Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Signal boost: take Tesco to task for false accusation of shoplifting

I was really annoyed to read via Neil Monnery of the appalling treatment handed out to Nancy when she was falsely accused of shoplifting a bottle of shampoo because the security people had apparently seen her put it in her bag over the CCTV.  They clearly saw wrong as it wasn't there.

Now, it doesn't matter whether someone spends thousands of pounds a year or a few pounds a week in a shop, or is in for the first time. They should not be subjected to the appalling, humiliating and distressing ordeal she was put through, especially in front of her children. I mean, look at this:
Let me tell you, watching a rude and uncouth man rummaging through the contents of your handbag, (tampons, lipstick, crumbs, toy cars, spare knickers etc) is a really degrading experience. I watched as they realised there was nothing there. I suggested we go through my shopping bags too, just to make sure. The security guard, whom I later discovered was the security manager, literally scratched his head and said “but we saw you take something” I asked to be shown the CCTV footage and they refused on the grounds of data protection. What utter rubbish.
I would never steal from anybody, but I wouldn't like to think that I could be treated like this down my local Tesco, humiliated in front of people I might know. A friend of mine had a really harrowing experience of being falsely accused of shoplifting in front of loads of people a few years ago. The shop admitted it was their mistake but even so she's never been able to bring herself to set foot in the place since and it upset her greatly.

I know that stores have to deal with shoplifting - and, frankly, it's in all our interests that they do because people who steal mean higher prices for the rest of us. I'd like to see, though, how many people they actually catch every year, the value of the goods stolen and how much their security costs in relation to that.  I don't think it's necessary to treat people in such a rude and thoughtless way, and they should remember that there's a principle of innocent until proven guilty.

I want to see that Tesco have changed their procedures and given Nancy a meaningful and very public apology. They have lost her custom, but until they can give me some reassurance on both of these counts, I won't be going back there either. As customers we should not put up with this nonsense from these large corporations. I have complained to Tesco via their online customer services form and I would urge you to do the same. It could be you they are picking on next.

The more people who contact them, the more likely they are to change their ways. As they say, every little helps.


George Potter said...

Sadly, situations like this are but one of many reasons why it's a good idea not to shop at Tesco out of principle.

They truly are an awful company in the way they treat people - especially their suppliers.

Peter Holloway said...

This may be the only disadvantage to CCTV, whereby the CCTV operator falsly accuses someone of stealing.

Peter Holloway said...

This may be the only disadvantage to CCTV, whereby the CCTV operator falsly accuses someone of stealing.


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