Monday, 17 September 2012
Tesco v the UK Caravanner
Before getting you up to date on the happier events of the summer, let's clear up this horrid, messy business with the hard-faced emporium that is Tesco. The debacle in the store was bad enough. What has followed is alost as bad. It's a text book example of how multinational conglomerates loose the plot. And how the hard-nosed profit-driven upper echalons of the corporate hierarchy hides behind an impenetrable veneer of poorly-paid, mechanical agents who are unable and unwilling to deviate from standard procedure.
I'm sure you don't want to read the email tennis that I played with their customer services department.
In every email I asked the question 'Does Tesco embrace the business of the UK's caravanners, or are caravanners and motor caravanners not welcome in their stores?' In every email, this question was ignored.
I received an apology from the agent with whom I was playing ping-pong, along with the offer of a £20 voucher. Let's just reiterate that I had spent £70 and lost at least £250 worth of productivity.
£20? And no official response to the UK's bona fide touring community? And that's supposed to make it all better?
This is where one silver lining appeared around the cloud. As tempted as I was to tell Tesco to keep their gesture (or words to that effect), I wanted to make sure that someone else would benefit from it. Researching food charities I discovered Foodcycle, a UK charity that ticks all the right boxes. Basically, they take food that would otherwise go to waste, cook it up into nutritious meals, and offer said meals to those who really need them. Preventing waste and feeding those in need. And training/employing those who need a skill. What's not to like? So happily the £20 went directly to Foodcycle. And I feel that this is by no means the end of my dealings with them.
In my penultimate, exasperated email to Tesco, I asked why I was not getting an answer from the management about the needs of the UK's caravanners.
The answer I received just about sums it all up. It sums up why Tesco is sliding down the supermarket ratings. It also sums up the desperately broken culture of Tesco management that was clear from the very beginning when the store manager was 'too busy' on a conference call with head office to face me there and then and nip the whole thing in the bud.
'Our head office is not customer-facing' explained the hapless agent.
Think about that for a minute.
I think, Tesco, as I happily contribute to your slow demise by withholding all future custom, that that is abundantly clear.