Tesco Flash 50% off clothing sale Friday – looking a bit better.

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Tesco sale

My frustration with Tesco from yesterday abated somewhat, I suspect it wilted a little after some of the approbation and many people will be able to get the 50% off deal for a couple of hours tomorrow…

The initial deal…

In this week’s email my top deal was the following,

Exclusive! Tesco.com Fri 2hr Flash Sale 50% off all clothing code. Details still coming in – full updates & how to get the code in the Daily Deals List: Discount Vouchers

We’d been given this on Tuesday when we write the email and it all looked great – so good I even mentioned it on my GMTV deals of the week slot on Wednesday morning. 

To get it people needed to join Tesco’s clothing Facebook page – and indeed that went ballistic: from 1,000 members on Tue night to well over 30,000 fans by the end of Wed.

Then it all went wrong…

The deal looked seriously popular, and I suspect internally the marketing managers at Tesco had no clue how big it’d be and had bust their budget – so they then announced that only the first 6,000 people to buy something would get the 50% off.

They had never told us this, and we had been very upfront as we always are about the power of the email and how many people would follow up on the offer.

To be honest I was fuming, and added this to the Discount Vouchers page:

Update From Martin

I’m furious with Tesco – the qualification that only the first 6,000 people to buy something will get 50% off was never told to us – and frankly I believe it wasn’t planned until this became so popular.

Yet as Britain’s largest and a multi-billion pound profit retailer – the excuse it couldn’t afford it is laughable. It feels a bit like Tesco has simply stolen contacts from our database to do this – it’s most disingenuous. So if you’re not going to buy anything and do get through – ensure you unlike its facebook page straight away so it can’t gain from marketing to you in future.”

Then a few hours later, having calmed down (and ultimately we still want tip off from Tesco and to be able to persuade it to launch more deals), I changed it to the following…

Update From Martin

I’m very frustrated with Tesco – the qualification that only the first 6,000 people to buy something will get 50% off was never told to us – and I question whether it was even planned until this became so popular.

The concern is Tesco has gained from this unnecessarily adding greatly to its database with over 22,000 new members of its fan page (it was only 1,000 when we first mentioned this). Therefore if it doesn’t change its mind and give more people access – do ensure you unlike its facebook page straight afterwards so it can’t gain from marketing to you in future.”

And I wasn’t the only one who was annoyed, on Facebook the ‘boycott Tesco’ group was started and enough bad comments were made to knock its wall down.

The final situation

We’ve spoken to Tesco and it does seem genuinely sorry that this happened – unsurprisingly really as what was meant to be a good discount has turned into something that’s potentially brand damaging.
The good news is it seems to have listened. Today it’s ‘clarified’ the situation saying…

“Thank you for your great response to our Friday Frenzy promotion! We’ve been overwhelmed by your interest, particularly since our unexpected plug on GMTV. To celebrate that fact that the tesco.com/clothing site launched 6 months ago, we are rewarding our Facebook followers with a 50% discount (half price to celebrate half a year).

We’ve listened to your thoughts and feedback and and we will honour at least 6,000 orders, if more can be processed within the two hour window, they will also qualify for the offer. After the two hours, we will be offering 25% off to all followers until midnight this Sunday. The code for both promotions will be communicated tomorrow via Facebook.

It goes without without saying that the site will be busy on Friday. If you do experience initial problems, keep trying and we’ll keep you updated on Facebook”

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P.S. For details of how to go to the sale see Discount Vouchers