Saturday, 12 November 2011

Death to the Shopping List!

I was directed to read an article on the Guardian's website  this week that got my goat so much that I thought I'd share it with you.  The story, which was published in September's Money Blog is here.  However, for those too lazy to click the link(!), I'll summarise the story.

Patrick Collinson, a consumer journalist was spotted on the security cameras in Tesco writing down some prices of bottled water for a price comparison.  The multibuy price was more expensive than individual bottles but that's incidental to the story.  Two store managers rushed up and told him it was against company policy to write down Tesco's prices or take photos in store.  He was told,  whilst one of the  helpful employees pointed to the exit that if he wanted to check the cost of goods  he could pay for them and the price would be recorded on the receipt!

And there's more..someone who commented on the post explained that he'd gone out at the behest of his dearly beloved to buy something specific in the homewares department in Marks and Spencer.  Now everyone knows that men would drink out of jam jars and not notice whilst  for women... well every tiny detail has to be just so!  The poor chap thought he'd found the item he'd been commanded to buy but had a little fret in case it wasn't the right object.  A flash of inspiration came over him.  He took a picture of the item and headed to the coffee shop to send a text with a photo attachment to his partner to make sure it was the correct one.  You might guess who he was met by and his alleged crime.  Yep - a couple of big burly security guards and you have it.  No photos allowed in there either!

Now I've taken photos in my local supermarket before to alert head office to the blooming mess that the store is often in and the lack of things to buy on the shelves.  It sometimes looks like a shop from the communist bloc in the  Cold War days in there.   Some platitudes were given but the situation remains.  So I'm thinking it's about time I went back in store and took some more snaps - with Mr Lovelygrey's great big camera and dressed from head to toe in orange just to make sure that I'm noticed and to see what happens.  As for Tescos I feel that it will be my duty to go in their with pen and paper and write things down whenever I make my rare visits to the store.  And guess what I might do in M&S?  Is anyone going to join me!


  1. I often take pen and paper to make notes as I'm shopping, usually to add up my purchases if I am aiming to spend a specific amount. No one has asked me what I am doing, yet.

    Seems a bit over the top, but I can sort of understand the photography thing. Could be burglars casing the joint.

  2. Slowly, but surely, the world is going mad...Ridiculous!

  3. Some big businesses need to get a grip. I have snapped away in stores- send good deals to friends. They need to get with the times - instant commuication FFS

  4. I have a t-shirt with a Tesco Value logo which states "Tesco Value Farmer £2.75 per hour" you are welcome to borrow it. Word of warning, my son was physically escortes from the Glos. Tesco and I was refused entry to the Tesco hospitality hall at The Royal Show a few years ago so you may not get your photo.

  5. Incredible! What a worrying story, just goes to show both the power and the paranoia of the supermarkets.

  6. Complete madness. I took photos in M&S yesterday of some of their overpriced Christmas gifts, but was only using my phone as opposed to my camera. Sometimes I take photos of items that I like , but won't pay the price of and want to make a version of. I usually have pen and paper whilst shopping, as I take a list with me and also make notes of prices. If anyone tried to stop me doing any of these things I wouldn't shop there again , and would make sure everyone heard me as I was directed to the exit!