Tesco delivery leaves sour taste for reader

Pricewatch reader queries: Grocery debacle was out of order

Photograph: Getty Images

Photograph: Getty Images


Sarah Walshe contacted us after having what she said was “a really poor experience with Tesco, which is still not resolved” despite promises made by various members of the retail giant’s customer service team. This is a problem which sounds incredibly frustrating so you might want to set your annoyance levels to high.

“I made an order for collection for Sunday April 23rd between 4pm and 6pm. I arrived at 4.20pm and the truck was not there. Tesco had not contacted me in advance about any delay. I phoned their customer service who informed me that the order would instead be available for collection between 6pm and 8pm that same evening ‘due to technical problems’.”

Our reader’s bank account had been charged for the full value of the order but she was promised that €15 would be refunded to her account by way of compensation for the inconvenience.

“Later the same evening I received a voicemail from Tesco informing me the order would not be available on the day as earlier promised. Instead, we were offered free home delivery the following day at a time of our choosing. In addition, the agent stated in the voicemail that we would receive an additional €50 in compensation for the error. The order was delivered on the 24th as scheduled. However, we were charged the full value of the order a second time, as well as the surcharge for home delivery which had been offered to us as a gratuity.”

So, not only did she not get the compensation or the free delivery, she was actually charged twice for the same order.

“Since April 24th, I have tried almost every day to get Tesco to refund the value of the second order, refund the cost of delivery, and pay the €50 they promised for this whole mess. So far, the original offer of €15 has been paid. Each time I phone or email Tesco, I speak to a different agent who makes me repeat my story and provide my card details so they can process a refund. On one occasion, a member of their team informed me they couldn’t act until the case was “investigated” to ascertain whether our story was even true! Where promises were made to phone us back with progress on our case, these were not delivered upon.”

Walshe says that she has been a long-time customer of Tesco and is “extremely disappointed and frustrated with their service and customer support throughout this affair”.

As you would be.

We contacted Tesco and received the following statement: “At Tesco, we set ourselves the highest standards for our grocery home shopping service and were concerned to hear of this customer’s complaint. We have been in contact with Ms Walshe in recent days to apologise for her experience with us; we recognise that there was a breakdown in communication and we understand her frustration in dealing with customer services. We have rectified the situation with Ms Walshe and arranged for full refund and gesture of goodwill to be sent to her with our apologies. We have reminded our customer service colleagues of our refund policies to help ensure this never happens again.”

Aisle be damned: €20 to book wedding dress fitting

A reader called Eileen is planning to get married soon, but even though it is early days the planning is already causing her a bit of angst. “I’ve been trying to book an appointment to try on a wedding dress in a shop in Munster at the weekend,” her mail starts. “But when I spoke to the people in the shop on the telephone I was less than pleased to hear that they want to charge me a €20 non-refundable booking deposit. Is this right? Can a shop actually charge someone for trying to give them business?”

Truth be told, a shop can charge for whatever it wants as long as it is upfront about the policy. There are absolutely no rules in place forbidding the shop from doing this. We made some inquiries and apparently such fees are not uncommon – if not necessarily the norm. Wedding shops say the booking fee is in place both to make sure that people actually show up when the say they will, and to deter tyre-kickers or brides-to-be showing up week after week trying on dresses before taking their business online.

Of course, just as the shop has the choice of imposing the charge, Eileen has the choice of not paying it. She can quite easily take her business elsewhere if she so pleases. That is the ultimate power that rests with all consumers.

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