Tesco cider deal glitch exposes service shortfalls


Deal-hunters have been voicing their frustration at a Tesco cider deal offered online this week - but not honoured in deliveries.

It wasn't so much that they weren't getting the deal they had been promised - it was the horribly inconsistent service levels they faced when trying to sort the problem out.

The glitch

On Tuesday night, eagle-eyed bargain hunters spotted that the Tesco website was offering 8 packs of Bulmers cider 568ml bottles for £5. Many of them snapped up the deal immediately, and shared it on deals website HotUKdeals.com.

Some made it an even better deal, signing in as a new customer, buying 12 packs, getting a new customer discount, and paying just £48 for 96 large bottles of cider.

However, those who ordered online and went to pick up their order - or had it delivered - found that instead of the promised 8 bottles, they received 6.

This sort of thing isn't uncommon among extreme deal hunters. If they spot a glitch, or hear about it on deal-hunting websites, they will often give it a go in the hope that their order goes though before anyone spots the mistake. Most do so on the understanding that there will be times when the mistake is spotted and the deal is not honoured.


What is less common, however, is an uncoordinated mixed bag of responses - which seems to be what Tesco offered. Some members have reported great customer service from Tesco following the misprice - getting refunded for the missing bottles or even receiving extra packs instore.

Member Kelly Wharton contacted Tesco after her delivery arrived with bottles missing and managed to get a £20 refund. She commented "72 bottles for £32 delivered. 44p a pint roughly. Have to find somewhere to store it all now. Refund has gone through and I have email confirmation. The woman on the phone was apologetic."

Another member, Sim, had a similarly positive experience after staff members and the instore manager were confused. He shared his success with the community, commenting: "They went to check things out, and came back 5 minutes later saying I could have them for FREE because of the inconvenience. :D :D"

Other members, however, had a more mixed experience. Member Clare Stringer shared her experience on the site: "I received 6 bottles as well. Rang Tesco and spoke to a very rude lady who told me no refund would be given and if I didn't want them, I should take them back. So I hung up and rung again but this time spoke to a lovely man who has refunded me the missing bottles."

Plenty of people were told they couldn't have the deal, and were offered a full refund or nothing. In many cases the deal-hunters were disappointed, but not angry.

However, some found staff were downright rude. Member Arron Hunnisett received 6 packs after ordering online and spent 30 minutes on the phone to Tesco's customer service department, being told that Tesco had fulfilled its end of the contract. He later commented: "Phoned 5 times now. Was told I would have two callbacks that never happened. Shocking customer service. They are refusing to budge. Tempted to go in store and try to get this sorted out."

Others were frustrated that other deal hunters had managed to arrange refunds and extra bottles, but that they were meeting a brick wall. Wayne1000, commented: "quite frankly I'm disgusted with Tesco!! Everyone else on here seems to have had satisfaction and I haven't and been out of pocket!!" He continued: "They were adamant that due it being an error on the Internet they were not honouring any...I have rung customer services and they said there is nothing I can do about it as was an error online and they aren't obliged to honour online mistakes."

It seems it's not the withdrawal of the deal that's so frustrating, but the fact it hasn't been done uniformly, leaving people feeling ripped off - which could surely never have been the aim of the promotion.

In the end Wayne 100 got satisfaction 16 hours later, with calls from customer services and a partial refund. He was much happier, but other members continued to add their angry and frustrated comments.

Tesco has since changed the deal on cider so that a 6 pack now costs £8 online, rather than the previous 8 bottles for £5 deal. A Tesco spokesperson said: "We apologise for this online price glitch, which has now been fixed. We occasionally make errors with our online pricing, which some lucky customers may benefit from. We would urge any customer who is unhappy with the service they have received to contact us."

But what do you think? Should Tesco have honoured the deal? Let us know in the comments.

10 of the biggest consumer rip-offs
See Gallery
Tesco cider deal glitch exposes service shortfalls

Using a mobile phone to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web while abroad can be extremely costly – especially if you are travelling outside the European Union (EU), where calls can cost up to 10 times as much as at home.

To avoid high charges, Carphone Warehouse suggests tourists ensure a data cap is in place, use applications to check data usage, turn off 'data roaming', avoid data-intensive applications such as Google Maps and YouTube and use wi-fi spots to update social networking sites.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is supposed to help people to continue meeting their loan, mortgage or credit card repayments if they fall ill or lose their jobs. However, policies are often over-priced, riddled with exclusions and sold to people who could not make a claim if they needed to.

At one point, sale of this cover - which was often included automatically in loan repayments - was estimated to boost the banks' profits by up to £5 billion a year.
Now, though, consumers who were mis-sold PPI can fight back by complaining to the bank or lender concerned and taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (08000 234567) should the response prove unsatisfactory.

It could be you, but let's face it, it probably won't be. In fact, buying a ticket for the Lotto only gives you a 1 in 13.9 million chance of winning the jackpot.

With odds like that, you would almost certainly be better off hanging on to your cash and saving it in a high-interest account.

No-frills airlines such as EasyJet may promote rock-bottom prices on their websites. But the overall fare you pay can be surprisingly high once extras such as luggage and credit card payment fees have been added - a process known as drip pricing.

Taking one piece of hold baggage on a return EasyJet flight, for example, adds close to £20 to the cost of your flight, while paying by credit card increases the price by a further £10.
It may therefore be worth comparing the total cost with that of a flight with a standard airline such as British Airways.

Cash advances, which include cash withdrawals, are generally charged at a much higher rate of interest than standard purchases.

While the average credit card interest rate is around 17%, a typical cash withdrawal of £500, for example, is charged at more than 26%.
What's more, as the interest accrues from the date of the transaction, rather than the next payment date, costs will mount up even if you clear your balance in full with your next payment.

Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda often run promotions under which you can, for example, get three products for the price of two.

However, it is only worth taking advantage of these deals if you will actually use the products. Otherwise, you are simply buying for the sake of it, which is a waste of your hard-earned cash.
To avoid paying over the odds, it is also worth checking the price per kilo to ensure that larger 'economy' packs really are cheaper than the smaller versions.

Buy a train ticket at the station on the day of travel and the price is likely to give you a shock - especially if you are travelling a long distance at a busy time of day.

However, you can cut the cost of train travel by 50% or more by going online and making the purchase beforehand - especially if you book 12 weeks in advance, which is when the cheapest tickets are on sale.
Other ways to reduce the price you pay include avoiding peak times and taking advantage of so-called carnet tickets, which allow you to buy, for example, 12 journeys for the price of 10.

Most High Street banks offer packaged accounts that come with monthly fees ranging from £6.50 up to as much as £40, with a typical account charging about £15 per month.

Various benefits, such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance, are offered in return for this fee. But whether or not it is worth paying for them depends on your individual circumstances.
Before signing up, it is therefore essential to check that you will make use of enough of the benefits, and that you cannot get them for less elsewhere.

Overseas money transfers or travel money purchases attract the same high rate of interest as credit card cash withdrawals.

Worse still, most credit cards – and debit cards – also charge you a foreign loading fee if you use them to make purchases while abroad.
You can, however, avoid these charges by using a Saga Platinum or Nationwide Building Society credit card.

Numbers starting 0871 cost 10p or more from a landline, while those starting 09 can cost more than £1 a minute from a mobile phone.

And the operators of these high-cost phone lines, some of which are banks, often get a cut of the call charges.
Most 09 numbers are linked to scams and should therefore be avoided at all costs, while 0871 numbers can often be bypassed by searching for an alternative local rate numbers on the saynoto0870.com.
Read Full Story