This post is a follow up to ‘WDDTY – make your voice heard’
After reading these comments left by MikeH on the Quackometer blog;
“I used to work for the Tesco customer service HQ (which is based in Dundee, their administrative HQ is based in Cheshunt) on evenings and weekends when I was an undergrad student. I responded to customer complaints that came in by e-mail or letter (evenings) and by phone (weekends).
Bear in mind when contacting the customer service department that you are not talking to the company. You are in all probability speaking to a student or yound adult who isn’t even employed by Tesco (most of us were employed by the temping agency “Search”) who is sitting in a drab office, counting down the minutes until they can go home and forget, completely and utterly, about Tesco until their next tedious shift. They couldn’t give a rat’s fat arse about Tesco or anything to do with it. It’s just a job they’re doing until Search (or whatever temp agency they’re using now) punts them on to another call centre down the road (BT or Mastercard or whatever).
When the email pops up on their screen, they skim read it, do a keyword search on the company’s software which will call up a pre-written letter and they’ll batter that off to the customer. There is some scope for customising responses but, as I said, these people don’t work for Tesco and have absolutely no power to change anything and, anyway, they’re more interested in chatting to their neighbour about what’s going on at the student union that weekend, so nine times out of ten they’ll just go with the default. Moreover, they have a quota of e-mails that need responded to in a shift so, in the interests of avoiding some annoying ear-bashing from their manager, they’d mostly prefer to deal with issues via the path of least resistance (i.e. skim reading and stock letters). They then have to fill out a summary form, with the customer’s details and they “categorise” the complaint using an extensive menu of complaint categories (some are amusingly specific: “prawns were glowing in the dark” was a good one; some are exceedingly vague). The idea is that a spike in complaints in a certain category will alert management, who will investigate. But I would not rely on this system. Half the time, the staff just stick in the first category they see, knowing that the record will just disappear into obscurity alongside the literally millions of other records and will never be seen again.
I would either (a) ignore the customer service centre entirely, and contact the administrative HQ in Cheshunt; or (b) phone the customer service centre (don’t write in the first instance) and immediately ask to speak to the most senior manager available, tell that person of the issue, get their name and postal address and follow it up in writing with them.
Contacting the front-line customer service staff may get you somewhere eventually, but it’s going to be exceedingly inefficient.”
I tried emailing Tesco corporate services with a complaint against the stock emails being sent to people complaining about WDDTY.
Showing just how much Tesco care about the issue this is what they did:
Subject: FW: Unsatisfactory customer service
Followed swiftly by this from customer services:
Thank you for your email.
I understand you have concerns over the magazine, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and I can appreciate your views on the matter.
We are in the position of offering our customers choice rather than appointing ourselves as censors or moral guardians. The publisher of this magazine prints on page 3 a liability statement advising readers to consult a qualified practitioner before undertaking any treatment.
While we cannot comment on the contents of these magazines, your comments have been duly noted and fed back to our Buying Teams.
Tesco Customer Service
Have now replied to Corporate Services over the above with this: