Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Home delivery perils?

For the first time in a few years i thought i’d brave the old home delivery service of one of the big uk grocers (yes sainsuburys this is about you) once more; especially with a bout of growing agrophobia, passionate dislike for shopping, twinned with an even greater dislike over the herding and pushing that normally equates to a usual shopping experience, so entailing that i generally manage to miss the majority of bargains displayed somewhere in some aisle and upon reaching home find half (well, one or two) of what i’ve brought is either out of date, fit for the bin or otherwise not quite the right item i'd wanted in the first place.

Yes, i do indeed zone out when in shopping zones. 

I thought that after a few years, the online grocery shopping experience would had improved by leaps and bounds.  Like opening the curtains in the morning and instead of being greeted by a rising sun you're killed by a gamma-ray burst instead.

It took about a week for me to carefully craft the shopping list to my exact requirements.  Despite squashing initial qualms and successfully batting away worst-case scenarios - that eventually fled the roost - i pottered around expectantly, expecting this first order to proceed swimmingly and without a hitch.  Well, i did place it with sainsburys!

The day came and the hours fled, and i noticed i’d missed a text message.   I soon realised those scenarios i thought eliminated, had simply taken up roost elsewhere along the line, and as i read the sms i’d received saying i should call them, I realised the game was probably up and everything would head downhill from there.  Which it promptly did. 

The first glitch was my own.  Somewhere amongst the process of entering card details i’d apparently entered one wrong digit, which was a worry as it was all supposedly verified when the order was submitted.  Eventually it processed and went through, and the order was still supposed to arrive within the allotted time frame i’d picked; which came and went.  After an hour of nothing, i called.

The very pleasant and helpful lady tried to contact the online/orders department - who weren’t answering.  She was frustrated, i was intrigued, that the two worst case scenarios i thought might happen, had indeed happened.  Why is it never a lottery win?

I decided not to scream and rant (which bizarrely seemed to be present just below the surface – better than the usual amounts of visualising i have to bat away), after all they are just doing their jobs, and somewhere along the chain outside of their direct control something had gone screwy.  As i picked through the motley scrapping of butter beans & onion with a side-order of salt & vinegar crisps - until re-delivery turned up something more edible – i took to pondering instead of pottering.

It’s being an interesting first foray back into the grocery delivery world, not surprised that it went belly up, even before it had the opportunity to leave the starting gate.   Saying that, i suppose i really shouldn’t grumble, at least i along with others have the option to have food delivered or otherwise trudge out to centers with elbows ‘oft.

So sainsburys, six hearty raspberries to you – well i would, if they’d been delivered!

Update 1

08:24 hrs – spoke to another charming employee who went off to speak with one of his colleagues in the store delivering the items.  They informed him that they had no idea what had taken place last night, but would print out a report and call me back in an hour to see whether i’d want a re-delivery or refund.  I happily expressed my gratitude and waited.

Update 2

09:24 hrs – arrived and 09:24 departed.

Update 3

10:24 hrs – spoke to another charming employee who quickly read through the notes and called the store - no prevaricating here.  Apparently the store had called me and left a voice message just after 10am.  Unfortunately, i’m not exactly sure where they left the message, since nothing has yet come through on the mobile nor the landline phone, which has been remarkably silent in its cradle.  She went on to tell me that the store had decided to re-arrange my goods delivery between 3-4pm utterly ignoring the original delivery time of 8-9pm as any indication of the actual preferred time.

Update 4

10:46 hrs – the very nice, helpful and charming member of staff called me back, informing me that i should expect my delivery between 7-8pm.  Sadly no extra loyalty points, but i will be in receipt of a voucher for £10 to use on or off line,

I can rapidly see this tentative foray back into the world of grocery home delivery being my last for a long while, as i take those silly notions of ease, relaxing whilst shopping, taking the weight off my tree-trunk legs, not having to fight the hordes; and stuff them heartily back into their boxes.

Update 5?

Day 2 - 20:03 hrs and neither delivery nor phone call from sainsburys relating to anything food-worthy, so time to give them a call and gather up my spending portfolio and take the whole thing elsewhere. So before i wave good-bye to edf, so long to argos, and good riddance to sainsburys, i will make that final call to see what the excuse is, obtain my refund and - shudder - go out shopping.

Update 6

Day 2 - 20:15 hrs and finally it's arrived, the driver wasn't, apparently, the same one from yesterday so had no idea what had taken place. As i slowly unpacked everything i realised the disaster continued apace: the fish had defrosted, the meat was in containers expanded to twice their size, one of the items was missing (despite the paper having it included and included on the receipt), i was surprised all the eggs seemed in one piece and bottles hadn't been smashed. So fish and mince refunded, the voucher is only an e-voucher though and i'm really not sure i wish to place another order with sainsburys and subsequently impact my health if this is their way of impressing.

Did someone say ocado?

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