Friday, 12 June 2009

Trouble at the Big Gay Tesco in Kennington

I know that it's really not cool to go shopping on a Friday night, but last weekend was busy, and it was rainy and miserable so we decided to complete the shopping early. I also understand that Friday night might not be a time when the shop is well stocked so I could understand one or two items being missing...

IT IS PERMANENTLY WORSE THAN THAT.

Shopping at Tesco in Kennington is an appalling experience. There are often major food shortages. Even food that people eat all of the time eg. salad items are frequently missing. The interior is scruffy and messy. The queues are ridiculous and staff do not open new tills even when prompted. The self-service shopping computers are so slow and very buggy. The queues are ridiculous during the evening. The younger staff are downright unhelpful and undisciplined. (The older staff are sometimes better.) Tonight, we asked three members of staff for the managers' last name. Her picture is on the wall and the name badge says "Nikki", but none of them knew her last name. That may be because she is not in the store often enough to realise how yucky it has become.

Last Friday, I finally lost my temper, and started photographing everything in an attempt to get somebody to take some notice.

These are the items that Tesco did not have in stock last Friday night:

1. £1.97 - Tesco Smoked and back bacon:



2. 5 or 6 different varieties of ham



3. £9 - dinner for 2 section. Very empty.



4. £2.00 Tesco finest oven baked potatoes with bacon and £1.97 Tesco finest dauphinoise potatoes:



5. Tesco (not finest) potato croquettes:



6. Tesco Paracetamol Tablets 500mg 16 tablets:



7. Tesco Paracetamol Tablets 500mg 16 capsules: [Clearly, shopping in Tesco has become too much for most locals...]



8. £4.93 Tesco Luxury Soft Toilet Roll White (16 for 12) [for expensive bottoms]:



9. 41p Tesco Value Toilet Roll [for cheap bottoms]:



10. £1.97 Tesco unsmoked back bacon:


11. £5.32 "Just for Men" Brown hair dye is missing. [Fine to shop at Tesco if you want to dye your hair black, but don't bother if it's brown you want]


12. Something that cost 15p, but now cannot be deciphered due to camera death.


At that point, the camera died (it is four years old, and has started doing an open/close shutter thing at random). Sadly, I'd barely scratched the surface of the products missing. I just took pictures of the most noticeable gaps. I even have a big list of over 30 other items missing (including pretty much all quantities/styles of rice), but it's sad enough to take pictures of missing items without actually typing it all up, so I shall not!

I think I might rename the blog to "Whinging about SE11.

In the meantime, please, Nikki, whoever you are... Take note of this public SE11 plea of Tesco management inadequacy and fix it!

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant post! I could not agree more. They get enough custom that they don't really have to try. If only there was a convenient alternative...

Bathsheba said...

Yes, fab post. Very entertaining. I am wondering if the shoplifters who are warned so clearly at Tesco's have walked off with packs of bacon in their jackets.
Not as bad, but Sainsbury's at Nine Elms also suffers from Soviet Union style shelves of a Friday night. It's much further away, but Asda at Clapham Junction is my current favourite. Down to earth staff and clientele and very cheap - and open 24 hours if you are desperate. Also, the goods are not very enticing, so you don't get enticed!

Gareth said...

What this says about the Nine Elms Sainsbury's when I go to this Tesco as a treat I don't know.

Three wheeled one said...

Bathsheba, I've been to the Asda before, but it's a bit of a hike from SE11; slightly nearer if you're Stockwell based. I think the next move might be the Tesco in Brixton!

Gareth, I've never been convinced by the nine elms Sainsburys (or, rather the Big Gay Sainsburys)! I think Sainsburys is massively over-priced. I always spend far more than intended and I'm not convinced that the food is any better either. But it is a very desperate situation if you visit the SE11 Tesco as a treat!!!

Nina said...

yes i agree the tesco in kennington is really bad. One of the workers there made me go onto self service when i didn;t want to saying that he would do it for me - he them scanned my items three times when i only had one and left me to finish the rest. They are really bad. I drive to Lidl and Sainsbury's in Balham and Streatham.

Steve said...

I use the place for essentials only now and then rent a car for a couple of hours a week and go to Sainsbury's at Vauxhall.... far better store, more stuff in stock and really helpful staff.

I think Friday nights sounds like the problem for all of them..... but Tesco is like this in the week too...

And why do they have an aisle almost entirely devoted to huge tv's etc which I have yet to see anyone purchase????

Bizarre.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time that a formal complaint was made to Tesco regarding this store. I visit every few days as it's a stones throw away from where I work, and it's useless!

Worst Tesco I have ever been into!

David Reid said...

Love the post so True I got the last packet of Blinis one day and I needed 5 I had to cut up a whole lot of pancakes into smaller blinis shaped bites. LOL Reminds me of a Victoria wood sketch.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god I completely agree and love your post. I had some of the worst service ever at Tesco Kennington. The staff are beyond unhelpful, my cashier left her post saying she'd be back 'in a minute' to go and have a very loud argument with two other customers, in which no other staff or management intervened. I asked another member of staff if someone else could be served, only to be given a blank expression and 'she's just doing something'. After leaving me and other customers standing there waiting for 10 minutes I decided to move to a different till point hoping it would be better. When one of my products didn't have a barcode I was told to go and find another one myself - rather than the normal bell ringing, 'sorry madam' scenario I expect. AWFUL.

Anonymous said...

I didn;t even realise there was a Tescos there, as I don't make it over to that part of Kennington very often !

How long as it been there for ?!?

Anonymous said...

I think you're being very unfair. This store is often busy and the staff are run off their feet. Also you may have noticed that staffing levels have declined recently which may have more to do with Tesco policy than the workers. As to lack of supply for particular lines, I think that it's the norm in supermarkets for supply to vary. It's a very handy shop for the local area and Tesco also get involved with local projects, I believe.
If you don't like it, you could always try Kwik Save and reduce the queue by one!

Anonymous said...

Was that last post written by an employee by any chance - is that you Nikki?!!!

My wife and I often try to avoid the dreaded Tesco in Kennington but through convenience end up going there.

CALLING ALL STAFF AT TESCO KENNINGTON!

It's time to roll up your supermarket sleeves, pull up your price crunch pants and turn our local grub shop in to the place to be!

The BBC's 'Saturday Kitchen' is filmed within yards of the store, you never know you may even get a few celeb chefs doing their shopping there, 'cos right now Cost Cutter is more appealing!

Even with it's dodgy Strictly Come Shopping advert!!!

Andrew Orange said...

Every night I pray to the little baby Jesus to deliver unto us a Waitrose.

Anonymous said...

I so agree about Tesco Kennington - very badly run store and with a few exceptions, appalling staff. I go because it is the closest to me and I dont want to be lugging bags on the bus. Also - you know Tesco are currently running a doubel point scheme - but has anyone noticed the sneeky increase in prices recently. My average weekly bill used to be around £40-50.00 but over the last three months it has crept up and now is between £80 and £100. And no I have not increased my shopping. Gulp! No doubt when the recession ends the prices will go back down - not!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I found this post. I was (reluctantly) looking for opening times and now know I'm not the only person who can't believe how badly this particular branch is run.

The stock selection and availability is a joke. It doesn't in anyway reflect the demographic of this particular store. And the staff ..... last week I saw my worst ever example of customer service at this branch with two staff members loudly bitching about an older lady who had interrupted their conversation to ask for help.

Yep there is definitely a problem with this store....

Has anyone sent the link of this blog to Tesco HQ for the attention of the regional director?

Anonymous said...

Also, I'm interested in the title of this post. Do you mean 'gay' as in the current vernacular 'that's so gay' or because it has lot and lots of gay customers (like me) ?

Three wheeled one said...

Keep the comments coming everyone! I think Tesco know that it is bad and refuse to address the issue. I'm not sure why. They're possibly letting it run down for a reason. How could they not have noticed how bad it is?

I meant "gay" because it's the supermarket with the most gay customers, and I was being playful. Shopping there always feels like Pride has arrived early. The only shop that benefits more from the pink pound would be The Huge Gay Sainsburys, in Vauxhall :)

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with most of the comments on here. Going into the Kennington Tesco leaves me feeling like I've just left the country and gone back to the USSR. Not only is the supply poorly stocked, the aisles are also dirty and staff couldn't care less with helping you. The first time I went here there was a huge fight in the checkout between a member of staff and a woman in the queue. I have avoided the shop ever since as much as possible even though it's closer to me than the next closest; The Nine Elms Sainsbury's. Tesco could have such a nicer shop if they just tried a little.

Anonymous said...

Surely it can't be as bad as Asda Clapham Junction where queues of 20 deep at the checkouts are not unheard of at weekends. It can take 40 minutes to get out. There are loads of self service checkouts that nobody can work and take much longer than manned checkouts. lots of abandoned full trolleys left in the aisles by people who cannot wait. who puts all that stuff back on the shelves, it must take them ages!

Hutton said...

The freezer was never cold enough to avoid the ice-cream turning to milkshake, I complained twice where I have arrived home and had to bin expensive ice-cream where it melted to milkshake. The management always listened to my concerns however action was never taken! -Until I lied to one manager after taking her name telling her that I was a close friend of Terry P. Leahy the CEO of tesco's stores. Action was taken that time! the ice-cream was moved to the freezers with closing doors. Result!
I have had so many arguments in this store and I have witnessed so many arguments in this store -Outrageous!

However the local Pizza Express up the road is far worse, a friend of mine found a clod! of hair in her food! she took the issue up with trading standards! their management acts professional on the surface however they made opening times of the restaurant an esoteric issue because they were inconveniencing customers by closing up to 45 minutes early randomly whenever the management felt like having the night off! this was absurd. I witnessed a customer get verbally assaulted by a manager I took his email address as a witness his complaint to the head office fell on deaf ears he was given a 'sincere' apology and a tap on the back no compensation no disciplinary action taken -disgraceful and ever since I have been determined
to deter individuals using that pizza express to bring the management to its knees!

I believe there should be more blogs such as this one and better advertisement for these blogs to allow for mass power of the customer where a strike for example can be held by the consumer if for instance a mass webpage for consumer strikes was set up then we would have the power to influence the price of petrol etc ie no member buys petrol for a a few days or longer or a particular branch isn't used for a period of time! the power increases with membership it would be like a consumer union!

Anonymous said...

PLease can that very helpful, but reaklly annoying overly gay (in the happy clappy sense) guy please stop the kerry katona style "welcome to tes-co-kenn-ington-vaux-hall...."

We know were the discount counter is... we can smell the piss of the tramps hanging by it!

That said, the guy is helpful, and has a talent but maybe he ought to look for voice over work, cos Tesco is really not the place to get all ka-ching on the mic....

Thanks!

I WANT CLEAVER SQUARE! said...

Its a horrid hateful place - and I have to go there first thing this morning! I am lacing my coffee with sedatives as I type!I actually think I got fleas last time I went there. Perhaps I was spoilt by my previous local super market (Waitrose) but this place is rediculous! From the shanty town in the far corner of the frozen goods section to the wierdly unusable self service checkouts its all bad.

I wonder if Fortnums deliver south of the river? Hmmm... the huge extra cost IS worth it if I never have to go back to Tesco on Kennington Lane!

Also before any of you ask - I know its the gay, cruisy, has glory holes in isle 2.- but it was definitely fleas and not crabs!

God I hate Tesco.

Anonymous said...

I'm an employee at this branch, and i can honestly let you all no the shop has changed. There's new management, stock on the shelves from morning till evening and a much better improved service. We've also got a fit deputy manager called Chris!!!!!

Anonymous said...

got to say this employee is right, it has much improved over last 3 months.............even got new tills that work now......and looks like new toilets are going in!!!
Not sure about the deputy manager Chris though, one of the gay crowd maybe!!!?

Anonymous said...

stop moaning!!!!! I love my local tesco at kennington the bakery is bustin, always got my fav doughnuts and lov the selection of finest breads and omg the gay asian guy is sooooooooooooooooooo sexi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

BIG UP TESCO KENNINGTON!! DEPUTY MANAGER IS WELL FIT AND THE ASAIN GUY IN THE BAKERY!!! ALL THE STAFF WORK BLOODY HARD AND U CANT PLZ EVERYONE!! SOO I WILL B GOIN BCK TO TEEESSCOOO VAUUXXHAAALLL KENNINGTON!! WELL DUN MR HAPPY CLAPPY MIC MAN!!!

Anonymous said...

Tesco is shit that ray guy Issas sooooo gay I might bum him

Anonymous said...

What I hate about this Tesco is that virtually every time I buy a BOGOF offer they bill it as full price. Other people obviously have the same problem as the queue for the service desk is always long.

They're incompetent. I'm just glad I've got a car so can shop elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

it's only a short walk to nine elms sainsbury's.....

Anonymous said...

Definitely no improvements noticed. I have to go there almost every day, and its by far the worst supermarket I ever been to. Its so bad its like a joke only its really not funny only sad and annoying. It doesnt matter if its a friday night or a wednesday morning, this tesco is a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

I agree, this Tesco is crap. Most of the staff (not all) are abrupt and not very friendly.

Loads of times I have tried to buy something only to be told that it is not on the computer system or something so I can't buy it. Why put it on the shelf if that is the case?!?

Each time I have been there in the last few months, they have never had any baskets by the door and I have had to traipse to virtually the other end of the shop to find one - and seen other people doing the same.

The choice of products is also poor. Unfortunately like lots of people, it is my nearest supermarket. I find the extra cycle ride to Nine Elms is worth it where the staff are much friendlier and has lots of baskets available.

For a real treat I cycle to Waitrose in Balham which is excellent, or even get the bus to Waitrose on the Kings Road. Is ridiculous that I should have to do that in London though.

I used to live opposite a Waitrose - those were the days!

Anonymous said...

I've posted the url to tesco customer service as I emailed them recently because they have stopped selling tesco basis potato salad. Finest has way too much mayo...

Anonymous said...

absolutely terrible customer service. The shop is regularly missing essential items and has a long wait between restocking.

A friend of a friend works for tesco in a senior management capacity and he told me that their policy is to keep a presence in SE11 to deny one of the other supermarkets a foothold. They are not interested in improving their service in this particular store as they quite rightly know that the majority of their customers have no option but to shop there.

I live within walking distance of tesco but now I will take the bus to the sainburys or order food online - upset and let down by yet another selfish multinational. sigh

Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more, this is one of the worst supermarkets Ive been in. There are never any bags at the self serve checkouts. Some items are always out of stock and the staff are just plain miserable. They should be happy they have a job in this economic climate.
It seems like theres no store manager running the ship and the staff are muddling through. Im so sick of miserable shop assistants in London in general tbh. Again I say, they don't know how lucky they are to have a job at all.

Anonymous said...

Sainsburys Food Market Pimlico is better than all these and nearer to SE11 than 9elms or Clapham. Free car parking and better class of stock. I know it's just over the river man, but it's nearer, better, brighter and the stafff seem to care.

Bob in Kennington said...

They've now re-opened and I think it looks much better. Everything was clean and tidy and well-stocked.

BTW, I've seen Jack Straw and Ken Clarke here!

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend slipped on a tomato which was lying on the floor amongst the other mess. Their reaction? The staff shrugged and walked away. Old Kent Road is worse,

Anonymous said...

weres da fit aisan lad from tescos in kenninton gone?

Anonymous said...

Don’t know if any other females have had the same problem but one of the staff that usually oversees the self-service checkouts is getting on my nerves. Originally coming from ‘Oop North’ I’m used to friendly customer service, that is until one particular member of staff who tries to chat you up. Initially, I thought what a refreshing change to have such a friendly member of staff who recognises a regular shopper and asks them how they are, that is until he starts asking you personal questions. One day he asked me had I finished work and what kind of day have you had, are you going putting you feet up now with a cream cake? To which I replied no, the cream cakes are not for me, I don’t eat that kind of rubbish. Why he asks? Err…because I like to eat healthily and am training to be a personal trainer. He then starts to ask me about that and then has the cheek to say while doing the hourglass shape thing with his hands that I will ruin my figure working out with weights. Urgh... you disgusting little pervert I thought to myself. Since then I have been a bit standoffish and he seems to have got the message, so watch out ladies…

Anonymous said...

Ooh, an opportunity to rant about Tesco Kennington Lane? Yes please!

Five years on from the original post, it's STILL an appallingly run supermarket! Most of the staff have no customer service skills whatsoever and are downright rude. They don't smile, they don't say thank you, they're not remotely interested in helping with an enquiry...

The self-service checkouts are rarely stocked with appropriate quantities of change, so you'll either end up with a massive handful of 2 pence pieces, or you won't be able to pay with cash at all because the tills have all been set to Card Only.

And, 5 years on, the management team still aren't bothering to ensure that their ordering is accurate enough to prevent all those empty shelves.

SHAMBLES!

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