Saturday, 23 February 2013

Every little helps?

The slogan "Every little helps" has not been living up to its promise. Many boaters use the Tesco on-line ordering service to have items delivered to a road bridge close to their boats. However, it's not been a good start to 2013 for Tesco.

First the scandal about horse meat has highlighted some of their shortcomings. However if that was not bad enough. Tesco have suffered another PR disaster after one of their van drivers ran over a horse and caused it to be put down. The animal’s back legs were broken after the supermarket vehicle reportedly struck it from behind in the incident in Little Kineton village in Warwickshire. The steed, called Miller, had to be destroyed after the crash because a horse’s legs cannot heal after they have been broken.

Miller was part of the Warwickshire Hunt Kennels and the hunt’s master, Sam Butler, said: "It caused a great deal of distress and it is very lucky no one was injured. The horse belonging to the hunt was being exercised in the usual way. Three were being ridden and each one was leading another. Unfortunately one was hit by a vehicle resulting in a leg being broken."

The rider of the horse was unhurt but was said to be very distressed. A Tesco spokesperson added: "We were sorry to hear about this sad accident. Our driver acted responsibly throughout and we are in contact with the owner." This latest horse-related incident comes as Tesco is still trying to recover from negative publicity caused by horse meat being found in some of its meat products.

Every little helps has flown in the face of Tesco once again. Tesco have now been given the bird in more ways than one. James and Jasmine Watson made the grisly dead bird find after dishing up a pre-packed baby leaf salad with their steak and chips. Mr Watson started tucking in before spotting the soggy remains on his plate.

Tesco not normally known for their expert ornithological knowledge announced that the bird was a Blackcap European warbler, found in Spain and Italy.

The Blackcap which was correctly identified as a warbler can frequently be found in the UK during the summer months.

Sales director Mr Watson, 32, said: "I took three mouthfuls and then saw it. My first reaction was why have I got a soggy fishcake on my plate. But then I saw its beak and realised it was a full-size dead bird. We couldn’t believe it. We both got off our stools and stood there in utter amazement for at least two minutes. We only had a few low lights on so we were effectively eating by candlelight." The £1.50 salad – marked "washed and ready to eat" on the bag had been ordered on-line before being delivered by Tesco. Mr Watson added he and his wife had gone out for a "few drinks" on a Friday evening before returning home to prepare dinner.

The next morning he went straight to their local branch of Tesco in Yate, South Gloucestershire, and the store manager later visited their home with a bottle of wine and some flowers. But Mr Watson said "He has no plans to shop at Tesco again. I would really like someone from Tesco to sit down and explain me how an animal so large got into a bag of salad. The magnitude of this was disgraceful and I find the offer of compensation a bit of an insult."

Tesco said: ‘We were concerned to learn of this issue and have investigated thoroughly with our supplier.’ The store added: "We have been in contact with our customer to reassure them how seriously we have taken this matter, and offered them a gesture of goodwill."

Every little helps, especially if you've been voted Britain’s worst supermarket. Tesco scored just 45 per cent for satisfaction in a Which? survey of 11,000 consumers, with poor grades for its pricing, store environment, quality of fresh produce and customer service. Waitrose came out on top gaining an 82 per cent approval rate, including full marks for its customer service and standard of fresh goods. Aldi and Lidl came in narrowly behind Waitrose, scoring highest for their pricing. Ocado was voted best on-line service.

One Tesco shopper who took part in the survey said: "We are very aware that our shopping is getting progressively more expensive, so you really need to be watching what you buy to ensure you get the best value." Several others said they found the experience of shopping in Tesco "unpleasant" and "Its stores tend to have surly staff and are littered with boxes. It’s too keen on profits and not keen enough on service" remarked another.

Every little helps, Tesco fears fraudsters have hacked into customers’ on-line accounts after some complained vouchers had disappeared. The supermarket has asked police to investigate a number of incidents where Clubcard vouchers are alleged to have been stolen from internet-operated accounts. Dozens of shoppers claim to have lost vouchers worth hundreds of pounds, while others have been unable to log on. Other loyalty card members told consumer website that Tesco’s customer service staff had informed them vouchers had been spent miles away from their homes.

Tesco, which has 16 million Clubcard members, has ordered an internal review of its on-line accounts. A spokeswoman said: "We have launched a thorough investigation into a small number of incidents and referred the matter to the police. In the meantime, we’d like to ask any customers who believe they’re affected to contact us directly so that we can make sure their accounts are up to date."

Dan Plant,’s web editor, said many of the site’s users planned purchases including holidays in advance using Clubcard points. That makes these reports a huge worry for anyone planning ahead that way.



  1. Have you ever tried to run a multi million pound company? I think not! It's really sad when all people can do is talk about the bad things, they don't report the good things! I bought strawberries last weekend and pre packed broccoli amongst other things, I cooked the broccoli and went to serve it to friends we had for lunch, it contained a catapillar that was two inches long. Having got over that I opened my strawberries to put on a pavlova, they contained a dead fly, so you see it can happen to the best of them. I don't have any affiliation to Tesco but I do work in Waitrose! Jane

    1. HI Jane.

      You're not having much luck in the contents of the items purchased for tea. I hope your friends were not put off. An old cynic lke me might even suggest the protein content was no worse than other similar contaminations.

      When someone says that I'm always reporting the bad stuff - I always say, the thing about bad news is that there is so much to choose from. It's the old "man bites dog" thing when judging newsworthiness.

      If I were to say on the blog, we purchased several items for tea today from Tesco and there was no contamination. I would be doing Tesco a greater disservice, because it would suggest by inference that contamination was the norm. I did go into Tesco yesterday and made some purchases. So I'm not boycotting them either. I know that the odd poke in the ribs from time to time helps to make things better.

      Now, I could have wrote a puff piece on Morrisons saying how well their quality control systems work because they have managed to avoid being embroiled in the horse-meat scandal.

      I hope a positive outcome for everyone is the end result.




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