will take the total to £5,000.

Our local newspaper, the Watford Observer ran a story in last Friday’s edition which is attached (click to see larger version which you can save and zoom into to read). The response the Watford Observer got from Tesco is exactly the same as me, and also the response reported in your feature on the 11th Feb. Tesco denied that a Diesel fuel pump at Watford store was dispensing petrol, and it was for me to prove any claims I may have. Tesco stated to me my wife had a receipt for Diesel so its diesel which she received and paid for. They also claimed that no other motorist filling up on that day had complained about any similar fuel issues.

There is clearly something not right here, as the stories reported by you and my own are identical. The big questions for Tesco, –

  1. How does a tank of Diesel fuel turn into Petrol a few miles after leaving Tesco in a modern car which is just 17 months old?
  2. How and why could/ would a mother returning home with her two children contaminate the cars fuel?
  3. Why are Tesco responses so flat, non-customer friendly and offer no credibility to customer claims?
Please could anyone who knows let me know how the other reported cases progress, and I will with ours. I am currently seeking advice as to what action to take next.

Kind regards,
Allan Pattison, Hertfordshire

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tesco don't like disabled people!

My complaint is regarding the parking at Tescos in general but at the Blackpool superstore specifically. My personal complaint is regarding the disabled spaces but I think that the same complaint applies to the parent and child places.

Every time I visit the store, I have to drive around for ages to find a space where I can park near enough to the store for my mum to be able to walk from the car to the store. Some of the disabled spaces are at the far end of the car park, which covers a vast area. Surely the idea is that the disabled bays should be close to the store. Not every disabled person is in a wheelchair - a lot of people have difficulty walking because of other reasons, like heart problems or lung problems. When we do eventually manage to park, we find that the majority of the other disabled spaces are occupied by people without blue badges. However, when we complain to Customer Services they can't even be bothered being civil to us and simply say "nothing we can do", which is funny because other supermarkets give out tickets to people parking without disabled badges.

The custom of disabled people is obviously not valued by Tesco or something would be done about it. When I have challenged somebody myself about parking without a permit they just say "they don't bother here - anybody can park in disabled bays"

As the biggest supermarket in the country I think the treatment of Tesco to its customers requiring designated parking, whether disabled or parent and child, is shabby to say the least.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tesco Shoppers conned by 'healthy' food labels

The Daily Mail reports that Tesco Shoppers are being misled by a new food industry labelling system which can make products appear healthier than they really are, campaigners have claimed. The labels adopted by Tesco, Walker's, Kellogg's, Nestle and many others, are claimed to offer clear information.

However, health campaigners believe the system is being manipulated to give a false impression. Under the GDA system - it stands for Guideline Daily Amount - the amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt in one serving of a product are shown on the front of the pack. ach figure is also shown as the percentage it makes up of the recommended daily intake or GDA.

But campaigners says manufacturers may use artificially small servings as the basis for the figures, while the consumption data is calculated against the diet of an adult man, making the percentagesmisleading for children, teenagers and most women. The National Heart Forum has published a report detailing failings in the GDA system.

Its deputy chief executive, Jane Landon, said: "Some manufacturers and retailers are failing their customers by using nutritional food labels which are overly complex and misleading. "Some even appear to be manipulating the front-of-pack label to promote their products rather than to inform their customers."

The Daily Mail highlighted the problems with the GDA labelling last September. We revealed that Tesco was among firms using unrealistically small servings as the basis of its figures. For example, the serving used for its wafer thin honey roast ham was a single slice while the one for its Value Milk Chocolate was a single chunk.

The forum has published further examples. It said the GDA figures on a bottle of Tesco cola are calculated on the basis of 100ml, though a typical serving is normally regarded as a 330ml can. The label on Kellogg's Ricicles, says a 30g serving of the children's cereal provides 13 per cent of an adult's GDA for sugar. However, it would be 24 per cent of the daily sugar consumption recommended for a child aged between five and ten.

Tesco's Cheese Singles, from the chain's Healthy Living range, gives nutritional information for a single slice. The label says this serving offers 7 per cent of the GDA for saturated fat and 10 per cent for salt. However, the pack picture suggests a serving of five slices, which would be 35 per cent of the GDA for saturated fat and 50 per cent for salt.

The food industry, led by Tesco, developed the GDA scheme as an alternative to the Traffic Lights system promoted by the Government's Food Standards Agency. The FSA scheme uses red, amber and green logos to identify whether a product is high, medium or low in fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar.

Miss Landon said: "Consumer research shows that the Food Standards Agency's traffic light labels work best to enable real, healthy change in people"s shopping habits.

"Repeated surveys show that consumers would like to see one, universal labelling scheme - such as the traffic lights - whatever the brand, wherever they shop."

Richard Watts, of the Children's Food Campaign, said: "The case for supporting traffic light food labelling is now overwhelming. This report will put real pressure on the stuck-in-the-mud retailers and food companies that still use the discredited GDA labels."

Tesco said it was reviewing some of its GDA labels, including those on cola, chocolate, ham and sausages, with the intention of changing the size of the servings. A spokesman said: "We know that customers find GDA labelling helpful in choosing healthier options, and we reject the idea that the scheme is complex and misleading. The test of any nutritional labelling system is whether it changes behaviour, and our nutritional signposts are doing just that."

Kellogg's described the attack on GDA labels as "amazing". A spokesman said there are plans to develop standard portion sizes to help consumers make comparisons, and to put GDA figures relevant to children on packs.

Tesco-Complaint: "Helpful" is not a word which we would not use to describe Tesco's despicable behaviour in allowing obesity by purposefully misleading and failing to educate its customers - all this in the name of profit. This is one reason why Terry Leahy is so close to Tony Blair and this is one reason why Tesco sponsors Labour to the tune of tens of millions of pounds (compare to Tesco's charitable donations...) - by handing out money to political parties Tesco can make sure that the Government will not regulate in this area and force fair food labelling. Obesity crisis for your kids? Very possible if you shop at Tesco...

More info in our previous article: "Red light for Tesco PLC's obesity"

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tesco announces 600 redundancies in Crick

Today Tesco announced 600 (approx) redundancies from their Crick depot. This is becoming a regular occurrence, to the point of my having lost count, but it runs into thousands around the UK in Depots and Service Departments.

I hope they get the best deal possible and wish all who have found themselves in this awful position all the best for the future. I fear todays are not the last. It's not all sunshine and roses, working for Tesco, that's if you are fortunate enough to be allowed to keep your job.

The Mrs

Tesco's Mass Overpricing forces end of Refund & Retain Policy

TESCO is ditching its refund policy after being forced to GIVE £300 Xboxes to shoppers. The rule promises customers who are overcharged at the till a full refund, plus they can keep the item they bought. The People report that some punters seized on the generous scheme and deliberately tracked down mis-priced gear - costing the chain at least £100,000.

The cheeky freebie-hunt - fuelled by internet tip-offs - peaked when a pric- ing blunder left store chiefs no option but to give away Xbox 360 games consoles. They were marked on shelves as £297.81 - but came up on tills at £299.97.

Return and refund-takers have also bagged themselves DVDs, wine, food, chicken nuggets and nappies. Tesco - whose motto is Every Little Helps - tried banning the worst culprits. But now bosses have decided that does not go far enough.

A source said: "We have lost too much money through the policy. People were just taking advantage and Tesco had to draw the line somewhere."

But Martin Lewis - who runs, which runs details of Tesco price gaffes - was unrepentant. He said: "If thousands of pounds worth of Xboxes walked out the door then it should teach Tesco to be a bit more careful about prices so that customers are not misled."

The new policy from February 26 will see shoppers receive double the amount they were overcharged.

Tesco Own Range Houmous with Extra Salmonella?

Tesco is recalling it's private own label houmous produced by food manufacturer Bakkavor which has been found to contain unacceptable levels of salmonella which could cause health problems if ingested. All date codes up to the 28 February are affected. Tesco is advising consumers to return products to the store at which it was purchased for a full refund.

Tesco stores sell alcohol to children

Three Tesco stores have had their drinks licences suspended for a month, after selling alcohol to children as reported in Retail Week. The supermarkets – in Crawley and Worthing, West Sussex – were caught selling alcopops to 15-year-olds in an undercover police investigation.

A Tesco spokesperson said: "We take the sale of alcohol to underage people extremely seriously and continue to dedicate substantial resource to improving our Think 21 procedures and supporting our staff in tackling underage sales. We are disappointed with this decision and are considering our options."

A recent survey analysing hospital admissions data, revealed record numbers of pre-teens and teenagers now require medical treatment for drink-related disorders.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tesco stole from my credit card!

On We ordered 12 bottles of a Montana Sauvignon Blanc 2005 that was on offer @ £25.79 per half case, with free shipping total £51.58. A week later the wine was delivered (in the earliest delivery slot available). On checking the invoice the total was £120.90 - two half cases of wine @ £57.95 PLUS £5 delivery.

We looked online and found that Tesco cancelled our first order the day before delivery. The invoice we received with the delivery was against another order number that they had raised. They charged our credit card without our authority. On ringing them, they said that we should have been contacted. We weren't (and we were in all day the day before delivery). They have refunded the money, but have not said how they can take almost £70 of our money without even asking! We have emailed Sir Leahy suggesting that if we took £70 of goods from his shops, but offered to give them back when caught, Tesco would still take us to court for theft. What they have done is no different!

Where do they stand on this? Surely they can't just raise and order and take money off a card without authority? Even though they have refunded the extra money taken (we shall see next statement), they must have committed an illegal act?

Their investigation was slipshod and full of the usual platitudes that so and so has been asked to tighten up on this and so and so on that. It was all rather devalued by the fact that they didn't even bother to check that the wine we bought has never sold for almost £10 a bottle! £6.00 (= £36 a case) is more typical. Even the "Reserve" version of the wine sells for less than we were charged.

And then "It is always a matter of regret when one of our customers remains dissatisfied with any aspect of our operations but I do hope that, despite this, we can still look forward to your custom in the future". As if!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tesco's Obesity to be Exposed on C4

The Supermarket That's Eating Britain.

Monday 19th February 8pm Channel 4 Dispatches

Tesco is Britain's favourite supermarket by far. With 2,000 stores and 15 million customers a week, it's almost twice as big as its nearest rival. But Dispatches shows how Tesco could soon become even bigger, and asks if this retail giant is abusing its power. This film examines the ways in which Tesco avoids paying tens of millions of pounds in tax by exploiting legal loopholes, as well as chronicling the links Tesco has forged with New Labour.

Tesco Heart Attack Soup ('healthy' living range!)

Dear Tesco, I am an avid buyer of your healthy living range but have a complaint on your soup. I bought a tin of your soup last week and checked the salt content it has 3 grams of salt per tin which is half of your (RDA) for one day!

Yes well done you have worded it to sound better by putting 1.5 grams per half serving but who opens a tin of soup and only has half a tin?

When I am ill I usually have soup and up to 4 tins so if I used your soup I would be having twice the (RDA) for salt which is really bad worse than having less fat which you range promotes.

For Example your Tesco own chicken and mushroom frozen pies have a gram of salt in each I could have 3 pies yes 3 and still only have the same salt as one of your tins of soup.

More people die from strokes and heart attacks by having to much salt than to much fat in there diet, also for you to be promoting this as healthy eating is worse because people are less likely to check the salt content because they think because your product says “healthy eating” its ok not to check.

By having only 3 tins of this soup a week people would to have a lot less protein and carb foods just to not go over on there salt count it doesn’t make sense in which case your soup is classed as “unhealthy eating” because people are not getting there full nutrients. Even if they replace carbs with vegetables because you need carbs and protein to maintain a healthy body

Please could you email me back an answer? Richard.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Tesco lies about 'petrol mix-up' fuel driver anger

The Northern Echo report that Tesco is facing legal action from motorists who say a fuel pump mix-up has cost them a fortune in engine repairs. Tesco has denied claims that a diesel fuel pump at its filling station in Newton Aycliffe was dispensing petrol. But drivers who filled up say their vehicles have been damaged by contaminated fuel.

In one case, a motorist says he has been left facing a bill for £1,500 to get his Mercedes back on the road. Derek Wood, 61, said his car ground to a halt within 25 miles of filling up. His insurer, NFU Mutual, is seeking to claim the cost of the engine damage back from Tesco, but the supermarket maintains it is not to blame.

Officials say that if the pump had been dispensing petrol instead of diesel many more drivers would have complained.

However, other motorists have come forward to say their vehicles suffered a similar fate, and the store chain now faces the prospect of court action. Sharon Heathcote, 30, a community nurse from School Aycliffe, said her Nissan Micra diesel had fuel problems after a visit to the petrol station. Her car broke down a few miles after filling up and her garage told her the car had petrol, rather than diesel, in the tank. It required a new fuel injection system, costing more than £3,000. She told the supermarket in a letter that she was prepared to take the matter to court.

Tesco told her no one else had complained.

When Mr Wood's insurers wrote to the supermarket they received the same response.

Mr Wood said last night: "We are quite prepared to take it to court."

Tesco replied, again saying that no one else had complained.

Miss Heathcote said: "It has cost us nearly £4,000 to fix the car, including hiring another one while ours was repaired. "We have three small children and have just moved house and for us, financially, this is a big thing."

A local paper has also published an open letter from another driver claiming to suffer the same problem.

Tesco finally admitted last night that it had really received "four or five" complaints but maintained there was no problem with the pump. A spokeswoman said: "These four or five complaints have been spread over the past six months.

"Trading standards checked our fuel in July after the first complaint was received and it was found to be clear. "They came in again last week following the latest complaint, and we are awaiting the results. "However, this is an extremely busy petrol station and if there was a real problem we would expect to have received many more complaints."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tesco leaves elderly instore during fire evacuation...

My elderly parents were shopping at The Tesco store in Chelmsford, Princess Road, on Friday 2nd February 2007 at approx 10.30 am in the morning when the Fire Alarm went off. As the alarm went off everyone looked at each other wondering what to do, then everyone started making their way to the store entrance. All the checkout staff seemed to disappear, there was no announcement over the tannoy, and no direction from any of the staff whatsoever. The fire exit in the centre of the store by the window near the checkouts was locked due to building works. Everyone was going towards the main entrance, no one was being directed to any alternative fire exits. Once outside shoppers were blocking the entrance by standing about, so that others could not get outside. What has happened to Fire Safety at Princess Road, Chelmsford, why was there no direction from any of the staff. It seems that customers were left to exit the store without any guidance or direction from staff whatsoever. Fortunately this was either a very small fire in some small section of the building, or a false alarm, or the alarm had been accidentally set off by the builders. If this had been a more serious fire I dread to think what would have happend - mass panic with injury and loss of life I imagine. Please investigate this incident!!! Could someone reply please. Helen.

Iconoclast finally gets his GT50545b!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Iconoclast records Tesco's poor customer service!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bernard Matthews' Turkeys going Cheep at Tesco?

Dear Mr Leahy, Having seen on the news this morning that nearly 2000? Turkeys were slaughtered overnight at Bernard Matthews' farm in Norfolk, and at the same time being reassured by a Government Expert that there was absolutely no danger to the public, I wondered whether Tesco's has any plans to sell these tasty morsels at discount?

I was very impressed with my last Bernard Matthews Turkey from Tesco's and wonder if there is any chance in you now bringing down prices... because as we all know 'Every little helps'.

My latest art based upon the H5N1 Avian Flu virus is here:- (I am a bit of an expert myself). Would you be interested in selling my art at discount?

Kind regards

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Tesco's unsafe system of work?

I have been working for Tesco Express for around 6 years. During this time I have gained many skills from office admin to all areas of shop floor. Since the procedure changed to only having flatbeds instead of cages on the shop floor I have found it’s more time consuming filling heavy items onto flatbeds than having one cage on the shop floor. This procedure has increased time for completing the fresh delivery by two hours. Therefore we are not coinciding with the cold food chain cycle.

This procedure is not only time consuming but an health and safely hazard too. Using flatbeds/trolleys for off- loading heavy chilled items adds unnecessary strain to the bottom of your back. As a company I believe you are to reduce the risk of this kind of health and safety hazard. Its not just lifting the items onto the flatbed/trolleys, its also wheeling heavy flatbeds onto the shop floor, as most of the flatbeds/trolleys have their own minds you are continually steering the flatbeds/trolleys to go in the particular direction you want it to go in, which puts more stain on the individuals back than there is necessary.

I know what your going to say, ‘ask a colleague to help you’ and yes I follow my training guidelines. My point to you is that your actually losing your manpower from other areas of the shop floor, therefore more time consuming, less availability within the store, which leads to poor customer service. Not to mention the stress staff are under, to ensure all the check outs are attended to soon as the bell rings, which is literally every 60 seconds and your on the till between 5 - 10 minutes depending on the amount of staff you have on your shift on a particular day (if less staff, the longer you are on checkouts). This causes moral to become unbearable.

I have spoken to management and other colleagues on this issue and suggested ideas to achieve our goal. But they are not listening to my concerns or ideas. E.g. have only one cage all staff work from on the shop floor. This actually prevents unmanned cages because all staff are working to clear the cage at once. This also increases the availability on the shop floor, increased communication between colleagues, we are also adhering to the cold food chain policy as it’s less time consuming and our main concern providing good customer service.

I feel if you finish the delivery earlier then staff can provide more time and friendly assistance to customers. Please someone out there listen to me; it will work!!!

Yours faithfully
Ms Potter