Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tesco's incorrect pricing policy - Maynooth an exception?

Years ago, the Irish customer was far from royalty.   Dunnes Stores, for instance, did not even have changing rooms... I kid you not.  It was only when BHS (now gone), M&S and the rest came in that they felt they had to supply such luxuries.  

Until then, you simply held your diamond patterned jumper up in front of your chest before the mirror - thoughtfully supplied - and made a rough calculation.  Dunnes had to catch up when the British chains came in.

Similarly, Tescos introduced a policy whereby anyone who was overcharged got the product concerned for free, plus their money back.  There were signs in their shops clearly stating this, and once again indigenous chains were left in the ha'penny place.  Superquinn only offered someone to pack your bags wrongly.  An irritating role some eejit collecting for the Grab All Association now does for Tescos, and whose services you politely - or maybe not so - demur. 

Now, it seems, things have changed.  Tescos Irish website does not carry any details of its policy in this regard anymore - at least not anywhere obvious that I can see... try it yourself.   My understanding though, from talking to people,  is that they now offer "double the difference".  That is, if you were charged €5 for something marked €4, you would get a "refund" of €2. 

Just try that in Tescos Maynooth.  Now Tescos is a pretty profitable company, so far as I know.  But if you buy something on, say, a "two for €4" offer, only to find you are charged €5.10 at the checkout, and then proceed to the customer service desk - which is the longest queue in Tescos Maynooth - you will have to fight tooth and nail. 

We went up to the desk, showed the receipt and the advertised price, and were told by the assistant "I will just go and check".  She came back and said "no, the wrong prices were put on them.  They are really €5.10". 

Natural forces know, shop assistants have pretty tough jobs.  They work all the hours there are for relatively poor pay, which is being further attacked since judges ruled against compensation for workers who are subject to unsocial hours (judges are not).

But bloody hell, how can a shop assistant, on the customer service desk, not be informed of company policy on overcharging?  Eventually a manager arrived, like the cavalry to the scene, and all was resolved. 

As dark Internet conspiracies go, this might be a bit low-rent...  but does Tescos Ireland now only carry out its not-so-clearly-stated policy on refunding overcharged customers, if they make a fuss?


Ella said...

Hi GM, doesn't surprise me. I was overcharged a couple of weeks ago by 1 euro and went to the customer service desk, I got my euro back and nothing else. I'll make a noise next time, because there surely will be a next time. Another thing, I shop regularly in Tescos, because it's walking distance from my house. I have noticed that very often when they have offers (like 3 for 2 or whatever) then when the promotion is finished the product is raised in price by a couple of cents.

The Gombeen Man said...

As Martin McGuinness might say, we need clarification with regard to Tesco's policies in this regard.

JOHN said...

stopped showing with them after the overcharging scandal in 1999, you can read about it
and moore general complaints at

I suggest having a read of the book,Tescopoly a well crafted argument, supported by many references and illustrations, Andrew Simms explains that the supermarkets - and in the UK especially Tesco - are now a corrosive feature within society

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for the links, John.

Anonymous said...

While much of the moaning about "foreign" (e.g. UK) chainstores in Ireland is motivated by nothing more than pathetic anglophobia The fact that tesco are availing of corporate welfare and exploiting workers through the "intern scheme" makes them no better than their native competitors.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, that intern scheme is widely abused, I'm afraid.