Home Delivery!

Since the first Covid-19 lockdown in Scotland last March, we’ve had almost all our shopping delivered. We’ve had deliveries from various of the local supermarkets. On the whole they’ve been great, but we have had a few issues on and off with the service from each of the supermarkets.

I want to talk about Sainsbury’s today, as we’ve had a number of issues with our deliveries from there – we’ve given them another chance a few times, but our experience last week with our scheduled delivery was by far the worst, and we don’t seem to have been alone in our experience.

First let me tell you about the biggest issue we’ve had with Sainsbury’s deliveries – We’ve found that we often get very short dates on items, and while they will give you a refund on items with short shelf life, their timescales considered to be short shelf life tis now if date is within 2 days of your delivery. This was a change implemented just a few months ago, as prior to that they considered it short shelf life if the date was within 48 hours of your delivery. So now if you get a delivery at 9pm on Monday, they would count short shelf life as either having the Monday or Tuesday date on it, not the Wednesday – so even though almost the whole of the 1st day has already passed, they don’t seem to care about that. This policy has meant that we have ended up with items delivered with the next day on them meaning we have too many items to use up within that time, and then are short on fresh food before our next scheduled delivery. The worst instances of this were a pork joint delivered about 5pm one day which had the same date on it; closely followed by our delivery on 23 December including 4 cartons of milk with the 24 December on them! I ended up having to go out to our local supermarket to get milk to see us through Christmas Day/Boxing Day.

Anyway, back to last week’s delivery – Our delivery was scheduled from Sainsbury’s for between 5 and 6pm on Friday. At 5.50pm still no sign on our delivery, and at 5.55pm we received an email from Sainsbury’s stating

We we furious! Not even a phonecall, just an email to tell us our delivery had been cancel!

If you order something from a company and they accept your order for delivery, surely it’s their responsibility to reschedule your delivery as quickly as possible, not just cancel the order and leave the customer without the goods they ordered. Take Amazon for instance, we’ve had instances where we’ve been meant to get a delivery from them on a particular date/time, but something has occurred which means the delivery couldn’t happen at the planned date/time – They don’t just cancel your order they tell you they’ll deliver your items the following day.

So after calling the Sainsbury’s customer services line (as advised in the email above), we were advised that the payment for our order had already been taken, but there were no free 1 hour delivery slots for either the later that evening or the next day, so our only options were

  1. Collect the order ourselves from the store’s Click and Collect collection point the next day; or
  2. Reschedule the delivery for between 6 and 10pm on Saturday night; or
  3. Cancel the delivery and get a full refund for the delivery.

Option 2. wasn’t great for us, as we needed some of the items in our order for our meals on the Saturday. Option 3. also wasn’t acceptable as how else were we going to get food without having to go into a supermarket ourselves to get some shopping. So we went for Option 1, to collect our order from the store’s Click and Collect collection point on Saturday.

Guess what, we spent one and a half hours at the Click and Collect Collection Point on Saturday morning waiting for our order. It turned out the handover from the previous shift had not informed them that we’d be going to pick up the order, so the order was not ready. They took about an hour to realise this is what had happened, before telling us they’d get someone to go and ‘pick’ our order again for us. So we waited again.

When the order finally was brought out to us, it was missing lots of items, many things we’d asked for two of, only had one, and there were many items which we didn’t ask for at all! The manager ended up coming out to us – He couldn’t apologise enough, and offered to go and ‘re-pick’ our order again himself for us, he also gave us a voucher for a future shop. By this time I was frozen, fed up and needed a hot drink, so we agreed with the manager we’d head home and he would call us when he had ‘re-picked’ our order, and we’d go back later and collect the order.

Sure enough within the hour, the manager called to say he’d ‘re-picked’ our order – he highlighted a few things that weren’t available, but he’d given us additional alternatives, and so our full order was available. Time to go collect the order.

When I got to the Click and Collect Collection Point again I had to wait about half an hour to receive our order, as first of all they brought me out someone else’s order, before I explained we were the ‘missing’ order from the morning, and then they knew exactly which order we were!

So we finally got the crates with our order, so now all we had to do was hope the dates on the items were better than we’d experienced in previous Sainsbury’s orders..and they were! In fact the dates on almost everything were far better than we’d ever experienced with our Sainsbury’s deliveries! So almost 1 day after our order was due to be delivered to our house, we finally got our order home…it had only taken about 3 hours out of our Saturday to get it!

What a mess! My husband had seen reviews of Sainsbury’s deliveries and had heard of many other having the same issue with very short dates on items, and deliveries being cancelled at very short notice with no suitable alternative offered! We had been very lucky up until last week, but now can completely relate to the useless way in which Sainsbury’s deal with unforeseen circumstances which mean they cannot fulfil a delivery at short notice – Why they can’t just reschedule them for later that day or the following day like any other online delivery store would do I do not know. All I know is, our whole experience last Friday/Saturday from Sainsbury’s was not good, and was very stressful.

There was one positive out it all – the way the manager at our local Sainsbury’s store, personally sorted out our order for us. Although this wouldn’t have been necessary if they had just arranged a new delivery time for our home delivery which they cancelled 5 minutes from the end of our scheduled delivery time.

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