/ Shopping, Technology

Tesco – I can call, I can write, so why can’t I email you?

Does anyone else hate it when a company insists you contact them by letter or phone, rather than email? If you do, then my search for an email address to contact Tesco Credit Cards may cause extreme distress.

So I had a small problem with my Tesco credit card, and I needed to get in touch with them to sort it out.

Working for Which?, I know it’s usually easier to get things in writing in case you need to refer to your discussions at a later date. So, I went to the contact page of their website to find an email address.

I was surprised to find there wasn’t one – not even a contact form – just a postal address and a phone number. This struck me as odd – I applied for the card online and I manage my account online, so why can’t I contact Tesco online? A bit of digging found their Twitter account, so I tweeted asking for an email address.

Their answer? They couldn’t give me an email address for ‘data protection reasons’.

Am I getting too personal?

I was completely nonplussed. For a start, I see no reason why sending them an email would be a breach of data protection. Is their email address extremely personal to them? Should it not be in the public domain?

Furthermore, I was horrified that even though I could apply for a credit card, pay the balance and change my direct debit details online, I couldn’t drop them a quick email to ask them to fix a simple problem.

I got in touch with Tesco, and here’s what their spokesperson had to say:

‘At present, credit card customers can’t contact us by email. We ask customers to contact us by phone or in writing as this allows us to confirm their identity by asking them to provide their unique security credentials or signature.’

I’m afraid that, to me, that’s just not good enough. I spoke to someone at the Office of Fair Trading who pointed me to the European e-commerce regulations which state that a company selling goods and services online must provide an email address. This, apparently, includes companies who sell financial products, such as credit cards.

No, I don’t want your phone number

I also spoke to our in-house lawyer, Chris Warner, and here’s what he had to say:

‘If a website provides or enables you to purchase a service, the e-commerce regulations mean an email address must be provided. As you can apply for a Tesco Credit Card online, and you’ll be told straight away if your application has been successful, I think Tesco needs to include a contact email on its site.’

We’ve been in touch with Tesco on this matter, and I’m hoping that very soon we’ll see a handy email address displayed prominently on their contact page. Customers should be able to get in touch with them quickly and efficiently – without having to rack up a phone bill or faff around at the post office.

But, in the meantime, I’d like to know whether you’ve also struggled to track down a company’s email address.

When I raged about this in the office, Which? Convo editor Hannah Jolliffe pointed out that she’d spent a long time trying to find an email address for McAfee – they did have one, but it was buried deep in their website in a way that suggests they’d rather not receive any emails. Have you had similar frustrations?

Comments
SPRINGWATER says:
22 January 2013

I’ve received a letter from Tesco telling they have new bank account details and I need to change the details if I pay my balance off each month using my online bank account. How do I know this letter is genuine? It looks real enough, but then if it was a scam it would wouldn’t it?! I tried to find an email address to contact Tesco to check its from them, but as you say, there isnt one. I dont want to incur charges by ringing them to check – think this is unacceptable!

Peter says:
6 April 2013
Keelymac83 says:
6 April 2013

I am not sure why you have posted this as I can’t see anywhere we can email Tesco. There is help on the account, but we get all that if we log on to our account. we still can’t contact them by email

Nick Hull says:
25 January 2013

Hi
We are now January 2013 and there is still no email address further more the phone number starting 0845 is a charged call and I believe Tesco receive payment for anyone using that number

Roy Stothard says:
11 June 2013

Why should they bother giving us an email address when they are making a tidy sum from all of the customers waiting in the 0845 queue? If they gave an email address, they would have to employ people to answer emails and make less profit from the 0845 calls. Its probably only a couple of grand, but hey, ‘every little helps’!

Keelymac83 says:
25 January 2013

I am deaf, personally I think its discrimination. I wrote to Tesco two weeks ago and they have not replied. I can’t email them and I can’t phone them
as a result of this I have now transferred my credit card to another company who I can email, Sainsbury’s

Post Office Savings seems another one without on-line contact. Others we use have an online email-type contact system once logged in to keep it secure. It is convenient, secure and gives you a record.

Some other big organisations seem lacking in this respect – difficult to find a way of emailng the BBC for example. Whilst it is difficult no doubt to provide the best route for emails, that’s no different to dealing with post, is it? Perhaps it is a defence mechanism? I like email because it is quick, I can easily follow it up and I can attach information if I need. In business I always felt obliged to deal with incoming emails quickly, and perhaps this is why some organisations shy away from them.

The downside to emails I find is they can be sent instantly (sometimes inadvertently and to the wrong people!) and without the full editing and corrections that you apply to written documents. The mistaks in these conersations are testimoyto that.

john says:
31 January 2013

Having discovered a scam on my credit card i tried to get in touch from Spain only to find no email facility, spent two days ringing there help line got them eventuly told them about the scam . there reply. Ho we will send you a form to fill in in the next 7 days as i am not at my UK address iit will be another two weeks before i can get the form to them. Waste of time.

Keelymac83 says:
8 February 2013

The same applies to Halifax Insurance, took my house insurance out online but you can’t email them

Keelymac83 says:
11 February 2013

I am profoundly deaf. Took Halfiax house insurance out online. I can’t contact them via email for ANYTHING.
I have sent a complaint via online form, telling them I can’t phone them, and I can’t receive calls. They demand a telephone number and time to call before you can send the form. I complained about this. They sent this reply backWe have now received your complaint and will call you with a response within five working days (Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm). Please don’t reply to this email as we can’t respond to messages sent to this address.

Please note that unfortunately, due to the insecure nature of email, we are unable to use email to respond to your specific complaint point(s).

I will NOT be renewing my policy with Halfiax. Why have I got to ask someone else to make my calls on my behalf. This is the year 2013 for goodness sake.

Dougie Brown says:
12 February 2013

Same here – I’m abroad and need to speak to Tescobank about an incorrect interest charge on my credit card. Pretty appalled to find no email address, so will be forced to pay big buck to phone them from the other side of the world. Completely unnecessary, and plain wrong.

Do what i will do after sorting out my problem with them ,complain to the finacial services authority and vote with your feet. My main bank is nationwide they answer email normaly withen 12 hours and have a secure email service on there online banking service.

I agree it is ridiculous for Tesco Bank not to have an Email address.

Even more irritating is that after I’ve accessed my account on line I receive a “No Reply” Email from Tesco saying…that I can access my Statements online!!

Jen

Jennifer Hooper

SG says:
5 March 2013

Same issue. I am amazed that organizations refuse to communicate by email/secure message. Letters take 10 times the effort/time and calling is not efficient specially with the amount of time on queues and with the premium numbers. Emails are simple, quick and efficient and helps keep a history of the communication so you dont have explain the history every time you contact them.
I would love to see what response you get from tesco, as I there are couple of organizations which have the same 16th century approach towards technology.

Tesco now has an email address, as I have just discovered. I see that this has also been pointed out a couple of times on the previous page of this Conversation: customer.services@tesco.co.uk

I would like to know that Tesco pays attention to email before suggesting that other companies follow Tesco’s example.

Even those that do have emails don’t offer a good service. I’m in contact with Ofgem. Their automated email reply says they will answer in up to 10 working days! That is exactly how long it took to get a response. It needed another email from me to ask for further information (my question was not answered)- if that takes another 10 working days that will be a month to try to get a question answered.
This is a publicly-funded body! When I was in business all emails were personally replied to within a day of receipt, with a contact name, and if the information requested was not available right away we indicated when they should receive it. We treated them like phone calls. Incidentally, ring Ofgem and you get another automated service that takes a message!
Is it any wonder we think some of these public bodies inhabit a different world?

Nick Hull says:
6 March 2013

I have now tried the email address for Tesco Customer Services (which was mentioned yesterday)I am sorry to say but not unexpected the reply states that they cannot answer questions on banking or insurance and then procedeed to give me the phone numbers for those departments.I think the email address is for consumer who have problems with products.

Thanks for letting us know, Nick. I had only used this email address to ask Tesco to deal with a problem at their filling station.

unhapy says:
6 March 2013

And two years later there is still no email address.I the mean time I waited on the phone for 1 hour and no reply.

David says:
13 March 2013

I have a problem with Tesco credit card which I thought had been resolved with a phone call to them last month, but which has reoccurred this month. I went £24 over my credit limit end of Jan and was charged £12 in Feb. This charge was cancelled when I spoke to them, but reappeared this month. When I called I was told this was because I started the Feb – March statement month over my limit. How could I have known until I received the Jan – Feb statement, which is always in the following month?! Two bites of the cherry! I have e-mailed them using the address shown above.

For info – I contact Tesco on 0800 406050. The ‘saynoto0870’ website is good for non-premium numbers.

Richard says:
21 May 2013

Thanks for the telephone number – have just called this company to change my address. Despite me writing to them twice advising of a change of address the idiots still kept sending my credit card bills to my formwer property – quality security, not

John V says:
15 March 2013

Success. I emailed the CEO because my card was de-activated and I couldn’t get it re-activated as I didn’t have a statement and miraculously it was sorted out.

Susie B says:
10 April 2013

John V how did you manage to email the CEO?

John V says:
12 April 2013

Susie, I emailed ‘benny.higgins@tescobank.com’ and it was dealt with by their Executive Complaints Department. Have a go!

Pat Trezise says:
30 April 2013

Tesco. My husband died a few weeks ago and am busy sorting out his affairs. Why…? FAQ’s, there is never anywhere to register death, its just like it doesn’t happen!!! this goes for Tesco and a whole pile of companies

Keelymac83 says:
30 April 2013

Very sorry to hear of your loss… thats a very good point. have you tried making the comment on Twitter. that often gets peoples attention. I have emailed CEO At, benny.higgins@tescobank.com’ regarding my problems and he has replied saying they looking into it, so may worth a try.

John Kennaby says:
29 July 2013

Tesco Bank – no email address
The benny.higgins email address no long works, and only returns any messages as non deliverable
Back to square one – without waiting for hours on the their various 0845 numbers (all with the same message) how else do we contact them ?
Right pain in the a***
JK

I too have had problems locating an email for Tesco credit card services in order to complain.
Tesco have recently been overhauling their on line banking service with the result that they have failed on two occasions in recent months to email me when my statement is ready, resulting in my paying late and incurring charges. While I agree that i should perhaps check automatically myself every month, I must admit that i rely on an email to remind me as i have opted for paperless billing.
Is anyone else having the same problem?

Anthony says:
28 August 2013

I have only just discovered this problem as I have a new Credit card and I seem to be stuck in a no mans land. I tried to logon to the site but was told my computer isn’t recognised (Probably because I have cleared my browsing history since registering). I did not give a mobile number when I registered but the only way to get onto the site seems to be by Tesco sending me a text with a temporary access code. I can not give them my mobile number because I can not get onto the site without the temporary access code which they will text to my mobile but they cant do this because they don’t have it and i cant give it to them because I can’t get onto the site and —- you get the point. I have spent 20 mins trying to find an e-mail address to resolve the situation, but as I now know, there isn’t one. I phoned the help line and was told the queue was longer than normal, waited a while and gave up.

I can’t believe an eCommerce site doesn’t have an email contact.

It’s 2013 and I’m off to buy stamps to contact an ‘online’ bank!

Debbie says:
6 September 2013

Same problem, went to log onto my tesco’s credit card to print payment slip, forced into new security questions, the site didn’t like my security phrase so it took me a while to find out what sort of phrase was required. completed the phrase etc and pressed next and the site threw me out and now I can’t get logged in, so phoned them but can’t get logged in until they post me a code as they do not hold my mobile number and even though I answered security question to speak to someone, they can’t update my mobile number on to system so will now have to wait!! and can’t email a complaint!!! about poor service

Anthony says:
6 September 2013

Since my previous comment, I tweeted @UKTesco. Soon after I got a reply and then someone from Tesco phoned me. I asked why they don’t have an e-mail and they said they didn’t think it was secure enough. I then said that Twitter was a lot less secure because it is completely in the public domain with no security. They were unable to give me a sensible answer. However I will admit, tweeting elicited a prompt response. Try it.