Complaint: Sainsbury’s Avocados. Again.

[From 2018]

Hi Sainsburys

How is my favourite supermarket doing?  I hear that you had pretty good Christmas results.
Alas, your avocados have been a little disappointing on occasion recently.

Twice I have bought your dual pack of ripe avocados in recent weeks (I’m stretching the definition of recent here) and ended up being disappointed.  So disappointed that I have taken to buying avocados from Tesco.

As you may understand, now that I have moved to London, I need to prove my credentials by eating as many avocados as possible – especially on toast.  And not just any toast, but the seediest, sourdoughest, wheatgermiest toast possible.  And then grow an ironic Hitler moustache.

The first occasion, both of them were just horrid – quite yah…yucky.  I don’t know how to describe them.
The second occasion, one was good, but the other had a massive gash across it – this was face down so I couldn’t see when buying it.

I appreciate that getting avocados perfect every time is not possible, but these were pretty damn disappointing.

Oh my word.  One more thing.  On my most recent delivery, I ordered some fruit yoghurts.  I saw that they had been substituted when they arrived but I didn’t look closely – I assumed for the other type of fruit yoghurt.

But no.  Toffee.  How is toffee comparable to peach?  Also vanilla, and banana.  How do any of them come close to the fruit flavours of peach, passionfruit – and whatever your other ones are?

It makes no sense.  Surely substitute for another brand of similar flavours?

Anyway, time to go make some toast with my Tesco avocado.   #sad

Kind regards


Dear James

Thanks for your recent email about the quality of our avocados of late, I’m sorry that they haven’t been up to scratch, I appreciate your need to eat so many avocados, especially as you’re living in London now.

I’ve logged your feedback with our Product Quality team so that they can work on improving our quality control for these in future.

As an apology from us I’ve popped a £5 gift card in the post for you, please allow 3-5 working days for this to arrive and a further 72 hours upon receiving it for the balance to be added.

And I’m sorry to hear about the substitutions that you received on your online order, unfortunately at Careline we are only able to handle in store and product related issues, however I have passed your feedback on to our Online Team.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and we hope to see you in store again soon.

Kind regards

Complaint: Tesco Avocados

Sometimes it takes a bit of work to get a refund…or just to find common cause with your refunder:


Dear Tesco

I am generally not a fan of your food quality – some will call me a snob, but I am from up north so not entirely sure that is something that can be aimed at me.

Anyway, I actually quite like your avocados, and go through several a week.  Well, I normally like your avocados.

Over the last month, I have had two pretty horrid, soft and close to inedible avocados from your Rayner’s Lane store.

I will keep buying them from there, as the good ones far outweigh the bad, however I have not been left amused by the quality – I live in London and need my avocados.  Do you not understand?

Also, your store sometimes smells of poo.  Actual poo.  This has been only on occasion this year, but last year it was fairly consistent.

Any idea why?

Kind regards
James Avocado Winfield


Dear Mr Winfield

Thank you for your email.
I am sorry to read of the problems which you have encountered, when purchasing advocados from your local store. I can appreciate how annoying this must have been for you, especially as the some of the advocado’s have been of poor quality and the store seems to have an unpleasent odour.

We’re committed to sourcing our products responsibly and take the quality of all of the products we sell very seriously. Any complaint about a product is recorded which allows us to work with our suppliers to ensure that our products are of the highest quality.

In order for me to ensure that this is done, I’d be very grateful if you could reply to me with some details, which I’d like to pass on to our supplier with your permission. Could you tell me:

– Your full postal address – Your telephone number – Product barcode – Cost of the product – Use by/best before date – Supplier code –

Our technical teams work closely with our suppliers to alert them to any product concerns and ensure that the highest standards are being met. Unfortunately, it does appear that something went wrong on this occasion, but we hope you’ll be reassured to know the information you have given us will help us to stop this from happening again.

Upon receipt of these additional details, I would also be happy to send you a Tesco Moneycard to reimburse you for the cost of the product.

Also, please can you advise me which store you purchased the advocados from? As I would like to raise your complaint about the strong odour circulating the store.
Thanks again for taking the time to tell us about this. I look forward to your reply.

Kind regards

Tesco Customer Service
Tesco Customer Engagement Centre



Gosh I don’t remember what date I bought them on, let alone what the barcode was!  It’s a struggle to remember my name sometimes.

They were in the loosely supplied section, so had no sell-by date.  The store is the one close to Rayner’s Lane tube station.  One occasion was a couple of weeks ago (they all felt out of date actually, the one I bought I hoped less so…alas), the other occasion in December.

My address is below and my phone number is xxxxxxxxxxx.  I hope that helps.

Kind regards



Dear Mr Winfield

Thank you for your reply and please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in my response.

Sadly, I have been unable to reach the store by phone. I have therefore sent your feedback to the store, regarding the smell in store. So, hopefully this can be resolved as soon as posisble.

In addition, I am sorry that the packaging is no longer available for the advocado’s. As you can appreciate that we would require the barcode number, in order to feed your comments back to the relevent Supplier and also provide a refund.

Going forward, should you experience any further quality issues with the products which you purchase from us, please return this to store along with your receipt.

Thank you for contacting me and for bringing this to my attention.

Kind regards

Tesco Customer Service
Tesco Customer Engagement Centre


Dear xxxx

I am not sure that you have understood my previous e-mail.

The avocados in the store are sold loose.  They have never had any packaging as such.  This is fine.

However what is not acceptable is when they are inedible – ie sold when they are clearly out of date.

This is surely a Tesco store management issue as opposed to a supplier issue?



Dear James

Thank you for your email reply.

xxxx is out of the business so please allow me to respond in her absence.

If the avocados are coming into the store in this condition, then xxxx is right in believing it is a supplier issue.  Staff are trained to check stock periodically to ensure anything that is not fit for consumption is removed whenever possible.  Loose fruit and vegetables is certainly something the staff are able to keep an eye on as they don’t contain any outer packaging as you’ve stated.

Usually even loose products will contain an Oval shape type sticker with some supplier details.  This would have been helpful to xxxx, but I realise you’ve now thrown everything away so this is not possible to take from you.

With that said, I can see that xxxx has made the store fully aware of your concerns and especially in regards to the odour you’ve experienced whilst shopping there.  This is being investigated behind the scenes to help ensure any future visit is a pleasant one.  If not, please do ask to speak with an in-store Duty Manager.

As we have no supplier details or product to have returned to the store, it is very difficult to refund you for these.  If you had photos of the supplier’s sticker, along with any photos showing the poor quality, we would have been able to help.

Please rest assured that it’s never our intention to frustrate or disappoint any customer at any time.  However, I do hope the above explains why I’m unable to meet your expectations on this occasion.

If you still feel a refund is in order, I would kindly suggest speaking with the store’s Duty Manager on your next usual visit.  Please do take along your till receipt to help them assist you further.

Thank you for your time and if there is anything else we can do to help, please do let us know.

Kind regards

Tesco Customer Service
Tesco Customer Engagement Centre


A week or so later…


Dear xxxx

I appreciate that you are probably thinking, “thank **** we shut him up”, but just like a bad smell, or perhaps Nigel Farage, I am back.

So I’ve bought another avocado from the local Tesco Express store so that I can send you a photograph of the barcode.  I appreciate that it isn’t exactly the same sticker as the two badvocados had, but I expect that it is exactly the same barcode.

I don’t really know why I am persisting with this, but I do feel that there is a slight soon-to-be-denied lack of trust towards what I am saying, and that you perhaps feel that as I am a northerner, I cannot possibly be eating something as healthy as an avocado.  Don’t worry, I will consume large volumes of bacon, beer and cocaine as soon as possible.

Alas, I am stuck with my morose feelings of incompleteness from two well below standard avocados – and now another one which I haven’t opened yet, but should be ok.  But there is that element of trepidation.

I should probably just leave it here and not still be banging on about it, I could just avoid shopping at Tesco for a few weeks to give myself some vague satisfaction that I am sticking it to the multi-national corporation for allowing two bad avocados to be purchased.  I am sure that you will miss my average monthly spend of around £31.54 as much as we missed Nigel Farage not being on the news last week.

Anyway, photograph of barcode pointlessly attached.

I look forward to your corporate platitudes in return.

Kindish regards


ps If you get bored on your lunch break, I do a fine collection of roast dinner reviews on my blog –


Dear James

Thank you for your further email and my profuse apologies for the week taken to reply.  I was offer for a few days and unfortunately the email wasn’t picked up by a colleague.

With that said, I’ve now arranged for a £10.00 Tesco Moneycard to be sent to you in the post.  This should arrive within the next 5 – 10 working days.  I’ve also notified the supplier for internal purposes, sp rest assured that they’ve been informed of your experience behind the scenes.

It’s been a pleasure to help and if there is anything else I can do to help James, please do let me know.

Kind regards

Tesco Customer Service
Tesco Customer Engagement Centre


Dear xxxx

Thank you for your e-mail and your kind offer of compensation – I only wanted £2.20 but hey, I won’t say anything if you don’t.

Slightly bad timing though as I was fishing around for things to give up for Lent yesterday.

In previous years I have given up paper clips, zebra crossings and trimming my eyebrows.  It gets more difficult to think of suitable things to give up for Lent – it always kind of slaps me in the face when I’m not expecting it – and you’d have thought that they would have had it on a different week to Valentine’s Day, but hey ho.  Hopefully they’ll look into the timing issue for next year.

Anyway, so I was waiting quite a long time to use the self-service machines yesterday – not your fault, just some very slow people in front of me, when it dawned on me – I should give up Tesco for Lent.

Oh well, I’m committed to it now.  Though last year I gave up talking about Brexit for Lent, which didn’t last very long.

I look forward to having a Tesco avocado feast in early April.

All the best


Conclusion – all you need to do is show your contempt for Nigel Farage to get your own way.

Complaint: Badvocado

Written when I was unemployed…


“Oh not him again”.

Yes I know, you thought that you wouldn’t hear from me again now I’m unemployed (technically on gardening leave which means I do things like sorting out kitchen cupboards looking for out of date tins of pineapple), as I am now just a yellow sticker boy with an occasional foray into Iceland.  I shall still probably buy carrots from you.

But on my last weekly shop with you until I am redeemed from this life of loneliness (I have lots of friends, honest), I have disappointment to proffer.

Recently I have been wondering what it would be like to be a lesbian.  So for this week’s food shopping, I decided against buying chicken for my salad and went full vegetarian (lunchtime vegetarian anyway).  Avocado was going to be my meat substitute.

Imagine my disappointment when I cut open one of my two avocados to find it was a badvocado.  Brown with a hint of green.  Yuckity yuck.

You can send me a voucher for the avocado if you wish but unfortunately it may be a while before I can use it online.  Hopefully someone will see the web developer talent in me before they see the complaint writing talent.

All the best.
James ‘Lesbian’ Winfield


Dear James

Thanks for blessing us with your presence.

I am sorry that your avocados have arrived in this condition and I hope that this has not made you give up on this newfound passion of yours.

I know how a badvocado can ruin a salad all too well, and I am thus passing this issue to our Kenton branch so they can work on improving the fresh produce sent out to you, so that your carrot purchases can continue.

I am issuing an evoucher, for £4 to cover the avocado plus a little extra as a gesture of goodwill. The voucher code is A4MG-6KQX-Q74V, and will be valid for 2 years, but I hope we see you well before then.

We appreciate the time you’ve taken to contact Sainsbury’s and hope the gardening leave does not go on too long.

Kind regards,

Duncan Graham | Sainsbury’s Online


Random image of Spanish lesbians.

Sainsburys Complaint & My Manly Chest

Dear Sainsburys

I am not sure whether you are aware but I am entering my manly torso-chest into a Sexy Torso competition shortly.

One of the many areas of advice that I have encountered is for colouring my torso to ensure I stand out to the judges.

To do so, I need to rub half an avocado onto my chest, particularly the nipple area, and let the oils soak in overnight.

However this week, my Sainsburys avocados were totally unacceptable.  I bought a packet of the ripen at home avocados, but they just went to a weird light green/light brown.  I did try to rub them into my chest once the skin appeared ripened but they didn’t work – and I thought they smelt a bit odd too.

Please can you ensure that future avocados are more appropriate for rubbing into my manly torso – I really want to win this competition.

You may also be interested to know that I am growing a kind of chest moustache to cover my nipples.

Kind regards
James Winfield


Dear James

Thanks for taking the time to contact us.

It’s disappointing that the avocados you received were poor quality and unusable. I know that you need these avocados to prepare for your Sexy Torso competition so I can appreciate your concern that on this occasion they didn’t work as intended. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

All our avocados comes to us from reputable suppliers. We insist on strict quality control procedures and temperature controls throughout all stages of storage, handling and display. This should ensure that it reaches you in perfect condition.

As this hasn’t been the case, I’ve forwarded your comments to our quality managers. They in turn will let our suppliers know about this. I’d like to assure you that we constantly refer to customer feedback of this nature as part of ongoing reviews.

I’ve also sent you a £1.75 evoucher to cover the cost of your avocados. The voucher code is ****-****-****. This’ll be sent to the email address on the account, is valid for two years and can be used on a future online shop.

We appreciate the time you’ve taken to let us know about this as we’re committed to selling high quality products. I’d also like to take the opportunity to wish you all the best in your upcoming competition.

Kind regards

****** ******
Customer Manager
Sainsbury’s Online