Emails were circulated to some customers after a “technical error” with the petrol station card system meant some did not actually pay for fuel they dispensed into their vehicles.
The email states: “We’re very sorry to let you know that, unfortunately, one or more of our credit/debit card payments didn’t process at our petrol filling station(s).”
It goes on to say that payment will be taken for the mistake within the next 5 working days, with promises from the supermarket that “you definitely won’t have paid twice.”
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The supermarket chain said that the issue occurred during the October, November and December months, meaning hundreds of people who use the busy city centre petrol station could be affected.
People have been identified for their purchase of petrol during the mishap through their Clubcard details, which they would have tapped at the time to collect points on their fuel.
One victim of the error is former UK chief police officer Stuart Donald who was charged £49.99 for petrol he bought on October 26 at the Hull petrol station.
He says he was informed that money will be taken in the next few days.
Speaking of the annoying incident, Stuart said: “There will be people in Hull who will get this email and may be terrified – they could have spent £100 on fuel and all of a sudden they are going to have to pay it back.
“It seems a bit unreasonable to me, although I am more than happy to pay it back.
“I just think Tesco could have handled it a but more sensitively, it could significantly impact some families at this time of year and cause them unnecessary stress.
“£50 could be a lot for some people who have already done their budget – and of course some people overstretch themselves over Christmas – and now they are saying by the way, that petrol you had in October, we’re now taking the payment for it.”
Stuart says Tesco’s mistake could have been handled better: “They should have asked people to ring them on a line to talk about some options.
“But they’ve sent what I see as a threatening letter saying you’ve bought fuel of us and we’re going to take the money in the next few days – Happy Christmas.”
A spokesperson for Tesco said: “Due to a technical error, there has been a delay in processing card payments for some customers at a small number of our petrol filling stations.
“We are contacting customers affected to let them know that their payments will now be processed.
“We appreciate this may be inconvenient for some customers and we are very sorry to anyone affected by this.”