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Tesco Elephant (again)

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Tuesday 21 December 2004 3.04am
I was in Tesco Elephant last week and managed to get three mistakes on the bill. Admittedly, the cashier was new, and just learning the ropes. Mistakes happen, I have no problem with that. What annoyed me though was the pathetic way some member of management (I think she was the duty manager at the time) handled my queries.

She spoke to me in the most patronising tone, as if I were somehow being rude for telling her that I had been overcharged. The swede I had bought was reduced, but I was charged full price for it. Not normally a problem - just give the customer their money back (I work for Tesco, thankfully not in this store. It's a procedure I've done hundreds of times - painlessly easy to do). The published Tesco procedure for overcharged items is to give the customer the money back and let them keep the item. Simple enough. The woman in Tesco was trying to refund only the difference, despite me spelling out the official policy to her. Finally, after literally minutes of arguing, she gave in (goodness knows why she was arguing in the first place).

(Yes, I know it's pedantic for arguing over a matter of pennies)

After this, I pointed out that although my staff discount card had been registered by the till, I had not been given discount (sometimes you have to press total after the card has been swiped. Goodness knows why, it's just how it works. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't). The woman flatly refused to work out 10% of the bill and give me the money. Instead, she said it was neccessary for someone to phone the Tesco helpline (I mean, for goodness sake!) to find out what to do, and they wouldn't be in operation until the following morning. I said that was unacceptable service and that I wouldn't ever do that to one of my customers, and that I wanted such a trivial issue to be solved there and then.

She then followed by suggesting that the only way she could sort the issue there and then was to refund my entire shopping (which meant re-scanning everything) back to my credit card and charge me for it again, this time ensuring I received my discount. I said that if that's what she needed to do, then she should do it. So she started. Then half way through, she stopped. "I've just realised I can't do this because it would mean that you get double clubcard points", promptly cancelling all she had spent the last 5 minutes doing (22 pence worth of points, I might add). So I had no choice but to go back in a couple of days to see the outcome (which I still haven't done, through not wanting the hassle. I will though, maybe tomorrow)

A member of Tesco management, arguing with a customer, making them wait over 30 minutes to attempt to resolve a small issue which realistically could be solved in 2 minutes with a courteous smile and a 'sorry'. I wonder, was she being rude because she thought that I was, perhaps, using my 'insider knowledge' to get money out of the company? Or do they treat all customers like this?

What's worse, from the company's point of view, is that she wasted half an hour unneccessarily arguing about something clear-cut, which could be otherwise be used by sitting on a till and attempting to come somewhere near achieving their "one in front" target (i.e., keeping queues down).

Whatever happened to "Sorry, we've made a mistake. We'll do our best to put it right for you", opening the till and giving me the two quid?
Tuesday 21 December 2004 3.04am
Sorry for the rant, by the way.
Tuesday 21 December 2004 8.56am
Well, what a bit of luck that you're a Tesco employee - you should just go right to the top and get her FIRED at once, before Christmas and then perhaps she'll learn a lesson about customer care (and so will all the other staff in the branch). I must say, it's a pretty chaotic place, we go because it's really on our doorstep, but no one can say it's a pleasure. However, with the new development of the Elephant in the pipeline, I dare say it's the best we'll get till we get a new shopping centre in about 2013....we should only live so long!
Tuesday 21 December 2004 10.20am
Tesco, Old Kent Road, is no better. I called in last night to buy one of the few items I can't get in my local Turkish shops. The lad on one of the 10 items or less tills, was going so slowly it was a joke. He also paused in between dealing with each customer to talk loudly with his friends on the other checkouts. He also took a full five minutes to change a 20 note for a colleague. Eventually, people abandoned his queue, and joined the already overcrowded adjacent ones, not that he was bothered. I really don't have to put up with this crap. My money is going elsewhere from now on.
Anonymous User
Tuesday 21 December 2004 11.49am
Have you been to Tesco at Surrey Quays since Asda opened? It is completely empty. I never ever go there on a Saturday but last weekend had no choice so went along with a heavy heart , not only at being there on a Saturday afternoon but on the Saturday before Christmas.

I was one of about 20 people in the entire store.


Tuesday 21 December 2004 12.05pm
I no longer use Tesco Old Kent Road if can be avoided

Several staff have attempted (one successfully) to pull the easiest cashback trick there is on me :
You have goods, youre offered cashback, you agree, youre asked to sign and initial and as your card is handed back with a "Thank You" and a smile he/she .....starts serving the next customer and flinging items down so you start hurriedly to pack your goods (or some other distraction), bustle out and realise X minutes later that you never got handed your cash.
But of you intial the receipt before the cash is handed to you....
It worked on me once and the Duty Manager was rude and dismissive.

I don't know what sort of pressure the cashiers are put under to keep the queue moving.
I once saw a bloke try to scan my discounted item and when he couldn't, he just scratched the discount sticker off with his fingernail under the counter and scanned it at the full price.
i let him put it through and when he gave me my "receipt" to sign (paying by card) I said I wanted an itemised receipt as he had made a "mistake".
He said he couldn't give me an itemised receipt until AFTER I'd paid.
So I could refuse to pay at all and leave all my shopping or pay, knowing I'd been overcharged, in order to show I was overcharged!
I paid and had the Customer Services Mgr called.
She would not refund me the difference (2.50) in cash, I had to spend 10 mins waiting to get it regfunded onto my card at the customer service desk (and remember to check my statement after).

This crap doesn't happen with my local, little grocer and I have started to enjoy popping out for a walk on a Sat morning to purchase from him.
Tuesday 21 December 2004 1.01pm
It's a new store so they may be trying to impress, but the Asda on Old Kent Road seems to be a completely different world - well stocked, clean, salads not going brown, and pleasent and knowledgeable staff. I was quite surprised to hear a young girl putting kitchenware out on the shelves be able to offer sensible advice to a woman on the merits of different microwavable bowls! Also the checkout assistants seem to be quite quick and actually say hello, please and thank you - hopefully a kick up the backside for the local Tescos.
Tuesday 21 December 2004 1.27pm
I must say that the greengrocer / butcher etc.. on Great Suffolk Street provide a much more pleasant / relaxing shopping experience than I have ever had in Tesco (or would have, I imagine - though I have not been, in ASDA / WALMART).

I still end up in the major supermarkets quite a bit but making a little effort to get to smaller, local shops as much as possible is worth it a number of different ways (better service, nicer experience, better value, enviromentally friendlier).

But Tesco's in E+C? That place is so bad, service so awful that I would rather do without than have to pop in there if it was the only option.

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