On Wednesday evening, after postponing it the whole day, I left kids with Oh-so-lovely-Daddy and headed out to out local Tesco superstore to get some last minute sweeties for the advent calendars. I got to the Tesco at 6 pm sharp. … I know, I’m 12 weeks pregnant, I shouldn’t be doing anything other at dinnertime than eating!
I got my mission done quickly- picked up some other bits and pieces and got 6 packs of sweets, one set had 3 for £1 offer, the other were all sitting in 3 for £2 offer boxes. This all took about half an hour. Having made my choice of sweeties I went to the self checkout and paid. However the tally seemed too high and on checking it through I realised that the 3 for £2 offer had not been applied, in fact one of the packs was charged at £1.47! My total bill was around £8 for everything I spend so I thought a 10% plus overcharge was worth the complaint.
….then I looked- there was 1 person serving in the customer service queue, which was also the fag queue. (A fact I already detest)… and it was long. …but I thought I will queue up…out of principle! In the queue I ate one of the blueberry pies I bought…. thankfully! And in the meantime another customer service rep showed up too. Yeay, things were ok at this point. 10 minutes later, I put forward my complaint to one of the ladies at the customer service point. The lady said she’d check it out and left.
…and I waited
During this I had several heavy smokers walk past me or stand next to me with the other lady serving them….I held it down and didn’t throw up, despite feeling the anti-peristaltic movement in my tummy from the smell (cigarette smell is an instant trigger at the moment). At one point I needed to hold on to the trolley and the side of the counter to steady myself and was thankful for the energy the blueberry pie was releasing. “I am not going to pass out! I am not going to pass out!”, I kept telling myself. I kept thinking about Christmas, what I’m going to cook, just to distract myself. I was very close to asking for a chair to sit down when the woman FINALLY returned… 15 MINUTES later!!! (though it might’ve been 20 or more, my mind was pretty hazy by then from the lack of blood sugar and standing so long.)
She said chirpily- “yes, you are right those are all in boxes of 3 for £2, so I’ll do you a refund”. To which I asked, very politely, “Can I ask what took you so long?”
Her matter-of-fact response- “ another customer asked my help while I was there!”
This really, really upset me, but all I could muster up the strength to say was, “you could’ve apologised and said you were in the middle of help a customer already.” I certainly have been told that a lot of times in this particular Tesco especially.
Her actions made me feel utterly unvalued as a customer! I did not see any emergencies, any ambulances that would’ve warranted this so-called customer service representative to make me wait for so long, other customer or not. Who was more imporant than the customer she was supposed to be dealing with at the time, namely me? In fact, I had thought she’d actually gone to the loo or had a fag break in the meantime.
By the time I finished, I was totally appalled and needed to know this was not condoned by the management of the store. So I decided to talk to the store manager. The security guy called him, he came in about 5 minutes. When I explained the situation, all he said was “I’m sorry and if you want to make a formal complaint please write a letter and bring it in to the customer service manager here” …so here I am writing my account of the events, but I don’t want to go back to that store again.
Tesco, if you want real customer feedback, make it easy for customers to give you feedback, don’t put hurdles up! I feel the duty manager and the people on the desk handled the whole situation completely wrong. I will certainly be avoiding your store and spending my pounds at the three other local stores – Sainsbury, Asda and Lidl from now on. Thank you for showing me how “Every little [person] [doesn’t] counts”
By the time I finished (7:29 pm) I was shaking- partly from upset, partly from bloodsugar hitting rock bottom and my body not coping too well with forms of stress due to pregnancy. I sat in the car in the carpark for about 30 minutes nibbling and laying across the seats to try to get my feet in air to get back to a state that I could drive the 5 minutes home.
Is it just me who thinks it is totally unacceptable to keep customers waiting for so long?
How interested is Tesco in getting feedback if they make it difficult to give feedback?