28 January 2009


In case you haven't noticed, I've not been cooking anything new lately. I have cooked, but only old, quick stuff. Both Lundulph and I are up to our ears in work, with only enough time to get home and eat quickly before it's bedtime.

So from this year on, we decided to try out the delivery services of Ocado. Lundulph reckoned they have the best reputation. I've had a lot of doubts about all that, but an extra hour every Friday of spare time was tempting and I registered on their web site.

Tonight was our third delivery and I've decided to make it our last.

The first round as a big order - having been away for Christmas and my Sister Bip being over for a week, stocks were low, so I thought might as well give it a good go. The delivery was over an hour late, though admittedly it was icy conditions. All our bits were delivered, but they weren't the ones I normally would buy from Sainsbury's. The choice on the Ocado website was surprisingly low. One of the eggs was cracked, the apples were comedy sized - no bigger than golf balls! And they were well beaten up and bruised. The other vegetables didn't look too happy either. I also had a bit of a struggle with the user interface on the web site and got the wrong number of some items. It was nice to get email confirmation with built in calendar reminder, though GMail interpreted it as an invite, not an appointment. There were a few SMSs as well. And the new thing was the free newspaper, great! And a voucher for a free bottle of wine! Yay!

The second round, I'd prepared my shopping list in advance and also worked out how to add several of an item to a shopping list. The shopping arrived and again veg were sad and apples were bruised. So I decided to do the non-bruisable items from Ocado and go and buy salad stuff and fruit from Sainsbury's. I mostly buy the same things every week, so won't take long. The delivery itself was actually on time and all bits were there. Got the wine and the paper and another free wine voucher, sadly for the same type of wine. But still.

Tonight the delivery was 20 minutes late and I only got a call a couple of minutes before the chap arrived. When he did, he only had the 5-6 bags with cupboard things, the one bag with fridge items was not there and he hadn't printed out my shopping list, nor did I get a newspaper, just the wine. So I checked my order, then called the helpline to be placed in a queue for a while. Seems quite a few unhappy customers tonight. The lady who finally answered was very friendly and also called the driver to see if my missing bag was in his van, but turns out not and my only option was to cancel the order. She offered me a complimentary bottle of wine. Hm, no, got two of them already. So I've decided to stop buying from Ocado. Maybe I'm too demanding, but I've built up a routine of our grocery needs and it's hard to break.

So next week I'll try Sainsbury's. If they're as unsatisfactory, I'll have to start shopping again. Fingers crossed!

We were also thinking of getting a veggie box from Abel & Cole, Fred and Ginger have done that and Ginger spoke very warmly about it, but Lundulph wasn't too keen on a diet of turnips until new stuff is available in the Summer, so we're holding off for now. Besides, I don't have the time to come up with inventive things to do, which you need to with a seasonal veggie box. But I'm planning on trying our local pick your own in the Summer, now that's really something!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gosh, your Ocado experience is the complete opposite of ours. We've been using them for two years now, on and off, and have only had brilliant service. I've only had one broken egg and a split milk bottle in all that time and they've refunded both. Last week we had some oxidised wine which they refunded. I've never had a single substitution either (although I have made mistakes with sizing, we'll never eat the enormous jar of mustard!)

I don't think we've ever had a late delivery, in fact they often call to ask if they can come early.

I wonder if it's to do with area. Such a shame because, as you mention, those extra hours are previous.

I'd definitely recommend waiting until the summer for the veg box, you'd have quite a long run of cabbage if you signed up now! You might have some luck with more local suppliers actually, a lot of people I know that live in rural areas find these to be brilliant.