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Very Little Helps => Union matters. => Topic started by: trollyboy on 05-09-18, 09:43PM

Title: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: trollyboy on 05-09-18, 09:43PM
Hi. Im after some advice for a colleague.  They have been in an investigation for allegedly telling a customer they shop else where. They say it didnt happen.  Anyhow said customer has posted it on social media. And a tm has seen it and reported it. Investigation has been done and a new manager did investigation but notetaker was constantly teling lead what to ask ect. Person under investigation wasnt asked if they wanted a rep. Now its gone to discliplinary there really worried. Any advice?
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lackofinterest on 05-09-18, 11:38PM
damaging the brand?? wtf!! another load of bullocks!! i'm forever telling customers i shop elsewhere. so f***ing what??? its no big secret. what can they possibly do to this person? not a lot i would have thought
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: alf on 05-09-18, 11:56PM
Me thinks some important information is being left out of this story.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lackofinterest on 06-09-18, 12:15AM
maybe not. i think it's just toscos treating their staff like s*** which seems to have become the norm the last few years >:(
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: alf on 06-09-18, 12:48AM
Dunno, why would a customer post something so benign on social media whilst also identifying the particular staff member, combined with the did they, or didn't they say it element, makes me think something is being left out.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: chris9997 on 06-09-18, 12:57AM
I actually go to a rival  after my shift still wearing uniform to do some shopping as some items have been withdrawn from Tesco range, so where would that leave me, don't see anywhere that says I cant
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: rogersmart on 06-09-18, 01:26AM
Whether or not we’re being told all the details, this thread throws up an interesting issue, and I don’t think anyone should be surprised if a retailer like Tesco takes action against a staff member who actively promotes competitors, especially if it’s done whilst at work.  Whilst you’re at work on Tesco premises and wearing a Tesco uniform you are contractually obliged to act in the company’s interest, and if you don’t it seems to me that you are painting a huge target on yourself.  The use of social media means that a throwaway comment can become a news story in a frighteningly short time, and those on here who ask “what can Tesco do?” need to understand that the answer is that they can dismiss you.  It’s gross misconduct pure and simple, and you deserve what you get.  And by the way I’m not a manager - I’m just someone who understands that serving Tesco’s customers means that you have to be a Tesco person, even if in your life outside the business you happen to shop elsewhere.  You do not seem to understand that if you want to keep a job then there are basic unwritten rules that you have to follow.  If the competition is so much better then go and work for them.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: chris9997 on 06-09-18, 03:24AM
Where you shop is really down to the individual, although telling a customer you prefer to shop somewhere else is proberbly foolish, however that said there are likely to be staff who shop at aldi/Lidl because financial reasons not withstanding cut in premium  pay rates
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Welshie on 06-09-18, 04:38AM
"Brand damaging" seems to be the new buzz words.  I overheard a manager being told to order a new piece of equipment as the current one was shabby and was brand damaging !
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Vanilla on 06-09-18, 06:45AM
I've always been brought up to "tell the truth", if the truth is brand damaging and I get sacked for it then so be it.
Removing said contractual benefits is brand damaging as it leads to demoralised and unmotivated staff - did anyone get sacked for that?
If the truth is brand damaging then maybe the "brand ambassadors" at Tosco should do something about it - people used to feel proud working at Tosco but it now just a minimum wage workhouse
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Fixxer on 06-09-18, 09:28AM
Had a colleague disciplined in our store for something similar last week. Result was a formal warning letter after a meeting.

A customer had come in for a type of Glue which we don't sell (but have perhaps lesser alternatives) and the colleague said we couldn't help on this occasion but to try the B&M store across the road.
Apparently this was discouraging brand loyalty.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Me2015 on 06-09-18, 10:01AM
What utter nonsense yet again from jumped up managers! Who really care where you shop, it’s your money you do what you want.  Don’t have an item instore, great customer service should always advise the best course of action to take, it’s in another retailer, so what, you are being friendly and helpful! Much more meaningful than ‘damaging the brand’

Why would somebody get disciplined for advising a customer to go somewhere where they could actually get the item, i do it all the time and I’m a manager!

Beggars belief! Get the appeals in guys!!
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Totot on 06-09-18, 10:23AM
Typical, a manager who does not have enough management skill tend to make up small unimportant things, and mostly rubbish.

Brand damaging, they should learn more about those words more. And do more proper managerial job, let say like human resources management.
If they want to pull these brand damaging meaning so loosely like this, what next then, you cant say where your bank is, where you buy travel money, glasses, print your pic, charity and so on, oh maybe whole tesco group too need to be "protected".

I always say where I bought stuff when someone else asks, I don't like lying and lick ar**e. Those manager must be always says that all what they wear use eat and buy from tesco never say they got it from somewhere else to other ppl, customer friends or family it doesn't matter, if it is about brand damaging, talking to the closest person is even worst.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: captain on 06-09-18, 11:18AM
Hi. Im after some advice for a colleague.  They have been in an investigation for allegedly telling a customer they shop else where. They say it didnt happen.  Anyhow said customer has posted it on social media. And a tm has seen it and reported it. Investigation has been done and a new manager did investigation but notetaker was constantly teling lead what to ask ect. Person under investigation wasnt asked if they wanted a rep. Now its gone to discliplinary there really worried. Any advice?
Telling a customer they shop elsewhere is, in my opinion, not brand damaging. however telling a customer they shop elsewhere because its cheaper/better/more choice etc etc IS brand damaging.
Also telling a customer to shop elsewhere if you don't like the offering/price/service etc can again be brand damaging.
When will people learn to keep there mouths shut and opinions to themselves, there are more posts on this website than enough about people "mouthing off".
Trollyboy, suspect we don't have all the facts on the original post
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Duracell on 06-09-18, 12:57PM
In reply to the OP.
Out of process really, a note taker can not lead a meeting, the only interaction they can have is to clarify what is being said or request words be repeated or the the meeting slow down, basicly they can only interact for the purpose of clear and accurate note taking.

As for the claim of Damaging the brand by your actions, I am only surprised it has taken this long. I have often thought over the decades, what customer perception is of a person in a T uniform shopping in Morrisons, Aldi, Asda, Lidl etc etc. So much so that I actively avoid doing so or at least wear something over my uniform so it can’t be seen. Also to extend actions to directly telling customers you don’t shop at your employers locations is a bit of a foolish thing to do. Even if you know the person you are talking to. Sometimes others knowing the choices you make are unavoidable, a friend seeing you in Aldi knowing you work for T is pretty much unavoidable, but to advertise the fact to others that otherwise would have no clue, you are making a choice.
Think of it from a customer perspective if you took your car to your regular garage, then one day saw an employer of that garage take their vehicle elsewhere, would you not at least think , I wonder why that is?
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: K2S0 on 06-09-18, 02:20PM
I actually go to a rival  after my shift still wearing uniform to do some shopping as some items have been withdrawn from Tesco range, so where would that leave me, don't see anywhere that says I cant

There’s been more than a few occasions where I have gone to Asda from work and been stood there in uniform, I don’t wear my name badge and there’s 3 Tesco expresses closer than the store I work in so harder to track if that was an issue 😂
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: K2S0 on 06-09-18, 02:31PM
I think (personally) that “brand loyalty” is a moronic term and the concept actually baffles me... if you were to ask every customer who walked through the door on any given day I’d bet anything that 95% or higher don’t just shop at Tesco! It shouldn’t be a shock that people shop around!

My Nan is a good example of what the older generation are like... she’ll go to Iceland for her Lemon tea (only they do the packets and the tubs taste funny!?), she’ll go Aldi for there long life milk and bits, she’ll go Morrison’s for her dog food and yogurts...
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Welshie on 06-09-18, 04:04PM
I wonder if it's just our groceries we're  meant to say we by at Tesco? If a customer admired your shoes/watch/glasses and you said thanks they're from primark/Specsavers etc is that brand damaging . No customer believes we only shop at Tesco.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: mac84 on 06-09-18, 04:54PM
A company publicly outed for selling horse meat lasagna, ripping off suppliers and massive financial fraud, among other things, is pushing a brand damaging agenda against the downtrodden staff at the bottom now is it? Hilarious.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lucgeo on 06-09-18, 05:42PM
WHAT!!!! Why on earth do we suddenly have to watch what we say??? What happened to "bring your personality to work, speak to customers as your friends, everyone has a right to a voice" etc....etc....

Where is this "damaging the brand" loyalty written in the policies?? I for one have never signed anything to say I agree to give up my democratic right for free speech, never to give an opinion or personal preference when asked, and I never signed an oath of allegiance to tesco to only promote their products whilst wearing the uniform. I shop in rival supermarkets wearing the tesco uniform, I advise customers where they can buy a product we no longer stock. That to me is putting the customer first. Not some nodding dog, saying no we don't sell it, because Dave Lewis stripped the choices to bare minimum which forced our loyal customers to go shop elsewhere and discover the rivals were much cheaper!!  >:( >:(
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: alf on 06-09-18, 06:01PM
I'd imagine it'll fall under "bringing the company into disrepute".

Though if we take the post at face value, it's a highly dubious case of bringing the company into disrepute.

If the person said something like, "tesco is s***, I don't shop here and neither should you", it would be a different story.

As for freedom of speech, its none existent in the UK.  Even if it was, it's their to protect you from government retaliation, not from a private company, and certainty not when you're on company time on company premises.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lackofinterest on 06-09-18, 06:22PM
bringing the company into disrepute!! don't make me laugh. they manage to do that themselves without our help, i.e defrauding profit figures, ripping off suppliers, etc, etc. ar**h*les >:(
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: alf on 06-09-18, 06:30PM
And what?

You think any business will tolerate staff bad mouthing the company particularly whilst on company time.

Assuming that's the case of course, otherwise as I said, the investigation is pretty questionable.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lackofinterest on 06-09-18, 06:41PM
telling somebody you don't shop at tosco is not bad mouthing the company. telling somebody why you don't shop at tosco is just telling the truth. if they don't like the truth then f*** em, dishonest hypocrites. if tosco treated their staff with more respect i might shop there but in the current climate i would rather spend my money elsewhere  >:D
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lackofinterest on 06-09-18, 06:44PM
WHAT!!!! Why on earth do we suddenly have to watch what we say??? What happened to "bring your personality to work, speak to customers as your friends, everyone has a right to a voice" etc....etc....

Where is this "damaging the brand" loyalty written in the policies?? I for one have never signed anything to say I agree to give up my democratic right for free speech, never to give an opinion or personal preference when asked, and I never signed an oath of allegiance to tesco to only promote their products whilst wearing the uniform. I shop in rival supermarkets wearing the tesco uniform, I advise customers where they can buy a product we no longer stock. That to me is putting the customer first. Not some nodding dog, saying no we don't sell it, because Dave Lewis stripped the choices to bare minimum which forced our loyal customers to go shop elsewhere and discover the rivals were much cheaper!!  >:( >:(
:thumbup: couldn't have put it better myself ;)
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: alf on 06-09-18, 06:50PM
telling somebody you don't shop at tosco is not bad mouthing the company. telling somebody why you don't shop at tosco is just telling the truth. if tosco treated their staff with more respect i might shop there but in the current climate i would rather spend my money elsewhere  >:D

Of course, which is why I said “otherwise".

But we're missing so much context, I mean did some person just come into that store and ask that colleague where they shop, to then go home and  post a status saying that, whilst identifying that colleague?
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lackofinterest on 06-09-18, 06:54PM
I don't know. some people tend to exaggerate and twist words ???

if I was a manager and I saw somebody on social media "bad mouthing" tosco then why should it bother me? if they were "bad mouthing" me personally then yes that would bother me.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: gomezz on 06-09-18, 07:35PM
If a customer admired your shoes/watch/glasses and you said thanks they're from primark/Specsavers etc is that brand damaging
Would it be wrong of me to suggest that it could be seen as more damaging to the Primark / Specsavers brands to be acknowledged as worn by a mere supermarket employee?  :D
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: lucgeo on 06-09-18, 07:37PM
I'm aware that freedom of speech is not a recognised term in the UK, I believe its freedom of expression or very  similar.......splitting hairs does not alter the fact that no firm, body or establishment has the right to dictate that freedom.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: alf on 06-09-18, 07:47PM
It's a castrated version of freedom of speech, though that's a whole different  debate in itself.

But either or, neither protect you from retaliation from a private company. A common phrase is, "freedom of speech, not freedom from consequences".

Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: OvaSees on 06-09-18, 09:10PM
I think there's more to this... but to tell a customer you shop elsewhere is in itself not 'brand damaging'. I've seen employees from other retailers shopping in our store - in their uniforms. They may work elsewhere, but by shopping here - and that's their choice - they advocate Tesco. That's not the same as damaging the company they work for.

As for 'brand loyalty' there's no such thing in these terms - Tesco is not a 'brand' because it is not a product. I can be loyal to the Nescafe brand but I will buy it wherever it's cheapest. I'm not loyal to the entity that sells it. If you look in my cupboard, there is only ever Nescafe coffee and price drives that purchase, not loyalty. The nonsense that gets touted around by snake-oil marketeers like Drastic about customers wanting to have a relationship with their 'brand' is just so much c**p it makes me sick. Brand loyalty is a rare thing, and is always, always given as part of a whole package of value that is delivered consistently by the product to the customer. Customers want a lot of things from their favoured brands, but only a very few with some sort of emotional incapacity see a brand as a substitute for a human relationship, so Tesco should stop talking about it as if it were.

In absence of all of the facts here, I'd say this is a very overzealous manager in a store that must be absolutely dersperate for sales and obsessed with hitting targets if they are resorting to enforcing brand advocacy by effectively removing your choice to shop elsewhere. A tribunal would have a field day. There's nothing wrong with Tesco 'expecting' brand advocacy but that's at your discretion and not part of your T&Cs.

Customers are not loyal to supermarkets - they shop at them because of a human necessity for food. Would they also take action if you told a customer your cat was one of the 8 out of 10 that preferred Whiskas?
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: penguin on 06-09-18, 10:31PM
Ah the big saying at the moment "brand damaging" a real favourite with a lot of new and younger managers, we have just lost a manager to Morrisons who kept saying it all the time, even to the point where he accused people of "brand damaging" for walking from their cars to the store entrance in their own coats over the Tesco uniform.

If clowns like him are the future of food retail we are all going to need to start growing our own food very quickly. In a non brand damaging way of course.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Iron Giant on 06-09-18, 11:55PM
Anyhow said customer has posted it on social media. And a tm has seen it and reported it.

That a colleague is being disciplined over an an allegation is troubling. Especially as the incident was denied to have happened.

Just off to create a fake facebook account and make a comment about my manager kicking my seeing eye dog while drunk and shouting racist comments.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Duracell on 07-09-18, 12:33AM
Of course if we look at the previous post and the quote within.

Customer puts comment on social media, then Manager happens to see it?
Even with the defining option of a # I suspect the Mangager was either actively doing searches looking to cause a s*** storm, or they were directed to the particular post.

Like has been already said there is more to the chain of events than has been said.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: optout on 07-09-18, 05:54AM
So from some of the posts in this thread,
If a manager were to leave tesco and go to work for a competitor, that would be tesco brand damaging, would it not? I would find it difficult to believe that that manager could ever be employed by tesco again. So Dave Lewis damaged the Unilever brand because he left them to come to tesco.

As for the OP,
Did the customer ask them where they shopped? If so was your workmate supposed to lie? Are tesco asking us to be dishonest to our customers? If so surely this is brand damaging of itself. So tesco are asking (indeed in this case 'forcing' would be closer) us to lie to our customers. Can an employer force an employee to lie to their customers? And would this be an enforceable part of a contract?

Not asked if they wanted a rep (is this in the minutes) if so this is evidence of this being out of process before they even start. Regardless of the morality of the original 'crime'.

Put in a grievance under Terms & Conditions.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: londoner83 on 07-09-18, 08:36AM
At the end of the day you are free to shop where ever you want. There could be many reasons for visiting a competitor and you used to be encouraged to do SWATs on our competition to see how you could improve your department.

Anyone working for Tesco that claims to have never ever made a purchase in a competitor is lying.

Like others have suggested ask where in your contract it states Tesco can restrict your shopping choices; whether as a  result of this alleged term to only shop in Tesco you are entitled to any back pay for time spent shopping out of working hours and finally where your contract states you should lie to customers.

As long as you haven't been actively promoting competitors (ie handing out Aldi leaflets during your shift in Tesco) or have posted libellous things about the company on social media they don't have a leg to stand on.

Get a rep; put in a grievance and appeal any disciplinary given
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: his scots tie on 07-09-18, 08:40AM
Would answering the door to a Sainsburys delivery in your Tosco uniform be damaging the brand? If so ill have to stop doing it.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Duracell on 07-09-18, 11:56AM
Believe this or not but it is a fact, part of my reasoning for shopping elsewhere, I take my own food to work for meal breaks, in the event my locker is searched, when they find non T branded items in my locker it doesn’t arouse any suspicion, yet if I were to shop at T, there would be T branded products in my locker which even in the most genuine of cases would be questioned when such products are in my work area.

Simple example Morrison’s Soup get no reaction when found in my locker, where as T soup would lead to questions and very likely cause unfounded opinions and suspicion.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: OvaSees on 07-09-18, 01:47PM
penguin, Duracell and optout - thank goodness for your continued voices of reason  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Sidewinder on 07-09-18, 07:40PM
I don't imagine for one minute that the customer simply posted that Tesco staff shop in other grocers

There are 1001 possibilities here. Maybe 'I was speaking to a Tesco member of staff who said that he doesn't shop in his own store because....he has seen the rats in the warehouse/the counter staff never wash their hands/the store has no regard for food safety/the prices are a rip off/XXXX company has better quality food...'

Without seeing what the customer posted it is impossible to form an opinion over whether the conversation breached social media policy or brought the company into disrepute
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: penguin on 07-09-18, 09:23PM
Half the problem in cases like this is what gets said in store and what the customer or someone who sees the incident posts on social media are two very different things, I've seen it myself a mild dispute over free bags when the 5p charge came in between a customer and a checkout team support, sorted out without any real issues and the two both shock hands before the customer left, another customer takes a photo of the team support and puts it all over local Facebook groups saying "avoid xxxxxxx store as this vile manager was trying to start a fight with a terrifed customer" team support ends up suspended and investigated, off work for almost a week until the company accepted the post was not a true reflection of what happened.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Duracell on 07-09-18, 10:30PM
Not only “half the problem in cases like this” but perhaps life in general very often exhibits gross exaggerations of the truth, not so much to be vindictive or to cause malice but to seemingly Dramatise events.
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: OvaSees on 08-09-18, 11:44AM
Social media platforms are notorious for that - nothing on them is ever the reality. People simply use them to paint a brilliantly peachy snapshot of their life or to dramatise things to the point where they are scarier than the outbreak of WW3. On social media and behind the safety of a keyboard people portray everything in extremeties free from any repurcussion or even consequence. It's the modern, digital equivalent of keeping up with the Joneses on the one hand and spreading the gossip in the pub on the other. Social media vs. reality is a very real issue and the company would do well to consider that - how many hotels or restaurants unfairly dismissed employees because of a disgruntled customer sounding off on Trip Advisor even though their grievance was unfounded?
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: ETUKL on 08-09-18, 12:08PM
Just cause someone writes something on social media isnt reason for displicine.  This under law is hearsay and insufficient evidence.  Suggest take union in as you didnt put comment on social media and no evidence to say you said this to a customer.  Therefore no action can be taken as hearsay isnt enough hard evidence otherwise people can go round saying what they want to get people into trouble. 
Title: Re: Alledged damaging the brand investigation
Post by: Blondie on 09-09-18, 09:55PM
Am I allowed to swear on VLH? I'll censor just to be safe.

Complete and utter b*******.

And I'll tell you why it is.

In my store, we work opposite a massive home improvement store, which has a much better stock of products than we do for those areas, and when we do not stock items that customers are searching for, we routinely send them to this other store instead. Even our f****** managers do this. And it happens at least once a week, but those occasions are ONLY within the 25 hours that I work, so it could very well be more than that.

In short, an investigation for this is complete nonsense. And I thought I couldn't hate the company anymore than I already do.