Tescos brushed off our complaint and denied responsibility for damage caused.

The Friday before Christmas we had a big home delivery from Tescos. Just before we got the knock on the door there was a loud clunk followed by a metallic clatter. I got up to answer the door. I asked the delivery man if he’d dropped some thing to which he replied that he had not. He left the first of the boxes and returned to his van to fetch more.

Wondering what then caused the noise I had a look round and saw that one of our cast iron railings and been broken and fallen to the bottom of the basement stairwell. Soon as the driver came back I pointed this out to him to which he shrugged his shoulders and gave a noncommittal reply of ignorance of the fact.

I told him that we’d be contacting Tescos and seeking some recompense for the damage caused. He maintained his disinterest and carried on with the delivery. My wife, Monica, at this point commented that another of our railings had been knocked out in a similar manner by a previous driver. On that occasion Monica had noticed it the day after so did not feel confident in making a claim. Given that it had now happened again we felt it appropriate to share with Tescos that incident and now this one. Monica phoned Tescos Home Delivery Customer Service line straight away. There was nobody that could help that evening, our contact details were taken and Monica was informed that she would be contacted the next day.

Nobody contacted Monica the next day so she phoned again. Monica was put through to the local home delivery depot. They told her to take photos of the damage, get a quote for the repair and together with the photos and a covering letter to contact Tesco Stores Ltd, 1-2 Priory Park, Mills Road, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7PP. This we did.

Due to nature of the damage it was important that we have it fixed without delay. Without two railings there was a big drop which needed to be made safe. We have 4 children two of which are small enough to go through the gap. Whilst we do as any parent would to keep them safe the chance of them going through the gap could not be ignored. Monica had the railings replaced costing us £120.00; it would have been a lot more if we had them replaced like for like i.e. period scrolled cast iron railings. As it goes all we could afford was square steel railings. It was Christmas after all! We duly sent photos, letter and invoice to Tescos.

Today we got the following letter:

Brush off letter from Tescos shoddy Customer Service Centre
Brush off letter from Tescos shoddy Customer Service Centre

Needless to say we are disappointed with this obvious brush off. I have no idea what force it would take to break the metal apart. I am confident that neither does Sam Relph, Customer Service Manager. I would argue though that the momentum and weight of a carelessly handled fully loaded Tesco home delivery trolley would be perfectly adequate in delivering whatever force was required.

The assertion that the railings were not fit for purpose nor in a safe condition before he collided with them; it seems somewhat presumptuous to make such a judgement without the benefit of physically examining the damage and the condition of the remaining railings. Tescos did not visit to do so.

Furthermore Tecos obvious strategy to avoid responsibility by having in place an inadequate process to reply and respond to such complaints comes over as a cynical manipulation of the busy lives we all lead. No email address in 2012 for correspondence! Who do they think they are kidding!

Curiosity taking the lead a quick search of the term “tescos complaint handling” interestingly comes up with many examples of other dissatisfied customers in relation to how Tescos have handled their complaint, indeed the top ranked search result is a blog seeking to expose their shoddy practice in this area.

Where to go from here? The internet of course. Will it make any difference? I’ll let you know if it does. Please feel free to repost or link to this post (short link here – In the meantime I suppose it would be fitting for us to boycott Tescos. Of course Tescos won’t  miss our business given the size of the organisation but perhaps they care a little bit more about protecting their reputation. Or not.