/ 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
Anthony says:
10 July 2014

I posted earlier about the fact that they will respond to Twitter (which is obviously more secure than email, with it being readable by anyone!!) However I have a new problem. I regularly run a cleaning program on my PC and now when I log into my account I am told the PC is not recognised and I have to phone them. Well this time I’m not even bothering to send a tweet, Ill just stop using all Tesco financial products.

marilyn says:
10 July 2014

exactly my issue – I have two machines in the USA for half the year when they get updated or cleaned up or whatever – there I am stuck. Luckily I don’t use my Tesco credit card (much) while i am there and i keep trusting to luck cos I have no sensible way of checking my account.

Emme says:
24 March 2015

I have encountered this today! I am stuck in new Zealand and want to check my balance I only want to change my phone number to get my access code because ‘they don’t recognize my computer’ so my username is correct and so are my passwords just not the computer. To be honest had the same problem with Lloyds they answered via unsecure Twitter. Virgin though absolutely fine!!! I am trying to complain but guess I have to write!!!! Who writes these days.

It’s a classic ‘Catch 22’ conundrum Emme – by giving up the writing habit we have collectively and innocently extinguished the facility; we have sleep-walked into this by default. I am winding-up the affairs of a relative who died recently and having to deal with a large number of companies. Finding a proper correspondence address in many cases is proving to be very time-consuming, but I refuse to do this work by e-mail or by telephone. Companies are obliged by law to state their registered address, but that is often just a brass plate and no good if you want a timely answer.

Pink Teddy says:
10 July 2014

So this thread has been around for many moons. Isn’t it time to contact watchdog? They will only look into it if enough people get in touch around the same time. I will contact them today its really easy. Who’s with me?

marilyn says:
10 July 2014

consider me signed up

Anne says:
6 August 2014

I am. Sign me up!

marilyn says:
11 July 2014

here’s the latest in my correspondence with tesco

I write further to your e mail below addressed to the Chief Executive of Tesco plc, Philip Clarke. As your complaint relates to a Tesco Bank product a copy has been passed to my team and we have been asked to investigate your concerns and respond on his behalf.

As we have not been able to resolve your complaint straight away I am writing to acknowledge receipt and to provide you with our contact details.

We are currently liaising with the relevant departments within Tesco Bank in order to provide a resolution. If we have not been able to resolve your complaint sooner, we will write again with an update on:

· 21 July 2014
· 4 August 2014

There are, on occasion, exceptional circumstances where it may take longer for us to provide a resolution. If we have not been able to do so by business day 40, 2 September 2014 you will then be eligible to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to discuss your complaint with them.

So you know how we deal with complaints, I have enclosed our leaflet, “Your Guide to Making a Complaint”. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss the case further.

Marilyn

Helen Dewdney (@ComplainingCow) says:
18 August 2014

you don’t want the CEO email address of Tesco you need the email address for Tesco Finance. Courtesy of http://www.ceoemail.com please have this:
benny.higgins@tescobank.com

🙂 You’re welcome.

Currently writing to him now and including details about not providing a low cost customer care helpline number too

carol says:
26 July 2014

sign me up too, I have a horror story that because of lack of e-mail address – and Tesco credit card phone line people totally botching our simple request to slightly change our payment date due to one of us changing jobs and hence payday – seems to mean we will be charged interest we should not owe, for months while this gets sorted and goes round the houses as with Marilyn 🙁

suzanne says:
26 July 2014

I too am trying to contact them by email to no avail. I want to cancel my credit card. I tried ringing only to be given several options; none of which include me cancelling my card. I shouldn’t have to write a letter, print it out, put it in an envelope and pay for a stamp in this day and age. As previously said, I do my banking online with them so why can’t I cancel my card online????

Marcus says:
26 July 2014

I would suggest you look up the email address for the Tesco Bank CEO here:

http://ceoemail.com?q=Tesco%20Bank

Hope that helps.

Anne says:
6 August 2014

Thank you for the link.
For some odd reason, I could not register for online banking.
I wasted precious time and money calling their 0845 number for help, to no avail.
I was promised a call back to try and sort the problem out but it hasn’t happened.
Thanks to you I can now email them to register my complaints and to let them know that Tesco Bank is breaking European e-commerce rules by not provided an email address.
If you have a petition going on regarding this, please sign me up.

Marilyn Ormson says:
26 July 2014

I got a phone call from some customer service part of Tesco as I had emailed Philip Clarke, basically lengthy conversation that advanced nothing. Loads of attempting to placate but essentially this is the way they do it, they are reviewing it (oh yeah?) no idea if or when it will change!!!! I did mention that I must be one of many customers who had considered their new current account offering but it was useless to me they way they run internet services. yes, she understood this but yes the new accounts will have the same methodology. So sorry, folks absolutely no advance on about four years ago. I am nothing if not tenacious.

Philip says:
27 July 2014

Looking to email Tesco Bank which led me here. A bit of a joke considering Sainsbury’s Bank lets you email them. And this post originated in 2011 and still nothing! With RBS there is Online Chat which was incredibly useful changing address etc. The Tesco Bank app is great but their website is terrible.

Screenwipe says:
1 August 2014

I have just emailed the CEO with my Tesco credit card question, told him that I couldn’t find an alternative email address, have asked him to forward my email to the correct department, then copied and pasted the bit from the article where it says they SHOULD provide an email address.

Maybe if everyone does that, he will get annoyed and do something about it. 🙂

marilyn says:
1 August 2014

……sad to say I have done this three times, each time they feign concern and do nothing. They have a big enough customer base not to worry if a few hundred people vote with their feet – a stinky attitude.
marilyn

Screenwipe says:
5 August 2014

Well, I emailed the CEO on the 1st August. On the 2nd August (Saturday) I missed a call from Tesco Bank. On Monday 4th August they phoned again and said they would look in to my missing refund.
Today, Tuesday 5th August the refund is back on my credit card.

In brief : my credit card is linked to Paypal. I paid for goods from Argos using Paypal, the money was then debited from my Tesco credit card. Argos issued me a partial refund on 25th July which Paypal processed straight away but it didn’t show on my credit card.

The lady I have just spoken with at Tesco bank said that she hasn’t actually done anything and that for some reason, Paypal refunds take that bit longer to show on the credit card. According to her, even if I hadn’t have been in touch, the refund would have shown today.

That may well be the case but I have to give them 5 stars for dealing with my email straight away, always being polite and getting back to me when they said they would.

Also thanks to the poster on here who gave the link to the CEO’s email address ! 🙂
It might have been a different story for me if I hadn’t have found this thread.

John Smith says:
6 August 2014

It still cracks me up that 2 years after I clarified the point that Financial Services are exempt from this that people still say that the banks are ‘breaking the law’. They are not.
I’m also surprised that Which have never went to their lawyer to clarify this and post it here.
The FCA (previously FSA) regulate the complaint handling of banks quite rigorously and you’ll find that not providing an email address for you to complain to or to use to service your account does not contravene these rules.
If picking up the phone to pay 6p a minute on a landline is going to kill you then I suggest you just go to a branch if your banks have them. Alternatively, you could always call when your free minutes kick in on your landline package, since landline deal has these, and you won’t be charged the “extortionate” 6p per minute (God forbid).

I’m all for consumer rights, but take some responsibility and don’t expect the world to owe you a favour.

I see no reason why all banks should not offer a method for email contact. Mine do, through secure sites, so sensitive information can be exchanged and, importantly, kept on record – something a phone call does not. Email also allows you to contact the bank at a time that suits you – you may be at work asnd not able to make a confidential phone call, you may choose to review your finances in the evening and deal with it then. So it is not about saving the cost of a phone call – and the time it may take to be connected, find the right person – it is about convenience, security and recording information.

marilyn says:
6 August 2014

Absolutely Malcolm. Mr Smith assumes everyone is geographically/physically able to ‘just go to a branch if your banks have them’ and equally that everyone has access to a phone and is able to communicate by phone. If that were the case people here would not be having the problems they are having. I understand that these numbers may be small in the Tesco scheme of things but wouldn’t it be nice if a huge company considered those users too. As you say it seems common courtesy in this day and age that your customer has the full range of options to choose from when they need to contact you. The person I spoke to at Tesco kept repeating it was all about security which is clearly rubbish. As you say my other two banks have no problem offering an email service and for Tesco to launch a new current account service without this option is archaic in the extreme.

John Smith says:
6 August 2014

If you can email, then you can phone (you either need a landline to access the internet, or a mobile phone with data bundle) so that argument is immediately invalidated.
And I believe call centres record calls, so there is a record of any secure information you provide. In addition, from looking at the tesco credit card website, they’re 24/7, so how are their times of availability any less convenient than email?
Also – I’d rather phone and get an immediate answer than wait possibly days for an email response. If everyone on this thread has such an urgent enquiry it’s beyond me that you all think email is by far and away the fastest method of resolution.

Imagine the scenario – I complain by email. 2 days later I get a response and need to give more information. Another 2 days, another response, I need to give more information or clarify something that I didn’t get across right in the first place, and so on. All of this could be done in 15 mins on the phone – not2/4/6/20 days later!

marilyn says:
6 August 2014

profoundly deaf and speech impaired people might find a phone pretty useless.

marilyn says:
6 August 2014

my Comcast internet does not require a landline phone – it is on cable

John Smith says:
6 August 2014

Additionally Marilyn when you mention being unable to communicate by phone, I assume you’re referring to those who are hard of hearing or deaf.
While I appreciate your sentiment, there are other methods available to those with hearing difficulties such as text relay and minicom, which (unless I misread their website) Tesco offer both.
I appreciate email is cheaper, but there are phone & PC apps which emulate these services so again, Tesco and other banks are providing services adequate and inline with DDA and FCA regulations. The problem lies with the customer’s perceptions of barriers and the media’s (and Which’s) portrayal of ‘premium’ rate 0845 numbers. Which isn’t the case.

Anne says:
6 August 2014

You make it sound like we are scrooges, that it is our fault that we cannot get our issues with Tesco Bank sorted.
(Are you a Tesco stooge?)
Yes, it is 6p a minute but you do not get your issues resolved in a minute.
First, you’ll be put on hold while they try to get to the right department.
If you are lucky, this happens only once.
If not, you’ll have to go a few rounds!
Finally you get to someone who should be able to help you but after going through all the security questions he/she doesn’t know what to do.
So you get passed on to someone else and then the whole process begins again –
Are you who you say you are, verify your identity, more security questions, what’s your problem, didn’t understand your problem, offering you solutions totally unrelated to issues you raised, etc., etc.
Repeat this a couple more times with indeterminate minutes spent on hold and in the end, still no solution to your problem.
This happened to me last week and I spent a whole afternoon, trying to get them to sort out my problem, got passed from pillar to post, with no resolution.
As I said, precious time and money wasted.
Barclays Bank has a secure website that I use to get all my problems and issues resolved quickly, like a section 75 query.
Tesco is such a huge corporation they have no reason not to have an email address so that people have a choice to contact them either by phone, slowmail or email.
And by the way, Tesco Bank has no branches that you can walk into!

Keely says:
6 August 2014

Mr Smith , are you aware that text relay is a 3 person call and therefore you have to give all your bank details and security answers to a third person and complete stranger . They may have signed confidently agreements or whatever they do, but the fact remains you are still giving all these details to a complete stranger .
Both Typetalk which is what text relay is and minicom, which incidentally is never answered , are both very costly ways of deaf people making telephone calls. They take 3 times longer and they Typetalk number is not included in my unlimited talk plans. Santander, natwest Barclays, marks and spencer bank , sainsburys bank all have secure messaging. The problem is Tesco bank are nasty basically . They do the bare minimum for their customers and in this day and age it is not enough
I no longer have tesco banking or credit card for this reason alone .

marilyn p says:
22 May 2015

John Smith, do you work for Tesco by any chance? It seems like you do. You can only phone them up until 10pm unless your card has been lost or stolen, it’s then 24/7, but not for queries. We don’t all work 9 to 5. Its all because they don’t recognise my computer, and why should you have to call an 0345 number anyway, when there is a way of secure messaging that other banks seem quite capable of doing?

KM says:
15 July 2015

HILARIOUS – “Rather phone and get an immediate answer would you!?”! …. I’ve been on hold for 29minutes now … Dull repetitive music and voice message. Want to email them or even contact through bank app but cannot –

RUBBISH!!!!

I don’t see the reason for denying secure email access when there are clearly many who want to use it. It gives a record for both parties of what is said. I don’t suppose many record their telephone conversations. I believe it is more secure than phoning – my bank may ask for confirmation in writing or a secure email message following a phone call.
No point in resisting offering choice where it is needed; if you really are in need of urgent attention then you can try the telephone – although my experience of this was an overseas call centre, a 50 minute call to someone hard to understand, and no outcome. Solved by an email straight away.

C Kakar says:
12 August 2014

I agree that an email address should be provided. I cancelled my card with Tesco more than 4 years ago and moved to another country. I have not been back in UK since 2010. Tesco are now chasing me up to pay off an amount on the credit card because it was not cancelled and some auto-debit transactions were made while I was not in UK (and had already sent them a letter to cancel the card).

If the email address was there and I could email them, then there would have been a clear documentary evidence that I cancelled my card more than 4 years ago. I think to shrug these kind of responsibilities Tesco might not providing an email address.

Frances says:
1 September 2014

yes
just had a bizzare experience on the same lines – I want to cancel my paper statement on a savings account and could not find an email address. it is a simple question – how to do it – no security details need be exchanged.

So we have two weird issues with a business that wants to complete in the modern world 1) i cannot email them though I am encouraged to use online for everything else 2) i cannot turn off paper statements.
Well, I will just have to go on letting them send me them at their expense and shredding when they arrive. Logical???

Julian Brenard says:
5 October 2014

Tesco have sent me three emails telling me to contact then urgently as there is a issue with my renewal docs. When I look at my renewal docs on-line they have a letter telling me that I need to pay my premium within seven days. I am in Berlin and need them to give me there bank details but cannot email them!! I am not about to call them in Newcastle on my cell phone.
I am seriously considering changing my car insurance company as a result of this lack of a email address to communicate with them.

Geralyn says:
8 October 2014

I hope this irritating issue will be sorted out soon so we can finally email Tesco!

Russ Garrington says:
21 October 2014

I am seriously fed up with the Tesco website. I cannot print off my credit card statement although I’ve not had this problem previously. I have spent a considerable amount of time, and cost, ringing their telephone contact numbers in an attempt to get Tesco to send me a paper statement, but their pre-recorded options simply do not provide this option. I am now having to WRITE to their Glasgow address to ge some action. What a disgrace!!

Mike says:
22 October 2014

i fully agree with the frustration of trying to find an email adress for ANY department of Tesco and have just sent them a snottogram saying so and what a crap service Tesco supply their customers as per the announcement yesterday on the News that tesco have won the prize hands down on providing their customers the very worst service. I thought that was a bit unfair on them until this evening when I spent over 2 hours trawling their published info looking for an email adress to request a quotation and no I won’t bloody phone up during the hours they deem to answer the phone to us.

The only one I found was for me to subscribe to their email service to supply me with lots of useless and unimportant marketing information.So……….as they were the only poor sods that probably don’t even work for tesco they got both written barrels between the eyes!

I feel better now and as I always do, I will vote with my cheque book as it is the only way to get through to these arrogant organisation. It gets their attention when they can’t understand why their revenues and profits are suffering – good!

Incidentally I wanted a quotation for household insurance, off the web I got virtually immediately an email adress for both the AA & Direct Line so……eat your heart out Tesco

Thanks to the other posters I thought it was just me!
Mike

Helen Dewdney (@ComplainingCow) says:
22 October 2014

Email the new ceo http://www.ceoemail.com he apparently gets 2000 emails a day. Add to them 🙂

Keith F says:
29 October 2014

Really annoyed about the lack of an email contact for Tesco Credit Card and glad to see here that i am not alone! _ I am hard of hearing and phone is not always easy and with a simple problem, not worth the effort of writing a letter. Following advice on here I have emailed Benny Higgins ( CE of Tesco bank) and today had a response from executive complaints stating that they are looking into my issue. i await a response.

Marilyn says:
29 October 2014

I don’t want to be a defeatist but the ‘looking into it’ response has been about four years now and in my last conversation with them they were about to launch their new Bank Account also with no email facilities. As I said before they have such a huge market base they can afford to lose folk like us twenty-fold if we vote with our feet without a blip on their radar. They are just not customer-service based enough. Saves more money not dealing with emails than it does to accommodate us!!
Marilyn

Anthony says:
29 October 2014

If I could reiterate what I said on this thread last year. I had the same problem so I sent Tesco a Tweet. Within hours they were back in touch, I gave them my phone number and they phoned me. They couldn’t understand me being perplexed that they consider e-mail insecure but Twitter is OK.