Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tesco: Every Little Bit of Greed Helps



The Daily Mail reports how an elderly disabled couple whose Christmas shopping trip to Tesco cost more than £300 have been given a warning for taking too long in the store.
"They may say every little helps, but it's clearly only if you're spending your money fast enough," said Mr Hodgson (above with his wife) a retired marine engineer. "Between us we spent around £1.25 a minute – that's better than they'd get from any pay-and-display car park. But they still want more. "

Of course Tescos "still want more". They're a greedy profit-obsessed multinational plc, a company whose sharp practices embody everything that is wrong with today's turbo-capitalism. After the treatment they received from Tesco, Mr Hodgson and his wife will be boycotting the store in future. Let's hope that after reading this sorry tale, millions of other people in Britain will do the same.


* A bit of background to this story. Tesco, who threatened Mr and Mrs Hodgson with a £100 fine should they take "too long" with their shopping in the future, recorded profits of £2.55bn in the last financial year- equivalent to more than £4,800 a minute.

7 comments:

Luke said...

So if this is an indictment of the entire capitalist system, does - for example - the CSA scandal act as an indictment of the entire governmental system? Why one standard for companies and another for the state? I'm not denying this is terrible but, as you point out, Tesco is an enormous organisation - this is but one incident.

Tesco has, I think, done as much for the working class of this country in providing them with good employment and cheap products, than socialism.

leeVee said...

Tesco has, I think, done as much for the working class of this country...than socialism - Luke

What country are you living in?

Mentalstan?

Jock McTrousers said...

"Tesco has, I think, done as much for the working class of this country in providing them with good employment and cheap products, than socialism." - Luke

What country are you living in? Mentalstan?

giant tea-leaf said...

Yes, of course, Luke. We've got to thank Tesco for the NHS, public libraries and adult education. It was Tesco that was responsible also for the post-war welfare state and the full employment policy initiated after the Second World War.

It's amazing that some deluded fools think that socialism and socialist politicians were responsible for such improvements, but as you and I know, it was Tesco wotdunit. Cynics and those horrible leftie-types think all big chains like Tesco care about is profits, but in fact, their sole aim is to improve the lot of the working class.

seraphin said...

Many years ago, I used to have lunch at the same café with my girlfriend more or less every day - I think this went on for several months.

One day, they decided to introduce a compulsory minimum charge, and insisted that my girlfriend (who wasn't that hungry) buy something else to push her over their arbitrary limit.

I pointed out that our combined bill came to more than double the minimum charge, and was told "sorry, that's our rule".

As a result, they lost two regular customers, as we never set foot in there again.

But that's the great thing about this country: we have the right to complain and take our business elsewhere, which we did, and which this Tesco-shopping couple are also threatening to do. And if their story is being publicised in a mass-market tabloid, that's even better.

So what's the problem? More to the point, what's your alternative, given that I've just demonstrated that independent operations are just as capable of making stupid and counterproductive business decisions as giant national corporations?

Neil Clark said...

Fair point, seraphin, but no-one is saying that small, locally owned independent companies can't act in a mean and greedy fashion too. It's just that they're less likely to, given the fact that people can, in many cases speak to the owner/proprietor face to face, and make their views known, something you can't do in the case of a plc, where the managers often have very little freedom of manoeuvre.

"that's the great thing about this country: we have the right to complain and take our business elsewhere, which we did, and which this Tesco-shopping couple are also threatening to do."

Yes, but we have less chance to take our business elsewhere than our European neighbours do, because our economy is so dominated by big chains. In Brussels, for example, there is real competition in cafes and bars. If a cafe owner is rude to you or tries to rip-you off, you have hundreds of alternatives. But in British town centres, there are remarkably few options: usually a couple of Starbucks, a Costa coffee, a Cafe Nero and a Macdonalds. And in terms of shopping, it's the same situation: Tesco's are far too dominant and in many towns and cities it's the only big supermarket you can go to.

jsrulton said...

Let's put this into context shall we! A couple spent 4 hours shopping in Tesco's, they then are sent a letter gently reminding them if they stay over 3 hours they could face a £100 fine next time. The couple are outraged & have a million to one reasons why they took so long. Has anyone checked to see if the carpark displays notices stating that only 3 hours are allowed in the disabled parking areas? I think this is the first point of call, because if there are Tesco's were in their right to actually issue the fine as opposed to sending them a reminder. I take it that as the couple had a letter sent to their address, that this carpark was policed by a company on behalf of Tesco's as they had access to the DVLA database to send the letter. Most companies would have fined them. Why do people have to be so outraged, okay if they were fined I can see the point but to just get a letter who cares!