Writing down prices in your local Tesco? Expect to get into trouble with the management...

Bitterwallet - tesco logo If you’re making a trip to your local Tesco any time soon, it might be best not to take a notebook and pen. If you do, make sure you keep them out of sight at all times. That’s because it seems that Tesco management can get very stroppy if you try writing stuff down. Stuff like the prices of items on their shelves.

That’s the experience that Guardian consumer writer Patrick Collinson has had this week. He visited a London branch of the supermarket and started noting down the prices of some Highland Spring sparkling water, noticing a discrepancy between individual bottles and a multi-pack. The FIEND! Within seconds he was approached by the store’s deputy manager who said to him “You're not allowed to do that. It's illegal. Where are you from? Are you from the media?” Seemingly in the manner of someone who was from the East German Stasi.

Patrick explained that he was doing some market research and comparing prices. This didn’t impress the Tesco drone, who reportedly replied with the borderline-nonsensical comeback of: “It's illegal to write things down and you can't take any photographs, either. If you want to check the prices, take the item to the till and pay for it there. The price will be on the receipt.”

By now, the store's manager had sidled up and when pressed further, he said it was ‘company policy’ to stop people from writing stuff down and taking pictures. Obviously in an attempt to stop shoddy lunacy like this from appearing here at Bitterwallet.

Chastised, Patrick said that he would continue to browse the store’s items, using only his eyes. Unable to find a Tesco regulation that this might be in breach of, they then left him alone, but he said he felt as though he was being followed during the rest of his visit. Patrick says that next time, he’ll wander round speaking the prices into the voice record facility of his mobile phone. Let’s see what they fancy doing about THAT.

Tesco, you’re paranoid and you’re also just plain weird. And that’s a Bitterwallet FACT.


  • steve
    Glad I don't shop in a tesco(Seems we are one of the few towns who don't have a store here and I'm not complaining about that.)
  • Joff
    I suggest a flash mob at a Tesco near you, armed with a supasnaps camera and a notepad.
  • Joff
    Here's an idea, why not use the official Tesco app and Instead of the antiquated practice of writing down prices on parchment with a quill and ink, why not use the official Tesco app and scan the prices in store. I don't know (or care) if the app makes the beep sound though.
  • Adam
    I love how these people always stoop to 'it's illegal'. It's the customer service equivalent of bringing up Hitler when you're losing an online argument. The original article is pretty poor though, it starts with the statement that the journo was nearly arrested but the article makes no mention of that threat or police being invovled.
  • Laura
    It's not just Tesco. I was told off by two members of staff in House of Fraser for taking a photo of an item and its price tag last week. Both of them stated it was company policy not to allow people to take photographs. The security guy didn't seem to impressed when I said if that were the case the least they could do is actually inform people of this with a sign near the door. It was only to remind me to come back in a few months and buy it as a present for a friend too.
  • I g.
    Prices are now a very touchy subject especially with the current trend for keep a price point/shrinking the amount you get/putting it on offer/raising the price anyway. There's also websites dedicated to maximising DTD (double the difference) back price glitches and special offers. You always have to check your reciept with an eagle eye too as Tesco has rather a nasty habit of ringing through extra items at the till or incorrect pricing when an item scans. In 3 shops I got 1 extra bottle of booze then 2 miss prices the best being £4.99 for peppercorns priced £3.09 on the shelf. 20 minutes it took at customer service to get my £3.80 back on that.
  • Cheesey
    I take pictures of the price label of a product all the time. That way I can check the spec of a product at home and check the price is competitive. Therefore I may still return to the store and make a purchase. What has happened here is pure Store Manager Fucktardery. They don't like something, probably have no store policy on it and make up bullshit. Next time you go into a supermarket look at the Store Manager. You'll see that they are Grade A Mong-tards.
  • Cheesey
    Forgot to mention that I'm a firm believer in "Your house, your rules". If Tesco want to tell me to stop doing something fine. If they want me to leave I'll go quietly. But that won't stop me thinking about how petty they are.
  • Joe
    Tesco have every right to do so, "illegal" or not (I suspect not). However that doesn't stop them from being cunts. Mind you Tesco are cunts in general. Just worked out that my total monthly saving if I went to them would be £4.80, for utterly dire quality food. Fuck em.
  • Milky
    Bitterwallet, please follow up the "illegal" aspect as quoted by manager & store manager, & ask for a copy of the policy or a cledar citation with a tesco name to the piece. About time folk started asking for all their images whilst on the store property to be removed
  • Yue
    Funny, Tesco are quite happy to stroll into other shops to check prices.
  • Rob
    I don't even want a photo of a Tesco price tag, but I think I'm gonna take a few next time I'm in the area.
  • me
    I always use my HTC to scan prices and compare on google to see if the deal is actually any good. Don't need to take pictures for that!
  • Keith
    Hate to be devil's advocate here, but I'd suggest it was a rather dim couple of management types, terrified of bad publicity and the resulting shower of shite from the ranks above, trying to stop a bad story getting worse and failing horribly. Rather than the overarching 'Tescos deliberately being evil', thing. Not that I'm a fan of any big corporation, but sometimes it's just a case of individuals screwing up, just like the other thread with stupid mistakes on price labels. However, if they paid their staff more and treated them with more respect, maybe they'd care enough to do something about pricing errors rather than leaving it to the customer service counter after it's been sold. All I'm saying is I understand Tescos are not a subsidiary of Oxfam, but at the same time, sometimes a couple of employees making a mistake is just that, and not a display of company policy. This from someone who's been on both sides of the checkout :) I do fully agree however, if they have a problem with people taking photos, they need to remove all their CCTV first. Maybe just tell them you're making sure the mineral water isn't shoplifting.
  • Zleet
    I'd stand staring at the produce scribbling in a notepad and when a staff member comes over to tell me to stop copying prices i'd show them my paper with just a badly scrawled cock and balls.
  • Brad
    I like it Zleet, for the more adventurous among us id like to put forward the drawn image of a spunking cock and balls.
  • Dick
    I once had the same, a couple of years back (but in co-op). I went back a few times with a notebook and pen clearly visible and wrote "I love the co-op", bit by bit hiding the book in my coat each time I wrote. I was approached by the security guard who told me to show him what I was writing, and I refused. The manager came and told me he would call the police if I didn't leave the store. So I showed him the pad and told him he could keep the page I had written on. The manager regularly stands outside the store for a smoke, and if I see him when passing I always say "I love the co-op". I haven't shopped there again though.
  • Nobobody
    Thats funny, Ask tesco if they employ any companies to get people into rival stores to do this? Yes they do!
  • Sam
    The obvious thing to do would be to follow the security guard's advice. Go around with a trolly and fill it with everything you want to note the price of, take it to the tills, have it all scanned, pay for it, get the receipt, then take it all straight to customer service and ask for a refund.
  • Paulb27110
    Dick, if you expect anyone to believe that actually happened then you are clearly thick, and even if it were true you made yourself sound like a pretty sad individual to really go out and do that.
  • TRAZ
    On Wednesday, every Tesco store manager in the country received an email clarifying the fact that customers are allowed to check prices and write them down. Great story though, chaps.
  • David W.
    If this were policy, it would form part of the licence extended to customers to enter the premises. Licencees must be informed of licence terms for them to be enforceable. So if it is policy, they would have to actually tell you that before you entered.
  • Asda S.
    Why write down the prices? Go to www.tesco.com and use a printer...
  • Derek D.
    Well you’re lucky to get into a Tesco Store if you go by car. The parking lines are so narrow, I feel they could be breaking the Health & Safety at Work Act the reason being, you could injure yourself trying to get out or into your car when you have parked. I think we should all adopt the “Park in the centre of two parking places” strategy, may be then Tesco will make their parking bays wider. Don’t worry if you pick up a Tesco Ticket for parking over the lines, they can’t defend it in a court of law and I guess they won't even try.
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