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Archive for the ‘supermarkets’ Category

There’s Tuna – then there’s Tuna?

Asda Tuna ChunksI was doing the maths this morning… 56 years old, at least one tin of tuna fish a week… I must’ve started eating Tuna sandwiches around, lets say to make life easy, 6 years old. That’s 50*52 as a minimum – 2,600 tins of tuna… Goodness!

Anyway, that’s the background. I’ve never been one for Sunday lunches and so for as far back as I can remember, I’ve settled for tuna fish sandwiches on a Sunday. Over the last few years Maureen’s been buying “Chicken of the Sea” from Costco – a light coloured and rather pleasant tuna in spring water. They’ve been out of stock for a few weeks and so I’ve been experimenting. Over in Spain I discovered I like the tuna in jars in Sunflower oil and sure enough when we came back to the UK I tried it here – not as nice as the stuff over there but then the weather might be having an impact on that. Somehow sitting eating a sandwich in cold, rainy Britain isn’t the same as sitting up in the mountains with the sun blasting on you.

Anyway we just happened to pop into ASDA looking for a cheap video player and I headed off to the food section in search of Tuna. I’ve NO idea of pricing on this stuff but what caught my eye this weekend were the price DIFFERENCES.  Asda Tuna Chunks in Sunflower oil – 49p  and at the other extreme, John West Tuna Steak in Sunflower oil, a whopping £1.69

I decided to put them to a side-by-side test:

The John West tin was in fact SMALLER by some way than the Asda version – but on opening there was very little spare oil in the former… so I squeezed out what little was there – and put the tuna in a bowl. The Asda tin on the other hand had lots of oil in it and by the time it was squeezed out there was no more tuna in the tin than in the John West variety despite the bigger can size.

With two bowls in front of me the differences were subtle – the two had exactly the same look once bashed slightly with a fork but the John West product was ever so slightly darker.  On tasting I felt the two were similar but the John West product had a SLIGHTLY stronger flavour – I could have been influenced by the colour.

So I passed the two bowls to my only other resident expert…. her response was immediate – she knew which one she preferred… to be honest I thought the difference was so slight as to be irrelevant but then I’ve been eating the stuff for so long now my tuna taste buds are probably shot.

So which one did Maureen pick as the better product? The £1.69 John West product? No – the Asda 49p Tuna!

SKY and TESCOs – What a Shower

in December 2009 I bought a TV from Tescos, right at the end of a special offer that said something like "Get Sky HD and a TV from us and you get free installation and a £50 Tescos voucher".

At the time I wrote a blog about the issues I had getting this going, wrong telephone numbers on the offer, Sky employees who knew nothing about a Tesco deal etc. Well, eventually after many phone calls I got the installation – and all’s well… except, no Tesco voucher.

Now you may say that a Tesco voucher is no big deal, but put it this way, how would you feel if someone stole £50 cash from you.. it’s the same thing, it’s now MAY and I still don’t have the Tesco voucher. As we get our groceries there it’s half the week’s groceries!

I tried again at the Hexham store last week and the assistant eventually got very embarrassed about the fact she had to wait for ages on the phone to SKY only to get through to someone – who passed her onto another department – who in turn put her on hold got ages… EXACTLY what I had to go through with Sky…(I think it’s fair to say that by and large, call centres just DON’T work for customers). Eventually I had to leave, empty-handed. She was very helpful and took my number – but the end result was no result. Several days later I’ve had no call from her despite the promise!

I’ve now written off AGAIN to SKY to ask them where my voucher is…4 months and a week down the line. I received an email from SKY to say they had no TESCO £50 vouchers but they had a Marks and Spencer £50 voucher. Not the same thing I’m afraid so I wrote back to remind them that the Tesco’s voucher was part of the deal.

Apparently they’ve been on the phone to say they have TWO £25 Tescos vouchers on the way. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Don’t you get REALLY, REALLY sick of having to chase up large companies who promise perfection and can’t organise a brewery visit?

Update 22/5/2010 – the two vouchers did eventually turn up  – thanks to Sky, not Tescos – 5 months – not bad.

When 24-hour is not 24-hour

At Tescos of course!

I got up somewhat after 3am this morning to take Maureen to the airport – she’s off to see her folks. On leaving Newcastle airport and aware that I’ve a quiet Easter weekend coming up I thought I’d take a trip to the supermarket.

So at 5am I popped into Tescos in Hexham. Figured I’d get everything I needed for the next 4 days – and a spot of wine for TV dinner tonight.

Got to the automated checkout and started firing items at it… SORRY said the machine, can’t sell you wine!! Well, last time I checked I was WAY past 18 years old… so I asked the attendant. It turns out that Tynedale council refused to let them have a 24-hour alcohol licence – and so they can only sell alcohol from 6am.

What kind of stupid-ass policy is THAT?? Does it help small shops? NO because they’re all closed at that time of the morning. Does it help the environment? FAR FROM IT because I now have to take ANOTHER trip from my village to the supermarket JUST to get the wine… who’s BRILLIANT idea was that. Half an hour after I left the store it would have been ok to sell me the wine!

Don’t you get sick of so many stupid regulations dreamed up by so many stupid people!