Written a few days ago, in a haze of stupified disbelief:
I am presently feeling on top of the world. The impossible has happened, and I’m still trying to get my head around it…
If you read my monstrous post entitled Chris Versus Tesco’s: Part 1 — don’t lie, I know you probably didn’t because my blog stats showed that people avoided it, just as I predicted — you’ll be aware that just the other day, I endured a total nightmare freeing some Tesco’s own-brand herring fillets from their tin. I know…I know…it sounds completely bloody pathetic, and part of you is now probably wondering why in the hell I would bother to blog about it. And so am I — it was tedious. Really, really tedious. On so many levels. But then, that’s what Tesco’s drove me to, so blame them. It took the combined strength of both my dad and I to open the tin, and so the logical thing to do that evening was write a giant 7-page-email to Tesco’s Customer Service department, detailing my harrowing journey from beginning to end. Emphasis on detailing.
After I’d sent that whopping email, I felt certain that it’d be ignored. I know for a fact that if I worked in Customer Service and some crazed shopper’s dramatic thoughts landed in my Inbox, the first thing I’d do is pass that crap on to someone else who actually gave a monkey’s. Yet the phone-call I received just a few minutes ago told of a person who could never do such a thing. Someone who genuinely took these matters seriously. It was to be a conversation of unexpected optimism and one that would restore some of my faith in the supermarket aspect of humanity. Most of all, it would prove, once and for all, that if you do ask, sometimes you actually do get!
It started earlier today: an unknown number called and I wanted to answer it, I really did — I knew it would be Tesco’s, I can’t say how but I just knew — but I couldn’t, as I was embroiled in writing for a client about Thomas the tank engine and it was stressing me out a bit (my task was to write expertly about how the characters of new differed from the original ones…except I could hardly claim to be a flippin’ expert now, could I? It was aggggggges since I’d played with Thomas and friends, and even then I’d paid very little attention to names. Worse of all, the new series, which was strangely entitled Thomas and Friends, was all over the internet, while nobody gave a toss about the original series anymore. I ask you: in what world do we live in where there’s a common, flagrant disregard for the original series of Thomas the tank engine?).
Later on, at around 5pm, my phone rang again: unknown. This time, having finished with Thomas and his muckers, I was swift to pick up the phone. Unfortunately, my stupid speaker-phone kicked-in — I still don’t understand these so-called smartphones — and a woman’s voice started shouting across the room. I composed myself, took it off speaker-phone and lifted the over-priced contract-trap-of-a-thing to my ear. “Hello?” I said. “You’re going to have to repeat all that I’m afraid, you sounded like a massive mumbling ghost.”
I knew it was a Tesco’s employee right away. Like Tony who had handled my complaint before her, this one was outrageously Welsh, keen to help me out and actually sounded like a human. A nice touch of which Tesco’s ought to be proud. Jade went on to say that she’d been forwarded my letter and that she’d read all 7-pages of it. Then came the bomb-shell. And there was me thinking that Jade reading it was bomb-shell enough…
Tesco’s were disappointed — ashamed, even — with themselves for making my life hell. So much so that they were going to send me not only a letter of apology, but also a £10 voucher for me to use in any number of their billion UK stores. And it didn’t even stop there, either…Jade said that because I’d emailed photos, she thought she’d probably be able to identify the manufacturer of the evil useless fish tins and have stern words with them. Not only was she sending the voucher and letter straight away, but she was going to take my case right to the top. OK, she never actually said right to the top but it was blatantly obvious that this was what she meant.
Feeling like I might have banged my head quite hard and be in the midst of imagining all this justice — I’d only emailed my complaint the previous Friday, a couple of days before — I felt for blood or signs of me having passed-out, but found I was fine (although I was still aware that if I had banged my head, my brain was bound to tell me I was fine, so you could never be too careful). And with that, Jade asked for my address details and I told her. My only regret was not kicking up more of a fuss and accepting nothing less than £100 compensation for my woes (the company recently posted a drop in profits, meaning that complaints from fish lovers, ignored before and relegated to in-jokes and banter between Tesco employees, are now clearly top priority). Still, £10 is better than nothing, and if my email saves the patience of thousands or millions of future fish lovers then it all worked out quite well in the end, didn’t it?
See for yourself:
From the letter:
“I was very sorry to learn that you had difficulty in opening your tin of fish, I understand how disappointing, frustrating and inconvenient this was for you [Jade was a fish lover too…I had struck GOLD!].
We aim to provide the best service possible at all times and it is very disappointing [note the heavy use of disappointing] that you were unhappy with the service that you received.
To address your concerns, I have informed the supplier and, as a gesture of goodwill, I have enclosed a £10.00 Tesco Moneycard for you with my apologies and best wishes.”