Tesco: problems with your collection

If you need to get in touch with OLIO about your collection, please use our FWH Issue Report by tapping Report an Issue in My Collection Slots, (also in Documents) on the Volunteer Hub. 

I haven't received confirmation messages from my store.

A Tesco store should always send a donation confirmation message to let you know if your collection is going ahead or not. If you do not receive a message, do not proceed with the collection as there likely won't be any food to collect. Please report this to OLIO so that we can investigate further. 


There is no food, even though I received a confirmation message.

While this should be a rare exception, there are two possible reasons:

1.  The Tesco store sold this food to customers after they sent the confirmation message.

2.  A new ''automatic donation'' feature has been loaded on to Tesco system. Which means that staff now have to  manually decline the donation if there is no food. Some stores haven't got this process correct yet. 

If the problem persists, please report this to OLIO or request the staff are mindful of the confirmation process - especially if there is only a very small amount of food which is regularly sold by the time you arrive.

 ⬇️ Scroll to the bottom of the page for more info! ⬇️

I have multiple conflicting confirmation messages.

Tesco have loaded a new process on to their system called ''automatic donation estimations''. This means staff now have to  manually decline the donation if there is no food. We are finding that some staff have not read this training in their emails from Tesco HQ yet. 

If you get conflicting message (i.e a confirmation to go followed by 'no food'), please go with the most recent (the last) message in the chat - as this will be the one the staff meant to send!


The store is asking me to collect at a different time.

The collection times in OLIO's system are set by Tesco HQ and are updated every Monday (if needed, most will stay the same). Therefore, if a store manager requests that you collect at a different time to this, then this is entirely at your discretion and you have every right to refuse. However, please bear in mind that it is important to allow yourself enough time to list and distribute all food items on the same day as your collection. We therefore don’t encourage Food Waste Heroes to collect at any point later than 20:30. 

If the store manager is asking for the collection to happen the evening before or the morning after your official scheduled collection, please let them know that they need to request this change internally with Tesco HQ as OLIO is not able to make changes to the schedule.


The staff don’t know about OLIO.

Just explain you are here for the charity food collection. 

Our partnership with Tesco has been announced in the media and all the information they need is available to them internally (on their Help Desk) so gently suggest they look for it as they now have a team of local volunteers who are ready to help them redistribute their surplus food.


My store is not following the correct processes?

If you need to get in touch with OLIO about your Tesco collection, please send us a FWH Issue Report by clicking 'Report an Issue' in My Collection Slots on the Volunteer Hub. 

OLIO and Tesco have an agreed process in place for resolving issues, this means that the only way that your problem will be solved is by reporting it directly to OLIO via this report. In no circumstances should you contact Tesco directly, as doing so is against the agreed process, and will not result in your issue being resolved.


The store has told me that OLIO has not accepted the donation.

Tesco have improved their internal systems to include a way to override this occasional issue. If you go to collect and the Store's hand-held PDA device has not had an acceptance, ask the staff to ''Manually Accept'' by:

✅ Clicking Waiting for Response
✅ Then Accept
✅ Choosing OLIO
✅ Then Submit!

There is no food, even though I received a confirmation message (cont)

You might receive a confirmation message from Tesco, but arrive at the store and find no food to collect. Tesco have introduced a nationwide ‘automatic estimation’ of food surplus, which gets sent to OLIO, unless there is no food to collect. Due to some technical complications on Tesco’s end, on some occasions, the estimation is incorrect, and by the time you arrive for collection the ‘reduced to clear’ yellow sticker items have been sold to customers.

This issue currently only affects 2.3% of Tesco collections but OLIO knows it’s a massive inconvenience if this is you! We don’t want any FWH to have a wasted journey - ever!

Tesco is working hard with their IT provider to resolve this issue and it’s estimated that accurate estimations will be in place for all stores from October 2021. This is far from perfect and although the technical work is outside OLIO’s control, we are trying to aim is mitigate the effects of these errors as much as humanly possible by:

  • Reporting to Tesco HQ all stores that experience issues with this feature. The store managers are then individually contacted and reminded to override the automated donation message, so that you can still take the food home, if there is any.
  • Contacting FWHs who have flagged store tech issues via our surveys to reassure them this won’t be held against them and apologise for the wasted journey. 

In addition to this, please could you help by:

  • Reporting the incident if it happened to you - > tapping ‘Something wrong?’ in the Volunteer Hub
  • Speak to store staff about this as they are able to override the system and inform you there is no food

✅ Fix underway- to be completed October 2021

Remind staff to decline donations each day there is no surplus, or report to FWH team.

🚫 As always, please do not go ahead unless if you have received a confirmation. If you are able to call the store before going ahead please do so, for reassurance.

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