Tesco Personal Finance Ireland credit card
Monday, 15 December 2008 16:05

This complaint is about setting up a direct debit to pay an Irish Tesco credit card from an Irish bank. It shows the poor customer service and couldn't care less attitude of Tesco Personal Finance and their staff.

They have taken incredible lengths of time to deal with routine matters and seem incapable of getting things right or dealing with situations of their making in a sensible time. If you need a credit card in Ireland read this and think hard before you apply to Tesco Personal Finance.

Timeline of the complaint

July 2008 Customer telephoned Tesco Personal Finance Ireland to change address and set up direct debit payment
August 2008 direct debit payment not taken, Tesco impose penalty payments and suspend card, customer has to spend extra 80 euros to book flight.
24 August 2008 letter of complaint sent
15 Sept 2008 Letter dated 10 September saying Tesco need time to investigate
15 September 2008 Follow up letter addressed to The Chief Executive, Tesco Personal Finance
26 September 2008 Letter dated 16 September 2008 recieved, saying a direct debit form will be sent because euro accounts can not have direct debit set up by phone
29 September 2008 Direct debit form recieved, letter was dated 16 September 2008
30 September 2008 Completed direct debit form returned
10 October 2008 Acknowlegement of complaint to Chief Executive
12 October 2008 Letter saying direct debit form received and set up
5 November 2008 Customer phoned Tesco credit card line in Ireland to ask if direct debit payment had been received. Staff say yes, but they cannot be sure it is received. Call back in a few days.
10 November 2008 Customer calls Tesco credit card again to check if direct debit payment received. Tesco staff say yes, definitely received.
November statement Direct debit had not been collected. Tesco impose late fees again.
24 November 2008 Customer writes 2 page letter to Tesco Personal Finance head office detailing events.
8 December 2008 Customer sends Tesco a copy of a letter from bank saying direct debit has not been received
13 December 2008 Direct debit form received with standard letter asking customer to complete and return
15 December 2008 Letter from Tesco Personal Finance (dated 4 December) saying direct debit was not set up, asking customer to fill in another form and return it.
15 December 2008 Another letter to Tesco Personal Finance head office complaining about lack of response
5 January 2009
No response of any kind from Tesco has been received
10 February 2009
Another letter to Tesco Personal Finance head office asking why no response yet
17 February 2009 Short response from Tesco Personal Finance head office referring to their letter of 24 October 2008 and letter dated 4 December 2008
22 February 2009 Customer writes direct to Tesco Personal Finance operator in Southed with copy of letter to Tesco Personal Finance head office
26 February 2009 Email communication from Tesco Personal Finance head office referring to their letter of 24 October 2008 but making no reference to any further communication to their office

Current state of complaint to Tesco Personal Finance

Tesco Personal Finance do not actually operate their own credit card. The operation of the Tesco euro credit card is done by a company in the UK. That causes problems. Letters take a week to 10 days to arrive. There are legal issues that Tesco have still not worked out properly.

This complaint was originally caused because Tesco's staff accepted a direct debit mandate over the phone from a customer living in the Republic of Ireland. The customer's credit card is issued by Tesco in Ireland, but the Tesco's own staff did not know that they could not set up the direct debit over the phone.

Since then, over 5 months have gone by and Tesco have managed to loose the direct debit form that was completed and sent by the customer.

Tesco's response (dated 4 December 2008, received by customer 15 December 2008) says . . .

'I am sorry for the delay in setting up a direct debit to pay your account and can understand your loss of confidence in us, although I regret this.'

So after 5 + months of delay caused entirely by Tesco, this is their response. The situation is still not resolved, Tesco have merley sent another direct debit form and asked the customer to complete it.

What can the customer do about Tesco's credit card?

The customer has been more than reasonable. Tesco have not accepted responsibility for the problem. There is no accountability, despite things going badly wrong and the customer losing at least 80 euros as a direct result of Tesco's bungling there has not yet been any offer of compensation for the time, inconvenience and costs incurred by the customer.

In the last letter to Tesco Personal Finance the customer said . . .

"The only reason that I still have a Tesco credit card is that should I decide to close the account then I will be charged the stamp duty here in Ireland. I would be very happy if you were to write back to me and offer suitable compensation together with payment of the stamp duty, then you and your company would not hear from me again and I would not have to deal with you.

My complain is basically that Tesco Personal Finance is an incompetent organisation. That is clearly demonstrated by my experiences. I can hardly say that you have acted unfairly, but you have certainly not been able to offer a satisfactory explanation for past failures and have not given any commitment to improve or even attempt to improve. There seems little point in referring general inability to do things right to the Financial Services Ombudsman. "

What should you do?

Think before you apply for a Tesco credit card in Ireland.

Copies of all the original correspondence, statements and notes made by the customer are available for inspection.

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