Stupidmarkets

I spend a fortune on food shopping. There are eight hungry mouths to feed every week and eight bodies to clean up after. Okay so half of those bodies belong to animals, but they still need feeding and hovering up after.

I would say that on average I spend £240 per week. It seems a lot yet I still manage to be out of things come the following Friday. My kids eat everything and are hungry at least once an hour and then there is Miles. To give you an idea of what he consumes, I just made him breakfast. 3 slices of toast, 3 poached eggs and a small tin of baked beans. He ate it, then said “Cor the starter was nice, whats for main?”

Out of convenience I did do my shopping at Tesco Extra which is just up the road in Havant. So Tesco have been taking around £1000 per month from me for the last three years. So that’s about £36,000 worth of business I have put their way. Not any more, I am boycotting them because three weeks ago they treated me so appallingly that I will never step foot in one again. Even the little Express ones that appear to be everywhere.

It was Friday, my usual shopping day. Being the summer holidays I had decided to take the kids with me. My daughter Mili is 7 and my son Olli is 5. To distract them from the task in hand I let them first choose a toy each, then I spent the next hour mooching around the store, slowly doing my groceries. I’d been gardening so its fair to say I wasn’t looking scrumptuous.

I went to the checkout. Paid for all my shopping and then walked to the travelator to exit the store. It was here that I was pounced on by a security guard. In front of 100’s of other shoppers I was frog marched through the store to these massive doors at the back of the shop. The kids at this point were worried. I was worried. Something was going wrong.

“Am I billionth customer or something? Don’t you usually give a fanfare” I quipped “Keep walking” the security told me in a really stern voice. We were met, through the doors by three other people. Two more men and a woman who looked like a bull-dog chewing a wasp. I instantly didn’t like her. I stopped and demanded to know what this was about. My children, by this point, were crying.

“We have seen you steal shampoo and put it in your bag” They stated, ushering me through to a small back room. “Shop lifting!!?? I am sorry you have the wrong person”

I was told they had witnessed it on CCTV and that I had sniffed some shampoo then put it in my bag. This obviously wasn’t a joke. Mili was, by this point, sobbing like a trooper saying “Why Mummy?? Why did you steal shampoo”

The whole attitude of these guys was appalling. They could see I was a mother of two young children and that I had just paid over £200 for the shopping, when they tagged me at the front of the shop I was polite and courteous. Why couldn’t they have just pulled me to the side and searched my bag? At least then the onlookers could have seen me being let off. Not carted away like some common thief.

By this point I was so irate that they had not given any consideration to the welfare of my children that I emptied the contents of my bag all over the table in front of my ‘jury’ “There you go, show me this Shampoo” I demanded. Mili was still pleading for me to hand myself in. In her head I was guilty as sin. I must have done it. These guys all said they had seen it.

Let me tell you, watching a rude and uncouth man rummaging through the contents of your handbag, (tampons, lipstick, crumbs, toy cars, spare knickers etc) is a really degrading experience. I watched as they realised there was nothing there. I suggested we go through my shopping bags too, just to make sure. The security guard, whom I later discovered was the security manager, literally scratched his head and said “but we saw you take something” I asked to be shown the CCTV footage and they refused on the grounds of data protection. What utter rubbish.

I left, I was in such a state and so disoriented by where I was (somewhere out the back of the store) that I kicked my stupid trolley accidentally and it bashed my hand against the corner of the CCTV table. I didn’t think much of it. I was so enraged that these guys had hardly even apologised that I just continued to walk back to my car.

It took me half an hour to convince the children the police weren’t coming to kart me off. It took me another three hours to be told by A&E that I hadn’t broken my hand. I had to cancel my meeting at Goodwood and rearrange my whole evening. I entered Tesco feeling bright, happy and looking forward to a lovely weekend. I left feeling demoralised, angry, confused, violated and worried for my children. Oh and with a swollen hand.

I have made complaints to Tesco and although in the first instance they seemed rather helpful, when it became apparent that I wasn’t going to accept a half-baked apology from a man who wasn’t even present at the time of the search, they seemed to retreat and now, unsurprisingly, I cannot get hold of anyone. No one. I was promised a written apology. It hasn’t arrived. Although to be honest, if it did arrive I would probably wipe my bum on it and send it back to Tesco with a note saying, “you know what you can do with your apology right?”

The interesting thing is this. Three weeks ago I might have said, when asked what I do want from Tesco, I want a public apology and a months worth of free shopping would probably lure me back in store. But if I am asked now I would say that there is quite honestly nothing that Tesco could do to get me shopping with them again and I’ll tell you why. It’s not because of the incident, or the lack of care given to me since. It’s because I have found a much better super market just up the road.

For the last three weeks I have tried other shops. Sainsburys, Waitrose and this Friday, Asda. I have realised that Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda all have very similar prices. Waitrose is lovely and sells some great products but unfortunately its just too far away to be practical for me. Sainsburys was very nice but to be honest I wasn’t overly impressed with the quality of the produce.

So to my utter utter surprise it is actually ASDA that will be getting my £1000 per month from now on. Okay so I wouldn’t buy ASDA’s own standard range of anything but I bought the Something Special (or whatever its called) meat and it was slightly cheaper than the others but my goodness, it was really nice quality. the vegetables are all sealed so nicely and crisp and fresh and tasty. In fact as I write this I am crunching on a Red Delicious and its fresh, crisp, red and indeed delicious.

I have always avoided ASDA as I thought it was one step above ALDI. To be honest its far superior to Tesco. There is a better choice and when I actually think about it, I had been moaning about the quality of Tesco for months. The Asda staff were all great. Most importantly, probably the most important thing of all, they stocked Miles favourite chilli sauce. Something Tesco stopped doing months ago AND I even managed to find this incredible pot of sauce from Ghana called ‘SHITO’

I have just about gotten over being accused of theft. I am still mad about the way it was conducted and I am still chasing Tesco for some kind of recompense. One thing that I can’t escape though is my daughter. Who keeps telling every single person that we meet that I am a shop lifter. So if any of you reading this have children at the Primary School, please don’t be shocked when you ask my daughter what she got up to in the holidays and she says “Well, we went to France, had a few BBQ’s and Mummy got caught shop lifting” It’s not quite as simple as that

UPDATE: Tesco have contacted me again. A very nice guy in the call centre said sorry. But I think I would prefer a statement from Tesco on how they will avoid this happening again.

UPDATE: When I wrote this blog I sent it out to my followers who understand my style of writing. I would like to say a few things.

I have had to heavily edit my piece. Apparently if you mention you have money it opens you up to be totally abused by people. Tonight I was told I was a STUPID FAT CU*T and someone said I HOPE YOU DIE OF FACE CANCER. I have been called a snob and asked what right I have to complain.

Throughout my post I don’t believe I said, if your poor you shop lift or that I said I should be let off because I’m rich. My main point was to tell a small group of people how terrible I was treated.

What I have discovered is there is an awful lot of jealousy, rudeness and people just wanting to attack for the sake of it.

The post has received 30,000 hits and out of that only 200 have complained. But the complaints have been SO vulgar and prejudice I decided to edit the blog so hopefully everyone can understand why I was so cross.

Also @Macchinaclub is my work account so IF you want to follow me could you do so on the @notnownancy one.

Nancy.

About Not Now Nancy

I speak, therefore I am and I certainly do speak. A lot. I am inappropriate, unique and often hungry. I have children, cats, a dog and a man. I work with men and therefore my humour is pretty smutty
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134 Responses to Stupidmarkets

  1. Excellent Nancy, and I have also boycotted Tesco despite it being a pain to travel to Waitrose in Menai Bridge. Keep pushing because I wont stop until they deliver you an explanantion and apology.

    • Andrew, Thank you so much it means a lot that you are boycotting too, even if it is just us. You know what they say “every little helps” Bloody Tesco. x

      • Jo says:

        It’s not just Tesco in the UK who treat customers badly. My 75 yr old mother who walks with the aid of a cane was accused of assulting a disabled Tesco Employee. At the time of the alledged attack she and my father in law were allowed leave the store. It was a few days later the Security Guard prevented them from entering the shop. The staff in said store deny anything ever happened so it’s my In laws word against the staff.
        That was over 2 years ago and they still haven’t received an apology.

  2. And whats wrong with Aldi?

    • Well to be fair, I don’t know. It’s probably better than Tesco. I’ll have to try it out.

      • Marwood says:

        Aldi’s UK sourced and organic stuff is great. There other stuff not so much but I find it worth the extra trip.

      • I was overwhelmed with sympathy for you, until I read about your search for another supermarket. I have no problem with you being wealthy but with this phrase: “I have always avoided ASDA as I thought it was one step above ALDI.” you’ve outed yourself as a bit of a snob, and that in all likelihood is what’s provoked the backlash.

        You should try Lidl, their smoked meats are fantastic.

  3. jamespbutler says:

    unbelievable but funny

  4. suze says:

    Excellent post, save for the reference to ‘getting off the Sunshine coach a stop too early’. Nasty and totally unnecessary. Shame.

  5. Gayle says:

    Love it! Love the bag the car and the sunshine bus made me lol not heard it in sometime you must be from the north lincs area!!!

  6. steamrobot says:

    Don’t think it matters what handbag you have or car you drive you can still be a shoplifter. You are clearly a snob but its still an appalling way to be treated. I would have demanded to see the manager and kicked off a stink there and then, but i guess shock can knock you sideways.

  7. Jon says:

    What sort of Porsche (don’t care about the handbag)?

  8. Chickenruby says:

    I’m saddened by the fact you had to write a PS I didn’t judge you on the porch keys or the also comment, didn’t know or care if you owned a porche or not, either way tesco security staff were in the wrong, I would think you’d have a case for defamation of character at the very least. And as for the sunshine bus, there are some very ‘special’ people around…did they find the gin hidden in your knickers?

  9. WiseMona says:

    Wow. First class customer service, eh? I love that you have not shopped at Aldi but feel confident in assuming it is not great. I am not a huge fan of Aldi myself, but Lidl does have some great produce and unique — seasonal — items. I think it would help your bottom line a lot too. £240+ per week does seem a bit steep…even for a Porsche driving, Chanel lipstick wearing kinda gal.

  10. Heavenly Housewife says:

    What a dreadful experience :(. Alot of these big companies simply don’t care. The fact that you blogged about it is great though. Sometimes it can be our only recourse as consumers.
    My favorite way to shop: ocado. So stress free, so easy, and a huge range of fantastic products. The best part is it comes right to your door!
    My husband won’t even set foot in Tesco. He hates it! If I have to go for an emergency product he usually prefers to wait in the car LOL
    HH

  11. Becky says:

    Interesting read and a worrying situation. But I’m wondering as your description wasn’t clear, did you actually leave the store when stopped? If you did not leave the store when pulled back then the security guard has actually committed an offence.

  12. I must say I was about to tweet about the relevance of the porche and the handbag as it only takes away from the experience. Then you added a footnote …well done, your a rich girl who shops with the plebs. Almost a good story….

  13. Sarah Arrow says:

    I feel for you, they did a similar thing to my daughter. Insisted on searching her which is illegal, she was 14 and then refused to apologise when they found she hadn’t taken anything. I wrote a of complaint and heard nothing back. They are disgusting in the way they treat people – like cattle and not human beings.

  14. Bob the builder says:

    You fat cunt, you eat too much fucking food. Hope you get face cancer and your dog ugly face rots off u WHORE.

  15. Kristina D says:

    So sorry to hear what happened to you. Makes me want to try Asda. :) Tesco should properly explain, apologise and implement a change in handling incidences like yours. (If only as a damage limitation exercise) Also, wouldn’t worry about political correctness in your writing – its your blog!

  16. Hmmmm. That’s Bad! With a capital B!
    To be fair, this scenario could have happened anywhere, not just Tesco and indeed, I have read reports of it happening in other stores in the past. However, that does not excuse Tescos actions. I digress.
    Tesco have a LOT of bad press. Like the woman who was refused a bottle of Jack Daniels Sauce because she didn’t have ID despite being 25!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2103575/Tesco-refuses-to-sell-BBQ-sauce-to-woman-without-ID.html
    I have also had problems with our own local Tesco, many of the staff there are right snotty bitches.
    But I continue to shop there.
    Why?
    Because it’s the only large local supermarket in our town apart from Aldi and Waitrose and other supermarkets are at least 14 miles away. That said, we do most of our main shopping online with Asda anyway and just pop to Tesco for the “odd bits”.
    We do use Aldi for many odd bits and really, we ought to use them more because their stuff IS so cheap and of good quality. However, they don’t stock enough of a range to do a “full weekly shop”. Not for us anyway. Waitrose is OK but to do a full weekly shop there would cost a bleedin’ fortune! We use Waitrose for the hard-to-source bits and the “specials”.

    By the way, are you aware of Very Little Helps? http://www.verylittlehelps.com/

  17. Fantastic post. I’ve been faithfully married to Tesco for some years now, but following a brief encounter with Asda (which turned out to be astonishingly cheap), I’m beginning to doubt the future of our relationship… ;)

  18. Joe says:

    Don’t concern yourself with small minded individuals who are some how offended by you mentioning your possessions – and don’t be ashamed of what you’re fortunate enough to own! It’s down to either jealousy or a misguided sense of disapproval for success which possesses so many and damages so much. Either way, these delicate flowers so easily offended really aren’t important. Too many are too easily offended.

    As for the Sunshine Bus, some of us who aren’t pathetic found that amusing. Two sides to every coin… story… view… You get the point.

    Anyway, to the topic. Tesco really is utter rubbish – and this attitude seems to pervade their business. Down to the Express Stores.

    I was unlucky enough to be rudely told by staff, in front of all and sundry, across the shop, that I wasn’t allowed to buy some beer. Apparently they’d seen me talking to children and I was buying it illegally… despite there being no children, me being well dressed (i.e. not in a track suit & hoody) and having ID which proved I was 19 (at the time). Nonetheless, I was dressed down and assumed guilty before I’d even reached the till.

    Long story short, I stayed polite but didn’t back down, and challenged their attitude and reasons. I’m reasonable and know they have to check ID and that selling alcohol is a challenge. Plus at 19 I didnt look particularly old. But to shout at me across the store without any reason is just rude.

    I still have no idea why they treated me like that. In fact, their story changed several times, including me being a test shopper (over 18 and with ID? That makes sense).

    They continued to be rude and accused me of all sorts, in front of customers all of whom live locally and may know me.

    I left incensed, and a little bemused actually. I have no idea why they thought it was acceptable to behave as they did. Apparently it’s not just my local Express where this is a problem!

    • tomasz. says:

      “As for the Sunshine Bus, some of us who aren’t pathetic found that amusing.”

      actually, it’s not “pathetic” to not be ok with mocking disabled people.

  19. Camilla says:

    I get it – honest – and as you say a personal rant to your nearest and dearest is a bit different, like wandering around naked at home – not quite the look you’d choose in public – not even in the Porsche!

    Blessings in disguise – you got pushed out your Tesco rut and came up smelling of roses with a superior shopping experience.

    Too much PC has led us to the recent ‘respect riots’ – less libralism required and more common sense on the agenda. You say it the way it is.

  20. Chris says:

    Ok you seem to of had responses to many of the points I was initially going to raise, “sunshine bus” and “porsche” being the first two.

    I would like to put this in perspective. Because of the actions of 2, possibly 3 individuals of tesco

  21. welcome to the world of ordinary people

  22. David says:

    Taking this article with a huge pinch of salt. Article sounds too much like it may be trying to smear Tesco and promote Asda. Not buying into this. Tesco Express stores are more expensive than ordinary Tesco stores because of their location and they cater for office workers, not weekly shopping. However, you do have a legal right to view cctv, so they should be held to account for that and there was no reason why you could not have been searched on the spot. Store manager should have apologized when he found nothing and should have offered you some vouchers, plus follow up letter and more vouchers. Staff in express stores are far more stressed out because of the environment and are usually under staffed.

  23. Trimble says:

    Sue and donate the money to your kids school or similar. I enjoyed the sunshine comment. Hope it all turns out for the best

  24. Steve says:

    Nancy
    I loved reading this entry. I lived in the UK for 3 1/2 wonderful years and when I first moved there I shopped at Tesco. With in 1 month I was treated with horrible customer service. Being American and not used to such poor customer service I wrote a letter to Tesco Board of directors. They did not apologize for my experience but sent me a BS form letter. That sealed it for me. I boycotted Tesco and started shopping at ASDA. I loved it. I am back living in the States but I still miss ASDA.

  25. MikeyB says:

    I have sympathy for you over your unpleasant experience. But the tone of some of this (ie. that it is somehow made worse because you are someone who is clearly in the higher earning bracket) does leave a bad taste. I have family members working in retail and believe me – they get ALL sorts of shoplifters, from the very poor to the very well-off. So from the security people’s point of view, they really don’t check out the handbag before acting on their suspicions. In your case, they obviously got it wrong and the way you were subsequently treated was very bad.

  26. Lynn P says:

    I’m sure your experience was upsetting, however you do come across as a terrible snob and one who cannot spell and has appalling grammar.

  27. Fiona says:

    What a disgusting way to be treated! Like you said, why couldn’t they have done it more discreetely so as not to upset the children?!
    And just a word of warning re your Tesco boycott ~ One Stop are owned by them too so you might want to avoid them as well.
    Good Luck with getting your apology!
    Hugs
    Fiona

  28. Wkdwiz says:

    Firstly i would like to agree that you were treated badly.
    Secondly the abusive replies you got were out of order, all but one… “Snob”
    I did not see you original post so i wont speculate on what was written.
    The fact that you may be well off does not make you a snob, there are a plenty of wealthy people who are not snobs.
    What actually does make someone a snob is comments like “I have always avoided ASDA as I thought it was one step above ALDI.”
    That said i still hope you get a proper apology from TESCO’s.

  29. Fiona Hill says:

    Sorry about your experience. They’re a disgrace. However, people should realise that you don’t need to let them search your bag. They do NOT have that right. If they say they’re going to call the police, let them, and let the police know you’ve been assaulted. And then demand compensation from Tesco.

    There are already so many reasons not to shop in Tesco (or at the very least, not to do all all your shopping there). See http://www.tescopoly.org

  30. bucmak says:

    Very pathetic. It is difficult though to believe that you were innocent if your own daughter can not trust you. If you are sure you were humiliated, get an attorney and press for charges. They should produce the video clip from the CCTV that brought about this.
    However, the whole story looks like you are advertising ASDA, and discrediting Tesco, maybe that is why some readers call you names.
    On people people calling you names, you should expect that on the net, we all don’t have the same perspective.

  31. Carey says:

    I think your account is brilliant and would love to read the un-editied version. I only have one dog and one man to feed but that means I spend plenty in Sainsbury’s – just because it is convenient. The ‘fresh’ fruit and veg are always a disappointment, especially the tomatoes, in-fact I don’t think I can remember what a juicy full of flavour firm tomato tastes like as supermarkets these days only supply a standard sized, filled with water and over ripe type.
    I would love to use only local shops and no supermarkets at all but working for yourself means there isn’t time to swan around town all day looking for such wonderful places.
    Good luck with getting anything out of Tesco and we would all love to see the footage of you ‘steeling’!
    Thanks for the read

    Carey

  32. Graeme Hardie says:

    Good stuff young lady
    Can you send me the unedited one, sounds far more juicy

  33. Kate says:

    Nancy that is so disgraceful!

    Seriously I really think it’s illegal for them to search your bag and accuse you of shoplifting if you haven’t actually done anything? They need proof and if they’ve been mistaken I’d say you can get a lot of money from them? Ring a solicitor or the small claims court you could really have a case here…!!

    Kate xx

  34. Chris R says:

    That’s a horrible story Nancy – it shouldn’t happen to anyone. I feel for you.

    Unfortunately, being disabled (and poor!) I have to use Tesco – they are the only supermarket within reach who not only have a mobility scooter (appallingly old & often breaks down) but allow me to reserve its use.

    But, while we’re having a moan, there are some things I’d like to say. Tesco have an awful habit of introducing lines that you really like and come to depend on, then sometime after, they are discontinued forever! Actually all supermarkets are guilty of this, but I wonder if Tesco are the worst? It would help if occasionally their marketing people would deign to visit Planet Earth and speak to actual flesh and blood shoppers, instead of peering hunched over their PCs watching the fluctuations on a “unit profitability per square centimetre of shelf space” graph.

    And don’t get me started on disabled parking! WHY are all supermarket disabled bays in a double row at right angles to the store?? They assume WRONGLY that all disabled people are in wheelchairs and therefore this suits them. Meanwhile, the spaces nearest to the store are taken up by ‘mother and children’ bays, and as we all know, children cannot, must not, walk anywhere. Leaving someone who can only struggle a short way on crutches, to negotiate a considerable distance before they manage to reach the front door.

    But I hope you get some redress for your awful experience Nancy.

  35. Chris says:

    I’ve found you get the same treatment from most security guards regardless of what type of place it is. Festivals, supermarkets, shopping centres; they are all the same. Bored security guards with nothing to do that get excited about a tiny things and blowing them out of proportion. There are some truly horrific videos out there of people being mistreated at music festivals. Most recently The Secret Garden Party – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF8MLPDAsUs&feature=related

    Sorry to hear about your experience and I’m glad you’re boycotting. The funny thing is, all the people out there giving you negative and horrible comments because of this are doing it because (in my opinion) they are bored too.

  36. Zeth says:

    I get good stuff from organic shops, the rest I try to get from LIDL, it is the best place ever. Get over snob issues and you find the stuff is exactly the same but cheaper. It is not just me and other people who go on foot, some really high-end luxury cars pull in at LIDL. It also has the mystery home goods which change twice a week. You get the contents of a department store over a year. Also at LIDL, they beep you out in about ten seconds, no querying for a machine which just keeps you waiting while it moans about ‘an unexpected item in the bagging area’.

    Also on principle I buy as much own brand stuff as I can. The only difference between non-organic big brand cornflakes and non-organic own brand cornflakes is the marketing budget that you are paying for. Just save the big brand box and refill it with own-brand product if it makes your kitchen look better.

  37. Mole says:

    I used to work in retail – for several of the major supermarkets (including Asda). Over the years, I’ve had to deal with my fair share of thieves (staff and customers) and it’s not a particularly pleasant thing to do. I’ve been kicked, punched, spat on, sworn at, I’ve had someone throw a bottle of urine over me. I had someone hit me with a wooden bat, a couple of times I’ve been threatened with a knife and once with a gun. I’ve also had people make phone calls to my home number making threats which resulted in my then partner deciding to leave.

    You wouldn’t believe some of the stories that I could tell you, or the people that have been involved in stealing. Magistrates, lawyers, doctors, civil servants, politicians, police officers, people with titles, some with more money on them than I would carry in a couple of months – as well as the desperate, the drunk, the drug addicts that you might expect. There were also a few mothers with children in tow as well. It’s made me a bit cynical – and I will apologise if that makes me sound a bit hard.

    Most supermarkets have a very specific procedure for dealing with suspected shoplifters, and from your description, they didn’t quite follow their own guidelines. Note that they are not the police and have no powers of arrest or search without your specific consent – if you didn’t give this, it is considered assault. When they make a mistake (which does happen) they should apologise appropriately. If you don’t feel they have done so to your satisfaction, don’t give up – they will stall hoping that you get tired of it before they do.

    One thing that that they will hate – media attention. However, this would expose you further and you might not feel comfortable with it. But you can always use the threat to help get their attention. The main thing is to be as calm as possible; be clear in your statements, make sure that you have dates, times, if possible names and witnesses. You might also want to investigate the small claims procedure of the county court – it might be possible to claim for financial compensation for lost time.

    Best of luck.

  38. nick says:

    That’s awful. (Coming here after seeing this retweeted by @downshep)
    Just a thought: did they ‘falsely imprison’ you whilst they interrogated you? Might be worth a discussion with an appropriate organisation who cares about liberties…

    My local store is a Tesco Metro, and I’d rather not support an organisation that takes such a mind-bogglingly stupid approach. It’ll mean a little further walk, but it’s also the perfect excuse for me to support more local businesses.

  39. Tamarisk says:

    Good on you for saying something. Frankly, I was more appalled by people sending you silly things, I think being accused of theft and being treated appallingly is frankly quite bad enough without having utter strangers throwing salt in the wounds for whatever reason.

  40. Marissa says:

    Nancy, all I can say is thank goodness you can express yourself so well and have shared the experience. It made me laugh and a bit tearful because I can just imagine it! I have a 3yr old a 4yr old. I dear not go to the supermarket without their dad because I fear the same sort of thing; that maybe one of them will take something without me realising it.

    I shop for food online quite a bit and I found Asda delivery was very bad: they’d turn up later than the booked time repeatedly. However, Tesco delivery is reliable. So I guess you can’t win both ways with good service.

    Thanks for sharing your story though.
    Marissa

  41. What a disgraceful way to be treated. The jobsworth security staff who can’t admit when they’ve made a mistake should be disciplined if not fired. The security guys at my local Tesco are really helpful and polite, so it’s a shame yours acted like insensitive morons. And as for the people who’ve been abusing you since you posted this story, it just goes to show that there are some horrible people out there. Fortunately there are many more nicer people out there like you and me! Don’t let the bastards get you down :-)

  42. D says:

    Choosing not to publish critical comments, only the ones of praise. Score one for free speech. Well done. Hypocrite.

    • I think if you review all my comments you’ll see I have published a fair few bad ones. Everyone is allowed an opinion. Even the ones that call me a C*NT I didn’t have time to approve comments until half an hour ago.

      • Fiona Hill says:

        In fact, one serious comment has not been published. Why?

      • The reason for this is there are thousands of comments. I just honestly haven’t got to them all yet. There are some very very valid points and I want to get these across but it is going to take time. Yours just popped up on my email and was is to read as it was short. The most valid ones are VERY long and I haven’t given them enough time yet

  43. Hey Nancy, Don’t you just hate how they think they are so powerful (The individuals not necessarily the companies but I wouldn’t bank on it).

    I used to be a Tesco customer, but for various reasons including their News International advertising, I tend to try to avoid them now.

    As my Fiancée is close to ASDA we use them for the large shop when I’m there, but don’t ever ever write off ALDI. Their white toastie bread is amazing, their frozen pizza (and burgers) work well for the money, they have amazing continental meats and cheese selections considering the size of the stores, but our face is their BBQ rib rack at £2.99 and their Piri Piri Chicken at £1.99 for a half a chicken in either mild or hot sauce.

    Fruit and Veg wise their super six is excellent value, and their own “Specially Selected” items are as good as any of the “best” ranges. Beer/Wine is good both in choice and quality.
    Give ALDI a try, you will be pleasantly surprised. You might not recognise all the brands, but you will like the taste and appreciate the savings. Your £1000 a month might just turn into £500-£700 depending on how much you need to look elsewhere for other stuff.

    My problem is I get tempted by their tools and hobby equipment which can be a killer though because it is all so tempting.

  44. Jonathan says:

    Don’t call and complain, it does no good. Write a letter to their complaints department. The call centre is like the 7th level of hell, you get an actual person if you write. You can also demand footage of yourself under data protection laws (they got it the wrong way round) but they can ask for a £10 fee. I’d recommend posting on Moneysavingexpert and seeing what people say. Bottom line is if you agreed to let them search you then you haven’t a leg to stand on and the best you can expect is goodwill.

    • Terry says:

      Hey Jonathan, just to let you know in case it happens to you, they cannot search you even if you invite them to do so. They are not the Police who have te right of search. They have no powers of search at all and are breaking the law by doing so. You can invite all you want, if they are security professionals then they will wait until the Police arrive and be vidicated when they pull the goods from your bag/ trousers. So don’t let anyone tell you different Police only no one else even in a citizen arrest.

  45. Akerbeltz says:

    Agreed, it was an appalling way to be treated but the thing is, any supermarket will treat you like that because the goons at the security level are, well, goons.
    On the odd occassion it has happened to me (always because a book I bought somewhere else had a tag that set of the supermarket sensors) I refuse to budge and tell them if they want to search anything, they can do it there or call the police.
    Seeing all supermarkets are really only after your dosh, the only thing really one can do is spread yourself evenly across them all or just use small shops in future (though for 8, that’s tricky).
    Best of and just ignore that Bob the builder weirdo, he needs his head seen to :)

  46. Rob says:

    I can’t believe people can be so hurtful and rude! What good has it done them to insult you?! Idiots!

    Anyway, shame on Tesco! What you went through was utterly disgusting and I hope you get a proper apology which you so obviously deserve! It would also be nice if they could apologise separately the children for the emotional distress they caused them!

    Good luck!

  47. brilliantly written I’m sorry so many people have been harsh on you!!
    supermarkets have a lot to answer for! I wrote this about my mum’s experience http://joannedewberry.co.uk/joannedewberry-co-uk/supermarket-sweep/
    I hope Tesco suck it up and reply to this blog!!

  48. keith says:

    rich or poor doesn’t matter no one should be treated in this appalling way.

    • Yes and can I just say I genuinely did NOT mean to imply that I should be let off because I’m wealthy. I just meant, I wasn’t behaving like an arse, I was polite and dignified and they should have treated me that way. Rich or poor a thief is a scumbag. If people see me as a snob so be it.

  49. Odd how the data protection act is so often cited these days – and almost always by people who have absolutely no idea what its provisions are.

  50. Tommy Moon says:

    I read the post and I agree with you, it had to be appalling and humiliating. I wasn’t able to read the “original” version though, but from what I see in the comments, there was a Porsche and a nice hand-bag involved. I want to comment on these comments more than the blog entry, actually. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a little “snobby”. We can’t all be universalist hipsters and many of us have no desire to do so. I work hard for what I have and I behave accordingly. If you were to come to me and drag me and the kids to the back because you thought I’d shoplifted from your ridiculous grocery store, I would have raised hell too. In fact, people from miles around would have HEARD our discussion. Certainly, anyone can be a shoplifter, and I’m sure it gives everyone a warm-fuzzy to think that even a wealthy person could do it, but statistically it’s just not likely. Look it up. Folks with decent incomes, etc, aren’t generally as compelled to steal from someone else as those who aren’t.

    So if she’s a snob, then so be it. I certainly would have never apologized for it if I were her. The people here complaining are snobs too – “moral snobs”. So much better because you think you’re always on a higher road. She only says what 99% of you would have been thinking but are too big of pansies to verbalize.

  51. J NEWSON says:

    YES I TOO WAS TREATED APPALINGLY BY TESCO IN BURGESS HILL, WEST SUSSEX SOME MONTHS BACK. THE ERROR WAS COMPLETELY THEIR FAULT AND YET THE TRIED THEIR HARDEST TO BLAME AND INTIMIDATE ME. I ACTUALLY KNOW SOE OF THE STAFF AND YET ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY HAD NO IDEA WHO I WAS. I DIDNT EVEN BOTHER TO COMPLAIN AS I KNOW WHAT A CLOSED SHOP IT IS. THEY WERE JUST AS UNHELPFUL WHEN MY 10 YR OLD SON WAS RUN OVER ON ONE OF THEIR ZEBRA CROSSINGS. ALL THEY WERE WORRIED ABOUT WAS THAT THEY WERE NOT AT FAULT. I WISH SOMEONE COULD STOP THEM FROM TAKING OVER ALL THOSE LOVELY CORNER SHOPS TOO. I PERSONALLY WOULD RATHER GO WITHOUT, THAN GO TO SNOTTY TESCOS!

  52. interiorporn says:

    Not to make light of the situation you found yourself in, but it does appear that you managed to find some pretty incompetent security staff. I actually served in retail security as one of my many, many jobs and the course of action taken should have been greatly different.

    By rote: theft is where one person dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another, with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. Breaking it down; you need to be seen approaching the object, selecting it, concealing it and then making no attempt to pay. If they don’t have all four of these elements, they don’t have firm enough grounds to stop you.

    In this case they thought that they had the first three, which I’ll come to later, but this wasn’t a great start by the security team to say the least. The fact that you had been through a till point would suggest that you made an attempt to pay, which would scotch the notion that you were acting in an underhand manner.

    Usually they would perform a “stand” where they almost block your exit to the store to see your reaction. If you panic, they could make a decision then. They don’t have the right to search your bag, but the fact that you offered mitigated that issue. Basically, they have to take you off the shop floor in order to try and resolve the situation with the least amount of embarrassment to anyone involved. If the system works correctly, you wouldn’t have even known that you were under suspicion, as you wouldn’t have flinched at the “stand”.

    The interesting point here is why they focused on you in the first place, which I’m sad to say is the real issue and one your change of supermarket may not help! You are obviously a very alert and observant person. You look around you and are aware of your surroundings and you constantly size up people in your local environment for your own safety and the safety of your children. Believe it or not, you are in the minority here. Most people go about their business entirely oblivious to their environment (ever been bashed by a shopping trolley or blocked in an aisle by people chatting?). Your awareness was picked up by the CCTV operator, who is trained to try and notice people who have a heightened sense of their surroundings and tell tale signs of nervousness such as yawning. In your case, it would be a genuine yawn (two kids? Bloody knackered I should imagine!) and you were probably looking around for your children. Exactly as you should be expected to. You can’t be blamed for behaving the way you did to cause the operator to focus on you, but try and ‘zone out’ a bit whilst shopping! The fact that they obviously didn’t have clear footage of you was compounded by a blatant lie that you can’t see the video under Data Protection. You have the right to see any footage where you have been filmed without your express permission.

    All in all, if this has caused you intense upset, you do have legal recourse in this situation. I hope that the above has helped explain their actions somewhat and that might help put it into perspective for your own peace of mind. But in conclusion, it was a very unfortunate situation and I really feel for you. How people could post horrid responses, as you have detailed, is beyond me. I wish you all the best. Wherever you choose to shop!

  53. Matt says:

    Great post here Nancy. I like your writing style, very honest and humerous don’t worry about being criticised about your wealth be proud of your achievements and your status. I’m just starting out in the blogging world and am looking for experience sites like this. So many experiences I have had from the big T which others should be aware of.

    Cheers

    Matt

  54. Laura says:

    I had a similar experience in a Tescos in South Wales around ten years ago. I was 20, with my eight and twenty-one month old, who were in a nice, pretty new, £350 double pushchair. We were’t well off, but my partner had a stable job and for such a young family we didn’t manage too badly. I probably didn’t look my best what with being in charge of two toddlers every day but we were all neat, clean, quiet, and well-behaved.

    I payed for my shopping, around £30, and still had cash on me. As I left the store my arm was grabbed and two security guards told me to come with them and marched me into the back room.
    Someone who I’m assuming was some kind of manager then entered and my pram, bag and shopping were searched. What I didn’t realise was that my eight month old daughter had grabbed a pair of little girl’s shoes from the rack as we were passing and had dropped them down by her feet. Upon finding them my heart sank, and I went bright red. I was truly shocked, and apologised instantly. They weren’t even her size. They were obviously a good few sizes too big.

    The manager spoke to me as if I was pure dirt. She barked at the security guards to call the police, and told me that when they arrived they’d probably take my kids into social services while I was questioned. I was extremely scared and started crying. The manager told me it was my own fault and I was making myself feel that way. Fortunately when the police arrived they were satisfied that it was an accident and I was let go. I offered to pay for the shoes at one point but was told I’d have to go to the till to do so, and felt far too humiliated to want to stick around any longer than necessary. I do realise that technically I was in the wrong, and the shoes were the reason I never complained, but I also know that I did not deserve to be treated the way I was. I’m very glad I read this blog. Thank you for not backing down.

  55. Dot says:

    First rule of lodging a complaint with any organisation is to put it in writing and STATE that you wish to make a complaint. With most companies they can treat it as feedback if you don’t state you wish to make a complaint and with feedback they aren’t bound by any Complaints Procedure.

    Horrible experience for you and they kids. I’m just waiting for a new local Asda store to be finished near me and then I’m changing over to them.

  56. i can’t believe the [negative] responses you’ve had to this post.unfortunately there are always a few idiots!

  57. Elaine says:

    Okay … I had to do a double read of the ‘sunshine’ comment, initially I thought you meant ‘people with mental/physical disabilities’ perhaps due to various charity ‘sunshine coaches’ etc the following link is what came up top of the search on Google when i pit in sunshine bus although i have never heard the phrase before personally

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sunshine%20bus

    But after re-reading it i took it to mean you were saying that some of Asda staff are little short on smiles and friendly attitude …

    There will ALWAYS be someone who instead of giving you feedback like a grown up or telling you their story in return (as i did) will choose to say ‘try being black’ f*%$ing snob etc etc …

  58. Robert Weale says:

    Sad you wouldn’t let my comment through it wasn’t abusive yet I feel it’s my political affiliation that persuades you to be prejudiced against me, sad as in your update you say you have no prejudices, I have and that’s what makes me different I have that right so do you, shame you cannot see it..

    • I have had 2000 comments this afternoon. Please send your comment again if you can and I will, of course post it. I have tried to post good and bad comments but I am sure you can imagine I cannot post all 2000.

  59. I am wondering if it is that Tesco is now in the process of offering you the suggested month’s shopping as compensation that you have not published my comment.

    • Hi. As said many times I have received over 5000 comments on the blog. I run two companies and have children so I am sure you can respect that I cannot read every single one. Tesco have given me no compensation. I do not want compensation if they feel they would like to give me money I will donate it to a charity or two. Tesco have sent my children a £30 voucher and an apology letter to Mili. Whatever your last post said, if it was constructive, send it over to me again in the next 15 mins and I will read it and maybe publish it. Thank you for your time.

      • I do apologise – this must be very stressful for you. I am very suspicious of Tesco, especially as they only seem to respond to critics on Twitter who have a large following. My suspicions were heightened by the comments either side of mine being moderated but not mine. Whether ‘constructive’ or not is for you to decide – I did think it might be when you were trying to catch their attention. This is what I wrote:

        Richard Kives says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        August 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

        Tesco recently ripped me off with a mobile phone. It stopped working but because it was 29 days after I bought it they refused to replace or refund. They offered to repair it which would take 10 days. Obviously this is unacceptable for a mobile phone – I bought it to be in constant communication – indeed I bought this one from Tesco because my other had broken. The guy who served me had no manners and looked as though he was stoned on drugs. I thought I’d write to the head of the the mobile phones but she just turned out to be another rude chav with no idea of customer service. Tesco really is run by scum.

  60. Romain says:

    Hum, a month-worth of shopping… really?

    It would have been a perfectly legit rant, and requesting a public or written apology is certainly right, but asking for free shopping in return is really low…

    Classy people don’t ask for money in such situations, especially when they’re full of it. Honour can’t be monetized.

    Anyway, there’s still something that doesn’t make sense to me in this story: how is it that nobody in this place recognized you, or know who you were? how long have you been shopping there? I mean, I know most cashiers and other people working in my grocery store, and they know me too, I can’t imagine them ever treating me this way, simply because I’m not a stranger to them. (nb: I’m french, but I live in the US)

    Without knowing the whole story and what type of person you really are, I’ll just say generally that maybe this kind of incident wouldn’t happen if some customers were a little more considerate to the people working in such places, for example by saying hi, asking a quick ‘how are you today?’, calling them with their first name, or even just making eye contact. Amazing what difference it makes, and amazing how few people bother doing it. (and how pompous and condescending it makes them look)

    • Can I just say that I have NOT asked Tesco for money. I had no intention. I was saying there was nothing that could get me back in store and i mentioned money because I was trying to say NOTHING could get me back in. Not even a months worth of shopping etc.

      I have also stated throughout these comments that IF Tesco felt money was appropriate then I would give it to charity.

      I do appreciate your comments as I appreciate EVERYONE that I have had.

      Nancy

    • Oh and also, I speak to as many people as I possibly can in this store but it was an EXTRA store, massive the size of Walmart.

      I have only ever seen two faces in there I recognise and I think the staff come and go.

      It’s a bit rude you have assumed I don’t. Perhaps you owe me an apology.

      • salliwich says:

        I also shop in a store that size and know at least 80% of it’s floor staff by sight alone on each visit. If that wasn’t the case I have to say I don’t think I’d shop there as a turnover in staff as quick as you are implying here would ring all sorts of bells as to it’s ethics……

        I dunno, I believed your story to begin with as i do know that things like this happen at times, unfortunately. But I can’t help thinking that you are either exaggerating their behaviour or omitting some of your own….everyone has a bias after all :(

      • Are you kidding me? You know 80% of the staff in a shop the size of a Wallmart? Do you work there?? I think you are exaggerating. Tesco Extra has a floor space of around 11,000 M2 and you think you know 80% of the staff.

        My story is exactly as it happened. No bells. No whistles. Just fact. It was printed in the Daily Mail and because it’s true I haven’t been sued for slander.

        You however have made an outrageous claim. You have stated you shop in a superstore the size of a Tesco Extra and you know 80% of the staff. Utter utter rubbish.

  61. Dom says:

    I also find managers at Tesco rude and un apologetic. One stood on my foot last night while chatting on the phone and didnt say anything to me.

  62. snobbyass says:

    What a snooby cow! There is no need to carry on like this! This suspected you of shoplifting and searched you, just doing their job!! Im really sure you have a porsche, of course you have, I mean why lie eh? Just get over yourself and accept they made a simple mistake and let you go, christ you werent charged or anything!!!! Some people like to moan about everything, just wake up please!! Poor kids :(

  63. Mr MD says:

    Good for you. More people need to boycott Tescos, bring back the friendly village store! Anywhere But Tesco!
    Cayman Islands have enough supermarkets operating from them!

  64. AndrewH says:

    I am very confused Nancy??? What is it exactly you are supposed to have said that is so bad? In my eyes you have done nothing wrong, every other bugger would have whinged about it to family and friends but because you wrote it down on a blog it is supposed to be in some way different?? Best of luck for the future and the haters can go f*u*k themselves in the arse! I look forward to your next instalment!

  65. KT says:

    I’m sorry about what happened to you; it must have been a frightening experience.

    I’m not in the least surprised though. I do shop at Tesco (the Chelmsford Broomfield Road and town centre branches), but less than I used to, because I am so often overcharged, in particular at the former store. It upsets me that I have to memorise prices in order to check that I haven’t been overcharged, and then when I am overcharged, I have to queue at ‘Customer Services’ to be refunded my money. The staff often adopt a bored, haughty approach, and an apology is often not forthcoming. I simply want to buy my groceries with confidence that Tesco are not being dishonest – and pleasantness would be a bonus.

    I once watched a youngster at the Broomfield Road branch being humiliated because he didn’t have enough money for what he was buying; it turned out that the price on the shelf was wrong (not a rare occurrence), and the staff dealing with it rolled their eyes and were huffy until the young boy apologised to them for their mistake.

    I think that your dreadful experience, therefore, should be seen in the context of the wider customer experience of Tesco. Shabby is the normal approach, at least here in Chelmsford; yours happened, on that day, to be extra shabby.

  66. Carlton B Morgan says:

    On looking above I did not tell the full story here is another go please forget that last one: –
    “Carlton B Morgan says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm”

    I had a similar experience in a Newport Tesco Express in April this year. I paid for a bottle of mineral water but their automatic machine did not issue a receipt. As it was a busy time of day, and I was not particularly bothered about the receipt, I simply attempted to leave the premises rather than disturb the very long queue. I was stopped by a security guard (before actually leaving the store) and was then publicly humiliated in front of other shoppers. I told the security guard the machine had given me no receipt and he then refused to believe me. Had he been doing his job properly he would have observed me paying for the item, but clearly he did not. According to the rules regarding arrest for shoplifting, he should have observed the entire “theft” taking place. Had he seen me leave without paying, only then could he even speak to me.

    He then insisted we go to the machine where he saw a receipt from 10 mins earlier, which I too had seen. They would have me on CCTV picking up this receipt and replacing it as being the wrong one.
    “This receipt is from 10 minutes ago” he said “Yes” I replied “what is that to do with anything?” I continued to ask what this was about and what I was supposed to have done, and not getting replies, while he summoned the manager. The manager then messed about with the internal workings of the machine while I continued my protestations and received no reply. Eventually he handed me the bottle of mineral water and said “that is yours you can go”- no apology. “That is all I get- no apology for being treated like a thief” I said. “No one has accused you of being a thief” he replied. Why was I made to go back into the shop? It wasn’t to show me special offers on mineral water!I

    I took the security guards name and emailed Tesco later that night when I returned home and have been remonstrating with Tesco ever since. They seem to think it is perfectly OK to humiliate a member of the public who has paid for goods. I have been trying to tell them that, as I had paid for the item and was not acting suspiciously, the security guard did not have the right to approach me in any way. They keep insisting that he had every right, though according to every guideline you can find online they are incorrect. My request (in writing) to their legal department for the CCTV footage was ignored and follow-up emails met with obfuscation. If they (as they claim) have done nothing wrong, what are they scared of?

    I had kind of let matters slip for a month or so due to personal circumstances but seeing your article in the Mail has galvanised me into action. I have kept the entire correspondence with their false claims that I was not entitled to the CCTV footage and that the security guard was entitled to question me.
    Thanks to the respondents on the Mail site and your blog I am now even more certain that I am right and they are wrong. I was offered precisely £5 less in vouchers than your good self, but then I did not have children with me and my shopping bill came to a mere 62p.

    My next step – if I continue to receive no CCTV footage – will be to complain about the non-supplying of CCTV footage. They are a disgrace, they want the rule of law to apply to shoplifters but don’t want to conform to it when dealing with non-shoplifters. More power to your elbow!

  67. Steve Jacksn says:

    Oh boo fucking hoo. You do come across as a total cunt.

  68. James graham says:

    While your boycotting Tesco come and volunteer at the soup kitchen with me. We talk to people ideal problems.

  69. Bazza says:

    For me a blog should be informative and entertaining, yours is both. I quite like Aldi & LIDL so found your comment about Aldi a bit unfair. (don’t go near Netto though! :-) )

  70. Lee Slator says:

    What an appalling experience! Clearly the Security Manager was gutted that he couldn’t make an example of you. Give them a uniform and they think they are god!

    As for the comments of followers which are unsavoury, I just don’t get some people. You were just sharing your experience with us. That doesn’t warrant to be called those things.

    I’ll retweet you and spread the word. I may even link my own blog if I get chance.

    Glad you’ve found a better alternative supermarket. We use ASDA quite often when we can, although Tesco is closet and more convenient.

  71. I am sorry to hear of your experience. The bit about the swollen hand puzzles me as you talk of it post the event. Did anyone grab your arm at any point? I think you should clarify that point.

    • The swollen hand was mentioned because had I not been in such a state it wouldn’t have happened. I have no intention of suing as it was my fault in that I knocked the trolley against the CCTV table. By accident. The point wad to state that I had to go to hospital etc. It was to get the point across that Tesco caused me a LOT of grief because of their actions. They seem to think they can put it right with £30 but I don’t want money. I want them to sort out their stupid security who behaved so badly. The whole thing could have been handled with care and compassion and I would have been absolutely fine. I don’t mind being searched I just mind be treated like shit. Xx

  72. Neil B says:

    Excellent post… I can’t stand Tesco anyway. Customer Service should not depend on what you earn so why people feel the need to criticise you is beyond me

  73. Your experience sounds terrible and I would boycott Tesco if it had happened to me. To support some of the other comments I have at one time or another shopped at most of the supermarkets but do now do a lot of shopping at Lidl because the quality of the food is good and they are cheap.

  74. daitexas says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that Tesco have set their minions on you. When people threatened to boycott Tesco over the NOTW scandal, Tesco put their PR efforts into the hourly bullies on their payroll. What happened to you is a disgrace, and Tesco’s response shows that they’ve completely forgotten about customer service.

  75. kittynation says:

    Hello.
    I felt inclined to reply to you, mainly because of the unnecessarily rude and derogatory feedback you have received from writing this blog post.
    I read you have edited some information out of this latest update, and I can only surmise it was perhaps various statements about how much money you have coming in to your household.
    Now, I have no idea how much you earn, I can tell you it’s definitely more than my family does, as we only spend around £90 a month on a “big shop” (excluding daily trips to the local Co-op for everyday essentials etc).
    However, how much you earn, and how you spend it, is your prerogative and no one else’s. If you want to spend £2000 a week on groceries, then as long as it’s your money, and your family have earned it, then you should be free to do it / share this information with those who are interested if necessary.
    Also, it has no bearing whatsoever on the incident that took place. I have never stolen even a biscuit in my lifetime, yet on several occasions have been accused of shoplifting (mainly as a child).
    I know how degrading, upsetting and embarrassing it is. I have worked in many different lines of retail, and one important thing I have learnt is that you are not allowed, by law, to encounter a suspected shoplifter until they have left the premises.

    I am shocked and a little horrified by the comments left for you on this blog, and the best advice I can offer you is to simply ignore them. Do not rise to them. I am a little worried about how malicious people can be, over a blog post about Tesco.
    I can also understand how your daughter may have been scared into believing that perhaps you were in the wrong. You’ve more than likely brought your children up well, to respect figures of authority. On the occasions when I myself was accused of shoplifting as a child, I was scared to death of the people whom “collared” me so to speak. However, they were definitely more scared than I was when my mother finally showed-up to tell them what was what!
    (My most intimidating and frightening experience was in the local Woolworths, I was around 10 years of age, my brother, 5. We had been given a pound each by my Nanna to spend how we chose, so, as it was in those days, we headed for Woolies. The security guard was plain-clothed, and this is where Woolworths initially made a huge mistake. He decided in his “loss protection” wisdom to follow us around the store from a distance, hiking himself up on his toes to peer at us over the top of the aisles.
    He continued this for around 10 minutes, until I had been whipped-up in to such a paranoid frenzy, that the only presumption I could make was that this fella was some sort of murderous pervert, who wanted to follow my brother and I home, and attack us before we met out destination.
    I used my basic child-logic and exclaimed to my brother aloud to “Come on, mum is waiting for us outside! We can’t be late!” Thinking, in my mind, that this strange man would be put-off trying to grab us as we were not alone.
    I was very much wrong in this case, as this slimy idiot followed us out of the store, at a distance, slowing down and speeding up, replicating our own steps.
    Indeed, I was almost on the brink of hyperventilating at this point, grasping my brother’s hand so tight, with my mother’s mantra repeating in my mind “If in doubt, shout out “I DON’T KNOW YOU, LEAVE ME ALONE!”.
    Half-way down the high street, interrupting our desperate pace, I turned around to see if this strange man was still following us. Much to my utter dismay and disbelief, I saw him, with his back to us a little further along, “apparently” fixing his hair in a hand-held mirror, but what he was actually doing was assessing our progress via the mirror. I nearly fainted. I RAN. I grabbed my brother by his arm and screamed “RUN HOME NOW!”
    After running for what seemed like forever, this long-legged jobs-worth finally caught us by the hood of my jacket, bringing us to a teary and fearful halt.
    He then decided to reveal his true identity, that being a security guard, and accused my brother of stealing the small toy gun he had hidden in his inside pocket of his coat.
    What this blithering idiot didn’t know was that my young brother was absolutely obsessed with James Bond at the time, as was going through the obligatory “Secret Agent” phase most little boys have. I explained this to the mirror-man and he finally gave in and let us go.
    But I was so shook-up by the incident, by the time we were home (only 5 minutes away from the store) I was in floods of tears, my poor mum was aghast.
    She flew down to that store in a matter of seconds, it was almost the speed of light, that’s all I can say.)
    I thought I would share that little gem with you, as the the feelings of that incident have never left me.

    As a side note, I’m also intrigued by the statistic that Tesco earn £1 in every £7 spent in the UK* (or so it was in 2007). I often wonder if this monetary-monopoly makes them a little complacent in terms of customer service. One should never be “frog marched” through any establishment, a customer should be approached with authority but at least degree of politeness and respect. As your story has clearly proved, the customer is always right until proven guilty.

    On a personal note, I personally prefer shopping at Waitrose, which some find flummoxing on my £90 a month budget. I am just particularly good at finding a bargain, thus can happily feed 3 humans and 3 cats on such. I find the quality of goods to be the freshest and tastiest at Waitrose, but that’s just my personal preference… which we’re all allowed as we’re lucky enough to live in a country where speech is normally free (unless you write a blog about Tesco, it would seem).

    Rich or not-so-rich, Tesco, Sainsburys, ASDA, Aldi or Waitrose, whomever you are, wherever you spend your money, everyone deserves a little respect as a consumer. Don’t patronise the patron!

  76. My fullest solidarity to you. Only pacified acceptance makes this kind of abuse somehow acceptable. I recently emailed in attempt to reprimand a manager, who witnessed by my mum publicly accused an elderly woman in a mobility scooter of shoplifting pints of milk at my local Morrison’s. We’ve decided to boycott if no action is taken, and as we should do with Tesco on behalf of you (not to mention their nationwide monopolisation in taking local communities out of business).

  77. Also, my mum wants to say something. Forgive me: “Dear scrumptious Nancy. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I understand about the poor/rich thing, because I alternate between my glamorous look to out of the garden muddy wellies. I’ve been followed home from Morrison’s when scruffy, but when smart they don’t pay me any attention. They do assume ‘poor looking people’ (their perception) will be nicking things.” I didn’t expect it to be that embarrassing, but important information.

  78. The porsche keys were deleted because I got fed up with people bashing me for owning a Porsche. It got boring and tools that were jealous got in the way of the actual point of the blog. The sunshine bus comment was removed because it was said with a punch of salt to my friends but was insulting to people who don’t know me. So it was edited.

  79. Tom Stevens says:

    Your children have stupid names, and probably belong in the Sunshine Coach.

    • I can’t comment on whether they do or do not belong on the sunshine bus. So far this morning my son has had a shower with his clothes on and earlier I caught my daughter wiping the dogs bum? So maybe, maybe your right.

      Not sure how Olli and Mili can be stupid names but I respect your opinion.

      I will say one thing though, not that you will EVER read it because like all the other cowards that have made rude comments on here you have left a made up email. Wimp.

      Are you ready anonymous bully? And in fact this is to all the anonymous people that have insulted me including the dickheads that offered me out for ‘sniffing’ shampoo.

      You are a cunt.

      The end.

  80. Loving your replies to the nasty comments Nancy. I’m sure Team Awesome would approve.

  81. Ronnie says:

    This is a tragic tale of how a helpful household giant has become a tyrannical misanthropic beast. Imagine killing off your most profitable customers…..because you don’t trust them? Some might say that everyone should be treated the same; that anyone suspected of shoplifting should be drawn over the coals and made to profess their heresy!! But what about the rule of law: innocent until proven….or so the edict goes. So what does this Tesco policy say about it’s shoppers? who, other than God, has spent more on analysing their purchasing habits and behaviours than Good ol’Tessies, through club card of course!? This should be clear to all. What kinda’folk get treated this way…spending money Only to be manhandled and thrown into a darkened room and put into the stress position? Quite clearly Tesco treat their customers like the scourge of society, the lowest common denominator.It could be you next time so change your retailer before you get cavity searched at the pic mix. only difference is this time they got it wrong. Don’t mess with Nancy!

  82. Pingback: Huff Puff Puff | Not Now Nancy

  83. Pingback: Why tesco don’t care : Another tesco horror story Lifestyle Blog by Rachael Phillips. Lifestyle, Tech, Current Affairs, Real Life, Culture, Travel Rachael Phillips :: Lifestyle Blog

  84. Pingback: Who has the power – blogs or brands? | Tamar

  85. Not up my own arse says:

    Oh, do fuck off you bunch of affected bell-ends.

  86. MagicE says:

    I had a similarly horrifying experience at Tescos:

    On the Saturday before Christmas I was shopping in the Tesco store, Sidcup.
    I saw a grammatical error on a large display sign that had obviouslt been there for a long time – the kind of mistake one sees on a market stall/ grocer’s sign. The staff and store manager must have seen it thousands of times and done nothing about it.
    I decided to take a photo of it.
    The store manager approached me and asked me what I was doing. He then told me, with not one note of courtesy or interest in the error, to delete the photo from my phone because it was Tesco policy that photography was not permitted. I asked to see the policy – as is my right. He lied to me that there was a huge sign at the store entrance stating that photography was not permitted. I said that I would delete the photo once I had seen the sign. He then became increasingly rude and told me to get out of the store and that I was banned.
    He made me leave all my shopping and threatened me and told me to get out. I said that I wanted to see the sign first. He told me to get out or he would call the police. I was happy to wait for the police.
    He then called security and they told me to leave. I said that I wanted to see the sign with the no photography policy and that I was happy to wait for the police. I asked security whether they would remove me physically. They said they wouldn’t. However I then found myself surrounded by a huge group of staff – so that other customers could not witness what was going on (they clearly waited for that before getting physically abusive) and was then pushed aggressively – virtually punched – out of the store. I am an educated, law abiding person, an ordained priest, and yet I was treated like a common criminal. I also have a heart condition and anything could have happened. There was one civilised member of staff from Guyana who spoke with respect and looked concerned by the way I was being treated. The others were thugs – especially the deputy manager.
    The manager earlier had refused to show me the complaints policy and procedure and had also refused to give me his full name. His badge said ‘Lee’. He told me that it was company policy not to give names to customers. Customer services confirmed later that that was a lie.
    I had expected the manager to have shown some interest in the mistake on his large display sign instead of treating me so rudely and having me treated abusively.
    Customer services messed me about for two months. Said they were investigating and would look at CCTV. I asked for a copy and they said that they only gave it to the police. I informed them that by law they had to give it to me within 40 days. They checked with their lawyers and had to admit I was right. They believed the lies of the Store manager, Lee Watkins and sent me cctv of me talking to security. Not of the ‘manager’s ‘ rude treatment, nor of their physical treatment of me outside.
    I can see why Tesco is the worst supermarket in the UK

    I can’t believe that anyone can be treated like that. I am a quietly spoken gentleman and not a thug.

  87. Pingback: How I abused Tesco | Geordie Bore

  88. anonymous says:

    Also, great to see comment moderation in use. So only the extreme (or obliviously conspiratory) side of people who don’t agree with you are portrayed, further afirming your position. Smart.

  89. Funny you felt that way because out of 500 comments that have been made to this blog I actually tried really hard to select good ones and bad ones. Ones that agreed and disagreed. Personally I would be more than happy to post every single comment that was made but there are far to many. Some people think I am a snob. Some people think I am boring. Some people think I should get over it. An overwhelming majority think that the security team were out of order. I really don’t mind them doing their job, its the manner in which they do it that is the issue. But thank you for your comments and I am sure that no matter what I say or do you will find something wrong in it.

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