Thursday, 1 November 2012

Tesco Misprice Wine Revenge

Tesco admitted they lied about refunding all the customers they stole from - and sent me a £15 money card. Twice. 

They make lots of mistakes at Tesco.

After my local Tesco Metro overcharged me, I wrote to their Chief Executive. While Tesco investigated my complaint the hopeless store staff emailed to confirm they were contacting all the customers they had over-charged for onions and would refund them.

Of course Tesco has no mechanism to do this, and finally Head Office admitted the store had lied to me, not once, but twice. To apologise Tesco emailed to say they would send me a £15 money card. They did. Twice in fact. Identical letters arrived in the same post.

Tonight I took my revenge. I read on HotUkDeals that Tesco was suffering from another price glitch. Today they started a wine promotion which promised - buy 6 bottles or more, and get 25% discount.

Tesco failed to notice that the offer clashed with an existing offer on selected wines - buy 3 bottles for £12.

When HotUKdeals hawks spotted that the 25% discount was applied to the original price of the wine - in one case £9.99 - and not the discounted price of £12 for 3 bottles, they realised they could buy £59.94 worth of wine for £9.01. This 'Ogio' branded Chardonnay and Merlot quickly sold out.

The deal also extended to Hardy's Varietal Merlot at £6.99 3 for £12. The price for 6 bottles after the glitch just £13.81. Just £2.30 a bottle.

Tesco didn't much care when they overcharged hundreds of shoppers at my local store on pre-packed onions, so tonight I took the 2 x £15 Tesco money cards to the Tesco Osterley Store and swapped them for 12 bottles of the Hardys - which came to £27.62. I still had change for £2.38.  

The duty on a 75cl bottle of wine is £1.90 and the 20% vat accounts for another 46p of the £2.30 misprice. So Tesco should be losing 6p on every bottle they sell if my figures are correct. And that's assuming Tesco pay nothing for the wine, which let's face it is unlikely.

Tesco may finally wake up and take more care over their frequent pricing mistakes if they actually cost the company serious money - as this mistake appears to have done.


Anonymous said...

Good to see that at least sometimes Tesco's incompetence comes out in favour of the customer rather than against it!

Anonymous said...

its not a error its called a Tesco marketing ploy! have worked and still work on the tech side of Tesco and believe me we know what we are doing..

The Chief Executive said...

Anon - Having followed many of the comments on the deals site I linked to above - Hotukdeals - it would appear Tesco did indeed intend to sell the wine at something very close to (or even below) cost price.

Members 'filled their boots' buying hundreds of bottles using a variety of combination of special offers to buy wine (in some cases) as cheap as 5p a bottle.

Tesco did slightly revise down the rrp of some of the wines in the 3 for £12 offer to reduce customer savings (the Hardy's came down to £5.99, so the cost for 6 was £15 not £13.81) and they withdrew the Ogio Merlot which some previously managed to buy at £1.50 a bottle.

Many buyers managed to combine discounts and get £10 off home delivery so they ended up paying almost nothing. Others got delivery refunded when the withdrawn wine was substituted with other cheap plonk. The fact that Tesco carried on despatching home deliveries with wine as cheap as £2.30 a bottle would indicate they had no objection to selling it at this price.

Anyone who has ever been to the Canary Islands will know that you can buy cheap wine for under £1 a bottle (there is no duty there). As my post points out the vat and duty in the UK equal around £2.30.

There is a big debate about minimum alcohol pricing in England, which retailers like Tesco oppose. Tesco says it is a responsible alcohol retailer. But their actions with this promotion will only hasten louder calls for the introduction of the legislation Tesco say is unnecessary.

Tesco may very well decide to 'give away' more wine before Christmas in an attempt to prop up their flagging market share. I agree this looks like marketing, not a mistake.