Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Store Cards - just a one way flow of information?

Image: Martin Bodman (Wikimedia Commons)
Earlier this week Tesco stores issued a food recall of their own brand of ice-cream cones because painkillers were found in them. You can read the national news story here or here.

But I'm sure you already knew this, because doesn't everyone check the Trading Standards Institute's website everyday for product recalls like this one?

No, I didn't think so. TESCO - and no doubt all the other big corporations - rely on us finding out somehow via newspapers, or in-store notices tucked away somewhere.

But it struck me we hear so much about our exact shopping habits being tracked by the use of our loyalty cards that here was the perfect reverse use of that data. Surely stores like TESCO uses would use all that data amassed from their ClubCard to tell shoppers of the dangers of eating contaminated product. After all, they know the names of everyone who buys a product with a store card. Wouldn't they write or email them all?

Well, that's what I assumed. So I thought I'd use Twitter to ask if anyone knew if this is, indeed, what happens when a food product is found to be seriously contaminated.

Well, @TESCO heard me and kindly replied, but they rather appeared to have missed the point. So I asked again, but have so far received no response.

It's a shame. We give them so much of our shopping data with which to build their profits. You'd think when it came to a contaminated and potentially dangerous own-brand product they'd think it appropriate to contact their loyal ClubCard users to warn them of the risk.
Well, wouldn't you?

Sounds like a 'No'.

Just to clarify, I didn't buy Tesco's contaminated Ice-cream
cones with my ClubCard. But had I done so,
would they have contacted me? Do anyone?

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