Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Bottle

Consider the image above. This is a bottle of Tesco flavoured water, purchased by me and later consumed (the water at least). You may want to take note of the date… Says 2006 doesn’t it?

That’s a long time ago. A long, long time for a bottle of water, especially after you’ve drank it.
Many people would’ve reacted with horror at the thought of drinking something so far past its sell by date. Me, however, I was excited – I was going to get Tesco for this one. Oh yes, this had to be worth some vouchers at least!

I got right on the case. I visited the Tesco website and sent them an indignant email, expressing my shock and concern that other bottles of aged water were being unleashed on the public. Of course, I didn’t really think an old bottle of water could be of any harm. Besides, the label on the bottle was recent, so it was probably just a labelling mistake.

Nevertheless, they had a responsibility to make sure they printed their labels correctly, or else things could potentially go wrong. Tesco were quite quick to reply, I had a phone call within 24 hours. The caller expressed his sincere apologies and asked if I could visit the store I purchased it from, so that they could check and ensure no other bottles were on sale.

So I prepared for my visit, rehearsing in my mind my lines of dialogue. My concern, outrage and upset - my insistence of compensation, just a token gesture, it needn’t be anything huge.

I arrived at the store armed with the offending bottle, and got the attention of a nervous supervisor, who took the bottle away for examination. I waited for quite some time, keeping up my stern front of seriousness while pacing in front of Cadbury’s Cream Egg display.

Eventually the supervisor returned and pointed out that the 2006 was part of the bottle registration, and the sell by date is the month and year marked above, June 2012.

Makes sense when you look at it.

So with my bottle gripped angrily in my fist, I departed. My hopes of a compensation bonanza dashed, I skulked despondent into my local Greggs. In desperation, I purchased a steak slice and a sausage roll*, crossed my fingers, and hoped for salmonella.

* As Greggs was packed full of customers, I can only conclude that there are a lot of desperate people in this world.