What is Tiktok Tesco method? Coupon loophole that lets users get free sweets from supermarket explained
If you’ve noticed the self checkout tills on your local Tesco have all been closed, it’s more than likely due to the latest viral TikTok trend
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There isn’t a full list of sweets that the hack, which has been called the Tesco Method online, applies to, but people have been seen picking up packets of Skittles, M&Ms, Malteasers, Fruit Pastilles and Starbursts.
This is what you need to know.
What is the ‘Tesco Method’?
The Tesco Method involves shoppers using a discount coupon barcode that has been shared on social media at the self-checkout tills that allows them to to take a £1 discount off of packets of sweets.
However, the loophole that’s been exposed is that the barcode can be used multiple times, allowing shoppers to bag themselves trolleys of confectionery for free.
Holly Smith, a self described bargain hunter and voucher expert who has appeared on Extreme Couponing UK, made a video on TikTok in which she explained the hack in detail, and how it came about.
She explained that the Tesco Method is “the biggest coupon fraud scam that has ever hit the UK”.
Smith says that the original coupon was issued for a customer who had made a complaint to a sweet manufacturer as a “goodwill gesture” which allowed them to get a discount off a packet of sweets.
The coupon that was issued allows the customer to buy their item for a reduced price, or even for free, and then the seller, in this case Tesco, can then take the coupon and claim the money back from the sweet manufacturer, meaning the supermarket doesn’t lose any money on the voucher.
The coupon features two barcodes - one that’s scanned at Tesco to take £1 off each purchase, and one for the manufacturer, which is unique.
Smith explains: “At the end of the day when Tesco empty their self-checkout and they send all the coupons up to the manufacturer to get £1 back for each bag purchased, the manufacturer scans this [its own unique barcode].
“Now if the barcode has been used once already, the manufacturer will not pay out Tesco any more than the £1.”
Since the coupon, and thus the barcodes, have gone viral online, it’s safe to say that the barcode has been used more than once.
Has the hack been fixed by Tesco?
According to ITV, Tesco has implemented a fix against the coupon, so anyone hoping to try and take advantage of the loophole for some free sweets is out of luck.
Some branches have also reportedly taken to leaving signs at the self-checkouts warning shoppers against using the hack, stating that they can be prosecuted if caught.
Smith also warned that those trying to use the coupon could see themselves banned from Tesco as well.
In a follow up video responding to a comment on her explanation video, Smith added: “The issue is because of this coupon scam, a lot of Tesco stores, a lot of Asda stores, Sainsburys, have now got a straight up coupon ban.
“So if you go in there and try and use a genuine coupon, you’re likely to be declined until this investigation is over, and this is really going to affect people who needed those coupons to live.”