NO! No! No! ASDA Ware Colleagues told to retain unspent E-gift Card Vouchers intended for low income families.
Written by Mickey Gocool on 20 December 2020
“The Store’s Acting Manager Charlotte Felsted threatens POLICE action to journalist who is then escorted from the store”
Struggling Hertfordshire families with children who are eligible for free school meals are to receive a £30 supermarket voucher over the Christmas holidays.
The vouchers are distributed – in digital or paper form – through schools during the last week of the term.
They are funded through the county council’s £2.49 million share of the Government’s Covid winter grant scheme, set up to ensure children and vulnerable households do not go hungry over the Christmas and February half-term holidays.
However, We have received several complaints from angry Ware parents They are complaining that ASDA Colleagues are telling customers that they have to retain printed E gift Card vouchers regardless of the balance available.
Lisa, single mother from Ware contacted us and wanted to complain to ASDA about her £30 voucher being retained by colleagues despite having only spent £8. She said that she felt that she had to give up the voucher and did not want to cause a scene. She tried to call the store but there was no answer. She claims that there was £22 left on the E card which she assumed she would be able to use on another visit. According to ASDA Staff, Cleary NOT!
So, we thought we would see if there was any truth in the complaints and in true investigative journalism style, we sent an undercover reporter who is also a former Colleague at the very same store. Our reporter did her shopping using scan & go and was also asked to hand over her E Gift Card to a colleague.
I attended the Store shortly afterwards and asked the acting Store Manager Charlotte Felsted (Charlie), who from the onset became very rude and defensive when I asked for clarification. She claimed that no one has ever complained previously to her and that it was the first she has heard of it. Yet another member of staff was able to tell me that this was recently introduced and not somethin they did during the initial lockdown. I wanted to know why staff at the Ware Store are being asked to retain E-Gift card Vouchers intended for low income families regardless of the balance left. Low income families could lose thousands of pounds to any unscrupulous ASDA colleagues if the retained E-Gft Cards are live and still have a positive Balance because of ASDA’s blunder.
SHOW YOUR E-GIFT CARD ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE.
In order to prevent your printed E-Gift Card being “Snatched” by ASDA Colleagues, we recommend using your mobile device to display the E-Gift barcode for scanning when making payment.
The printed E-Gift Cards are received by email and can be used as full or part payment in Stores and Online. They are not registered and have an accompanying PIN code so one can check the remaining balance ONLINE.
The concern here is that the COVID Winter E-Gift Card can be used by anyone including ASDA Colleagues. If there are a number of retained E-Gift Cards for whatever reason with remaining balances, then it is possible that these may be used collectively by ASDA Colleagues, Effectively denying local low income families essential funds intended for their use.
We have tried to speak to someone at Ware ASDA Superstore but greeted with a Patronising and rude approach as well as threatened with Police Action. Clearly, This staff member needs to update her customer services skills. In fact, I had already overheard another customer making a complaint to her a few seconds before about a different matter and again she was given the generic excuse “Talk to Head Office”.
Charlotte Felsted was unwilling to comment about anything by way of a satisfactory response and threatened me with POLICE if I printed my story.
ASDA E-Gift Card Terms and conditions state: 14. Asda Stores will not keep money deposited on cards separate from its own funds. Card balances are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service.
We will also inform Hertfordshire County Council of our finding and will publish their response in due course.
A complaint will also be made against Charlotte felsted Acting Store Manager to ASDA’s Head Office in Leads about her Professional Conduct.
If anyone has has their E-Gift Vouchers retained with a poitive balance left we would like to hear from you STUDIO@EASTHERTSRADIO.CO.UK