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Comparing online supermarket shopping experiences

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, May 30, 2012.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    We needed to order some food today and but for my impeccable patience, the process might have ended up with the blood of a dead wife on my hands and me getting my collar felt for it.
    It all started out simply enough. She had a voucher from a magazine offering a £10 discount from Sainsburys and another voucher she'd picked up whilst she was in Sainsburys giving a £5 discount if she spent £50 or more.
    So she decided to buy our shopping from Sainsburys instead of Tesco this time...
    Although I sometimes joke about her being as blonde as a short plank, she isn't really, at least not so much as I make out. The problems began with the registration process. I was called in to discover why she couldn't register. Ok, we eventually sorted that out as there were several tick boxes she hadn't ticked, and I left her to get on with it.
    She called me back after a while when she reached the point in her list to order meat."It looks a lot more expensive than usualy pay at Sainsburys" she said. "It's "20 odd quid for a joint."
    "No that the price per kilo" I said. You should be able to choose the size you want. But could we? The only option was one of them.
    I suggested we just order from Tesco as usual but she was adamant she would persevere because she knows that Sainsburys sell some silly rabbit treat that Tesco believe their customers wouldn't be stupid enough to buy.
    I left her to it and walked the dog, only to return to find a list of things she'd been struggling to order. We worked through them by suggesting alternative searches and finally completed her order.
    Paying for it added to the hilarity and tedium. What tick boxes were'nt we ticking this time? Having eventually got there and made the payment, we got the thank you screen telling us our goods will be delivered as requested on Friday.
    "Sweety-Tart", I said, we're not going to be here on Friday. You're off out with your mate and I will be working on Friday. You'll have to change the date. And this is where the fun really started, because once the order had been placed, the site logged us out and wouldn't let us log in again. We closed it down and started again, but when we tried to access our order, it told uswe have no outstanding orders.
    I gave up, intending to give Sainsbury a cll about it but my sweetheart tried over and over again and eventually got to the point she was able to recover her order. Great! We tried to amend the deliver time to tomorrow but there were no slots. We tried to cancel the order in the vain hope we'd be able to order from Tesco instead and have something to eat but the site repeatedly came back with a message telling us it had a problem.
    In the end I rang Sainsburys to cancel the order and the very kind gentleman on the other end of the phone told me it had already been cancelled online. I thanked him for his trouble, told him I wasn't angry with him personally that we'd wasted an hour and half of our lives struggling with a poorly worked out website as it obviously wasn't his fault, but since he'd been so helpful, and since it had been made clear our conversation had been recorded, would it be overly generous of him to pass on my best wishes to his managers and let them know We won't be troubling them again with our online orders until they get their act together.
    20 minutes later, order placed with Tesco for delivery tomorrow at lower delivery cost and incidentally more items on the bill for the same cost.

     
  2. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    We needed to order some food today and but for my impeccable patience, the process might have ended up with the blood of a dead wife on my hands and me getting my collar felt for it.
    It all started out simply enough. She had a voucher from a magazine offering a £10 discount from Sainsburys and another voucher she'd picked up whilst she was in Sainsburys giving a £5 discount if she spent £50 or more.
    So she decided to buy our shopping from Sainsburys instead of Tesco this time...
    Although I sometimes joke about her being as blonde as a short plank, she isn't really, at least not so much as I make out. The problems began with the registration process. I was called in to discover why she couldn't register. Ok, we eventually sorted that out as there were several tick boxes she hadn't ticked, and I left her to get on with it.
    She called me back after a while when she reached the point in her list to order meat."It looks a lot more expensive than usualy pay at Sainsburys" she said. "It's "20 odd quid for a joint."
    "No that the price per kilo" I said. You should be able to choose the size you want. But could we? The only option was one of them.
    I suggested we just order from Tesco as usual but she was adamant she would persevere because she knows that Sainsburys sell some silly rabbit treat that Tesco believe their customers wouldn't be stupid enough to buy.
    I left her to it and walked the dog, only to return to find a list of things she'd been struggling to order. We worked through them by suggesting alternative searches and finally completed her order.
    Paying for it added to the hilarity and tedium. What tick boxes were'nt we ticking this time? Having eventually got there and made the payment, we got the thank you screen telling us our goods will be delivered as requested on Friday.
    "Sweety-Tart", I said, we're not going to be here on Friday. You're off out with your mate and I will be working on Friday. You'll have to change the date. And this is where the fun really started, because once the order had been placed, the site logged us out and wouldn't let us log in again. We closed it down and started again, but when we tried to access our order, it told uswe have no outstanding orders.
    I gave up, intending to give Sainsbury a cll about it but my sweetheart tried over and over again and eventually got to the point she was able to recover her order. Great! We tried to amend the deliver time to tomorrow but there were no slots. We tried to cancel the order in the vain hope we'd be able to order from Tesco instead and have something to eat but the site repeatedly came back with a message telling us it had a problem.
    In the end I rang Sainsburys to cancel the order and the very kind gentleman on the other end of the phone told me it had already been cancelled online. I thanked him for his trouble, told him I wasn't angry with him personally that we'd wasted an hour and half of our lives struggling with a poorly worked out website as it obviously wasn't his fault, but since he'd been so helpful, and since it had been made clear our conversation had been recorded, would it be overly generous of him to pass on my best wishes to his managers and let them know We won't be troubling them again with our online orders until they get their act together.
    20 minutes later, order placed with Tesco for delivery tomorrow at lower delivery cost and incidentally more items on the bill for the same cost.

     
  3. ljr

    ljr New commenter

    Give Ocado a try - they are always offering deals on the first delivery. I think they are great. Always on time, easy to use site, really helpful drivers, hardly any substitutions.....5 *
     
  4. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    I've used Sainsburys, no problem, Tesco, again no problem, currently using Ocado, courtesy of a year's mid-week delivery pass courtesy of a Groupon deal.
     
  5. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    I began using Sainsbury's as a result of a £10 off voucher. They are really smart- they then gave me a tenner off my next three shops, which was enough to get past the initial frustration of using a new system and get hooked on some products I can't get at Tesco. After the 3 weeks, Tesco sent me an email with big vouchers to lure me back, so I did. I now flit between the two depending on what deals they are doing at the time. I am a supermarket wh0re.
     
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    We only use on-line to order wine.
    I prefer to select my groceries myself as I often find they replace what I've asked for by something I don't want and is more expensive. Also stuff is often close to, or on its sell by date.
     
  7. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I generally only buy storecupboard goods/cleaning stuff/alcohol .etc. online and only get it delivered because its easier than dragging a trolley with my two children round the supermarket once a month.
    I use Sainsbury's and have always found them to be extremely helpful - I'm yet to have a problem with them. Tried Tesco's and they were fine the first few times but the found the staff to be not as helpful as I'd like.
     
  8. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I've yet to do an online shop. I prefer to choose produce myself and worry about substituted goods not being what I want. If I can't find something that's a key ingredient to a meal I've planned, I'll either find a suitable substitute or change the meal altogether - a shelf-picker would never be able to do this.
    I also base a certain degree of my shopping on offers. For example, I normally buy De Cecco pasta, but if there was an offer on a similar quality pasta of a different brand then I'd take advantage of the offer.
    I'm considering giving Waitrose a bash as they deliver for free...anyone able to comment on Waitrose's online service?
     
  9. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    You can reject anything substituted that you don't want and they refund your card. I very rarely have any substitutions, and when I do, I've never had anything I don't want as you can set the substitutes eg if de secco not available, buy xx brand.
    Me too- that's why I love online grocery shopping as you can search for offers by dept and base your shop around it. If the product on offer isn't available, you can set your substitute to whatever you'd like and they'll still only charge you the offer price.
    For me, the delivery charge, even at peak times is considerably less that it costs me in petrol to go to my nearest supermarket.
    I used to worry about fruit and veg but I rarely have anything picked for me that I wouldn't choose myself, even melons etc are well picked. Last week, I'd ordered half price pomegranates. The ones picked were the last of them and were a bit bashed (but perfectly ripe and SO juicy). Tesco sent me them for 10p each, rather than £1.50 each normal price or even the 75p on offer. Can't say fairer, really.
     
  10. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    I did an experiment earlier in the year with Tesco and Sainsburys. No problem with either website at all. Substitutions sains a lot worse than Tesco and they dont do Price match which can be great if you ordered a value line and they sub it with a dearer one. Sains had a crafty knack of not having things which were on 3 for two deals and trying to sneak three full price items thru instead like the packs of three meats. Sains also often didn't come on time and were rather rude and unhelpful although when I complained I got a 15 quid voucher.But Sains do free delivery if you spend over £100.
     
  11. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Me too [​IMG] I usually used Tesco for shopping because it is cheapest but I use Waitrose, Ocado and Sainsburys when they send me vouchers.
    I generally prefer to go to the shop. If I can't find an ingredient then I know what other items I need to take off my list or what would work as a substitute. I had a £15 discount for Waitrose this week so they are delivering tomorrow.
    I haven't had any problems with any of the three that I have used. One item in my last Tesco order had a short date but they warned me about it and took the product back when I said that was no use to me. Mr BS was disappointed not to have his egg sandwich filler for the week but he actually managed to hard-boil the eggs and make his own.
     
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Thanks for the info, Si.
     
  13. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    One thing to consider is that the online deliveries come from a depot separate from the store, at least that's how they do it round here. If you are concerned about hygene, you'd most likely have fewer people handling the fruit and veg, and I doubt many of them squeeze them to test their ripeness. I would also imagine that supermarkets apply stringent hygene procedures for their staff that they can't ask of their customers.
    It galls me to say that my experience of ordering online from Tesco has been largely flawless, because as you may have gathered, Tesco is the epitome of everything I am critical about regarding supermarkets. However, from my experience, they've got their act together in flogging the stuff online better than their competitors, and I have to acknowledge they're doing most of the right things.
    Having said that, I had a look to see if they had any veal, and what do you know? The nearest thing the website could find was venison.

     
  14. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    That's definitely not how they do the Tesco deliveries here. When I shop in the store there are always the online shoppers going round with their big trollies filling the orders.
     
  15. wiemaranerlover

    wiemaranerlover New commenter

    I hate supermarkets, and tend to stick to veg box, who also deliver milk, eggs and meat, and local co-op, but having run out of everything after the store cupboard challenge, I've got my first order from Ocado coming tomorrow night. Had a £20 voucher, so full store cupboard shop plus duck as a treat came to £50 after the voucher.
     
  16. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    same here.
     
  17. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    And here. I find them intensely irriating. They're always in the way, generally very surly and when asked where something is, often refuse to help as " it's not their job".

     

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