I do the majority of my food shopping at my local Tesco Store and at various times they have different promotions on, where if you spend so much money you get vouchers for money off items at greatly reduced prices. Recently Tesco had a promotion on for Alessi Cutlery, entitling you to 85% off this particlar that I had for many many years had now become a little stained, I saw this promotion and as I had done some research on the particlar make of cutlery and had a good look at it in the store and it seemed to be of a high quality and decided that this appeared to be an offer I couldn’t resist. You could purchase different sets of this cutlery but I needed the 4 piece table sets, which consisted of a dinner knife, a dinner fork, a dessert spoon and a teaspon in each set. For each set of cutlery you needed 5 coupons and then had to pay the reduced price of £4.99 for each set, making a saving of £30.00. I collected enough coupons to get 12 sets over the next few weeks, and once I had collected them all, I got rid of all my old cutlery. I started to use this new cutlery and first impressions I was very pleased, as it appeared good robust cutlery that should last a good many years.
How wrong I was. A few weeks had passed and when I was packing them away after wiping them off when they were taken out of the dishwasher before putting them in the drawer I noticed some what I thought was staining on a few of the blades, and a couple of spots on a couple of the handles. On closer inspection it appeared that there were little areas of corrosion, and one of the handles was completely bad and had what looked like rust spots over it. I was extrememly annoyed, as there appeared to be a manufacturing problem with them.
Next time I did my shopping I took 4 of the 12 knives back to the store where I purchased them. I saw a Manager who had a look at the knives and agreed with me that there was definitely a problem and he too could not believe what I showed him. He said that these should be indestructible and should last a lifetime, to which I agreed. He willingly changed the 4 knives for me and said he would pass my complaint on.
However the next few weeks, I noticed that 2 more knives are starting to corrode, just like the others and as you can imagine I was not very happy. These are supposed to be a good maker of cutlery, yet I have now had 6 knives that have had problems. I am now wondering if these sets that have been offered to Tesco to sell at reduced prices are in fact seconds from the manufacturer. I am now wondering if in the next few weeks, the other knives are going to go the same way. I decided to write to Tesco Customer Services in December 2012 at their Head Office and received their letter back which states “I have spoken to our Technical Team who advised me that they have received a few similar reports. However, given the amount of cutlery sets that we have sold, the level of complaints is minimal”.
They did however enclose a money card and some additional vouchers in order for me to purchase another 2 sets of cutlery, as they stated that they could not just replace the knives. I therefore then had a total of 14 sets of this cutlery.
I waited a couple more months, just to see if any more of the cutlery developed these problems, and needless to say another 8 knives have gone the same way. That is now a total of 10 knives out of 14 sets that are corroding with these rust spots. and therefore I have just written to Tesco 4th February 2013) with a further complaint relating to these knives, and I await their reply. I have asked that they replace my 10 faulty knives with 10 first grade knives (as clearly the knives offered for this promotion are substandard) and pointed out that this should not be a problem as this particular pattern is still current. I naturally await their response.
Update 22nd February 2013.
I have just received a letter from Tesco in reply to mine apologising and stating that they have reported my complaint to their Technical Manager. They also said that as the knives are covered by the manufacturers warranty that they have arranged for the supplier to send me 10 replacement knives which is a result and at least they have now decided to do something. The letter did say that a prepaid envelope will be provided for me to return the faulty knives. Once they have them back it will be interested to see if they actually report back to me on their findings. I eagerly await receipt of the replacement knives.
Updated 13th March 2013
As I had not received the replacement knives I send Tesco another letter stating this fact, to which I had a reply back on the 26th March, to which they apologised but “there had been an availability issue with the knives, hence the delay” (quite possible replacing other customers’s knives who had found the same problem). The letter did say that the replacement would be sent in two batches and should be with me within the next 10 working days. It also said that there was no need to return the faulty knives.
Updated 11th April 2013
A parcel arrived, and lo and behold it was my replacements, but not just the knives, but 10 complete boxed 4 piece dinner sets,, so an extra 10 knives, 10 forks, 10 dessert spoons and 10 teaspoons, so definitely a result, although it took long enough. Let’s just see if these new knives don’t develop the rusting problem – watch this space!!!
I therefore urge anyone who has also purchased sets of this Alessi cutlery through the Tesco promotions, that you check your sets very closely (using a magnifing glass, as you might not notice these spots on first glance) as I am sure that there will be lots more sets that have gone un-noticed and therefore I am sure that if more people find a similar problem and report to Tesco, they will have to do something more about this problem. I have to say that I have only noticed a problem with the knives – at the moment, but who’s to say that the forks and spoons could go the same way.
An additional note, I did submit a review regarding this particular cutlery on the Tesco Direct Site, but they did not publish my first attempt obviously only publishing favourable reviews, however after contacting them I did submit a second one which was eventually published.