Tesco shoppers shared their concerns after they were automatically signed up to the supermarket’s charity scheme.
Customers said they were disappointed by the policy, which rounds up purchases to the nearest pound and donates extra cash to a good cause.
It was introduced to help non-profit organisations during the coronavirus crisis – including Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.
While everyone can agree it’s a clever initiative, customers have complained they’ve been signed up “without their consent”.
Long-standing customer Jodie Holtom and her partner Jamie told Mirror Money they were charged two different prices for the same item at a Tesco pharmacy in Cheltenham this week, despite buying their goods just 10 minutes apart.
It wasn't until they checked their receipts that they discovered one bill had been rounded up to the nearest pound.
"Jamie was meant to spend £7.20, but ended up paying £8," Jodie said.
"I know 80p isn't a lot but times are hard at moment. He realised when we got home that he was charged more and said he was never asked about whether he wanted to contribute."
Jodie said she entered the same store around 10 minutes later and paid the RRP for the same item. She was at no point asked if she'd like to participate in the scheme.
In a tweet posted online, Jodie told the chain she was "disgusted" by its sales practice.
The chain later apologised for the inconvenience caused.
"Hi Jodie, thanks for getting in touch. I'm sorry my colleague didn't ask for your husbands consent, before rounding up the transaction at the till. I'll share your feedback with the Store Management team and I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.
"If you could please DM me with which pharmacy you visited and the the time of your visit. If you’re able to return to store with your receipt, one of my colleagues can refund you there. TY."
Several more shoppers have also taken to social media about a similar issue.
One shopper shared his receipt and wrote: "Taking money from me without asking .. apparently they are rounding people's money up to the next pound to donate to charity, while I don't have a problem with that…them not telling me is a problem. Check your receipt people."
And Twitter user Matin Morris urged the supermarket to consider “clear signage” and "better staff training should be given as taking money without consent is theft".
"To support our health charity partners at this critical time, we are encouraging our customers to round up the cost of their shopping to the nearest £1, a Tesco spokesperson said.
"Customers will be asked if they would like to donate by one of our checkout colleagues when they pay for their shopping or on-screen if they are using a self-service till.
"We also have signs in our stores letting customers know about the campaign and how they can support it. The response to the campaign so far has been overwhelmingly positive with very few customers feeding back that they were not aware that they had made a donation."
Tesco launched the charity appeal on September 1, pledging to support struggling charities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It said customers would be able to round their supermarket bill up to the nearest pound, with the money going to charity.
"COVID-19 has seen the income of all three charities fall, which has a major impact on their ability to carry out research into cures and treatments and run support services for the millions affected by these conditions. If donations stop, their work stops," the supermarket said.
"From 1-13 September 2020, we’ll be raising money in all our UK stores and petrol filling stations (kiosks only) to help our charity partners and the people they support at this crucial time. "
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