Tesco apologises after payment glitch pushes customers into red

Tesco has apologised to customers after it took up to three months to process hundreds of credit and debit card payments, causing some shoppers to go into the red.

The UK’s biggest retailer said 300 of its 1,700 Tesco Express convenience stores had been affected by a glitch in its payments system since the end of November.

A spokesperson said: “As soon as we identified this issue, we contacted as many affected customers as possible and have now processed all incomplete transactions. The issue has now been resolved and we are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Letters sent to those affected said: “We are writing to let you know that a number of credit and debit card payments did not process correctly for some customers, in a small number of our Express stores. You may have noticed this as an unexpected transaction at Tesco in your bank statement.”

The error was first spotted and reported by MoneySavingExpert.com, which advised customers to check their statements carefully.

It was told by a number of customers that the delayed transactions had pushed them beyond their agreed overdraft limits as they were not expecting the money to be debited. Tesco has agreed to refund any bank charges incurred as a result.

Steve Nowottny, the news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “It’s good to see Tesco has apologised to shoppers, but this is a real blunder. For a major supermarket to take payments up to three months late simply isn’t acceptable. If you’re operating on a tight budget it’s crucial you know that payments will be processed more or less as you make them.”

In January Tesco announced it was delaying changes to its Clubcard rewards scheme after a backlash from customers who objected to it reducing the value of vouchers without warning.

The retailer said it had listened to the feedback and would postpone the introduction of the changes until 10 June.