Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tesco - rotten on the inside!?

We are forever buying fruit that looks just beautiful from the outside but is often actually inedible or of very poor quality. Having lived for half my life in a sub-tropical country (South Africa) you can rest assured I know tropical / sub tropical fruit VERY WELL.

The current example is of Nectarines purchased on the 20/03/2007 at 15:54 As I said it is all very well having fruit arriving here from all over the world LOOKING perfect on the outside but when you try and eat it, as is often the case, it is not correctly ripened and or has a powerdry texture and when allowed to ripen a bit, as in this case a few days, goes off or at least ends up inedible.

The picture shown reflects the fruit as it was on Friday 23rd March 3 days after purchase. It is a shamefull indictment of the lack of interest TESCO actually has in supplying “good quality” products.

My complaint is not aimed at getting something back from Tesco (although I often feel that I should because to be sold fruit like this is not on, in simple terms IT'S a rip off !) but more towards offering valuable feedback on the problem of picking, preparing and transporting fruit over long distances and getting TESCO to DO SOMETHING about the problem.

Before I move on, I do however wish to point out that these nectarines were and still are on a special offer, HALF PRICE, and I could just not help thinking that TESCO is simply dumping stock that is not quiet up to standard or stock that they know will not last and reach the customer in the quality it should, at special prices, to get the public to buy the sub-standard product and minimise TESCO's wastage / loss.

Back on the more general matter, as you may be aware fruit can be successfully picked early, held in cold storage and ripened on demand by raising the storage temperature and spiking the natural ripening process by the introduction of Ethylene into the air.

Unfortunately this process needs very tight control and degradation of the quality of the fruit, as has happened in this case can occur, amongst other things, because...

Fruit is overheated between time of picking and cold storage for transport.
Fruit is over cooled during the cold storage transport stage.

I think Tesco should have a hard look at the procedures involved and make it the responsibility of the suppliers / transporters to keep accurate recorded temperatures from beginning to end of the process, recording the temperature every 30 minutes during of the process using an inexpensive digital device that accompanies the fruit throughout it's journey. This way TESCO can refuse to accept fruit that will not reflect the high standards we, your customers demand. There are however also other actions / factors that govern the fruit final quality that should be considered.

This way Tesco can live up to it's name of bringing high quality to it's customers in every aspect of your service.

Grey Smith

Tesco-Complaint: This is far from the the first rotten produce complaint we've received - Tesco must receive hundreds if not thousands of rotten complaints. Will they ever do anything about it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

My beef with Tesco over meat labelling

DAN BURGLASS writes in The Scotsman that SUPERMARKETS are a fact of life and, over the past 30 years, the intense competition between the major operators has resulted in a massive decline in the real cost of the shopping basket.

However, while the shareholders who invested in these monoliths have stacked up healthy dividends and seen their capital worth increase enormously, not everyone is a winner.

I find that consumers are becoming increasingly confused, especially in regard to labelling and sell-by dates. I reckon that I am normally a fairly calm person, but my blood pressure must have shot up to a dangerously high level on Saturday during a visit to the local Tesco. Among the various items on the shopping list was some cold meat, preferably beef, to go with a salad. Sure enough, I found pre-cooked beef in a packet.

Ever one to read the small print on the labels, even though occasionally it requires something akin to a magnifying glass, I scrutinised the fine detail. There was no complaint with the declaration that there was no added water and that each 105 grams of the product contained 100 grams of raw beef. That satisfied me, but my eyes moved on down the label to the part titled "additional information". This was getting more interesting, but it was then that the real sense of confusion set in: "Tesco assured beef [comes] from farms in the UK, EU or South America."

To my mind that is simply not good enough and is thoroughly misleading. But since there was no "red tractor logo" or the Specially Selected Scotch branding, I suspect that the beef originated in South America since very little beef is imported from the EU into this country. So why cannot Tesco, and its competitors, inform customers from which specific country particular products are sourced? The packet of beef remains unopened. My inclination is to put it in a jiffy bag and dispatch it poste haste to Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy with a note requesting him to explain just what the label means. However, by the time it arrives on his desk it will be well past its ridiculously short recommended sell-by date!

Later that afternoon, in the pub during the half-time break in the rugby international in Paris, I put that object of my concern on the bar and asked a couple of friends to have a good look at the label. I was pleased to discover very quickly that I was not the only to be confused over the country of origin sentence. "Well, where does it come from?" asked Sandy. I could not help him.

But it is not just that single packet that is causing confusion. In recent weeks, the National Beef Association, along with NFU Scotland, has highlighted the practice of "co-mingling". This occurs when the multiples have beef from different countries in the same display cabinet. This is contrary to EU regulations, but it is widespread. There is at least one major store in the heart of Edinburgh where beef from Scotland, the UK and South America is all on display in the same cabinet. I raised the matter with the store supervisor, only to be met with a shrug and advice to write to the relevant head office if I was not happy. It should not be left to consumers to enforce the rules. That is what trading standards officers are supposed to be doing.

I am also intrigued by the claim that all Tesco beef comes from "assured farms". I can accept that declaration in respect of UK beef. Indeed, Scotland led the way in the entire concept of farm assurance and one of the pioneers in that field was the late Sir Alistair Grant in his time as head of Safeway. I recall interviewing him in his office in London's Park Lane as part of an item for BBC Scotland's television's farming programme, Landward.

Grant was a great enthusiast for farm assurance, stating quite categorically that this was the way ahead. The initial reaction from many farmers who saw the programme ranged from outright scorn to that of fearing that the principle would lead to further costs for the industry and that they would only consider joining up if they were to be guaranteed a premium. But there were some visionaries, not the least of whom was Maitland Mackie, that eponymous agri-business operator from Aberdeenshire. Maitland said all those years ago that it was not a case of expecting a premium for being assured, but rather finding it increasingly difficult to find a market, even at discounted values, if a business was not assured, and to increasingly high standards. Of course, Maitland has been vindicated and now virtually all the beef, lamb, pork, milk and cereals produced on Scottish farms is assured, and to a very high level with independent certification.

And that brings me back to imports of beef from South America. There is no possibility of the EU producing all the beef it requires and recent figures from Revenue and Customs reveal that, during past year, the UK imported 41,200 tonnes from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Production standards vary, but a clandestine visit by the Irish Farmers' Association last year concluded that very few of the units they viewed in Brazil would comply with EU protocols. Publication of the findings strained relations between Dublin and Brazil, but consumers have a right to know how their food is produced. Shoppers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with a growing thirst for accurate information, fuelled by the popular media picking up quickly on any shortcomings on the part of UK farmers. The concept of fair trade is admirable, but it must be fair and equitable for everyone. A more robust labelling regime on the part of supermarkets would be a good place to begin.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tesco Still Hatin' Disabled People

I wish to complain about the new signage above the goods in the aisles at Tesco in Newport, South Wales (the branch on the Harlect Retail Estate).

Some of the signs have recently been replaced with white lettering on pale blue/green backgrounds. I have 53-year-old eyes and I find these impossible to read, especially from a distance as the colour contrast is appalling. Someone with even a minimal visual impairment would find it even more difficult to read these signs.

In order for you to comply with the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005, you need to make a "reasonable adjustment" and replace these dreadful signs as quickly as possible. In order to comply with the Acts, you need to have the writing in black on either a white or pale yellow background. If you insist on white lettering, the background will need to be black, dark blue or dark green at the very least.

There will be no acceptable excuse for not making these signs visible given Tesco's huge profits. I cannot believe that with the size of the Tesco organisation, you do not have access to someone who could have advised you on the signs; I hope this position is not replicated across the UK.

Please make your stores accessible to people with all forms of disability. Your record in other areas is very good. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ann Morgan
Project Director

Tesco's Arswydus Cwsmer Oedfa!

Swansea Marina store lock their unmanned changing rooms and you have to ring the bell for a member of staff to unlock them. Trouble is no one ever responds to the bell. Yesterday I stood in queue for 15 minutes but no one came so I dumped the clothes and left as did the others in the queue.Come on Tesco get your act together and while you are at it tell your staff on tills and CS to stop chatting to one another and help the customers. Don't sit there with your arms folded while I finish packing and don't yawn constantly in my face.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tesco helps fuel alcoholic binge drinking

Tesco are selling glasses labelled "Small Wine Glasses" with no information on capacity. According to health professionals, a small wine glass would contain 75 ml, approximately one unit's worth of alcohol. Tesco's small wine glasses can accommodate 300 ml.

I have written, commented and telephoned Tesco's and other relevant authorities about this and I have been ignored.

I enjoy a few drinks, am no kill-joy, but am appalled at the misrepresentation of the facts Tesco are upholding, and increasingly annoyed at the arrogant manner in which they are treating my complaint.

Lindsay Tether, Evesham, Worcestershire.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

‘Tesco jails’ planned

THE TIMES REPORTS Short-term “jails” are planned for supermarkets and town centres to deal with yobs and shoplifters under Home Office proposals to ease the burden on police. Discussions have already started about building a “retail jail” inside the Selfridges store in Oxford Street, London.

Suspects would be held for up to four hours in a small room with a clear plastic front so they were visible to custody officers at all times during their detention.

The Home Office proposals for a network of “short-term holding facilities” in shopping malls and high streets aim to help police to process high-volume crimes such as shoplifting. The move to speed up the handling of suspects and save money was outlined in a consultation paper on rules to govern how suspects are treated by police.

The paper also suggests another radical change to existing rules by allowing police to question suspects after they have been charged. The proposal for short-term holding facilities is intended to facilitate cases where suspects’ identity cannot readily be confirmed.

“A potential solution in dealing with high-volume offending is to enable the police to make use of short-term holding facilities located in shopping centres and town centres,” the paper said. The facilities would be secure but would not be the same as standard cell design, it added.

“Persons detained would be subject to detention to a maximum period of four hours to enable fingerprinting, photographing and DNA sampling,” the paper, Modernising Police Powers, said.

“The aim would be to locate the short-term holding facility in busy areas to allow quick access and processing of suspects to enable the officer to resume operational duties as quickly as possible,” it added.

As well as its plan for Selfridges, the Metropolitan Police is understood to be interested in placing units in other stores and is planning custody units in every London borough.

The Home Office document also suggests allowing police to fingerprint people over 10 accused of nonrecordable offences – crimes for which an offender cannot be imprisoned. At present fingerprints and DNA and other samples are only taken for recordable offences.

The consultation said that extending fingerprinting would send a strong message to offenders that, whatever their crimes, they would be subject to indenti-fication that could be checked against other databases and linked to other offences. Gareth Crossman, policy director of Liberty, the civil rights group, said: “The Government is fast replacing the best traditions of English law with a chilling presumption of guilt.

“Dropping litter and bad parking are proposed as lame excuses for an ever-growing national DNA database.”

Tesco Trollied My Car!

On 28 February 07 my car was damaged by one of your trolleys.It was seen by a customer who saw trolleys being placed in the trolley park by a member of staff. Several trolleys were not stacked properly behind the rail.On that date it was very windy and raining. One of the trolleys that was not correctly stacked came adrift and struck my car causing damage to back wing and wheel arch also rear back door.

Since the incident I have been calling Tesco on a daily basis to try and get someone to take me seriously. I have been fobbed off, ignored, and generally treated as if I were a nuisance. I have waited in for return phone calls that never happen, and yesterday I was told to attend the store at 6pm, only to find that the manager was not there. On one occasion I was told that my complaint was of no priority because of the fuel problem - even though my incident occurred before the fuel problem - and surely all your customers are important? I have now been asked to send in a witness statement to your claims office - my reference is 7653970.

I have absolutely no confidence that anything is going to happen as a result of my sending in this statement - your track record so far has left me very disillusioned. I feel the customer comes a very poor second with Tesco - you do not seem to have any facilities in place for the customer to speak to anyone - you seem to prefer to keep them at arms length - happy to sell goods to me, but not willing to take any responsibility when things go wrong.

I shop regularly in Tesco - please restore some of my faith by dealing with this issue for me by return.

Ian Comerford

Inverness Council wisely refuses 'Tesco Town'

THE HERALD REPORTS THE conquest of Inverness by the supermarket giant Tesco - which already rakes in more than half the population's grocery spend - was halted yesterday. The group, whose three existing supermarkets have resulted in the Highland capital being dubbed Tesco Town, wanted a fourth.

But members of the Highland Council's City of Inverness Planning Applications Committee were unanimous in turning down the application for a development on Ness-side at Dores Road. The 4447sq m superstore was to have been part of a district shopping centre, also including unit shops, a petrol filling station, and sites for a hotel and doctors' surgery.

The site is at the western end of the Inverness trunk road link. The committee was told that 73 letters of representation and a petition containing 1054 signatures against the proposal had been received by the council, and that Holm Community Council had expressed serious concerns regarding the proposal. The decision brought relief to local campaigners alarmed by the threat to small local shops from the encroachment of the store chain. Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket chain, whose presence in Scotland burgeoned after the takeover of the William Low chain, now accounts for 51p out of every £1 spent on food in Inverness.

Planning permission for the Ness-side development was refused on the grounds that the proposal went against the Inverness Local Plan in respect of retailing. The committee said the scale of the proposed foodstore was out of proportion to the scale and function of the Ness District, to an extent where it would hinder the establishment of smaller district-level shopping areas they wanted to establish in the other centres identified in the local plan.

It was also contrary to Policy G2 of the Highland Structure Plan in respect of design, since without an indication of parking associated with the hotel and surgery uses, the layout and siting of the buildings might have affected the overall integrity of the development.

The applicants will now be entitled to appeal to the Scottish Executive Inquiry Reporter's Unit. A spokesman for Tesco said later: "We are very disappointed at the decision and we are reviewing our options."

'Tesco town’ opponents to petition Tony Blair

GLASGOW EVENING TIMES REPORTS THAT OPPONENTS of the planned Tesco development in Glasgow's West End are calling on Prime Minister Tony Blair to stop the project. Campaigner Andy Watson insists the supermarket firm's proposals for Partick are "wholly inappropriate" and has started a petition online. Mr Watson, who lives in Partick, said he was prompted to approach Mr Blair after Tesco demolished the disused historic former railway station building on the site.

Tesco's plans for a supermarket, flats, houses and car park near the foot of Byres Road, which have been branded Tesco town', caused an outcry when they were lodged last year. Another petition calling on the Scottish Executive to intervene has already been launched.

Mr Watson said he decided to go straight to Mr Blair because he wanted Partick to keep its mix of independent retailers and corner shops. The 28-year-old web developer, of Caird Drive, said: "I had written a letter of complaint to the city council, but I was wondering what else I could do. "I heard about an online petition to the Prime Minister to stop the fuel tax and I thought that was the best way to do it. "It shows the strength of feeling about the plans and it is easy for people to register their protest."

Mr Watson's petition, which will be sent through the internet to 10 Downing Street, states: "We petition the Prime Minister to stop Tesco building a wholly inappropriate 9950sq m 24-hour hypermarket in Partick, risking Glasgow's independent retailers, markets and wildlife.

"Demolishing Partick Central ticket office was gratuitous; an application was under way to list this building." Mr Watson said Glasgow City Council had a financial interest in the proposal because it part-owned the site. He also quoted Scottish Executive planning guidelines that said: "Designs that fail to integrate developments with surroundings and fail to create links with surrounding urban fabric should be refused planning permission."

Mr Watson also said a transport impact survey agreed with the claim a store of that size was unjustified. And he claimed the development would have a big impact on the viability of businesses in Dumbarton Road, Byres Road, Woodlands Road and Hyndland Road.

A campaign group - Stop Tesco Owning Partick - has been set up to coordinate the opposition. It has its own petition, which has more than 200 signatories, and is to be submitted to the Executive. The group is holding a public meeting in Partick Burgh Hall on April 16 and is to invite officials from the council and a representative from a traders' association to address it.

Tesco's planning application has been submitted to the council, but no date has been set for it to be heard. The address for anyone wanting to join the e-petition is: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/STOP-TESCO/

Sunday, March 11, 2007

'Concerned' Parent: My 17 year old son is daft enough to risk dying for our country in false wars so kindly let him smoke Tesco' s filthy cigarettes!

While in Tesco Wrexham yesterday with my 17 year old son we both went to the cigarette kiosk to purchase cigarettes. My son is does look young for his age although he is seventeen and expected to be asked to produce I.D.

As he is a serving member of the British Army he carries an official Army I.D card with him at all times which includes a photograph. At the kiosk he produced this I.D but was told it was not acceptable as a form of I.D and was not served.

He was asked if he could produce a drivers license or passport as these were acceptable. These are left with the army back at his barracks in Aldershot. I am disgusted that this I.D was not accepted as if it is good enough for the military and every other place he has been asked to prove his age why do Tesco decide it is not valid I.D to them.

The I.D is only granted to members of the British Army and is therefore not a usual means of I.D but it is recognised by any other place including the Police. I am disgusted that at 17 he is old enough to defend his country but because he only looks young your store takes it upon themselves to reject military I.D.

I hope you look into this and inform your staff that a military I.D card should be accepted for identification, I know it is not a usual form of I.D but they are only issued to soldiers!!!!!!

From a Very Disgusted Parent.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tesco tries to takeover Glasgow West End!

Uproar against Tesco’s proposal for a ‘Tesco Town’ in Glasgow’s West End - By: Samer Bagaeen of STOP (Stop Tesco Owning Partick).

This proposal by Tesco involves a Tesco 24-hour superstore, student accommodation, student union, leisure centre and underground parking on land on Beith Street in Glasgow’s West End. All details relating to this on-going dispute can be found on the website of the residents group formed to campaign against this application - STOP (Stop Tesco Owning Partick) www.stoptesco.info. Supporting documents from Architecture and Design Scotland, Historic Scotland, and extensive media coverage including the BBC television and BBC Radio Scotland can be accessed via this site.

STOP is arguing that this proposed scheme by Tesco (http://www.stoptesco.info/tescoplans.htm) does not comply with Glasgow City Council’s own policies on retail developments, quality and design, greenspace or landscape and several Scottish Executive policy notes including those on transport, retail and town centre development. The proposed density on site is totally inappropriate given that the density of the proposed student accommodation, located on top of the 24-hour store, is excessive in both height and footprint.

STOP is arguing that the traffic flow impacts of this scheme will be overwhelming. Tesco’s own traffic impact assessment is flawed. The traffic impact of the development will be substantial and the mitigation suggested will not adequately address this increase in congestion and traffic levels, and makes no assessment of the likely impact of the development to the problems of on street parking already existing in the surrounding area.

Early in March 2007, the group’s chairman has set up an e-petition on the Scottish Parliament’s website calling for the Scottish Parliament to consider and debate the traffic, environmental and sustainability impact on existing communities in designated town centres of large 24-hour supermarket developments. This can be accessed here.

There was an uproar in Glasgow when the old Partick Central Railway Station Ticket Office (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partick_Central_railway_station) which sat on the disputed site until it was demolished by Tesco at the end of January 2007 (http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/display.var.1156641.0.0.php) by means of a suspect building warrant issued by the Council’s building control department a few months previously to demolish other dilapidated buildings on the site. A video of the demolition can be seen on YouTube at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuBGju0Lvug).

The STOP group have been active in disturbing leaflet throughout Glasgow’s West End and have already organised a public meeting in December 2006. The next public meeting on this development in Partick is scheduled for 16 April 2007 (details will be posted on www.stoptesco.info).

Tesco Dirty Filthy Disgusting Fuel: Update

As predicted by one of the posters on this site, TESCO finally issued an 'apology' for their dirty fuel on Tuesday 6th March. You can read their 'apology' here however there are some interesting points within that statement that need careful scrutinisation.

For example; "Tesco petrol is now back to normal." An admission that the petrol they had been selling was abnormal. This is the same petrol that they continued to sell in the face of overwhelming evidence of a problem wherein a complete withdrawal of the fuel would have been a more appropriate step to have taken.

And then there is; "if petrol bought at Tesco has damaged your car, we'd like to say how sorry we are." Yes, we're sure you'd like to say sorry. How about actually saying sorry?

In a similar vein; "More to the point, we'd like to promise to pay for the repairs." So, you'd like to promise to pay for the repairs, but you actually haven't promised to pay for the repairs have you? Why don't you just say "we promise to pay for the repairs"? Oh no, that could be construed as a legally binding statement, you have to leave an escape route somewhere.....

"M'lud, the respondent never actually promised that he would pay for the repairs as insinuated by the applicant, merely that he would have liked to be able to offer a promise. There is a distinct variance in those statements..."

All you have said is that you feel for our situation and are offering your sympathy, when a promise of hard cash reimbursement would be much more appreciated.

But I'm sure TESCO really won't want to wheedle their way out of paying for the repairs. In the past they have never tried to avoid compensating people for their admitted liabilities. have they?

Hang on a minute! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/6423923.stm

"Although the retailer later admitted liability, Tesco said it was only prepared to pay 25% of the cost of the repairs. "

So, TESCO admitted the fuel they supplied caused damage to a vehicle, but then state they are only prepared to pay a quarter of the repair bill? But this example is almost exactly the same as the situation that thousands of motorists now find themselves in; their vehicle has been damaged by contaminated fuel bought at TESCO. Could we see this situation repeated many times in the small claims Courts of the land? The upside of this story is that clearly the weight of the law has fallen on the side of the consumer and TESCO find themselves on the receiving end of the bailiffs. £60,000 worth of alcohol has been ringfenced and barred from sale until TESCO settles it's County Court Judgement, the enforcement order and the bailiffs fees. The depressing fact of this case is that the victim has had to wait more than three years before getting to this point....

At last, the bully has tried to push around the biggest kid in the playground and has received a bloody nose for his belligerence.

TESCO. Every seizure counts.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Iconoclast vs Terence: Ten Paces Please!

Dear Sir Terence, I am not a violent man, nor ever have been, nor do I condone violence or intimidation in any way shape or form. I also do not like the sight of blood (particularly my own).

However, I was brought up in Derbyshire, when English men behaved like gentlemen, and the traditional way of sorting things out was not via lawyers at £300 per hour,but by a duel. (I am from a poor working class mining village).

I will be 52 years old in July, have diabetes, a heart complaint and am on medication for blood pressure, however I am quite happy to settle our dispute once and for all in a Boxing Ring to Marquis of Queensbury Rules (although I have never boxed or been taught how to fight).

My proposition is that the fight takes place in public and all proceeds go to Children in Need (Red Nose Day). The loser would renounce all their worldly material posessions and go and live in a monastery to contemplate the error of his ways until death

I am quite happy to do this, you have ruined my once beautiful country so much that I no longer wish to live in it. Your plans to build a Tesco's in my beautiful home town of Belper, Derbyshire,and ruin my one place of retreat by building a bypass into it is the final straw.

Please accept my challenge, you look a lot younger than me and could even win (I doubt it)... I have the power of honesty and truth on my side, which I have found to be invincible.

With love and looking forward to the final battle, David

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Iconoclast David Nicolas Banned From Tesco!

A truly dark event has happened, following the iconoclast David Nicolas' wonderful film reports for Tesco-Complaint which showed Tesco's pitiful lack of customer service, our roving reporter has been banned from every Tesco store in the land (and beyond!). Gloria in excelsis deo!

David Nicolas writes: "Today, I took the computer back that I bought when filming 'Tesco's the Movie', as it was not to the described specification. Double click here for movie:-

For the crime of openly filming with a camera (such as can be bought in Tesco's or as is on any mobile phone), I was presented with this pre-prepared 'banning order' by the 'duty manager':

What a result.... the first iconoclast in the U.K. to be banned from every Tesco shop and store :)..... unless you know differently?

David says 'A wonderful result, I was only too pleased to do my shopping in the lovely local town of Shoreham-by-sea' where I got British food from the Co-op, Organic potatoes and fluoride free toothpaste from 'The Healing Light', a coffee at 'Angels Bar '... (and a chat with a beautiful manageress), and a hair cut at the barbers next door... Wonderful! I also bought a nice video in the Dogs Trust Charity shop (for 50p)... and best of all 'The Guardian' newspaper which has actually published some truth, which the metropolitan police and the Attorney General spent last night trying to ban :)

What a wonderful morning.... all thanks to being banned from Tesco's.

Thank you so much.

David was also reminded of the old Kenneth Williams line 'Infamy! Infamy!.... they've all got it infamy!' :) as Tesco's Security Staff spread around the car park of the Holmbush Centre to observe David re-parking and shopping in Marks and Spencers."

Fear not David for the law on trespass is on your side and if you were to enter a Tesco store and film or shop Tesco would need to do the following in order to sue you:

  1. Establish you are/were indeed David Nicolas
  2. Establish your home address or place of business
  3. Establish what damages they have suffered by your trespass (likely NIL)
There is no criminal offence of trespass and to state one can be prosecuted for trespass is an untruth at law. Don't worry David, this banning order's threats are as empty as Tesco's apologies and promises over it's filthy fuel.

The great news is David is not banned from the Cheshunt Head Office so we look forward to some lovely film footage of the Terence!

Triumph The Insult Dog, Tesco's New Head of CS?

Triumph The Insult Dog, Tesco's New Head of CS?My partner and I have received appalling treatment from some staff members of the Carrickfergus Castle store, County Antrim, NI. Tesco Customer Services department in Dundee has been ineffective in dealing with this. We have demanded a sincere, personal apology from all 3 culprits in this store. I have preserved the anonymity of the staff and I expect the same in return from Tesco if and when Sir Terry replies to me.

We have given Tesco every chance to sort this problem but their response has been completely abysmal. It is our opinion that Tesco has got so big they don’t really care. So now we have decided to spread the word about our experience. I apologise if this posting is rather long but you can see we have been led a merry dance! I have summarized the main points below:

1. 30 Dec (yes, that long ago) – a rude and surly CS assistant barked a question at me like I was a dog then stomped off like a stroppy teenager.
2. Same day – Acting Duty manager was patronizing and arrogant towards us. She leveled an unsubstantiated, very insulting accusation at us and upset my partner a great deal. We challenged her about this but didn’t receive an apology
3. 17 Jan – we received a totally inept reply from Customer Services HQ for NI, to whom we had complained. They referred the matter to the Store Manager (who was absent on 30 Dec)
4. 14-Feb – a telephone message from Carrickfergus Castle Store Manager, asking me to contact him.
5. Same day and next 3 days – I kept phoning the store, the manager had gone home early, he was off or else when I rang the phone wasn’t even answered. Next thing I heard – he was off for a week’s leave.
6. 20 Feb – I wrote to Sir Terry, asking for the matter to be resolved either by him or (in his absence) one of his immediate subordinates
7. 23 Feb – received an e-mail from a Customer Service Executive informing us he would deal with the matters
8. 26 Feb – Carrickfergus Castle Store Manager eventually phones us. It was not worth the wait. He quickly became quite aggressive, choosing to rant about one point in my complaint about which he took exception. Even after I conceded that particular point to him he carried on ranting. He even ranted at my partner when she tried to verify to him how upset she had been by the Acting Duty Manager’s comments. He glossed over our complaints and stated that the 2 culprits had denied everything. He was very rude and at no stage did he even attempt to deal with our complaint. I am convinced that the only reason he phoned was to rant at us.
9. Same day – I sent an e-mail to the same CS Executive as before, complaining about the telephone manner and behaviour of the Store Manager. I asked him to handle matters personally as I did not want any further contact with anyone from the relevant store, unless they were prepared to apologise in person.
10. 28 Feb – a bland reply received from CS Executive. He had spoken to Store Manager and stated we were not getting an apology. By now I suspected that this person was not a senior manager, he didn’t even have his own personal e-mail address!
11. Same day – I replied to CS Executive stating that he had not dealt with my complaint about the Store manager. I assured him that we would be taking matters further.

Tesco have tried to justify the long delay overall (now 59 days) by stating that the Store manager was absent for some time. It took from 17 Jan to 14 Feb before the Store Manager contacted me. That is totally unacceptable. If he was absent that length of time, Tesco should have organized someone more senior to investigate our complaint i.e. area manager

I will shortly be sending a further e-mail to Sir Terry Leahy and asking for a personal response, preferably by telephone. I won’t hold my breath. I will also be spreading the word about our experiences both nationally on another popular consumer forum (which I am told has over a million hits a day) and locally by e-mail and word of mouth. I have lived in Carrickfergus for 43 years and I know a lot of people. Bad news travels fast, especially with my foot on the accelerator!!

People reading this site may wonder why I am pursuing this but ask yourself if the person you loved was insulted and upset very much, what would you do? Also if we all let Tesco get away with appalling Customer Service, they will never change

Carrickfergus, County Antrim

Tesco's Deceptive Fruit and Veg Pledge...

Mark Mcgivern of The Daily Record reports that for Tesco, EVERY LITTLE CHEAT HELPS: SUPERMARKET giants Tesco have been accused of a half price fiddle. Trading Standards officers found they put big hikes on the price of fruit - then slashed them by 50 per cent days later.

Tesco, who take in £1 in every £8 spent in British shops, use TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh to advertise their "Fruit & Veg Pledge". They promised to halve the price of five types of fruit and veg every week of this year.

But research showed that four of the products featured in the first week of the promotion in January suddenly rose in price at the end of December. For example, Gala apples cost £1.19 a kilo on December 11.

They went up to £1.99 on December 18, but were reduced to 99p on January 1 for the promotion. A 500g punnet of peaches cost £1.99 on December 11, before reaching £2.99 on December 28. On New Year's Day, the price was reduced by half to £1.48. Nectarines and plums followed a similar pattern.

Mart in Fisher, of the Trading Standards Institute, said the supermarket were "grossly exploiting" loopholes that allow them to cut prices on goods which quickly go rotten.

The Department Of Trade and Industry states that shops can only advertise a discount on a product if it has been priced at a higher rate for the past 28 days.

But with fruit and veg, the discount has to relate only to the last advertised price.

Researchers also found other evidence of unusual pricing.

A pack of three courgettes were halved to 99p - at the same time the price of loose courgettes rose by 35p a kilo. Celery hearts halved in price, but celery sticks simultaneously rose by 51 per cent.

A Tesco spokesman blamed seasonal fluctuations. He added: "Any suggestion we ramp up prices in order to cut them again is the purest nonsense."

Labour MP Jim Dowd, of the all-party small shops group, said: "It amounts to the deception of customers."

Tesco.com Vans Attacked in SE London

A series of attacks on Tesco delivery vans has prompted the supermarket firm to ban its vehicles from the SE1 2 postcode sector after 6pm as reported on London-SE1.

A Tesco.com delivery van
A Tesco.com delivery van
"Unfortunately we have had to suspend delivery to this area in the evening following several incidents involving our dot com vans. The last slot available for delivery is 4-6pm," says a Tesco spokesman.

"We have not taken this decision lightly and hate to disappoint our customers. However we are sure that they will appreciate that the safety of our drivers must come first."

The SE1 2 postcode sector includes most of Tooley Street, the western end of Jamaica Road, the Dickens Estate as well as Butler's Wharf and Shad Thames.

The ban applies to all addresses with postcodes beginning SE1 2.

Tesco's Buzz Collapses!

Tesco's brand image has collapsed due to it's bad handling of the filthy fuel forecourt fiasco (well done Jon Church - now we see Trevor Datsun representing Tesco instead of course!!). According to mad.co.uk the silicon contamination at the forecourt pumps has seen thousands of cars damaged in South East England, arguably Tesco’s heartland. The supermarket has had to empty its unleaded tanks at 150 forecourts and to compound motorists’ fury the price of petrol has to rise to compensate for a shortage. Tesco has seen its “Buzz”, as measured by YouGov’s BrandIndex tool, fall dramatically since the beginning of the contamination crisis.The Buzz measures whether people have heard positive or negative things about the brand and Tesco has seen a robust rating throughout the year. It registered -3 in March last year but soon rose and in October was hitting 19.

While incidents began to surface over a week ago, it was not until last Wednesday (28 February) that it looked like there was a widespread problem. The impact of the first rumours can be seen in late February with Buzz dropping into minus figures on 20 February. It bumped along at -4 until 23 February then rallied until the confirmation of problems last Thursday (1 March) when it dropped sharply and by last Friday (2 March) the supermarket’s Buzz stood at -9.

Over the same period Tesco also had to deal with a clearance of contaminated humous from its shelves and issue a warning. The supermarket’s Recommend rating is also at its lowest recorded point this year, standing at 31. Last year it reached as high as 44.

The Red Brick Road advertising agency picked up the Tesco account last year. While marketing is only one factor among many influencing perceptions of Tesco, one would hope that the agency’s work helped with the strong Buzz throughout the year. It’s likely the agency is being consulted even now on how to help placate and reassure Tesco’s motoring customers.

Setting the petrol problem aside, Tesco’s Buzz has been falling steadily since the start of the year, and the reasons will be manifold. Among issues having an impact could be the avian flu poultry scare caused by Bernard Matthews and the noise surrounding rival Asda, which has been flexing its muscles with announcements about new openings and initiatives.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tesco's Finest is just not good enough!

Whilst the customer service email contact address for internet purchases is displayed through my search engine (Google) the customer service contact for supermarket purchases is not. My search led me to a web page of complaints from concerned customers titled "Tesco-Complaint". That website provided the correct information on how to contact your Company.

The reason for contacting you was to express our concern about the new Finest Scandanavian Blackcurrant Conserve. We had used up our small stock of Finest Blackcurrant Conserve which was a superb product with residues of tangy blackcurrants in it - just like a home made product!!

We expected the new Finest Blackcurrant Conserve to be similar but alas it is a totally macerated pulp without the tang of blackcurrant and doesn't deserve the label "Finest"

We no longer have the receipts but would seek your authority for a refund on the used jar and for the three additional jars we purchased as stock - the cap coding are October 2008 with serial numbers 6300 13:06 and bar code 5 000436 288473

A previous complaint we made about Finest Slow cooked Lamb Shanks was ignored. Originally that product had a distinct taste of herbs and the vegetables were reasonably firm. The last batch we purchased had soggy vegetables in a gluey gravy similar to that made up from gravy granules.

We are disappointed that the standards of Finest products seems to be deteriorating.

Vic Sullivan

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tesco's Dirty Fuel Keeps on Damaging Cars!

I filled my '98 2.3 ZETEC Galaxy up to the brim with £55.31 of TESCO's finest regular unleaded at 10.51 on the morning of the 15th February. (I have the receipts AND my bank statement, so there's no getting away from it!).

Just about halfway through the tank, I noticed that I was getting a little hesitation on the motorway and the drive was lumpy during town driving. As the tank got lower and lower, the problem became increasingly worse. I also noticed that flooring the throttle would eliminate the problem, but we can't drive at full throttle all the time can we?

At the beginning of this week (26/02/2007), I called my mechanic and explained what the symptoms were. I suggested it might be a fuel starvation issue (blockage/fuel pump) because of the hesitation but he suggested that it might be a sticky inlet butterfly valve or a gummed up sensor. He told me to put some injector cleaner in the tank and try it for a couple of days to see what happened. If it didn't improve, he would come over with his diagnostic kit. I did as he suggested but the problem became progressively worse as the fuel level dropped.

As the news broke in the media yesterday, I paid carefully atttention the symptoms; "misfiring and juddering", "losing power". 'This sounds familiar...' I thought. I spoke again to my mechanic who suggested the best thing to do would be to completely fill the tank up with 'good brand' fuel to dilute the residue.

I did this and immediately took the car for a 40 mile motorway blast to clear out the 1 to 2 litres of pure TESCO filth that I knew would remain in the delivery system (pipes, filter, fuel pump, injector pressure manifold, etc). The engine was better behaved, but still was a bit lumpy. This morning I drove to work and the difference was marked; only a slight hesitation when cold and virtually no power drops on the motorway. I reported to my mechanic and he told me that I might have got away with it. I called up Ford and got them to put aside a Lambda sensor for me 'just in case'. I decided the drive home would be the acid test; it was much better still! Slight hesitation at first pull away, no power dip on the motorway. So it seems I may be lucky. I called Ford and cancelled the hold on the sensor, just in case some other poor unfortunate needs it. Hopefully the repeated heating/cooling cycles of the sensor will help to clean it up further still, if the Lambda sensor requires changing in the next 1000 miles, I know who to blame!

As for registering a complaint, I called my local Trading Standards Office and they told me they had been instructed to refer everyone to Consumer Direct (www.consumerdirect.gov.uk - 08454 040506). I called them and was held on hold for 20 minutes as they are swamped with complaints. They took all my details and where and when I bought the petrol. They will then pass my complaint on to the local Trading Standards Office who will then contact me.

I just hope that my full tank of Shell will clean everything up nicely. What I find most disgusting though, is TESCOs/Greenergy's total refusal to take responsibility for this mess. Clearly this is not a coincidence. Clearly, not everyone suddenly decides 'You know what, I think I might put my car in for a service/Lambda replacement for a couple of days, use public transport instead and pay a bill of between £150 to £1000 and HOPE that I get compensation from TESCO.' That would be ridiculous, but apparently TESCOs/Greenergy seem to believe that they are the victims of some kind of conspiracy!

The official line coming from TESCOs/Greenergy is that their fuel conforms with BS EN 228 (the standard for Ultra Low Sulphur Unleaded Petrol). That may be the true. However I have read BS EN 228 (and you can too: LINK )and the standard makes no mention of an upper or lower limit for either Ethanol or Silicon, the two suspected contaminents of your fuel.

Message to TESCO/Greenergy:

Wake up and smell the coffee Tesco (especially you Jon Church!)
YOU sold us the dirty fuel.
YOU damaged our vehicles.
It is YOU we hold responsible.
The longer YOU hold out on telling us the truth, the harder will be your PR exercise.
I would suggest YOUR reputation as a fuel retailer is already damaged beyond repair.
It's a bitter pill, but it's time to swallow it.
Admit liability, take the rap, 'fess up homies.
If not, I will obtain approximately 60 litres (1 sack) of my local bovine fecal detritus and deposit it in the filling station where you sold me the same volume of your filth.
One good turn deserves another, I always say.

Yours, Mark Garner

Tesco-Complaint: Thank you Mark and Deborah for an informative and well written complaint and also for exposing Tesco's devious spin on this issue - instilling false confidence by quoting British Standards when they are patently irrelevant as they do not deal with the suspected contaminants.

Tesco's Dirty Fuel - Latest + More Complaints!

The latest news via the AA is that Tesco's 'Faulty Fuel' as the BBC is labelling it contains contamination by way of high levels of silicon. It is understood that the element - which should not be in petrol - has been detected in the fuel tanks of some of the affected vehicles. This may explain why they have been juddering and misfiring. Given the spread of petrol stations affected by the contaminated fuel, silicon would have to have entered the petrol at some point in the supply chain. Motorists were today told to consider replacing the petrol in their tanks, even if they are unaffected by the contaminated fuel scare. Ray Holloway, the director of the Peter Retailers’ Association, said drivers should think about getting fresh fuel even if their vehicle is not suffering any problems. Will you be refuelling at Tesco?! While you think about that read below for 4 more email complaints all received overnight:

(1) "What a way of discouraging customers like myself to never use their services again. Every little helps, I'm sure it does especially with my car. I knew something was wrong as soon as I drove away after re-fueling as it was more difficult to get into gear and build up speed, to my horror the amber emission light came on and there goes my chances of getting to work in the normal fashion. What must we do to get Tesco to listen. Regards, Mr Luong"

(2) "I wrote to Tesco in Sept last year to complain after I put £15 worth of Tesco Diesel in my VW Turbo Polo car at the Tesco Extra in Bolton and as soon as I got on the motorway no power in my car at all. Even with my foot completely down on the accelerator no power. I had to drive the next 50 miles home on the M6 which is a busy motorway in 3rd gear in the slow lane with Wagon's pulling out and going faster then me. I have since had my car at two garages and spent in the region of £1000 over the last 12 months and still can't take my car on the motorway. The reply I got from Tesco when I complained is that there is nothing wrong with their diesel and that was it. One of the garages I use actually told me the problem was caused by the Tesco diesel. I will never ever go near a Tesco garage again and the ironic thing is it was the first time I had ever used anything except BP Diesel in my car. Having now read all the other complaints about Tesco Diesel I am angry and want to try and persue again for some form of compensation for the stress and upset and the repair bills I've had to pay out. Any ideas from anyone what I could do??"

(3) "I fuelled at Tesco on Sunday after driving for 3o mins my car started to go slow. Then I heard a loud bang as if my main exhaust box blew up and this made my cat go. Tesco did not want to know. Don't use Tesco."

(4) "After filling up at the tesco extra store with petrol, I started to experience problems with car. I took it into mercedes benz, who confirmed that the petrol tank was contaminated with dirty fuel. I have had to have the petrol tank emptied and new oxygen filters fitted at a cost of £ 500.00 I have also been without my car for over a week and as a full time working single parent this leaves me almost stranded..are tescos going to foot my bill?? Tina Duffy"

Whilst this website is solely concerned with Tesco, in the interests of accuracy and fairness, some of Morrison's fuel is also affected. Please see comments section for some basic legal advice from Consumer Direct.