Supermarket is out of tune with its music-voucher service
One Tesco customer ran into trouble after buying iTunes vouchers at the supermarket
READERS' QUERIES ANSWERED:Margaret MacCann wrote to us about Tesco’s “policy” on iTunes vouchers.
“My teenage daughter bought an iTunes voucher in Tesco and when she got it home there was no authorisation code on it. We returned it to Tesco, who initially told us it wouldn’t refund her money because it was company policy not to, and when I complained, a manager refunded it no problem,” she writes.
The store did not have a replacement voucher so she went back into the same store two days later and bought a replacement, which also lacked an authorisation code. “Back up to Tesco and this time they refused point blank to refund my money, claiming that Tesco is only an agent for iTunes, who refuse to deal with the supermarket chain on faulty cards. They told us we would have to contact iTunes directly.
“I pointed out that as a retailer they are liable for faulty goods, not the manufacturer, and they continued to tell us this was store policy and to contact iTunes.”
Our reader pointed out that nowhere in the store or on the receipt did Tesco outline that its refund policy was different for vouchers, and that “as a result we should be able to rely on the general-refund policy. In addition, I pointed out that nowhere did they indicate that they were acting as an agent for iTunes, and that as a customer it was reasonable for us to think we were buying from Tesco.”
Despite her protestations, she got nowhere and walked out with no iTunes voucher and no money. Her daughter has been in contact with iTunes but as yet has not received the credit on her account. “I’ve always shopped in Tesco and was never aware of this policy, which we now know applies to any other voucher you buy in Tesco. I think your readers would be interested to hear about this ‘policy’. It might just put them off buying vouchers in Tesco. If we had known, we certainly wouldn’t have made the second purchase there.”
We contacted Tesco and a spokesman sang a different tune to the one our reader heard in-store. “ITunes is one of the most popular gift cards with customers, and it is extremely rare that we experience any sort of technical issue with the cards,” he says.
If there was a fault with the card or service on this occasion, he says the store “should have spoken with the special support desk to resolve the issue for the customer.
“It is unfortunate that the level of customer service was not what we would expect in this instance and we apologise for that.”
A satisfied banking customer
Paul Higgins was travelling in South America in December and he ordered flowers as a Christmas gift to be delivered to his mother in Ireland.
“The cost was debited from my credit card at that time but the flowers were not delivered,” he says.
He got no joy out of the florist when he went looking for a refund and his emails went unacknowledged.
As luck would have it, he read a Pricewatch article on credit-card chargebacks, which we published in January, and so he contacted his bank, AIB, about the chargeback facility.
“They were very helpful and explained what was required of me to complete the process. I sent them the information by mail on February 6th and the refund was made to my credit card on February 11th,” he writes.
“Our banks have received and continue to receive lots of negative publicity but on this occasion I want to highlight the help of AIB in resolving this matter so promptly and entirely to my satisfaction,” he writes.
Pre-paid car queries
A reader is going to Orlando and and is looking for advice on pre-paid cards. She wants to know: can they can be used to rent a car; are they acceptable as a hotel deposit; and can she keep it after her holidays?
The last part of the question is the easiest. Yes, she will be able to keep it. The O2 money card is popular and can be topped up at thousands of locations. There is also a Moneybookers card which is simple, free to top-up, free to use, and costs just €10 a year.
You can use pre-paid cards to book cars and hotels once there is enough money lodged to cover the hold amounts placed on the cards at the time of booking.