Aylesbury Tesco denied contaminating driver's fuel tank while closing pumps due to fuel contamination

A man from Aylesbury had his car breakdown two weeks ago after a Tesco filling station contaminated his fuel tank with water – but that's only the start of the story.
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Damon Mitchell, 49, who works as a printer, filled up at the Tesco on Tring Road on the evening of Friday 21 February, only for his car to stall a mile down the road.

The RAC towed him to a local repair garage where he was informed that the fuel tank was heavily contaminated with water.

The next morning, Saturday 22 February, Mr Mitchell contacted Tesco customer services to seek compensation. He gave them his details and on the following Monday evening when he chased up his query he was told by Tesco that the issue was definitely nothing to do with them.

Left: Water contaminated fuel taken from Mr Mitchell's car. Right: Tring Road TescoLeft: Water contaminated fuel taken from Mr Mitchell's car. Right: Tring Road Tesco
Left: Water contaminated fuel taken from Mr Mitchell's car. Right: Tring Road Tesco

Tesco followed up this call with a letter, which The Bucks Herald has seen. The letter states: “This has been fully investigated by our Technical Manager and we are confident that the problems you encountered were not related to the fuel you purchased.”

Aghast, Mr Mitchell visited the Tring Road Tesco on Tuesday 25 February to further register his dissatisfaction.

Incredibly, the diesel fuel pumps were covered over and shut off. When he asked the manager why, Mr Mitchell was told it was due to water in the tanks and that there had been a problem since the previous week!

Naturally, Mr Mitchell again rang Tesco customer services, and finally, by late Thursday afternoon, six days after the original incident, Tesco admitted liability and offered to cover the costs of the repairs to his vehicle.

Damon MitchellDamon Mitchell
Damon Mitchell

Damon Mitchell said to The Bucks Herald: “If I’d not gone into the fuel station to speak to the manager myself their customer services would have carried on denying it was their fault. Tesco need to review their customer service policy.

“Hopefully this story will make others come forward because I’m guessing it can’t just have been me affected.”

We have contacted the Tesco press office for a statement and so far have only received the following: “We’re aware of Mr Mitchell’s complaint and are investigating this now.”

UPDATE

A Tesco spokesperson has now provided the following statement: “We’re really sorry Mr. Mitchell had this experience and we have agreed to cover the cost of repairs to his car. The faulty fuel tank at our Tring store has been taken out of service whilst we fix the problem and the petrol station is open as usual.”

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