There’s nothing like a cock up from Tesco to get me blogging again…
Yesterday, our delivery driver kindly dropped off our weekly shop. Along with all our crisps, cake and coke (the 3 essential C’s, and your five a day), we had some oranges. These oranges came with a free gift. Mould. I’m not one for consuming mould, even though I’ve been reliably informed that by regular eaters of the stuff enjoy it – apparently the mould will grow on you (apologies for that terrible attempt of a joke).
A mouldy orange really did make me wonder if as much thought goes into picking our groceries, as Tesco claim.
Anyway, all’s well that ends well. After slating them on Twitter – the essential complaint tool for any modern day Victor Meldrew – I received a refund. In the old days, I would have demanded compensation, for coming into contact with toxic food, but I’ve mellowed in the last year and gone past caring.
It has been a while since I last blogged about any Tesco atrocities. It hasn’t been lack of mess ups on their part which has seen be stop. I am just fed up of the entire thing. Fed up of the endless complaints over the phone, through email and Twitter. I wrote a formal complaint last month, following the delivery driver going AWOL with all our frozen shopping. I received a grovelling apology and voucher. The gesture was appreciated, and in my opinion, deserved. However, the problems continued.
Apparently our local store, in Brislington, have an employee specially in place to oversee shops of VIP customers, to ensure everything is correct and in a fit state to be sent out to their homes. Due to the our complaints, I was told that we were one of these VIPs. Based on recent deliveries, either this new employee has left their post, they’re useless at their job or we are not a VIP anymore. Today’s latest piece of genius from Tesco was delivering an out of date quiche. I suppose it’s a good thing my wife, Claire, checked the date and we didn’t start eating it, or we could have become unwell. Who the fudge picks an out of date product off the shelves to give to a customer? The other mistake made me laugh. Claire, a vegetarian, ordered a VEGETARIAN ready meal. The VEGETARIAN meal was unavailable. It was substituted. Guess what for? A LAMB curry. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. What kind of people are Tesco employing? I know mistakes happen, but things are going wrong almost every week!
We recently tried Ocado, because there was an appealing voucher for new customers to receive money off their first shop. In the past, we had avoided Ocado, due to the belief that they would be too expensive, because of their association with Waitrose. I did not find the shop from Ocado to be overpriced. In fact, following the first shop from Ocado, we returned. We were gifted a selection of frozen food, worth £20, for free. The food we ordered was of a high quality, with the delivery driver coming across as warm, helpful and friendly.
After talking to an equally frustrated wife this morning, we have decided to avoid Tesco deliveries for now and continue with Ocado. We may even take a dabble with Asda and Morrisons. I told Tesco exactly what I thought of them, on Twitter. It didn’t bring back our quiche, but it made me feel better, knowing that a thousand-odd followers will see how rubbish Tesco are.
I realise that I haven’t blogged for a few days and have probably left you in suspense over Tescogate. I have forgotten where we left off. I told you I was sent out of date cheese. I was promised by Tesco, that a store manager would ring me to explain what has been going wrong. Despite not letting my mobile phone leave my sight all day, no telephone call was received. Great customer service! I contacted Tesco, who offered apologies in abundance (again). I was offered another telephone call, but at this point, I had reached the end of my patience and asked for a letter to be sent. Two days later, I found a letter on our doormat. It was from a Tesco ‘dotcom manager’. There was yet more apologies, although to their credit, a promise of what will be done in the future, to avoid repeat errors. Apparently, they have employed a ‘Customer Service and Loyalty Assistant’, who will personally check all our shopping. That is great if it works, and I am more than happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. Enclosed in the letter was a “gesture of goodwill”, in the form of a gift card. There was nothing to tell me how much had been placed onto the gift card, but when I tried to use it on the latest online shop, I was told the card was invalid. I will take the card with me next time I go to an actual Tesco shop, but at the moment, this gesture of goodwill is just an empty gift card. Wow. Thanks.
As anyone who is afraid of spiders will know, this is the time of year when they all come into our homes to mate with each other and kill us all. With this in mind, I am always on my guard while at home. One evening last week, we ate tomatoes for our evening meal. Not just tomatoes – that would be stupid – there was other stuff like cheese, bread… that’s not the point. Anyway, while tidying up after eating, I was taking the leftovers to the bin, when I looked down on my hand to see a large, black spider. I screamed like a big girl and threw all the rubbish on the floor. Claire came running out of the kitchen, before bursting into a fit of laughter, to an extent where she ended up with tears rolling down her face. My wife isn’t a cruel person, which makes the fact she was laughing at my distressing spider encounter strange. Claire was laughing at me, because it wasn’t a spider on my hand at all. It was, in fact, a tomato stork. In my defence, it was very dark green, large and had lots of spider-leg type bits sticking out of it. Plus most of the lights were turned off. It did look like a spider at the time! while Claire took time to compose herself; I picked up all the rubbish I had thrown onto the floor, in my fright; before putting it in the bin.
Tesco have messed up again. Let’s give them credit though, they went an entire three weeks without messing up. Today’s instance was a classic – delivering out of date food. We ordered two packets of mozzarella cheese, as have been planning a Mediterranean style meal this evening. When unpacking our shop, my wife discovered that not one, but two packets of the cheese were out of date by an entire four days. It’s a good thing we checked, as I wouldn’t want to risk eating a rich, soft cheese that far past it ‘use by’ date.
We did the usual routine – Claire rang Tesco, while I tweeted. They apologised profusely, which is pretty standard. As I’ve previously said, I refuse to blame the customer service team. I asked for compensation or a letter of apology. I was offered the letter. Perhaps had we eaten the cheese and developed a nasty strain of food poisoning, we may have been able to claim some form of financial payment, from one of those ‘no win, no fee’ lawyers. I will reluctantly accept the letter, under the condition it is from the manager of the store where our order comes from and not the poor people who keep apologising to me for someone else’s negligence.
I am getting a bit fed up. Not with blogging – although my recent lack of blogs would suggest otherwise. No, my recent discontent is with Tesco – mainly their online delivery service.
We buy our groceries online every week, as going to the supermarket on a regular basis is not an option. One of the reasons for this is Claire’s shifts don’t always allow us to go shopping when we would like. The other reason is that the main supermarkets near to where we live are in Bristol. It is always a risk going shopping in a superstore, as our fellow customers are a liability. I try to forget the number of times I have nearly been mowed down by a trolley, being pushed by someone who is more interested in a special offer on Laughing Cow Cheese, than controlling their basket-on-wheels.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of doing an online shop too, and laughed at the jokes about a lemon being substituted for citrus washing up liquid. I get it. Mistakes happen. Products go out of stock. What annoys me is when there is an issue almost every week with our online shop.
It isn’t even the substitutions – Tesco can’t help that. It is when they think they have delivered a product and charged us for it, but when coming to unpacking our groceries, we find the said item missing. Then there are the ‘use by dates’. Tesco kindly warn us on their invoice if a product has a short shelf life. A nice feature. Except it would be, if it was accurate. There have been a number of times where we have been warned that a sandwich (for example) is out of date on Thursday, although on closer inspection, discovering that it has to be eaten by Monday.
Every time there is an issue, we ring, email or Tweet Tesco. Every time we do this, we get the usual response. “We’re sorry”. Followed by. “We will advise the store manager”. Before issuing a refund on the missing or unsatisfactory item. The apology would be fair enough in most circumstances – as I have already said, mistakes happen – but it keeps occuring, so much so that “sorry” doesn’t really matter anymore. In fact, the people making the apology are the poor customer service staff, who, to their credit are always excellent, polite and helpful.
I don’t want an apology. I don’t want to be contacted about the issue, and I don’t want my product refunded. I want this to stop happening. Therefore, to highlight how much this does occur, I will be blogging about it, each time Tesco cock up. Hopefully, this will be the first and last blog on the topic.
By the way – the latest missing item which triggered this rant was fresh country ham. It was supposed to be delivered yesterday. We paid for piggy, but no piggy was to be found. I now have nothing to put in my cheese topped rolls.
On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.
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