Well, what happened in 2013? Just how much did I complain? Well, not a huge amount I would say. This doesn’t include public body complaints of course to which I do ask lots of Freedom of Information Act questions and complain!
I complained about all sorts of things from 40p from Tesco and the £40 from them in court. (See The Complaining Cow’s history with Tesco) to other supermarkets, banks and other retailers.
I know what you are thinking. 40p really? Yes really. Wrongly charged. Principle! Now, how many people do YOU think didn’t notice that wrong charge going through the till or in this case on an online order? How many thousands of people buy bacon a day do you think? Same with all the other small amounts. For example, 40p Really? I complained about 40p? Yes I did, and here’s why. I completed an online shopping order. All seemed fine. When I received my order with receipt, I checked it against the items. Oddly there was an additional item. This item was called “Department Sale”. What sort of vegetable is that you ask as well you might and so did I. After asking what this item was and apparently I had had two of them! Two lots of 20ps totalling 40p. So I was curious and as you know if you read my blog regularly, it’s a matter of principle! After asking about these charges this is how the email exchange panned out:
Tesco: If you order an item that isn’t on the online product database, we’re unable to scan the item through the home shopping system at your local store. So, to make sure that we don’t overcharge you for the product, we charge it at a heavily reduced price. This will show on your delivery paperwork as a 10p charge for example. I hope this has explained why we do this and thank you for taking the time to ask us about this.
Me: But what is the item?!!
Tesco: I am sorry that there has been such confusion over this issue and for the inconvenience being caused. Could you advise me of where this charge is shown on your order, and how much it is. I may be able to trace the product for you.
Me: You have had this information in the initial complaint. See attached please
Tesco: I am sorry but I have been unable to trace the exact goods that the charge relates to. However I have refunded the 40p back to your account and this will appear in 3 to 5 days. Thank you for your patience in this matter.
Me: So what you are saying is that there was no reason for this charge? I wonder how many other orders you put this charge on?
Tesco: Not at all! There was a reason for the charge as has been explained in previous emails. The problem is that without seeing what goods were physically delivered and then going through the delivery document to deduce which goods the charge was used for, it is impossible to say exactly what the charge was applied to.
Me: How can you order something online for an online order that isn’t on the database?
Tesco: Very easily when you start to understand that the online business and the store are different. An example would be where you might order apples online, but the store offer a regional variety of that apple which is not stored on our database. So to enable us to pick apples for you, we would have to mark it as a Department Sale to add it onto the order.
Me: I didn’t order anything that I’ve not ordered before and I’ve never had that remark on a receipt. Very dubious.
To which I did not have a response. Now, maybe I’m being thick and there was a good reason for the charge. I can’t really see it can you? Have you ever had this charge? Have you queried it? I wonder how many people have and haven’t queried it. Wonder what the total of “Department Sales” is.
So of course I complain about the larger amounts and encourage others to do so, but how much profit is being made from people not complaining about those pennies?
So, if you aren’t getting where with customer services you can always contact the CEO directly at ceoemail.com
If you need help with complaining effectively GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! for consumer laws, advice, guidance and template letters for most complaints in most sectors!