/ 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?

Adrian O says:
12 November 2014

Let’s be real here. In this modern world we want and need to be able to drop an E mail especially if we need help or want to complain to a company that is providing a service that we subscribe to or pay into.We certainly do not want long waiting times and phone call charges whilst doing this. Usually 5 to 10 mins in call plus a wait for an advisor.
TESCO, PROVIDE AN EMAIL ADDRESS I want a free rant. I’m not paying to complian about your poor service.
I may mention it on a forum for free however.

Keith F says:
12 November 2014

Update on my previous post of 29 Oct. I got an email and letter from exec customer services within a couple of days, refunding a late payment fee (my initial problem) plus £25 goodwill compensation for the inconvenience. Got the same story about “looking into” the provision of email contact. So emailing CEO got the result I needed without any “security issues” – QED!

What a crazy way to run a company if the CEO’s email address becomes the Customer Services contact. If that’s how they want to run their business, we need to get companies to post the email address of their CEO on their websites, perhaps alongside the phone number for Customer Services. 🙂

Contacting the CEO often works – I do it regularly and advise people to do it soon as they meet any difficulty. Addresses for CEOs at this great site http://www.ceoemail.com/

lyndamb says:
22 November 2014

I moved house recently and have been having loads of mail for previous owners. I have tried returning it then finally resorted to contacting individual companies. Very few give a contact email address and while some give a page where you have to fill in numerous personal details or they won’r accept the email. I object strongly to this as I am having to give my personal details to complain or request that they change the address details of previous owners and stop sending them mail. Like you I also object to having to pay for long expensive phone calls or the inconvenience of having to pay postage for something that I shouldn’t even need to be telling them. I am very wary of not having a record of information and the person I spoke to and in these times of everyone using technology I §

Royal Mail, BT, EE, KayandCo Sainsbury, the pension office are just a few of the names and I have had to deal with I have been told regularly that using the phone is easier for them. Obviously they can’t be bothered using email

Marilyn says:
22 November 2014

not an answer to the ongoing Tesco saga which has bugged me now for about four years!! but a response to your unwanted mail problem. The previous owners should have had their mail redirected – so their mail is their problem not yours. You could bundle and send to the estate agent from whom you bought your house and ask them to forward to the previous owners and say they should redirect their mail as you will now be throwing any more away. I suppose to be strictly legal you should do return to sender. I have moved houses 13 times in three countries in about twenty years so you can imagine this is a regular issue for me. I usually return to postman noted in red pen on envelope ‘not at this address’ for about six weeks then I bin.

Jane Hodges says:
21 December 2014

I completely agree that all of the banks are ignoring their customers by not offering a secure email service to take instruction from. This is too easy in this day and age and I for one don’t want to talk to someone to do my banking. Not accepting complaints by email is certainly a breach of the FCA rules- they should be made accountable asap for regulatory purposes but also just for good customer service.

adrian o says:
22 December 2014

Had to do the decent thing here – Dumped the credit card, dumped the fuel stations and dumped the supermarket – I know, it all sounds a bit of an overeaction and” bite your nose off to spite your face” sort of reaction however, Santander 123 CC, Morrissons fuel plus points and Lidl for my groceries I’m actually substantually better off.
Every little helps!

Richard says:
7 February 2015

Not only do Tesco not supply an email address but they seem to only provide 0845 numbers. Why can’t they get up to date with the free 03 numbers and provide some help for those customers calling from overseas.

Try using customer.services@tesco.co.uk I used it before Christmas to complain about Christmas music in my local store and received a prompt reply.

As Nikki suggested on the first page of this discussion, they should forward your message to the appropriate department.

Steve says:
10 February 2015

Interesting and helpful posts above, which I discovered in the quest to find a non-existent email contact for Tesco Bank, which is really annoying.
I am at present in France. I have a new computer which is not recognised by the Tesco Bank site. Unfortunately I made a number of errors signing into my on-line account which resulted in a Lockout. While I appreciate the secure system which ensured illegitimate access to my account, I now want to rectify and have tried unsuccessfully to obtain the assistance, after a considerable time, of a telephone advisor using the 0845 number. Unfortunately, because I was unable to answer some obscure questions which I would only know if I could access my account, I was informed that for security reasons the advisor could no longer proceed with my enquiry.
The obvious next step would be to email Tesco Bank, to open dialogue to resolve this issue. As previous posters have observed, the only possible avenues are through customer.services@tesco.co.uk and benny.higgins@tescobank.com
However judging from previous comments and Marilyn’s four year battle I’d better not hold my breath.

Steve says:
10 February 2015

Further to the above. Received an immediate acknowledgement of receipt from Customer Services with a promise of a reply within 24 hours. Automated…….. but a start

Lynsey L says:
24 February 2015

not benny higgins…..and the customer.services gives an automated reply within 24hours

[This comment has been slightly tweaked to align with our commenting guidelines – Thanks, mods]

Lynsey L says:
24 February 2015

ear Customer,

Thanks for your email.

Your feedback is really important and we’re aiming to be back in touch with a personal response within 24 hours. This might vary during busier times but we’ll do our best to reply as soon as we can.

Kind regards,

Kate Gough
Customer Service Operations Manager

Mario says:
16 March 2015

As at 16/03/2015, there is still no email address provided by Tesco Bank Credit Card Operations!
Send complaints via the post could get misplaced. telephoning the 0845 number costs a lot especially a long time elapses before you finally get to talk to a person. To Kate Gough, the Customer Service Operations Manager, when will Tesco Bank Credit Card Operations provide us with an email address?

Philip says:
24 March 2015

The whole online banking experience with Tesco is one of frustration. I appreciate that online banking has to be a secure as possible however I have never encountered such a long winded website any where else on the internet. I wish they would get their act together.

Marian says:
27 April 2015

Well I thought it was only me who was annoyed with Tesco Bank about not being able to email them. I believe they have charged me a interest amount in error and don’t see why I should write and add a stamp or phone and cost me more money. I bank with them online so why cant I email them. Crazy!! and if its not legal who is going to tell them they have to have email contact.
I have after a long search found a Tesco customer email and have ask them to pass my information on to Tesco bank to contact ME !! lets wait and see how I get on.

peter says:
5 May 2015

I have over 60k in their bank that I want to put back in another bank as I am fed up never being able to log onto the website- computer not recognized. The will not do it by email, and they say they will phone but do not. Why should I have to call them and make them more money on a premium line just to get them to give me my money back, can;t remember all the security nonsense anyway.

peter, normally if they do not recognise your computer they will send you a one-off access code to your mobile that you need to use within, I think, 10 minutes. This allows you to log in and deal with your account. Alternatively if you want to email the bank their CEO can be found on ceoemail.com

AC says:
8 July 2015

Apologies if this was posted above but I just cancelled my Tesco credit card by calling the “contact us number” and then selecting option 2 and then hitting 0 to speak to an operator (they do not advertise the “0” option). Bit of a wait but then got cancelled in a minute.

Nila says:
15 July 2015

I am also having issues with the lack of email address for Tesco banking. I went to withdraw some cash from Tesco savings bank at a Tesco store only to have my card chewed up by the machine. Tesco staff at the store said it had nothing to do with them. I would have to contact Tesco bank directly.
Tesco bank staff are just as pathetic in that they really can’t be bothered if customers left Tesco banking to go and bank elsewhere. the manager John Moore in Tesco savings was quite happy for me to close my account with Tesco bank. I am now off to email the Chief Executive officer regarding all the issues I have had to deal with since my card got eaten up by the ATM machine.

Nila says:
15 July 2015

Tesco banking in s a nightmare

Tesco Bank customer says:
18 August 2015

Just FYI,

all FCA regulated companies can be found in the register, which also must contain a contact for complaints. Tesco Bank is the trade name of Tesco Personal Finance plc.

Find them here: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/firmContact.do?sid=78901

Or below if you’re lazy:

Address: The address shown is the address that consumers should use if they wish to complain about their dealings with the firm.

Interpoint Building
22 Haymarket Yards
EH12 5BH

Phone: 44 0845 0716155
Email: TBCCmailbox@tescobank.com

[This comment has been edited to align with our guidelines. Please don’t share personal details. Thanks, mods.]