We visited Tescos in Andover on River Way today to get our weekly shop, but mainly to stock up on Cava and cocktail umbrellas in honour of the new series of Strictly Come Dancing that starts tonight on BBC1.
As we made our way around the store, we grabbed goodies from the shelves until our trolley was bursting, we moved towards the checkouts and were confronted with much more chaos than I would expect even on a Saturday, the problem became evident as we approached a large cordoned off area with buckets and signs advising caution because of a wet floor. Water was dripping out of the ceiling and was being caught in a few buckets, 2 checkouts were covered in black plastic bags to protect them and toward the front of the shop there was another area with water leaking from the ceiling and being caught in another two buckets.
I went to the customer service desk and identified myself and the website I was representing and asked what was wrong with the roof to cause the leak, the customer adviser was a little cagey in her manner and said there was nothing wrong with the roof, smelling a rat, I pressed her on what the issue was and all she would respond with was ‘We have a Problem’. It was clear I was getting no more out of her and so I wandered off and took a few pictures with my iPhone of the affected areas, where I was confronted by a different member of staff who asked me what I was doing, I told her I was taking pictures (which was obvious anyway), put my phone away and joined my family who were paying for our shopping.
As we walked out I became aware of the initial customer service person that I spoke to following us out of the store, at quite a pace, I felt a little intimidated and confused as to what she wanted and it felt a little like some sort of drama that I would watch on ITV! We made our way calmly to the car (my children were a little freaked out) with the Customer Service member in hot pursuit. What she did next astounded me as she started to take down the registration number of my car, at this point, I drove over to where she was standing watching us as she seemingly entered my information into her own phone and I asked her why she was taking down my number plate details, ‘I haven’t’ she initially responded and so I asked her if it was because I had taken pictures, which is when she asked me why I had taken the pictures.
I explained it was purely of the water leaking to allow me to do a story and again asked her why she had taken down my registration number and she replied ‘What’s it got to do with you if I did?’ I responded that I would be contacting Head Office and perhaps then she would understand why I cared. I got into my car and drove out of the car park as she stood watching me.
On my return I phoned Tesco Customer Service and asked what the company policy is regarding taking pictures in store, the representative told me that it was unacceptable to take pictures of children, but other than that there was no policy. I explained what had happened and she was, in her own words, astounded. I asked why my number plate would be taken and if I would have been banned from the store and she said she didn’t think so. Following this conversation, the Duty Manager at Tesco called me to ask what happened and I explained exactly as I have above, he was shocked and said that the way I was spoken to and treated was unacceptable, especially as it turns out the woman did not only take down my details but took a picture of my car. The manager apologised to me for the way I was treated.
When I took the pictures it was purely because it was a local relevant story that the people of Andover would find interesting, what it has become is utterly unbelievable, is our local supermarket really that paranoid and suspicious that a member of a so called customer service team will follow and intimidate anyone who dares to take a picture or ask a question.
If anyone actually knows what the problem is in Tescos and the waterfall currently plaguing the store, please do let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org