COUPLE SEE RED OVER TIN MIX-UP
BY DAVID WALSH
09:30 - 09 September 2004
A Derby couple are seeing red after buying two tins of pears and discovering that they contained tomatoes instead.
And now, following the discovery by Stanley and Verna Hancock, Sainsbury's supermarket has recalled hundreds of the tins from stores across the country.
The couple went into Sainsbury's in the Eagle Centre, Derby, on Tuesday but, when they got home and decided they would tuck in to the own-brand pears, they had a bit of a shock.
Yesterday, the supermarket confirmed that Mr and Mrs Hancock had made one of the two complaints that had been received about the contents of the tins from people in Derby and the entire batch is being withdrawn from the shelves.
A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said the batch was incorrectly labelled in an error by suppliers.
But Mr Hancock (46), of Horton Street, believes the excuse is simply not good enough.
He is angry that the supermarket has said it will not offer him compensation. Instead, he has been told that he can have a refund or exchange the tins.
He said: "I think they should be offering something in compensation. It's not the cheapest of stores and you pay for quality, so you'd expect them to get these things right.
"My wife asked me if I wanted some pears, but when she opened the tins up she saw they were filled with tomatoes.
"If I made a mistake at work, I'd get reprimanded. If they'd been doing their jobs properly, this wouldn't have happened."
Mr Hancock, a postman, says his spending at Sainsbury's usually totals about £35 a week - or £1,820 per year.
But he says he and his wife will no longer use the supermarket.
"We won't go back there," he said. "They've lost our custom.
"If all they can say is that we can have our money back, it shows they aren't that bothered about us. We really feel let down."
The tins of pears cost 31p each, whereas the tomatoes retail at 37p, meaning the supermarket stood to lose 6p on every dodgy tin sold.
The Sainsbury's spokeswoman was unable to confirm the exact number of tins affected but said they had all been withdrawn from the shelves.
She added: "We found out that there was a batch that had been marked incorrectly. They have now been withdrawn.
"Customers can return any faulty tins and they will be fully refunded.
"We still don't know the exact number of tins this will affect. Any that have been sent out in the last two weeks have been withdrawn.
"It was caused by a mix-up at the suppliers'. They supply both our pears and our tomatoes and got confused with the products."
Anyone else with tins containing tomatoes instead of pears should return them to the store they bought them from.