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.
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.
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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.
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