Seeing red over Tesco's ink price


YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES:HILARY BLYTHMAN recently bought a HP45 printer-ink cartridge in Tesco for €44.69 but as the store did not stock the other size she needed she went to Star School and Office Supplies in Dún Laoghaire “who do provide customer service and will order the cartridge for me unlike Tesco whose response is ‘if it is not there we don’t stock it’.”

While she was in Star she asked for a price for the HP45. “I was shocked to discover their price is €32.80. Tesco are charging over 36 per cent more for the same product. I bought it and returned the overpriced one to Tesco for a refund,” she writes.

“Why are Tesco overcharging for this product? I did ask the floor manager but their standard response is that they do not decide the price and that they will refer it to management.” In reply, a spokesman for Tesco said: “We are disappointed to learn of Hilary’s experience while shopping with us. At Tesco we offer very competitive pricing on computer ware and accessories and we are investigating Hilary’s complaint.

No excuse from Tesco

A READER called Peter is furious with Tesco. His wife has been a Tesco Clubcard holder for a couple of years and they decided to avail of the “exclusive Clubcard customer offer for unlimited calls, texts, and data for only €35 per month, SIM only”. The couple went but were denied the offer. “We then rang and were told that we didn’t qualify. There was no reason given, just that ‘the computer says no’. We couldn’t understand as we have a good credit rating, etc. We spoke to management and they gave the same spiel about it’s some mysterious computer system and that for security reasons they could not access it to find out why we had been denied,” he says.

What annoys Peter most is that the TCs do not say anything about the possibility of being turned down or any requirements bar being a Tesco Clubcard holder. A Tesco spokesman said: “Tesco is happy to help Peter with his query should he be able to provide us with more information and detail.”

Impossible to bag a refund from airline

SEOSAIMHIN NI Bheaglaoich is not happy.

And the focus of her ire? Our flag-carrying airline – Aer Lingus.

She rang Aer Lingus recently to ask about cancelling a checked bag she had paid for.

This happened because she was going to have to dash from one of its flights to catch another, with Flybe to Isle of Lewis, in Glasgow airport and would not have time to wait for her paid bag to arrive.

She says she had to ring the airline to do this as Aer Lingus does not offer such a facility on its “Manage your booking” page on

She says: “It took them five minutes to answer the call, more expense for the customer, and I was told they do not reimburse baggage fees.

“I have paid the princely sum of €60 for same and their policy is not to refund me. They have some cheek.

“What a rip-off. Please draw attention to this.”

Getting any class of a refund from any airline is next to impossible and it has been for many years, as the Aer Lingus terms and conditions do make clear.

Nevertheless it is very annoying.

Lo-call numbers are pricey from mobiles

FINBAR WALSH is annoyed with Aviva for pushing him towards 1890 calls which end up costing him more than they should.

“I wonder how many companies are pushing people through these numbers when we all probably have free calls to ordinary landline numbers through the various Eircom plans,” he writes.

It is a good point and one which we have raised before.

Like many banks, insurance companies, Government departments and other State and semi-State bodies, Aviva advertises a so-called lo-call 1890 number on its main contact page, but finding a landline contact number for inquiries is trickier.

It is a peculiar oversight as the lo-call 1890 number is anything but low cost when called from a mobile.

The cost of making such a call from a landline is 5.1 cent a minute during peak hours and 1.3 cent off-peak from anywhere in the State.

The cost of making the same call using a mobile can be as high as 35 cent a minute.

While landline numbers are routinely included in the bundled “free” minutes offered by mobile phone and landline operators, calls to 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers are excluded from such deals.

Online access isn't cheap

ODHRAN KELLY wants to know why broadband prices are going up so much?

“I’m paying €33 per month to UPC (and have been for the last few years) for their basic broadband-only package and yet if you look online the cheapest available to new customers is €44 for standalone broadband.

“And the other big players aren’t much cheaper.”

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