First off, the email I sent to them:
Monday, 17 November 2008
Dear Sir or Madam,
RE: Poor Customer Service on your ClubCard Telephone Line
ClubCard Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I have been a customer of Tesco for some time now, and in-store have never found fault with any of your staff. In fact, I have often had reason to praise your in-store staff to my friends and family. Recently, however, I have had several disappointing incidents with your ClubCard call centre staff.
As a transgendered individual, I have legally changed my name to reflect my identifying gender. After making this change I contacted your ClubCard care line in June to inform them of this, and the young lady I spoke to was polite and helpful, and happily updated my details.
Late last month, I unfortunately lost my ClubCard, and decided to call to request a new card, as well as to update my address information. I understand fully that my voice is still feminine in sound, and so appreciate that over the telephone mistakes can be made. However, although I corrected the young man I spoke with; he disregarded that information and proceeded to call me Mrs leaveyoufordead throughout the phone call, and refusing to speak with me until I had passed him over to my husband. Despite informing him several times that I was, in fact, Mr leaveyoufordead, the account holder, and that I did not have a husband nor was I part of a civil partnership, he refused to process my request to change address or send a replacement ClubCard. At one point, when I asked to speak to a supervisor, I was spoken to very rudely and told that none were available. The young man did, however, did eventually confirm that he had changed my address details, and furthermore had placed an order for a new card to be delivered. Before I had a chance to ask for his name, however, he discounted the call.
This, I feel, was poor service in and of itself. However, I called again today (Monday 17th November, between 9:15am and 9.45am) to check the process of my new ClubCard. I hoped to receive better service, but instead was met with the same reception. I was told that there was no account registered at either my current, or my past address under the name of Mr leaveyoufordead. I was able, on this occasion, to find my ClubCard account number and offered this to the male customer service advisor I spoke to. Using this he was able to locate my account, which had been changed to Mrs leaveyoufordead. I asked for this to be corrected, but there was some confusion to why exactly I wanted this changed, although I did explain that I was in fact Mr leaveyoufordead and there was no Mrs leaveyoufordead. I was then told that a new ClubCard had never been requested. This I found particularly irritating, as it had been the aim of my original call in October. I requested another, and confirmed all the details, but was, at the end of the call once again addressed as Mrs leaveyoufordead in the advisers closing words.
I am very disappointed with the service I received, and have found the whole experience disheartening. I did not realise that your staff were not willing to accept the information I told them, or willing to treat me with respect, or even able to carry out simple customer requests. While I understand the verification of identity is important, I would have hoped some information could be put on my account for future staff to inform them that I am transgendered and do not wish to be addressed again as the wrong gender.
I hope something can be done to correct this quality of service. I have sent a paper copy of this document to your postal address.
I know some of the grammar was off, and some of it was worded badly, but I didn't think too much as I was writing it, and unfortunately I was still quite angry when I checked it through, so it lacked proper editing. Still, at 4pm GMT today I got a phone call.
I didn't catch the guy's name, but he was, apparently, CEO of the Customer Care Team of Tesco, and he called me personally after reading my email and getting my phone number from my club card information. He was deeply apologetic, and said that manners cost nothing, and he could not understand why his employees had treated me as they had. He also said that equality was one of the cornerstones of the company, and that as he could not pin-point the individuals I talked to, the whole of the Club Card customer services team would be re-trained on this point. He was also thinking of adopting a form of sensitivity training. There was some more apologising, some more "This is not actively encouraged" and "I do not condone their behaviour and I promise that this is not representative of the service as a whole."
I was rather surprised to have a phone call, tell the truth, and it was nice that he had taken the time to contact me.
However, the email response I got...
Thank you for your email.
I am very sorry that we were unable to meet your expectations when you called our Clubcard Helpline.
We find all customer feedback incredibly valuable as this helps us when we are looking at ways to make our service better. I would like to assure you that I have fully logged the points you have made. These will be directed to the correct area of the business.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your further views with us.
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com quoting xxxxxxxx.
Customer Service Manager
Tesco Customer Service
...didn't overly impress me. Am I expecting too much? Still, a nice phone call. At first I thought it was just an automated email, but it isn't. That was the actual written reply to my complaint. No personalisation, no nothing. Oh well. I wonder, did this guy now I'd been called, and so didn't bother putting too much effort in, or what? *shrug*