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Goodbye Tesco. One mistake is acceptable, two seems careless, three, well it’s time for one of us to do something.

A few months ago now, I spotted what looked like a reasonable deal on a small TV in our local Tesco store. We were looking for a new TV for the kitchen. I decided to go for it, so I took it to the till and paid for it. The girl on the checkout removed the security device and off I went. As I exited the store, a security guard came rushing over and stopped me. He demanded to see my receipt for the TV. When I asked why he said it was to ensure that I had not stolen it! Apparently it had set off the alarm at the exit, I hadn’t noticed that, and he said another bloke had stolen 3 TV’s from them recently. I am not that bloke and I had a receipt, but still I was being accused of theft. Tesco TV’s, apparently, have an extra security device inside the box, which the checkout girl had failed to remove. The worst part was that other shoppers exiting the store, stopped to watch me being treated like a common criminal. I was decidedly unhappy with the attitude of the security guard and asked for the manager. I waited a very long time before someone claiming to be the manager arrived. I expressed my unhappiness and told her that I was not prepared to leave the store with a TV that everyone thought I had stolen, so I wanted a refund. I took the TV to the customer service desk where a refund was issued.

Tesco recently sent me an email offering a small discount if I ordered wine from their online store. I decided to do so. I ordered 6 bottles of a nice red Australian Shiraz, and 6 bottles of a nice red Australian Merlot. I received 6 bottles of the Australian Shiraz, and six bottles of a white Italian Pinot Grigio. I called them and they offered to replace the white wine. However they would have to send someone to collect the wrong bottles, then reorder the correct red wine and send it separately, ludicrous. So I asked instead for a refund, which I was told was no problem.

It was a problem. After two and a half weeks, when checking my credit card statement, I noticed that no refund had been made. I called them again and was told that it takes up to three weeks to make a refund. ‘Funny’, I said, ‘that you are able to take money from my account instantly, but it takes three weeks to return it.’ Of course it doesn’t take that long, they just sit on it and make interest on it. I was told the refund would be made straight away, and it appeared in my account the following day. Which just goes to prove that it can be done if they want to do it.

That’s three times now that they have annoyed me, other supermarkets are available, and I’m going down to Sainsbury’s this afternoon for a few bottles of red. We are a bit short of red, because of the problem mentioned above. I know it makes no difference to Tesco that I have taken my business elsewhere, but it makes a difference to me.