The Pain of Grocery Shopping Online

I have been doing online grocery shopping for many years and I’ve tried most of them. I rely on them a lot at the moment as I don’t have a car and we don’t live in walking distance of a supermarket. I’ve always loved the convenience of shopping online, filling your trolly without the leg work, working out how much you’ve spent at every step, not being tempted by that huge bar of chocolate that has fifty pence off (you don’t need it, honestly!) Then it’s all dropped off on your doorstep and all you have to do is pack it away.

I have a big family, there are seven of us, and that means a lot of shopping. I tend to shop around so I know I’m getting the best deals, and this is so much easier online, it’s not legwork, it’s fingerwork.

However, lately things have just been going wrong. I got fed up with Sainsbury’s subsitutions. Some of them were ridiculous and they often ended up costing me money. If I choose three things for £10 then that’s what I want to pay, if one of those items is not available then the offer doesn’t stand and you can end up sorely out of pocket. At Christmas I ordered a Christmas pudding that was £3.50, only two of us eat it, but they sent one that was £6.50 as a substitution, enough to feed six people. Now, you can refuse your substitutions, but then you end up without the item and have the extra hassle of more shopping.

Sainsbury’s let me down in the past by not delivering my Christmas shopping which had been booked and ordered three weeks in advance. It had been snowing and the van couldn’t finish it’s round. I was horrified at the thought of Christmas without food, but it wasn’t the end of the world because I still had a car at this point. Four hours later, a panic attack, and almost heart attack (I really hate driving in snow) we had food. Such a stressful day stays in the memory. Apart from costing me silly with their substitutions though, they’ve never let me down since.

Another supermarket I use is Asda. I like Asda because they have so much to choose from and they are reasonably priced, but they also like to substitute a lot, but they don’t charge you any extra if the substituted item is more expensive.

I will never shop at Asda again! Last week I did a shop and it arrived missing an item. There was no substitution so my shop was £4 cheaper than I’d originally paid for. BUT, Asda took both amounts from my bank account.They did refund the original amount straight away but it took seven days to clear. It was lucky that I had just been paid, had it been the end of the month I don’t think my bank account would have liked being short of nearly £200. According to my bank, who I called when I found my payments being rejected, this happens quite frequently with Asda. Well, I’m sorry but I can’t afford for this to happen again, even if I did get the money back.

I also shop at Ocado, I like their vans, especially the Strawberry one. That really is not a good reason to shop with them though. They do have fewer substitutions than Sainsburys though, and if they do subsitute something they don’t change the price. They claim to be cheaper, but I’m not always convinced.

Then this week I shopped with Ocado and waited patiently for the Lemon van to arrive between 1 and 2pm. When it hadn’t arrived by 2.30pm I gave them a call, only to be told my shopping had been delivered to me and I’d signed for it. So where was it? The van driver had finished for the day and the van was back at the depot. Customer services rang me back and promised me that my shopping would be here the next day. Fair enough, quick trip to the shops for loo roll!
Next day the shopping arrived as promised. One bag was full of washing up liquid as the bottle had leaked. Luckily nothing was damaged, and although I ended up with less than half a bottle of washing up liquid I didn’t bother complaining.
Then I had an e-mail to say that my orignal shop cost was being refunded to me and would take 7 – 10 days to reach my account. They had taken the money for the second delivery from my account. So once again I’m left with a poorly bank account for a week.

Maybe it’s time to try somewhere else? Any suggestions? Is there anywhere out there that offers a better service?


  1. Anonymous
    February 12, 2014 / 5:23 pm

    Morrisons now offer an online service, I haven't tried them yet but I will do soon. I don't have one bearbut I like shopping with Morrisons when I'm away or I have a car, so let's see! T

    • February 12, 2014 / 10:01 pm

      I'd heard that Morrisons had started too, I quite like Morrisons but I'm wary of them having teething troubles being so new at it. I mean if the other's cant' get it right after years of practice what chance do Morrisons have? I might just give them a go though, after all, they do sell my daughter's favourite Nong Shim noodles.

  2. February 14, 2014 / 2:55 pm

    We usually use Tesco for online shopping – mainly to build up points which we then use for days out. Generally been good as they always refund any missing products (only happened once) or anything gone mouldy (a couple of occasions). so on the whole fine – but then just before Christmas they delivered our shopping late one time and another time we were the last slot and they couldn't deliver it that day!!! I was in shock about it as the soonest they could re-deliver was in two days time. They did give a little voucher as an apology but after that i never book the last slot of the evening. I also had to pay twice for the same shopping until the first got refunded back. I think like anything they all have pros and cons really xxx

  3. February 16, 2014 / 8:37 pm

    I have to say that I used to use Sainsburys and have also tried Asda. I've given up and go to the shops again now – especially as you are able to get the reduced items! Good luck with finding someone else! thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  4. February 17, 2014 / 9:27 pm

    Last year Tesco tried to delver 24 blocks of cheese twice oh how I laughed

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