Tesco accused of rounding up shopping bills to the nearest pound - without permission

By Sarah Wilson
Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:14 pm
Updated Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:15 pm
The supermarket introduced a charity scheme during the pandemic allowing shoppers to contribute spare pennies. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Customers have complained that supermarket giant Tesco is rounding up their shopping bills to the nearest pound without their permission.

Mirror Money has reported that a charity scheme introduced by Tesco at the start of the coronavirus pandemic is automatically rounding up shopping bills to the nearest pound without consulting the shoppers.

The scheme was introduced to help three vital charities - Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation - who had lost income as a result of the pandemic, and allowed customers to round up to the nearest pound when paying.

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However, some annoyed shoppers are now claiming that Tesco is doing the rounding-up without permission.

Mirror Money reported that customer Jodie Holtom and her partner Jamie were charged two different prices for the same thing at a Tesco pharmacy in Cheltenham this week, in spite of their shopping taking place just ten minutes apart.

When they checked their receipts, they found that one bill had been rounded up to the nearest pound.

"Jamie was meant to spend £7.20, but ended up paying £8," Jodie said.

"I know 80p isn't a lot but times are hard at moment. He realised when we got home that he was charged more and said he was never asked about whether he wanted to contribute."

At no point was Jodie asked if she would like to round up her bill, and posted about the fiasco on Twitter.

Tesco followed up by apologising for the inconvenience, tweeting in reply:

“Hi Jodie, thanks for getting in touch. I'm sorry my colleague didn't ask for your husband's consent, before rounding up the transaction at the till.

“I'll share your feedback with the Store Management team and I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

"If you could please DM me with which pharmacy you visited and the the time of your visit.

“If you’re able to return to store with your receipt, one of my colleagues can refund you there. TY."

A Tesco spokesman said: "To support our health charity partners at this critical time, we are encouraging our customers to round up the cost of their shopping to the nearest £1.

"Customers will be asked if they would like to donate by one of our checkout colleagues when they pay for their shopping or on-screen if they are using a self-service till.

"We also have signs in our stores letting customers know about the campaign and how they can support it.

“The response to the campaign so far has been overwhelmingly positive with very few customers feeding back that they were not aware that they had made a donation."