Every Little Helps

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article that was critical of Tesco because they tried to fool their customers by creating 7 new farm brands for their products, when the farms themselves don't even exist (see article dated 28.07.16).

But I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and so I'm happy to report a much more positive customer service experience from Tesco.

A couple of days ago I was going through all the paperwork in my incredibly untidy office. Amongst the mounds of VAT receipts and various other junk, I found some Tesco Clubcard vouchers that I had actually forgotten that I had.

Anyone who has a Tesco Clubcard will know that you collect points every time you spend money in the supermarket, on their website, or with Tesco Bank and the Tesco mobile phone service.

Every few months you are then sent vouchers equivalent to the number of points you have accumulated, which you can spend in store or online, or use at numerous other retail outlets to purchase goods and services.

I went through each of the vouchers and fortunately only one of them had expired. But annoyingly, the voucher that had expired was the one that had the highest value.

I suppose it is the equivalent of throwing a £5 note down the drain. In fact it is worse than that, because if you spend your vouchers on some of the rewards available, then you can quadruple your points. So a £5 voucher can actually be worth up to £20 when exchanged for certain items.

I decided to call Tesco to see if I could convince them to let me have a new voucher. But I didn't expect to be successful, because after all, it was completely my own fault that I had allowed the voucher to expire.

So I phoned the helpline number given on my Tesco Clubcard, and received a wonderful example of good customer service.

The helpline number is an 0800 free number, and it was answered almost instantly by a very knowledgeable employee based at a UK call centre. Not a recorded message, but a REAL person - polite and well-trained - and based right here in Britain!!

I sheepishly explained my stupidity and asked if there was any chance they could help me, despite it being my own fault that I had let the voucher expire.

"No problem at all Sir. We will add all the points back on to your Tesco Clubcard right now."

At that point I offered to read out the code number on the expired voucher, as proof that I was telling the truth.

"There's no need for that Sir. We trust you. The extra points will appear on your next statement," came the reply.

Fantastic customer service in all respects. Tesco has redeemed itself in my view, and this small example of great customer service will ensure that I remain loyal to them long into the future.