Monday, 20 September 2010

Customer Service

You might think that if a foreign body is found in a food tin, whether it be rodent, finger or piece of glass, this might come fairly high on the Damge Limitation Scale of a major supermarket.

You might think it is fairly irrelevant whether the item in question came via Musselburgh or Manchester - or whether it was won at a tombola stall.

You might not see the relevance of the question "Do you still have your receipt?"

Not so when the retailer is Tesco it would seem.

On Tuesday, I was stirring a tin of chopped tomatoes when I noticed a meatball-sized lump.  Unsurprisingly, it put me off my dinner.  I telephoned the grocery helpline who could offer no more help than getting a nameless duty manager to phone me the next day.  Which he didn't.

So, on Wednesday I phoned back.  Apparently the nameless duty manager was on leave and would "probably" call me on Thursday.  He didn't.

Nor did I receive a phone call on Friday so I emailed Tesco and received this response:

Unfortunately because this is classed as a unassociated foreign
body then we are unable to deal with it by email as there are 

special form called an RP125 within is dealt with in store at or 
Customer Service Desk.
 
They send the form by email to our Head Office who will then
contact you by call or letter within 7 days .They will then fully
Investigate why this has happened and then offer some sort of 

gesture of goodwill to yourself.
I replied to this email with a photograph of the suspect body.  I then received a telephone call.

No, Tesco could not send me the elusive RP125 form.  Nor could they explain why no-one in Tesco seems to understand Tesco procedures.  I was told the only way to progress matters was to go to my nearest Tesco (despite the fact I use the home delivery service because it is not convenient for me to shop in store).

As I was busy on Saturday and Sunday, the earliest I could travel to Musselburgh was today.  With 3 travel sick kids, on a bank holiday at a cost of £6.60, carrying a mystery object which had been decomposing for the last six days.

At Tesco Musselburgh, the Customer Service person asked me if I had my receipt.  My heart sank.  Did they really not understand that this is not about me getting my 33p refunded?!!  In any event, receipts proved a moot point as I was informed that Home Shopping is dealt with by Dalkeith and he couldn't complete the legendary RP125 form as the tin did not bear a Best Before Date. 

So that is that.  I have done everything I can to reunite the tin with Tesco.  They aren't interested in how whatever it is got there.  Perhaps I should just have performed an autopsy and posted it on You Tube.

Dishearted, weary and wanting to make the day not entirely miserable, I took the girls to Musselburgh Doll Museum at 1 p.m. (the timing is pertinent).

As we sat down a staff member came over and asked if we had a reservation ("only about eating chopped tomatoes").  When I said we hadn 't she said we would have to move as the table was reserved for 2 p.m.

Two o'clock?  I was puzzled.  Surely we could eat a panini in an hour?  We moved to a new table and waited.  And waited.  At 1.20 no-one had taken our order and it was becoming apparent that we might indeed overrun with the 2 p.m. reservation - possibly even a 3p.m. reservation.  So we left.

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