Sunday, 19 December 2010

An open letter to Philip Clarke, CEO, Tesco

Dear Mr Clarke

I was expecting a delivery today to my home in Brentwood from Tesco Online.  At 10:00am I received a text advising "We are very sorry we have had to cancel your order due to bad weather.  Please re-place your order at when conditions in your area improve.

There was bad weather here yesterday, but not today.  Roads were impassable yesterday but today are completely clear from the entrance to Tesco at Gallows corner to the spot outside my front door.  I'm fortunate that I live in an area that is covered by the County Council's gritting policy.

The order I had placed had a value of £320 and had the majority of the items I wanted for Christmas.

The crass wording of the text I received fails to recognise that there are no delivery spots available prior to Christmas.  As it happens there are no Collect from store spots available either.

I checked the status of my order online and it showed the order had been picked so I called Customer Service department.  I advised that the roads were clear and asked if Tesco wasn't willing to deliver, whether I could collect.  The call centre operative I spoke to advised she would call the store to see if that would be possible and she gave me the direct line for the store too.  She told me she'd call me back.

After a couple of hours I had heard nothing and I called the store.  I explained the situation to the person at the store who thought it perfectly likely I'd be able to collect my order.  She advised she'd find the person responsible and I'd get a call back.

At 4:00pm I hadn't heard from or the Gallows corner store.

I called and was told that even if the system states a shop has been picked it may not have been and, in my case, it hadn't been.  I was told there was nothing that Tesco could do for me except suggest I re-order which, as I mentioned above, is a ridiculous suggestion.

At this point I was less than pleased with the way I'd been handled and I was left trying to figure out how I was going to get food into the house.  The call centre operative I spoke to offered a £10 e-coupon which, on an order of £320 and for a very regular customer, is an insult.

There is one final thing that makes this even more frustrating.  A friend received a delivery from today and, as she was chatting with the driver, she mentioned my plight.  He couldn't understand it given that he'd done deliveries in Brentwood and Warley today.

I am angry, frustrated and I feel ignored and let down by a brand I had come to trust.

Can I suggest the following little things which may help:

  • Fitting winter tyres to your delivery vehicles in the winter (optimal performance below 7 degrees Celsius).
  • Your managers consider the route required to make a delivery before cancelling all deliveries.
  • If you have to cancel a delivery at least try and assist the customer.
  • If you are unable to assist the customer and rectify the situation, then offer some meaningful compensation. 

Yours sincerely

Ann Cardus (Mrs)


Rana said...

Record profits rising every year at least since 2001. Last year profits of £3.4billion. Fitting winter tyres would cost some of that profit. More delivery drivers would cost some of that profit. Every little helps (to increase Clarke's bonus)

Anonymous said...

I had my scheduled for delivery on 22nd December. Due to the weather conditions I cancelled and decided to go get my christmas shop myself. I won't say how much it was for as that's not important at all is it? Anyone who's got a delivery scheduled this week should really be making contingency plans in case the delivery can not get to you. However, we'll still have the few morons who expect miracles from the poor drivers and expect them to overcome any obstacle because "I PAID MY £5!!!".
Please read the terms and conditions on the website. There is no contract between Tesco and a customer until the goods are dispatched and as such any "compensation" would only be at Tesco discretion and merely a goodwill gesture.
Is it such a hardship to go get your own shopping. I'm sure you could take time out from Jeremy Kyle to make it to the store. Yet again it's all about getting compensation for a storm in a teacup. I'd love to see what happens in your life when something serious happens!!!!
PS I don't have a google account

Ann said...

If the roads had been impassable I would have had no issue. The roads were perfectly clear. There was no snow. The weather was gorgeous. A beautiful blue sky if a little chilly, but not so cold that roads were icy.
Please read the post again and realise that my issue was the cancellation for no good reason and the promised communication from the call centre and the store that didn't happen.
It's all about customer service, or in this case, the lack of it.

jim, said...

totally agree with you ann,I have had the same problem I live less than 100 metres from the main road,which the main road is the same road as my store,I can understand some places are not accessible but a busy main road is far from inaccessible,I was told the vans couldn't get out of the yard(which is the same yard that all the deliveries to the store managed to get in) how bizarre that customers can access the store car park and yet 200metres around the corner the snow is too bad to get the vans out.

Anonymous said...

it is just astonishing that you sit there waiting on a phone call all day, but it never crossed your mind to go get the shopping yourself! i mean what did people do before dot com?? and on the front of the amount you paid Ann, it doesn't make a difference! that's just arrogance, listen to yourself! the drivers and staff do their very best to get orders out but their are just some circumstances that cant be helped such as the weather, i love your suggestions here's one for you GO GET YOUR OWN SHOPPING!

Ann said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I did do the shopping myself, online.
I have now also done the shopping in store, on several trips, carrying much of the shopping home.
My issue was never with the drivers. You're right; they do an excellent job.
My issue was with the ill-informed management decision and the way the situation was managed by and the store. But I'm repeating myself. I'm sure you've read the post.

Vic said...

nothing like a good argument. I'm with you Ann - I hate shopping. What happened WAY BEFORE was that customers phoned their orders into the local grocers and they sent a boy on a bike. And HE COULD COPE WITH A BIT OF SNOW!!!!

Vuk P said...

It is good that in UK shops do delivery to home. This is not customary in Republika Srpska. When we need food, we go to shop, argue over ripoff price and buy. This is customary and I like this!

Nevertheless, there is big advantage for delivery to home. If we had delivery to home in 1994, then cousin Darko would not have had to leave brains on sidewalk because of sniper.

I therefore take side of delivery to home where this is available and convenient to shopper, whether he is in UK or BiH. It avoids unnecessary stress and death.


Vuk P

Ann said...

@Vic Not quite sure we should return to child labour but it had its merits

@Vuk Stress and death avoidance is top of my list too

Anonymous said...

1. Anonymous doesn't understand the issues.
2. Anonymous not sure enough of comments to put name to them?
3. If Ann had been a Jeremy Kyle fan then her delivery would not have been arranged until 11pm after the programme had finished (assuming the 10am text arrived during her deliver slot!)

Anonymous said...

Thought I had signed in but obviosly not; mine is the previous comment and I will put my name to it. Sam C

Ann said...

An update: