Our frequently asked in-store questions

    • Below you’ll find answers to the most common queries about our stores.
    • Yes, the guidance from the government is that people only leave their home for limited reasons, but this includes shopping for necessities such as food and pharmacy products.
      However, we ask that you please shop alone unless you’re a carer or with children. We also encourage you to shop only when you need to, in line with government guidance to stay at home.
    • Yes. It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering in our stores. To protect our colleagues and customers, we won‘t let anyone in to our stores who isn‘t wearing a face covering, unless they‘re exempt in line with government guidance. Please also ensure that you wear your face covering correctly – covering your mouth and your nose.

    • No, we‘re not asking for proof of exemption. If you are exempt, just let us know and you will be allowed in-store.​

    • If you’re an NHS, emergency service or care worker, we’re giving you priority entry to our stores at any time. If there's a queue, please come to the front with your valid ID. Check store details for new priority hours for vulnerable and elderly customers

    • We continue to limit the number of people in our stores and we have a ′one-in, one-out′ system in place to ensure social distancing.

      We‘ve introduced a traffic light system at more than 1,300 of our store entrances. The system monitors numbers and will light up green when you can safely enter. If the light is red, then the limit has been reached and our colleagues will ask you to join a queue outside the store.

    • Children are absolutely allowed in our stores.

      In line with government guidelines, we’re asking customers to shop alone, unless you’re a carer or with children, and to only shop when you need to.

    • No, we’re asking that only one person from each household comes in-store to do their shopping. This is to reduce the number of people in-store at any one time and help maintain social distancing measures.

    • Yes. Our store hours have changed depending on where you are. You can check the opening hours for any store on store locator.

    • Our priority is the safety of customers and colleagues. So, we have introduced signs to remind you to keep a safe distance, following the latest social distancing guidance from the Government.

    • In some stores, we have floor markings to help you follow the latest safety advice on social distancing:

      • Green markings: indicate where you should now stand to pack and pay.
      • Red markings: indicate that you must not stand or queue in this area.
    • We've been listening to customer feedback and looking at how our social distancing measures are working. We decided to remove the one-way system in stores to reduce the bottlenecks that they can cause – which can have the knock-on effect of keeping customers in-store for longer. But we're continually monitoring the situation and will make any necessary changes, while keeping the safety of our customers and colleagues front of mind.

    • Colleagues are always on hand to provide support to any customers who need help.

    • Not at all. We’re asking customers to use card payments where possible as an extra precaution to reduce the risk of infection for both customers and colleagues.

      We understand customers are shopping less frequently, so need to spend a little more each time they do. This is why the limit on contactless payments has increased to £45 per shop. You can also use the free Tesco Pay+ app from Tesco Bank, which has bank-level security built-in and lets you pay for up to £250 of your shopping with a single contactless scan.

    • We’re doing everything possible to reduce the risk of infection, for our customers and colleagues. You can watch our advert to see the social distancing measures we’ve put in place.

      Some measures you will see in-store, include:

      • Strict hygiene routines in stores, with regular and thorough cleans every day.
      • Hand sanitisers are placed around our stores for customers and colleagues to use, as well as extra cleaning products to wipe down your trolley or basket.
      • Inviting customers to pay by card, when they can. We continue to accept cash where paying by card is not possible or convenient.
      • Floor markings in stores to help customers follow the latest safety advice on social distancing.
      • We’ve good supplies of soap in our customer toilets and are checking them every hour.
      • We’re doing extra cleaning in our busiest areas.
      • We‘ve installed protective screens at our checkouts.
      • We‘ve created separate entrances and exits to our stores, so that it’s easier to keep a safe distance from other shoppers.
    • Our fresh food counters are now open in-store. 

      We're not offering any counter products online at the moment, although some pre-packaged goods are available in some locations.

    • Please be assured that we have very strict health and safety processes in our stores and supply chain. We're continuing to keep a very close eye on developments and are following all relevant advice from the government.
    • Just to be on the safe side, we’re pausing Free Fruit for Kids at the moment. We’ll bring it back as soon as we can.
    • Since other loose products are eaten outside of the store, you can wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before preparing or eating them.
    • There's currently no evidence that you can catch the virus from food. But it's always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser before you prepare food or eat.
    • To make sure more people have access to everyday essentials, we’ve introduced a limit of 95 items per online order.

      Our stock levels are good, but to help everyone have access to everyday essentials, there are bulk buy limits on some lines such as toilet roll, pasta and hand sanitiser. We encourage customers to buy only what they need, to help make sure there‘s enough for everyone.

    • As a precaution, we’ve temporarily removed items that may have a greater risk of spreading the virus. We’re sorry for any inconvenience. We’ll bring them back when we can.
    • Unfortunately, due to the high number of customers at the moment, we can’t give you accurate stock levels on any of our products or check future deliveries. Please go to your local store to check availability.
    • Below you’ll find answers to the most common queries about our stores.
    • Our store locator is a useful tool which will show you the following information:
      • Your nearest store or Tesco petrol station
      • Your nearest Tesco Pharmacy​
      • Your nearest Tesco Opticians​
      • Store address​
      • Store opening hours​
      • Store facilities​
      • Facility opening hours
      Where can I find out what facilities are available in my local store?
      Go to the store locator page and enter your postcode, then click on the store you're interested in. All the information you need is in a section called "facilities" – you'll see it under the store address and map.
    • Do you know the age limits for buying alcohol, tobacco and knives?
      What is the age limit for buying alcohol and tobacco?
      The legal age for buying alcohol in the UK and ROI is 18, so we only sell alcohol and tobacco to customers that are 18 or over.
      We operate a strict age verification policy, known as "Think 25". This means that if our cashier believes that you look under the age of 25 and you can’t provide an accepted form of identification, then we will refuse the sale.

      Please make sure that you bring one of the following valid forms of identification with you to prove you're over 18:

      • A passport
      • A photocard driving licence
      • A proof of age card bearing the PASS hologram
      • A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
      How old do I have to be to purchase knives and razor blades in-store?
      In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you must be 18 or over to purchase any knives or razor blade products. In Scotland, you must be 16 or over to purchase any knives or razor blade products.
      We operate a strict age verification policy on knives and razor blade products, known as "Think 25". This means that if our cashier believes that you look under the age of 25 and you can’t provide an accepted form of identification, then we will refuse the sale.

      Please make sure that you bring one of the following valid forms of identification with you to prove you're over 18:

      • A passport
      • A photocard driving licence
      • A proof of age card bearing the PASS hologram
      • A Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)
    • We all have charities close to our hearts and here is how Tesco can help you.
      How can I request a small donation of less than £500 for my charity?
      Each Tesco store (excluding our Express stores) has a community donation budget to help local organisations with their fundraising events. If you would like to be considered for a donation, please ask in-store on your next visit. Find out more information on our Community Champions page.
      How can I request to hold a charity bag pack in one of your stores?
      Our stores manage their own bag packing bookings. If you would like to arrange a session, please ask on your next visit. We do not hold charity bag packs in our Express stores.
      How can I request to hold a charity collection in one of your stores?
      Our agency, N20, schedules the charity and food collection bookings for all our UK Superstores, Extras and Metros between January and November each year. To request a booking at your local store, please register your charity and request a collection.
      During December, our stores manage their own collections. To request a December booking, please ask in-store.
      We do not make any charity collection bookings at our Express stores.
      How do I find out what charity and community work you’re doing in my local area?
      We have a dedicated Community Board in all our Superstores and Extras which shows the community and charity work we do in your local area.
      Each Tesco UK store has a community donation budget to help support with requests from their community for local fundraising events. If you would like to be considered for a donation, please ask in-store.
      Our stores receive a high volume of requests all year round. So they're able to support as many different groups as possible, they may need to limit the amount they donate. Unfortunately, we can’t sponsor events or individuals.
      What do you do for charities and the local communities?
      We are committed to actively supporting local communities, buying and selling products responsibly, caring for the environment, providing customers with healthy choices and creating good jobs and careers. For more information please visit our Sustainability page.
      What is your Bags of Help initiative?
      Bags of Help is our exciting local grant scheme which uses the money raised from the government’s bag charge to fund a large number of projects. These projects create or improve green spaces in communities across England, Scotland and Wales. You can learn all about this great initiative on our Bags of Help page.
    • How can I find out about vacancies?
      All of our vacancies can be found on our Careers website.
      How do I apply for a job with Tesco?
      If there’s a suitable vacancy, please follow the online application process which is explained on our Careers website.
      I haven’t got a computer at home, how can I apply for a role?
      We only accept online applications. There are several places in your local community that provide free public access to computers: public libraries, community centres and Jobcentre Plus, as well as internet cafes.
      I’m from outside the UK. Do I need a work permit to apply for a job?
      We can only consider applications from those with a full and valid permit to work in the country in which they are seeking employment.
      Why can’t I submit a paper application?
      To help meet our commitments for reducing our carbon footprint, all applications must be submitted online.
      I’m having technical issues with your recruitment website, what should I do?
      Please email our recruitment team on resourcing.team@tesco.com
      I’m interested in your graduate programme, how do I apply?
      All our graduate vacancies are advertised online. Please visit our Careers website to apply for our graduate programme.​
      Where can I find general information about your Graduate programme?
      Find out more about our graduate programme on our Careers website.
    • I think I’ve left an item in one of your stores. How can I check?
      All items of lost property are logged at the customer service desk in-store, so please check there on your next visit.​
      How do I claim back my lost property that has been handed in?
      Please return to the store with photographic ID where our colleagues will be more than happy to return your item.
      How long do you keep lost bank cards?
      We keep bank cards until the end of the next day, after this we destroy them for security reasons.
    • How can I book an opticians appointment?
      We have Vision Express opticians in some of our stores. Please use store Locator to check for your nearest branch.
      All appointments can be booked directly on the Vision Express website or you can call them on 0800 382 177.
    • Shop, scan your items, pack your bags and pay at the end. This helpful service can help you shop a little bit quicker.
      What is Scan as you Shop?
      Scan as you Shop lets you scan your shopping with a handheld scanner as you go round the store – you can even pack it straight into bags as you go. Once you're done, just go to a Scan as you Shop till to pay.
      Which stores offer this service?
      Use our store locator to see if your local store has the Scan as you Shop service.
      When can I use the Scan as you Shop service?
      The Scan as you Shop Service is available in selected stores between 8am-10pm.
      How do I sign up for Scan as you Shop?
      Just sign up to be a Clubcard member. Then, when you're in-store, scan your Clubcard or app to get a Scan as you Shop handheld scanner.
    • Is it free to park in Tesco car parks?
      Free parking is available in most stores but time is limited to a maximum stay, depending on where the store is situated.
      Where there is a maximum parking time, our car parks have signs which clearly display the terms and conditions of using the car park, including the maximum stay time. This time limit should also be shown on a sign at the entrance.
      Will I be charged for staying too long in one of your car parks?
      Yes. The Parking Charge Notice for overstaying is £70, but this is reduced to £30 if it is paid within 14 days.
      I have received a Parking Charge Notice. How do I pay the charge?
      We have different partners depending on the type of car park used, you will find the different ways to pay on the Parking Charge Notice you’ve received.
      I have some questions about a parking charge notice I have received. What should I do?

      We have different partners depending on the type of car park used, you will find the contact details on the Parking Charge Notice you’ve received. You can also find contact options on the following websites:

      If you have any other questions about car parking at our stores, please ask a colleague when you’re next in-store.
    • What is Coinstar?
      Coinstar machines let you convert your small change into money you can spend.
      Do you have coinstar machines in your store?
      Yes, we do. For a full list of stores that do offer this service, please visit the Coinstar website. You can put in your postcode and find your nearest store that has a machine.
      Do I get cash from the Coinstar machine?
      No, you’ll receive a voucher for the amount in cash (minus the processing fee) which our Customer Service Desk will exchange for cash.
      You can also choose to donate your change to one of Coinstar’s charity partners. The machine will show which charities will benefit from your change. You can also see Coinstar’s current charity partners on their website.
      Is there a charge to use the Coinstar Centre?
      Yes. There is a 9.9% processing fee on the total amount of coins you put in the Coinstar centre.
      For charity donations, this processing fee is reduced to 7%.
      I’ve had a problem with the Coinstar Centre in one of your stores. What should I do?
      Please call the Coinstar Customer Service department on 0800 328 2274 or visit the Coinstar website.
    • Trolleys don’t belong on the streets, help them come home.
      We work with a company called Trolleywise to collect our lost trolleys. The best way to let us know about them is using their app, available on iOS and Android. You can find details at Trolleywise.
      If you can't use this app, or still want to talk to us directly, please visit our Contact Us page.
    • Which stores have Changing Places toilets?
      100 Tesco stores now have Changing Places toilets. Use this handy toilet map to find your nearest Changing Places toilet.
      Why doesn’t my store have a Changing Places toilet?
      We’ve been working closely with the Changing Places Consortium and local disability campaigners, and have been able to introduce Changing Places toilets into 100 of our larger stores. We’ve placed them in areas that currently have the fewest facilities. We’ll continue to look for more opportunities to introduce additional Changing Places toilets where possible.
      Why do you offer Changing Places toilets?
      Our goal is to make Tesco the easiest place to shop for customers with disabilities. This is why we’ve introduced Changing Places toilets into our stores. A Changing Places toilet is a fully accessible toilet with the right equipment and generous space for the customer, up to two carers, plus additional equipment.
      How is a Changing Places toilet different to a standard disabled toilet?
      Changing Places are enhanced disabled toilet facilities that are larger than a normal disabled facility and include an adult changing bench, hoist and privacy screen.
      Where can I find the toilets?
      The location of our toilets varies by store, so we’ve installed signs to make them easy to find. The facilities themselves are accessed by Radar Key. If you don’t have one or have forgotten your own, then please ask at the Customer Service Desk, where one of our colleagues will be happy to help.
      How do I use the equipment in the Changing Places toilet (e.g. hoist, changing bench and height adjustable sink)?
      You’ll find detailed instructions on how to operate the hoist, changing bench and height adjustable sink in each of our Changing Places toilets. If you need to use the hoist, please remember to bring your own harness and make sure the hoist is returned to the charging position as soon as you're finished, so that it’s ready for the next person who may need it.
      For further information, take a look at the official Changing Places campaign websites in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or in Scotland.
    • We may have buying limits on some products and, occasionally, we may sometimes have limited or no availability of some items. If you’re looking for an item, please visit your local store to check stock.
    • I need a COSHH sheet for some of the products I’ve purchased from you. Where can I get them from?
      We’re only able to supply COSHH sheets for our own Tesco products. If you’re looking for a COSHH sheet for a branded product, please contact the manufacturer directly, they’ll be best placed to provide you with the information.
      Please contact our Customer Service team via our Contact Us page, having the barcode of the product ready. One of our colleagues will be more than happy to have the relevant COSHH sheet emailed to you.
      Can you give me a full list of products that are suitable for my diet?
      We’ve got allergy information about all our products on our website and app. There’s also a ‘Lifestyle & Dietary’ filter which allows you to search for items suitable for a range of diets.
      Our packaging gives dietary and free from information as well, so you can always check this if you’re in-store.
    • I’m not happy with the quality of a product I’ve purchased. What should I do?
      If any of our products fall below the high standard you’d expect, please bring them back to store within 30 days, together with your receipt, and we’ll happily refund or exchange the item.
      I’ve purchased an out-of-date product from you. What should I do?
      We’re really sorry that this has happened. Please return to the store with the product and receipt at your earliest convenience so we can refund you and investigate what went wrong.
      I’ve noticed that the price of a product has risen in price recently. Why is this?
      Although we do our best to keep our prices down, some increases are often out of our control. We always try and absorb any price increases for as long as possible before we have to pass them on to our customers. Our buyers work very hard to negotiate the best prices available, so when we get any price reductions, we pass them on straight away.
      We offer great value for money overall and run regular promotions to give you savings on the items you buy the most.
    • I’m having problems setting up an electrical item I’ve bought from you. Can you help?
      Please go to our product support page for help. If you need any further assistance, call our electrical helpline on 0800 323 4060. Lines are open Monday–Saturday 8am–6pm and Sunday 10am–4pm.
      I’m having difficulty setting up a mobile phone I’ve purchased from you. Can you help?
      We’ll be more than happy to sort this out for you. Please ring our specialist mobile phone helpline on 0345 300 6660. The lines are open Monday–Saturday 9am–8pm and Sunday 11am–5pm.
      I’m experiencing issues with an ink cartridge I’ve purchased from you. Are you able to help?
      We’ll be happy to help resolve this for you. Please give our specialist ink jet helpline a call on 0800 091 0095.
    • What type of cards can I use in-store?
      We’re happy to accept all credit and debit payment cards in all of our stores.
      Do you accept cheques?
      Although we no longer accept personal cheques for in-store transactions, we do accept business cheques. Please contact your store in advance and speak with our Store Manager to arrange this. You can find contact details for your local store on our Store Locator page. Just type in your postcode to find your nearest stores.
      Do you accept Azure Cards?
      We’re happy to accept Azure cards in all of our stores. However, they cannot be used to purchase gift cards, petrol or for cashback.
      Do you accept Scottish and Irish banknotes in all your UK stores?
      Yes. We’re happy to accept all Sterling banknotes in our stores. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept banknotes that are issued in the Isle of Man.
      I have an old Tesco gift voucher, can I still use it?
      Yes, we’re happy to accept these types of vouchers as they have no expiry date.
      I seem to have been charged twice for the same transaction. What should I do?
      We’re very sorry for any mistake that has occurred. Please contact our Customer Service team via our Contact Us page and our colleagues will do all they can to help.
      What shall I do if I’ve been overcharged?
      We do everything we can to make sure that you should never be overcharged. So in the unlikely event that we charge you more than the price advertised on the shelf edge or on the product, please visit any store’s Customer Service Desk (excluding Express stores) with your receipt. A member of our team will be more than happy to offer for a “double the difference” refund.
      Do you accept Healthy Start vouchers?
      Yes, we’re happy to accept Healthy Start Vouchers. For further information on what they can be used on, please refer to the NHS Website.
    • I have a conditional spend coupon for one of your competitors (e.g. £4 off your next £20 shop at Sainsbury’s). Can I spend this at your store?
      No, we’re sorry, but we do not accept competitors’ coupons in our stores.
      I have a coupon for a branded product (e.g. 50p off any Persil product). Can I spend this at your store?
      Yes, we are happy to accept these coupons as long as you’re purchasing the product (one voucher will be accepted per product), and the terms and conditions on the coupon are met. We do not accept damaged or copied coupons.
      I’ve printed a coupon off from the internet. Do you accept these in your stores?
      Yes, we are happy to accept internet coupons as long as the terms and conditions on the coupon have been met and the coupon has a barcode.
    • Where can I purchase Saving Stamps?
      You can purchase Saving Stamps from dispensers in the majority of our Superstores and Extra stores. Please visit the Customer Service Desk for more information.
      Where can I get the Saving Stamp cards in-store?
      Please visit our Customer Service Desk in-store where they’ll be happy to provide you with a card.
      Do I get any additional benefits from using the Saving Stamp Scheme?
      Yes. If you redeem your completed Saving Stamp card during the month of December with £49 worth of stamps, we will give you one free stamp (equivalent to £1).
      Do I receive change from the Saving Stamps I use for a transaction?
      Yes, if you do not use all of your Saving Stamps in one transaction, we’ll give you the change you’re owed in cash.
    • I’ve lost my Tesco gift card, what shall I do?
      Gift cards are treated like cash. Unfortunately, if it’s lost or stolen then you lose the money stored on it. If you’ve lost the gift card in-store, you should contact the Customer Service Desk to see if anyone has handed it in.
      How can I buy a Tesco gift card?
      Just choose your favourite design from a range of Tesco gift cards in-store, then load the card with money at the till. There’s a purchase limit of a maximum of 5 of one type of gift cards in store. You can find your nearest store using our Store Locator page.
      You can also buy a wide range of digital gift cards on our website.
      How do I order a large amount of Tesco gift cards?
      We have a special sales service for orders of 20 or more Tesco gift cards. You can choose the following values: £5, £10, £15, £20, £25, £50, £75, or £100. Please phone our order line on 08456 000 968. Lines are open 9am–8pm Monday to Friday and 9am–5pm Saturday.
      What can I buy with a Tesco gift card?
      Tesco gift cards can be used to buy items in-store, including at Tesco Cafés. They can also be used for fuel, excluding Esso fuel, when paid for at the kiosk.
      What can't I buy with a Tesco gift card?
      Tesco gift cards can’t be used for Esso fuel, online grocery shopping, any non-Tesco photo labs or at tesco.com/phones.
      Do you receive Clubcard points for purchasing Tesco gift cards?
      Sorry, no. You don’t earn Clubcard points when you buy a Tesco gift card.
      Do Tesco gift cards have an expiry date?
      Yes, they expire 5 years after the last time they were used.
      Do you sell branded gift cards?
      Yes, please visit our Store Locator website for information on the stores that stock them.
      What branded gift cards do you sell?
      We sell a wide range of gift cards for a variety of well-known brands. Please see the full list of gift cards that we stock.
      Do I get Clubcard points when I buy a branded gift card?
      No, you won’t receive Clubcard points when you buy a branded gift card from us.
    • I need a VAT invoice for my business records. How do I get one from you?
      Please take your original till receipt to the Customer Service Desk, where our colleagues will be able to arrange for a VAT invoice to be completed whilst you wait.
      I’m a non-EU resident and I’d like to claim the VAT back on my purchase. How can I do this?
      Please visit the Customer Service Desk at the store you had purchased your items, where our colleagues will be able to arrange for the relevant VAT 407 form to be completed whilst you wait.
    • How do I unsubscribe from your marketing emails?

      To unsubscribe from Tesco emails:

      1. Log in to your account
      2. Select ‘Your account’
      3. Select ‘Marketing preferences’
    • I’m interested in supplying a product for you to sell in your stores. What should I do?​
      Please visit our supplier page to apply. If our Buying Team would like further information, they will contact you directly.
    • Want to ask us something that isn’t covered here?
      Contact us and we’ll help you out. We have a fantastic team of people waiting to help you on the phone, by email or even via our social media channels.