Especially when dealing with big companies. Hubby took both the boys up to visit his parents this afternoon leaving me to have a few hours on my own for the first time in nearly six months – bliss! Having tidied the house and had a much needed nap I decided to go along to our local Tesco to pick up a few things we’d forgotten and look for ideas for DS1’s birthday party next weekend. Then realised I had left my wallet in the changing bag which, of course, had gone with the boys. D’oh! So I had no money or cards at all. Scrounged around the house a bit but could barely scrape together 40p in small change. Then I discovered £11 of unused Tesco clubcard vouchers, and as they are running a voucher exchange programme at the moment I realised I could exchange this for £22 to spend on toys. Yay!

So I headed up to Tesco and scoured the toy department to make sure they had things I wanted to buy before exchanging my vouchers. Checked that outdoor toys were included in the scheme – yes they were – so picked out a pop-up ball tent and matching tunnel. Each was £9.97. Perfect.

So I went to the customer services desk to exchange the vouchers. Apparently they can only be done in multiples of £5 so although I had £11 in vouvhers I could only exchange £10 of them for £20 of toys vouchers. Fair enough – that would still get me what I wanted. The guy informed me that once they were exchanged I couldn’t swap them for a different department or change them back. No worries I thought. But then when he handed me the new two vouchers they said “£10 off when you spend £10 or more on toys”. Uh-oh. Would it be a problem that the toys I was buying were 3p less than £10? Apparently yes. Given that I had no money on me there was no way I could even add in a £1 toy to make it £21 and pay the bit extra (I had a 50p voucher left over but they had no toys for less than £1 so that wouldn’t work. And to make matters even worse it turned out that the tunnel was considered a toy but the play tent wasn’t. Huh??

Totally frustrated at this point I left the store with nothing, having wasted nearly an hour. And now I’m going to have to go to a bigger Tesco sometime when DS1 is not with me (but my wallet is) and try to spend these damn vouchers!