Are you wasting money on customer service?

by | Nov 19, 2022 | Articles

My wife purchased Hula Hoops BBQ Beef flavour for me from our local Tesco which was a surprise as they were out of stock for some time. It was a pack that contained seven bags and a favourite of mine.


The first mouth full tasted stale and so I tried a second bag in case the first one had a hole in it but it tasted just as bad. I had a look at the expiry date and as you can see it is 16/7/2016. Wow, that was a surprise and I was interested to see how KP and Tesco reacted to a complaint. It is worth putting on record that I was not looking for compensation in respect of this complaint and I was happy to take a replacement pack.


KP had an online complaint system and this was the response I received.


As you can see this is an auto generated reply designed to get rid of you quickly. There is no name and pushes responsibility to the retailer. There is an option to respond which I did and asked for the complaint to be escalated. This request was ignored. I sent the request again and this time I received the following response.

In fairness Chris followed up with a phone call and I gave him the following feedback. I told him that I just wanted my complaint to be taken seriously. I suggested that they use wording in emails that was reflective of an organisation that cared and should possibly include a name. Many organisations use a generic name in communications to give more credibility so why not do that. This is not rocket science and should be easily achieved by any competent Customer Service department.


Now on to Tesco who should be well capable of managing complaints. I approached the customer service desk and asked for the manager. A man presented himself as the manager and I explained the issue. He took the pack, gave me a replacement and said he would report it to HQ. A week later and still no follow up so I rang their Head Office. My call was answered quickly and it emerged that the store ‘manager’ should have asked me to fill in a form. What was even more puzzling to them was the fact that they had no manager in the store with the name I supplied. They said they would investigate the matter and come back to me within 48 hours. That was a week ago but still no word.


I followed up with a call and sure enough the complaint was logged but nobody took ownership of it. It has now been escalated two weeks later and I shall await the outcome. Amazing the carnage a €2.39 bag of snacks can cause. It is costing KP and Tesco who knows how much to resolve this simple issue that could have been dealt with much more efficiently. Please remember that I am looking for nothing by way of compensation but I am curious to see how they bring closure to such a simple complaint.


How does your complaint system operate? Are simple issues resolved quickly and efficiently. The one question I suggest you ask is ‘How can I resolve this issue or what can I do to help you’? I believe if that question was asked it would close off the problem.


As an aside, probably one of the most common retailers to receive complaints are restaurants. We have all been there either complaining or witnessing a complaint. I truly feel sorry for most restauranteurs as there are serial complainers always looking for a cheap meal which is a separate challenge but with the genuine cases I never hear the question – ‘what would you like me to do for you’? Instead they are quick to offer a free bottle of wine or deduct something from the bill but perhaps that simple question may solve the issue.