Sunday, 3 February 2008

A huge moan about Sainsbury's on-line shopping!

This week has been a total pain in the you know what, for more reasons than one... I've been in serious pain for most of it and do not feel like I've been coping well. To top it all when Sainsbury's decided to give the most rubbish service I have ever experienced it was blood boiling time.

During the first week of trying to change our food budget from an average of £140.00 to £70.00 a week (Click here for more details) we had trialed Abel and Cole. I was a little disappointed with a couple of things so thought we would probably go back to using Riverford, but I was too late to get a delivery from them. Anyway I needed to do the monthly on-line shop and decided I would do our weekly shop included in this. I used, it was easy to navigate and it chose Sainsbury's as the cheapest supermarket for the things we wanted. I was staggered by the saving compared to my usual option of Ocado.

What then ensued is absolutely farcical. The Sainsbury's driver turned up with the delivery, he seemed grumpy that he had to walk down some steps to get to our front door. I said he could drive round to the back where there are less steps, he chose to stay where he was.
There was a note to say 18 items were not available to deliver, I wasn't charged for these items.
When the driver left I discovered that he hadn't left any of the frozen things, which I had been charged for.
I then discovered that all of the bananas were bruised (I'd bought three lots), the cucumber had a big hole in it where something had pierced it, some of the parsnips chosen were woody and disgusting, and the organic red potatoes had black bits growing on them and were generally disgusting too.

I called the call centre to be told their systems were down. She took my name and telephone number, details of what happened and said she would call back. Nobody called back.
The next day I looked up the number on the internet and called again. A lady answered who was in the foulest of moods I eventually asked if she was okay because she sounded very peeved about something and I felt as though I had done something wrong. Her attitude then changed. She said they would deliver the goods that afternoon. That she would refund the items which had been damaged or weren't good enough and that she would credit me with a £10.00 voucher. I said okay, thank you very much blah blah blah. Waited in, no delivery.

I called back and then spoke to a really lovely man who was very apologetic. I told him that his colleague sounded like she was in a bad mood. He admitted that the manager had spoken to his colleague about her attitude that day. He also said there was no record of me calling. He asked when they could re-deliver. It was agreed between 10 and 11 the following morning. Again, no delivery.

I called again and spoke to the same man who was again very apologetic, but then explained that they were a branch in Warrington and that after he'd spoken to me when he tried to bring up our booking he couldn't, but that he had spoken to the main Central Customer Services and they were supposed to call me back to sort it all out. You can guess that nobody from Customer Services had called me.

So, I rang customer services. I asked to speak to a manager and then had a few minutes talk with a man trying to persuade me that I didn't need to speak to a manager that I could tell him and that he would be able to deal with it. I spoke politely and didn't raise my voice but by now my blood was boiling. I said that he shouldn't take it personally and that I would not explain it all to him only to have to explain it again to a manager and it was definitely a manager that I needed and wanted to speak to.

Eventually he got a manager. I explained the situation so far. She said that she had been working on the evening that the systems had been down (this was now 3 days later) and that they had over 400 people that they were trying to call back but unfortunately their system was again down. She promised to sort it out and that she would call me back with an update. She was professional and friendly at the same time. She did call back but had been unable to resolve it properly as the on-line manager of the branch that would do the delivery was not in and the person she'd spoken to hadn't totally understood the situation. She asked if I could give her until the following morning, which I agreed. She also said she would e-mail an evoucher for £25.00, £5.00 refund for delivery and £20.00 as a gesture of goodwill. I just felt like giving up and saying forget it, I'll just chalk it down to bad luck and never use you again.

The following day I got a call from the same Call Centre manager who told me the on-line manager in the branch would be calling me to arrange delivery of everything. Eventually, some hours later the on-line branch manager did call. She was professional, apologetic and very good at handling the whole situation, explaining everything clearly about what would happen from then on. It was agreed that they would deliver that evening. I asked if we could go through the list to make sure there would be no further problems. She said that some things might not be available in the store but would I be happy if they substituted them. I agreed so long as I could decline them on delivery if they were a substitute I didn't want. She also gave me her number and said to call her the following morning if there were any problems.

The driver turned up and low and behold several things were missing again, no substitutes made. No cucumber, or bananas. They can't tell me they didn't have one cucumber or one bunch of bananas in the store. No salmon, parsnips or organic red potatoes. These are all things that they would have had substitutes for. I haven't bothered calling back. I will probably call on Monday. Anyway moan over, it was just a rubbish and very frustrating week, more so because when Sainsbury's messed up I couldn't go and get the shopping myself.

I'll post later what we ate this week and how much it cost. Just needed to get that off my chest and make sure I had it noted down for when I can muster up the energy to call or write.


Jules said...

I've never used Sainsburys for food delivery, but you have certainly put me off from using them in the future.

Trig said...

We always had problems with Sainsbury's online shopping when my dad used the service many moons ago. I can't recall one delivery that we didn't have problems with - this and that not available, absolutely rediculous substitutions along the lines of "you wanted soy sauce but it wasn't available so we're giving you sesame oil instead" because a quick search would no doubt lump these two "oriental section" ingredients together regardless of the fact that one is an oil and the other a condiment. I'm completely with you on this one, Sainsbury's online shopping is totally useless!

glamah16 said...

I'm so weary of online grocery shopping.We have Peapod here.I jsut dont trsut it.

Sylvie said...

Sorry to hear you had such a rough time. I've never used the internet for my food shopping as I enjoy doing it myself too much. Reading your story puts me of even more. Hope you'll have a better week this week.

Heather said...

Wow. That's completely astonishing. We don't have any online grocery services where I live, but when I taught home economics I used to fax my food order in and get it delivered to my school. Besides a few bruised bananas, I don't think I ever had a problem with their service. The phone run-around business would make me completely crazy: good for you for keeping your "cool" while talking to them. (I think I'm delurking today...don't know why it's taken me so long!)


Joanna said...

Amanda what a dreadful story. I sometimes think of changing from Ocado, because I know it's expensive, although I think probably about the same as Waitrose, which is the alternative which would fit best into my life. But now I won't. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that some savings come through lack of opportunities for impulse-buying ;)

Hope you find a way through this, because online shopping - especially for bulk and heavy items - is SO convenient


Pat said...

Ohhhhhhhhh Amanda I am so sorry hun!!!! I used Sainsburys online only once and like you that was enough. I have used Tescon online and they are a bit better. But am thrilled with using Ocado and will be using them in the future. I have decided to split my shopping up and go into Sainsbury which is only 2 minutes away or use Ocado about every other week. And will be supplimenting my shopping with a trip to the farm shop which is near where I work. I would have given Abel and Cole a try, but after finding you had a few problems I decided not to go that route. I do hope you find a good solution and that your back problems are soon painless. Big hugs hun!!!
I agree the online Sainsbury shop is a big waste of time.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Jules, from other comments I don't think I'm the only one.

Hi Trig, agreed!

Hi Glamah16, Peapod sounds like a cool name but it does take an element of trust getting somebody else to choose and pack your shopping for you.

Hi Sylvie, I love food shopping sometimes but can't go at the moment and even if I could go I'm trying not to so I don't over shop. Thanks for your good wishes.

Hi Heather, thanks for delurking. It's nice when people say hi.

Hi Joanna, I've had problems with Ocado too but nothing compared to this. Ocado problems were mainly putting raw chicken in with cooked meats and fruit, over filling bags, putting tins and heavy stuff on top of bread and soft things. That sort of thing but infinitely better than what I experienced this week. I'll maybe try them all and compare.

Hi Pat, your plan sounds good. Thanks for the virtual hugs.

Thank you for your comments.
Amanda x

Marie said...

I have shopped online with OCADO and it was not a bad experience. Have not used any of the others and probably won't. I really do fear online shopping in a way, even though I know it is quite convenient. I always am afraid that I will get stuck with the crummy veg and fruit that they want to get rid of. When I am shopping in person I make sure I pick the ones with the freshest dates. Sorry you had such a frustrating and annoying experience!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Marie, I think I definitely want to give all the others ago, more as an experiment than anything else. Also Sainsbury's have given me a load of evouchers so I'll have to use them again. I should have insisted they refund the equivalent amount of money. Still you live and learn.
Amanda x

theboydonefood said...

Just indicates that all these big corporations care about is money, not customer service. They know most people go to them because they don't have any choice about where they shop, either due to location or budget.
Best thing to do is write to them and send it recorded - you won't get anything quickly but you will get seen to. And you don't have to speak to some ignorant muppet who's having a bad day.

Deborah said...

Oh, my, that does not sound like fun!! We don't have online shopping here where I live, so I have to make the trip to the store. That explains why I haven't been grocery shopping for a couple of weeks!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

So strange. I used Sainsbury's delivery almost exclusively while living in the UK and never had any big issues. In fact, it was Ocado that screwed up with me twice and led me to return to Sainsbury's. I wonder if it has something to do with the regional control of the groceries and deliveries?

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi theboydonefood, Your comment made me laugh as it's exactly how I feel.

Hi Deborah, I'm having weird food shopping cravings. Which just shows that it's when you can't have/do something that you want it more.

Hi CC, I think it may be a regional things. Who knows. I've left two messages to get a call back and nothing so far. It is only Wednesday, 8 days since the original delivery day so I shouldn't expect so much. ;)

Thank you for your comments.
Amanda x


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