Tesco mobile don’t know how to take payment from Tesco credit card

I’ve just spent over an hour trying to make a one-off payment to Tesco mobile with my new Tesco credit card.

They have a secure system for testing payment; I went through it till the last stage when it said that it could not take payment. I tried three more times. Then I phoned Tesco credit card; they confirmed the secure system had worked four times, but that I would have to phone Tesco mobile to find out why it had not taken payment. Tesco mobile couldn’t understand it and wanted to send me back to Tesco credit card. They even suggested that I get a new credit card! They were not interested in finding out the problem – just leave it to me – until …when? I pointed out that I have a contract with them, I’m trying to pay, and I will not be a happy bunny if they cut off my phone. It is their problem to find a solution. It is not the customer’s role to diagnose what is wrong with their system.

Eventually the matter was escalated higher up the line and I explained that I can pay for my petrol with my Tesco credit card, but Tesco mobile “cannot take payment”. Eventually they came up with an explanation why I, as usual, had found the one glitch in their system – and after a little prompting from me, they gave me this month’s bill free and I took the details to phone them back if it does not go through next month.

The point of the story is to give you a little guidance on how to persist on their diagnosing their own problems. The customer is too often expected to diagnose the problem. This happened frequently at the beginning of the personal computer era.  A phonecall to a manufacturer would be met with the question: is it a software or a hardware problem?  In other words: you, the customer, should diagnose the problem and they will try to fix it.  The doctor does not expect the patient to diagnose the problem – the patient describes the symptoms and the doctor both diagnoses and treats the patient.

This is practical Christianity – standing up for the customer.

Postscript: Initially I tried using the Online chat: I asked: “I am trying to pay one-off and it has not accepted my credit card details.” The immediate (automated) reponse: “Are you? I’m 32.” How about that!

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