If you are Tesco (or Sainsbury’s), you have a lot of information about me.
You know what I buy and how often. You know where I shop.
You know when I’m thinking of leaving to shop elsewhere.
These consumer databases are very clever indeed, and are designed to keep me coming back by offering me targeted vouchers at checkout, and in the post. And I don’t have a problem with that; I know how the system works.
So I was pleased to be given a voucher by Tesco at checkout, for the new Genius frozen pies. These are a new product – and I couldn’t make it to the launch lunch because of work (sorry, Genius!) – so I thought ‘Yay! We’ll try these!”
So I looked for the products on my next trip. And on the next.
After the third visit, with no products to be found, I thought I’d ask at customer service. As expected: nil result. My local store doesn’t stock those goods.
So why give me the voucher? This voucher was specifically given to me at that store because I buy (some of) their Free From products.
Customer service at the store was, as always, very helpful, and suggested I phone central customer services to raise a complaint.
So I did.
Again, very helpful: no, that store doesn’t stock that product, but the one in the next town does. It stocks the Genius steak pie, the chicken and mushroom pie, and the frozen pastry.
No prizes: I drove to the other town, scoured the freezers, only to find… no product.
Again, I asked at customer service, and they spent some time going through their arcane computer system to look for the product. It takes a while, because products aren’t always listed where you’d expect, apparently, and there is no Free From section on the computer. But the answer is as expected. No: they don’t stock it; had never heard of it; weren’t expecting to stock it.
So why did central customer services send me there?
The PR company for Genius tell me that the new Genius product ranges will only be stocked in Tesco until November, when they will then be listed with ASDA, and should be stocked across a wide range of outlets.
Hmm. Not much commitment to Free From or to Genius products from Tesco then. I’m frustrated by this; I expect Genius are too.
The voucher was only worth 50p. But the disappointment, and the time spent trying to find the product, tarnishes the Tesco brand for me. Targeted vouchers are all very well, but they do need to be able to meet the expectations raised by them.
Have any of you managed to find the Genius pies yet? What are they like?