Saturday, December 19, 2009

The twelve days of Tesco (are not happy)

This blog has been swamped with complaints from many disgruntled customers over the 2009 festive period. While Tesco boast of increased profits through internet sales of toys, one family has been left waiting in twelve hours per day for twelve days and still hasn’t received Christmas presents for their cute little toddler, Andrew, aged 3, and his older brother Peter aged 8. The “12 days of Christmas” are famous as a time for receiving gifts. The “12 days of Tesco” is a sorry tale of 12 days of empty promises and bungling couriers. Tesco’s first attempt was to send Andrew a Snow White costume!

On the first day of Tesco, Friday 4th December, Dorothy ordered a toy aeroplane, 4 police toys plus a Power Ranger suit for Andrew. She was told that she would need to be at home on the Monday from 7am until 7pm. 12 hours is a long time to wait, but Dorothy considered it worthwhile for the tremendous value that was on offer. Dorothy admits her house in south-west London isn’t easy to find, but gave clear directions for the delivery with the instruction for the driver to phone if needing help in finding the property. She repeated these instructions time and again in endless phone calls over the next 10 days, but no driver ever phoned to ask for help.

Hoping for delivery

On the second day of Tesco, the 12 hours ticked by slowly, but at 6.15pm Tesco were still confidently promising delivery within 45 minutes. Nothing arrived.

On the third day of Tesco, Tesco said that they had tried to deliver but needed more information (which had already been given) to find the house. Dorothy was promised a £10 discount. Ten days later, this had still not been credited to her account.Tesco couldn’t tell what had happened to the toys as their computer scanning system had failed as it couldn’t cope with the high volume of orders. At this stage Dorothy was put in touch with Eddie who was extremely helpful if trying to progress the order and gave Dorothy his direct number. Dorothy rang Eddie many times but realised eventually that she was running up a massive phone bill as, to contact Eddie, she had to ring a national-rate number at peak hours.

For the fourth day of Tesco, Dorothy was promised a 2 hour delivery slot and then later told that the couriers couldn’t offer a 2 hour slot to her address. She would have to wait in for 12 hours again. Still, it would be worth it to get those bargain toys.The hours passed and a delivery arrived. Dorothy’s blind neighbour was looking after the house at this stage. Of course, she couldn’t check the order. So when Dorothy returned, she found that there were no toys. There was no Power Ranger suit. Instead, Tesco had sent little Andrew a Snow White costume! Whilst not believing in gender-stereotyping, Dorothy didn’t think that this was what Andrew would want from Santa and thinks that his older brother Peter may make fun of him.

Goods lost

On the fifth day of Tesco, Tesco admitted that they had now lost the goods. They tried to get Dorothy to cancel the order. However, as the bargain prices were no longer available, Dorothy insisted on continuing with the order.

On the sixth day of Tesco, Tesco found the goods and promised to deliver. Nothing happened. The weekend came and went. Still no toys.

On the seventh day of Tesco, Tesco claimed to have tried to deliver on the Saturday evening, This time, they hadn’t asked the family to be at home, but they were in the house. No driver came to the door or phoned to ask for directions.

Sunday came and went – the eighth day of Tesco.

On the ninth day of Tesco, Dorothy tried a different approach. Instead of phoning, she e-mailed Tesco. This led to a flurry of phone calls with Tesco definitely promising immediate delivery. Dorothy was contacted by a Warehouse Supervisor called Angela. She had the Power Ranger suit and would put on a van. What about the toys? Angela seemed unaware of these, but eventually found them. She reassured Dorothy that everything was together in two packages. She’d personally put them on the van and given the driver instructions to phone to check where Dorothy lived.

Empty van

The hours passed and eventually the doorbell rang at tea-time. Everyone rushed to the door in excitement. Tesco had delivered. Of course they hadn’t. A delivery driver had indeed turned up at the door – without any toys. She had come to collect the Snow White costume!

Dorothy asked if the warehouse supervisor, Angela, had spoken to her, but the driver insisted that there was no one called Angela at the warehouse. Dorothy refused to hand the Snow White costume over before phoning Tesco to see what was happening. The delivery driver refused to wait.

Dorothy yet again phoned Tesco and was told that a second van was on its way. At 7.15pm, Tesco phoned saying that delivery was continuing until 9pm and the goods would definitely arrive by then. Of course, they didn’t.


On the tenth day of Tesco, Dorothy’s husband David contacted Tesco’s Chief Executive, Sir Terry Leahy, demanding delivery at 7am the following morning. That day, a delivery driver came with a package. Once again, Tesco hadn’t asked the family to be at home at this time, but the family were at home.

The Power Ranger suit had finally arrived, but the driver still didn’t have the bulk of the order, £60 worth of toys. The driver also refused to take away the Snow White costume.

In the evening, Tesco phoned to say that they couldn’t meet the 7am deadline. In the Christmas spirit of generosity, Dorothy’s husband, David, agreed to give Tesco a further 24 hours to deliver.

On the eleventh day of Tesco, David again contacted Sir Terry demanding the delivery of the toys, an apology and compensation for the wasted hours, massive phone bills, stress and sleepless nights. There was an acknowledgement, but no toys, apology or compensation.

On the morning of the twelfth day of Tesco, David and Dorothy were hopeful that Sir Terry would respond to their ultimatum. It was now only one week to Christmas and Tesco had already wasted the previous fortnight of their time, not to mention the intense stress that they have suffered. Sir Terry’s company did precisely nothing. Andrew and Peter are really excited about Santa coming, but may be surprised that Tesco’s Santa thought that Andrew should have a Snow White costume and that, with one week to Christmas, neither have any toys from Tesco and very little hope of Tesco bothering to do anything about it other than possibly giving more than empty promises.

Dave Innes


Monday, October 05, 2009

Tesco direct: Double stress points with your sofa

On 26/09/09 I ordered a sofa from Tesco direct for £398 on a buy one get one free basis. Tesco confirmed my order and I was told of a delivery date for the 30/09/09.

The delivery turned up on time, and this is where the nightmare begins. The sofas ordered were advertised as self assembly, as one was for a narrowboat this was ideal, as I was getting one free, I decided to donate it to a nursing home where my wife works. So, on the day of delivery, I dismantled the furniture from the narrowboat that we live on, and disposed of it. When the delivery arrived there were 2 sofas, one in brown NOT self assembly, so would not fit into our boat, the other was a three seater in cream!

I complained via phone to Tesco direct and they are giving me a refund. Not being a happy bunny, I went to my local Tesco store, which had re opened following refurbishment 2 weeks ago. They did not wish to know and said that they were not part of tesco direct, to which I pointed out that they were the same company, and it was in the Lichfield store that the catologue had been handed to me - still no joy, but I was told to drive to a direct store 15 miles away!

To say i am disgusted with their service is an understatement. I have informed them that I will never buy another item from them or their related company in my lifetime, I also informed them that I have every sympathy with the fellow that drove his Rolls Royce through one of their stores in sheer frustration.

I send this email, sitting on a deck chair in my boat. My wife is in tears, and I am fuming with anger.
What can be done to stop this company from treating customers in such a shoddy fashion? - I wish I owned a Rolls Royce because I know exactly what I would like to do right now!

Martin Lewis

Do you need a carrier bag? Er.. yes.

Dear Mr Leahy,

I write to you today as I'm rather concerned that after writing letters to your complaints address in Enfield I never seem to receive a reply? After a short search on the web I find this is not only common practice for Tesco, its actually rife!

I'm left with no option but to contact you directly, and also have started a blog on the web about it, with copies of all letters and e-mails due to be posted there!

The letters of complaint went as follows:

First letter, was asking, quite politely why the Tesco store in Broughton refuses to stock carrier bags? Sever├íl times we've visited the store the do our shopping however there never seems to be any carrier bags. You're often confronted with a deadpan question of "do you want any bags" - well considering I've just spent £250 in your store of course I want carrier bags. If this had happened once, it wouldn't have riled me, however it happens time and time again! My response now is just to leave the shopping there and walk out of the store. I have asked staff time and time again why there aren't any carrier bags available, the response I've had on more than one occasion is: "The Welsh Assembly have made it illegal to give out new carrier bags" or "The Welsh assembly only let us give out so many bags per year" or "its more environmentally friendly" - The Welsh Assembly haven't yet put any restrictions on the provision of carrier bags, I practice as a solicitor in Wales and the last I knew the plan was still in consultation stage... Furthermore, you cannot argue on the basis of it being more environmentally friendly, if this were your real concern you'd be issuing sustainable, recylable paper bags, the same type they've been issuing in America for many years now!

The fact that your staff are willing to lie to a loyal customer is one thing, the fact that they feel you've got no right to ask for a carrier bag is one thing. After buying a basket full of shopping after work one evening, which totalled £46.51, and asking if I could have a carrier bag, the member of staff said "I haven't got any" after asking if she could ask for some more, or get some more she said "There's nothing I can do about it, I haven't got any" - so my response was to walk out of the store without the shopping and without having paid for it, hearing her grumble something under hear breath, which I shall not repeat!

Further to this, as stated before, your staff in the customer care address on your website simply do not reply to letters your customers have taken time to write and spent money to post, and same as I've said there are acres of coverage on the net, which makes this out to be quite common place!

Unless I receive a response, in a timely manner, I will stop shopping in Tesco stores. I've looked through my credit card statement from last year, and in total I spent: £12,272 in your stores. In a climate where your competitors are seeing their customer base increase whilst yours doesn't seem to be doing anything (hence giving away double club card points etc) it is of no surprise, perhaps their finding a better quality of service at places like: Sainsbury's; Waitrose; Morrison's and Asda.

I look forward to hearing from you, and this letter can be found on the internet.

Yours Sincerely,
Gareth Baines

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bumper Bargain? Bumper damage?

A few weeks ago a trolley collector at Tesco damaged my car with a line of trolleys, saw the damage (albeit minor) and continued on his way. I was in my car at the time; when I got out and called to him, he immediately replied that he'd "never touched it" (how did he know what I wanted then?) and then was very aggressive, shouting at me that it was my fault and coming to the conclusion that I had rolled into his line of trolleys (rolled sideways? after he had first denied any collision).

Luckily another witness had seen him check the side of my car for damage so I had back up. However when he went to get the manager who I assumed would be apologetic, he was just as rude, and refused to acknowledge that any damage had been caused.

Once we brought a trolley over to my car and demonstrated that the scratch had in fact been caused by the trolleys, he still did not apologise on behalf of the other employee, or Tesco, nor did his attitude towards me change. Throughout the conversation he was incredibly rude, and acted as if I had done something. I could go on! I then complained to Tesco about the attitude of these two men, not the damage to the vehicle itself (my car is old, and had the first man apologised, or acknowledged fault I would happily have accepted the 'bumper restore' I was finally offered after half an hour of questioning).

Their only response is that the manager did not record the incident, or has lost the incident form, so it is not in their database, so they cannot 'take my complaint further'. It is no surprise that the manager has 'lost' the vehicle incident form, given his attitude on the day, but I don't see why they need that form to uphold a complaint about the behaviour of 2 of the staff. What they have told me to do, with again no apology for losing the incident form, is go back and make another complaint in store. After the aggressive and hostile attitude of the two men in question, do they really think I am going to go back, and complain to their faces???

eleanor watson

Friday, July 17, 2009

Food waste piling up at stores?

I am writing to you to express my utter disgust at a food wastage policy that I discovered when shopping in a Tesco Express store in Ocean Village, Southampton.

I entered the store in the evening time and proceeded to go to the bakery section. Whilst there was a sizeable quantity of pastries etc left on the shelf, one of the members of staff was loading them into an already full dustbin size bag of pastries and I was informed that they were being thrown away. Whilst I was told that I could still buy the ones on the shelf at the full price (just before they'd been put in the bag), I was told that neither I nor the members of staff could take them for free and thus preventing the shocking food wastage that was occurring.

This slightly baffled me as I was told that even though the food was to be thrown away, the staff had been told explicitly by the store manager that any attempt to take the food home that was to be thrown away would be considered as theft and would result in the loss of their job. Adding to this puzzling and ridiculous practice was the fact that I was told that such food wastage was common in that store, to the extent that sometimes, due to space issues or delivery sizes, the food would be transferred directly from the delivery van to the rubbish bin without even seeing the shelf. Perfectly edible food. That has been transported in expensive, fuel-thirsty lorries halfway across the country.

In these times where fuel-economy and food shortages are key issues that need to be taken seriously by large corporations as they finally take up some vestige of global responsibility this (admittedly minor on the grand scale of things) practice, to me, revealed a worrying disregard for such matters and a deeply perturbing hypocrisy.

In Southampton alone, there are plenty of organisations and groups that would be more than happy to distribute (in an environment of quality control and food standards observance) the left over (or unused) food to the many disadvantaged people that populate the city.

Therefore I request that you heed this complaint and address this issue by re-examining such scandalous wastage policies and exploring the alternatives to throwing the food away.

Yours Sincerely,

Tom Price - Customer, Tesco Express Ocean Village Southampton

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bagging a load of nonsense

As I am fully aware of the impending doom that humanity faces by using carrier bags to transport purchased goods from your stores, I am getting rather tired of fighting for a carrier bag every lunch time when I purchase at least 10 items or more for my department’s lunch. Most companies, as mine does, requires a ‘clean desk’ policy, which unfortunately includes stockpiling carrier bags like a tramp. So I am, unfortunately, required to obtain a plastic death bag from you on a regular basis (although, we do only use 1 bag for 3 peoples lunch!)

As much as I enjoy a daily lecture about global warming from someone as qualified as a checkout girl, I don’t particularly enjoy being told that that you ‘don’t have any bags’ when I can clearly see them in view. And I also don’t appreciate being looked at like I’m using said carrier bag for drowning puppies in when I DO insist on one. I personally do not own a pair of clown pants with giant pockets capable of holding 10+ items in them and simply carrying them in my arms isn’t an option as I was only blessed with two of them.

Might I suggest a series of training exercises for your staff in the skilled art of ‘the customer is always right’ or possibly screen your staff for fundamental environmentalists before hiring them? Or possibly offer me an alternative, environmentally sound paper bag? As now, after a year of constant battles I will go elsewhere for my lunch where checkout staff understand their jobs and simply serve me.

Yours sincerely ,

Jon Keddie

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Standards flushed down the pan at this store

On Tuesday 12th May I stopped off on my way to work in your Colney Hatch Lane store. It was around quarter to seven in the morning and I just wanted to grab some lunch for the day. As I have a 50 mile journey I thought I would quickly use the customer toilets.... I'm sorry to say I didn't!!

I went into the toilets and I have to say I was very shocked and disappointed with what I was confronted with. The three cubicles and hand washing area were all absolutely filthy to the point they couldn't be used. There was rubbish and toilet roll all over the place but worst of all there was excrement and blood all over the walls and toilet seats. I know the toilets cant be checked every minute of every day but to make matters worse, as I was going in through the female toilet door I passed a member of staff coming out..... (and she wasn't a cleaner!!)

As there were only two checkouts I waited at one and was going to mention it to a member of staff but then a third till was opened... By the time I had listened to the two cashiers shouting and arguing with each other across the four tills between distance them I was running late so I had to leave. They were arguing about the new till opener being too lazy to go to the warehouse to get their own carrier bags and leaving the first till with none. They were shouting to each other to shut up and stop moaning etc etc much to the embarrassment of all the customers.

Up to this point I have never had any reason to even think about complaining about any aspect of Tesco but I was truly shocked by this store..... it also made me think..... if the stores senior management are happy for the customer areas to be like this what must the staff only and food storage areas be like?

Cassandra Paton, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

Blood on your shelf, you big disgrace

View complaint letter and photographs sent to Tesco CEO by Ravi here:

Received a very nice letter of apology on behalf of Terry Leahy.

Six weeks on following the letter, the store, Wood Green Express is still a tip, blood on the shelf, rubbish on the floor.

Ravi Vadgama.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tesco staff give me a headache

Dear Tesco,

I have just been to your new South Road store in Dundee to do my usual weekly shop. As a sufferer of chronic headaches and recently diagnosed IBS I decided to get medication for both of these illnesses at Tesco as the local pharmacy does not open until later in the morning.

I tried to purchase paracetamol and ibuprofen for my headaches and buscopan for my IBS.
At the checkout (where three members of staff were huddled around chatting about Disney holidays) I put my messages through. WHen it came to the medication I ( and the other members of staff that were stilll chatting about holidays) were told that I couldn't purchase more than two types of painkillers.
Confused - I told the girl that there WERE only two types of 'painkillers' - paracetamol and ibuprofen. She said that the buscopan was a painkiller also. Confused, I said it was a muscle relaxant or antispasmodic.

SHe said she would have to ask her supervisor. So the box of Buscopan IBS (oh - it's clearly marked on the box) was shown to the supervisor and the members of staff who had stopped speaking about holidays. She said it was a painkiller. I said it wasn't - she should check the British National Formulary if she wasn't sure.
In the end my IBS meds were put through as a separate transaction - the mind boggles - and I suffered a lot of needless embarassment.
I am a longstanding and good customer of Tesco but this makes me want to shop somewhere else. Shouldn't your staff be taught to deal with these things a lot more sensitively? Why the hell were they allowed to hand about at the tills for so long chatting about personal things? Is there not a canteen for that kind of thing?
Thanks Tesco for making the start of my weekend so crap.
Kind regards,
Joanna Forbes
Clinical Research Nurse

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Diet to disaster - Healthy tesco profits

I cannot believe how money grabbing an organisation like Tesco is. I joined their online diet service last Thursday and within an hour of looking at it had realised it didn’t offer the facilities I wanted from it. As they don’t offer a trial period like other sites you have no choice really but to pay the £30 and see what it’s like (rubbish). I immediately called customer service to make them aware of my error and to cancel the service, however they will only cancel the service from the end of the period paid up to. So I have paid a 10 week membership for something I have used for an hour.

After complaining hard, I was told that just one woman can help me – Debbie Mallerman. I emailed her to complain and it has taken exactly a week (and 4 emails) to get any response from her – which looks to be a standard response just refusing to refund.

How can they justify charging someone for a 10 week service when they cancel within an hour of signing up? It is not a lot of money but out of pure principal I am seething and have pledged to boycott Tesco completely – they will lose more than the £30 from me that’s for sure.

I know what you’re saying – its £30! But it is the principal. Tesco probably have a few thousand off me over the year and I feel that a little flexibility is appropriate in order to maintain happy customers. I run a business and would not dream of ostracising a customer in this way. If this is the way Tesco want to work then they will lose me, and I will become a permanent fixture in Sainsburys. The old saying look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves translates well to customers too. I may be just one tiny speck in the Tesco spectrum, but if they upset enough of us, they’ll start to feel the pinch!

Malina Bergeman

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tesco chickens, PR bunch and the credit crunch

Chickens, Hugh and Tesco Poo: The awfully arrogant Tesco spinner
View here:

You may have seen the second documentary earlier this week by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on Channel Four, highlighting some of the horrifying conditions that cheaper Chickens endure before being slaughtered.

The disgusting PR arrogance from Tesco HQ at Cheshunt was enough to make customers fume at their TV sets. It's labelling is 100% accurate and all its chickens live in harmony... right?

TC has been inundated with comments about the contents of the programme. We'd like to hear more of your views - so why not post your complaints in response to the programme on this post.

Will you be buying Tesco chickens again? Or are you now buying 'free to roam' only? What do you think of Tesco's response?

Here's a selection of complaints received by TC on 31st January 2009:

Dear Sir/Madam,

As a loyal Tesco customer I was extremely dismayed to watch Channel 4's Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's documentary on your treatment of chickens. Not only was I horrified by Tesco's interpretation of the RSCPA standards, and of how far short you fell of actually adhereing to these basic guidelines; but I was angered by the treatment shown to anyone who dares to challenge your practices. I consider this treatment corporate bullying at its most powerful.This behaviour is something that has been highlighted to customers in recent times through several mediums and something which I feel strongly against. Your PR response for this show was arrogant and typical of what one has come to expect from a powerful chain like Tesco's.
As a result of your treatment of us mere mortal customers and small shareholders I have decided that I shall never shop in your store again, choosing stores that treat people with respect and social conscience instead, and I look forward to sharing my views with many others.

Yours Sincerely,
Aoife Kelleher

Gareth said...

Re : Intensive Standard Chickens

Complete corporate arrogance - well just watch Tescos.... people power will win the day and ultimately MAKE you take action because the only thing you understand is ££££££.

Im taking my £5000 p.a shopping business elsewhere and never stepping foot in a Tescos ever again.

Bye Bye.

And another complaint, also received today. Alison sent a duplicate to Sir Terry Leahy:

To Whom it may concern,
Firstly, can I ask why it is so incredibly difficult to find an e-mail address so I can write to you...There is not 1 general contact e-mail on you website.

The reason I am writing is to register my utter disgust at tescos after watching the Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's channel 4 programme about your lack of policy and disgraceful underhand tactics with regards chickens. I must spend at least £300-£400 each month at your various stores, so I am not just a do-good hippy jumping on a band-wagon. Your company makes billions of pounds profit every year, yet you seem to be happy to put basic morals and basic animal welfare below the need to make still more money.

I doubt your'e overly interested in my complaint or my concerns so I will keep it brief.....unless you change your policy and begin to act responsibly, I will no longer shop at your stores. I have written my club card details below so you can confirm this.
With this regard, even in the current economic climate, you have shamefully underestimated public opinion.

Alison Holden


Dear Sir/Madam

Re: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tesco Chicken program

After watching the highly publicised ‘Chickens, Hugh & Tesco Too’ aired on Channel 4 on the 26 January I feel compelled to write to express my disappointment and anger at the way Tesco management have dealt with the matters raised by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

It was pleasing to see Supermarket chains such as the Co-op and Sainsbury’s respond to Hugh’s request in a timely manner as well as promote their association with the Freedom Food scheme, in which the Co-operative group was the first major retailer to support this initiative and Sainsbury’s launching the freedom food endorsed chicken range.

The programme highlighted how a shareholder of an organisation can have a say in the running of the business in which they own a portion (however small) of a company. It also highlighted the attempts that Tesco took to thwart and obstruct a shareholder in exercising their shareholding rights. As the program highlighted it seemed that Tesco ‘changed the goal posts’ to prevent a resolution being put forward at the Tesco AGM. Chicken package labelling was also highlighted and how the wording used is meaningless and fails to state explicitly how the birds are actually farmed. When queried by Hugh about having accurate labelling stating whether a chicken was reared indoors or outdoors the Tesco representative (the one who appeared on camera) stated ‘We don’t need to patronise our customers like that’. The comment caused quite an outburst at our household and clearly demonstrated a clear lack of understanding on behalf of the company. The comments and attitude displayed by the Tesco representative did not help the cause and proved to strengthen in the viewers mind that the company’s position and attitude on this issue is clearly opposing the increased consumer awareness and understanding of moral and ethical standards of chicken farming. I applaud the Coop in taking steps to introduce their new chicken labelling which is explicit in identifying the environment a chicken is raised. I also am happy to see Sainsbury’s educating the consumer and promoting the ‘Freedom Food’ range and donating a portion of sale price to the Woodland trust. Further from the 5th of February Salisbury’s have stated in their brochure (see attached) that they will stop selling eggs from caged hens. It would appear that Sainsbury’s are promoting and advancing their freedom food range and strict standards of welfare. On the other hand it would seem, certainly based on the recent television program, that Tesco management have chosen to adopt a different direction.

The program highlighted a range of areas that Tesco management rated poorly in – they are least willing to cooperate with responding to request for interviews for products consumers buy, thwart attempts and change rules for shareholders to put forward resolutions, and, it would appear, do not fully appreciate the gravity that such a program and surrounding publicity can generate and influence a company’s public perception and good will. I do not hold shares in any food producers or companies or associated with any animal welfare organisations. I am a concerned consumer who believes in high standards of welfare for livestock that produces the food we buy. I do believe that Tesco can change the public perception and travel along the path of increasing the welfare of its chickens (through its farmers and suppliers) and chicken labelling as its competitors have or are in the process of doing.

I look forward to hearing from Tesco.

Yours sincerely



Does the Credit Crunch affect whether you buy an intensive farmed Chicken or Tesco Finest? Post your response to this blog post for the public. Or even perhaps you've opted for Asda or Morrisons....? Tesco recently announced a loss of revenue due to the launch of their 'discounter' brand...