What we did on the weekend

So, for the past couple of years, Terry and I have been doing our grocery shopping online, and having it delivered. Because we are lazy, basically. And actually, I say, “Terry and I”, but really, Terry does ALL of it by himself. That’s how lazy I am, and why, to this day, my parents thank their lucky stars each night that they somehow managed to pay him enough to take me of their hands.

Anyway, we get the shopping delivered, and this not only helps us in our quest to never leave the house, ever, it also helps us avoid The Others, who are always at their absolute worst at the supermarket, indulging in their usual behaviour of stopping randomly in the middle of aisles without warning, wielding screaming children like weapons, ramming shopping carts into the back of your legs, that sort of thing. Basically, the supermarket is like the seventh circle of hell to us, and that’s why we get the shopping delivered. That and the fact that I have that rare, incurable condition that forces me to buy a new pair of shoes or item of clothing every time I go near an actual shop. But I digress.

For most of the time we’ve been having the shopping delivered, we’ve been having it delivered by Asda. (Asda being Wal*Mart, for the benefit of those of you in the States) We’ve had a few brief flirtations with Tesco, but it’s just never really worked out with them for various reasons that are too boring to go into here. Yes, even more boring than an entire blog entry about grocery shopping. Look, I don’t get out much, OK?

For the most part, Asda have been OK at delivering our shopping. Sure, they’ve messed up. There was that time they brought us someone else’s shopping, and gave someone else most of our shopping, for instance. There was that other time they… did exactly the same thing. There have been times when they’ve forgotten things, brought things we didn’t order (if anyone needs a pack of baby wipes and some allergy tablets, by the way, we got them in stock. We’re keeping the 12 pack of quilted loo roll though. Swanky!), and just basically sucked, to be honest, but we have kept with them because, well, it’s better the devil you know, sometimes, and also because they do a really nice turkey and stuffing sandwich filler that I really like.

This month, though, Asda randomly decided to start sucking big time. They mostly did this by just not bothering to turn up when they said they would, leaving us starving to death and gnawing the furniture in hunger until they finally rolled up. Then on Friday? They just didn’t turn up at all. AT ALL, people. Of course, Terry called them. They apologised and said they’d bring us our shopping on Saturday afternoon instead. Then they just didn’t bother with that, either. So Terry called them again. “Sunday!” said Asda. “We will bring your shopping on Sunday! Until then, we will stick it in the freezer and hope it doesn’t reach its sell-by date in the meantime!” Actually, they didn’t say that last bit, but that IS what they did – we could tell by the way all the food was FREEZING COLD, and about to go out of date.

Not that we got the food when they said we would, mind you. Oh, they did turn up that time, which was very nice of them. But they only brought half our shopping with them. The rest, they said, would be right along – in fact, was leaving the store on a van RIGHT THAT SECOND! The store is a 20 minute drive from our house. (Told you we were lazy). It took them two and a half hours, and OK, they did send us a huge box of Quality Street by way of apology, but it was too late because by then I’d eaten the dog. Sorry, Rubin.

Yes, you’re right, we should totally just have jumped in the car and gone and picked up the shopping ourselves, only we couldn’t because a) lazy! b) we’d already paid for it, and it was on a van in some unspecified location and c) still lazy! So, basically, our ENTIRE WEEKEND was spent sitting around the house waiting for our time-saving online grocery delivery. Top tip: NEVER DO THAT. Try Tesco. Because even if they don’t have the turkey stuffing sandwich filler, they can’t possibly suck that hard, can they?


25 Comments

  • Stephanie Y says:

    I like that the times you DO leave, you happen to be leaving the country.

    England…….USA Florida…you know, the REAL reasons for leaving the house. ;)

    Oh but you do take walks into bandit country. :P

    -Setphanie

  • Tracey says:

    Hmmm… I am a BIG fan of online shopping but I've never given the online grocery shopping a go. Now I know why. Besides, will the little man who selects your items for you pick up every single apple to choose just exactly the right one? I think not.

    • Amber says:

      Well, to be fair, we've never had a problem with the quality of the food. They've sometimes forgotten to actually BRING it, sure, but when they remember, it's always been good :)

  • Mel says:

    Online grocery shopping saved our marriage. Seriously.

    We use Tesco — the occasional annoyances, but they’ve always shown up when they said they would. And their drivers are really friendly. That’s my favorite part. Give me something that resembles some good old fashioned American customer service, and I’m sold.

    • Amber says:

      Oh, Asda are always very friendly, I have to give them that. Which is one of the reasons we'll probably end up giving them another chance – I hear ya on the customer service! If they mess up again, though, I think it's got to be time to try out Tesco again…

  • Am says:

    I've never used any grocery deliver service – when I was at college a mate of mine worked as an internet shopper for tesco (back in the day when it was all shiny and new – internet shopping not tesco) – Anyway, she told me that they had to pick up the stuff people wouldn't normally buy – for example a packet of tomatoes where the ones in the bottom have gone soft or something like that. I just made my mind up then and there never to do it – though I expect they have raised standards otherwise people wouldn't use the service, right?

    Also – as I work from home grocery shopping and walking the dog have become my sole reasons for leaving the house – If I didn't have those two things I'd probably never leave my "office".

    • Amber says:

      Well, we've never had a problem with the quality of the food, and to be honest, I'd be really surprised if that was the norm, otherwise they just wouldn't have any customers. It's a pretty popular service where we are, and we've never had any soft-bottomed fruit. We are still paying for it, after all, so it would be pretty weird if they were sending us rotten fruit and stuff.

  • Toni says:

    I too am a confirmed online grocery shopper, but it can be such a pain. I, for example, spend forever carefully going through the "substitutes" list and detailing EXACT replacements or selecting no replacement at all. Now this takes me about half an hour, but do they listen? They do not. They STILL regularly deliver store-brand crisps instead of Walkers, despite me TYPING IN CAPITALS FOR EMPHASIS THAT THIS SHOULD NOT BE DONE. And what really gets me is when they give a substitute that is actually more expensive than the original!

    Still, better than an actual supermarket. *shudder*

    (Also, try Ocado. They once were ten minutes late with us and gave us £20 in vouchers AND never bothered to charge our card for the original shopping. We didn't alert them to that and now we're scared to use our account in case they realise we owe them money, but try them!)

    <abbr>Check out Toni's last blog post > The Haze of Days</abbr>

    • Amber says:

      Oh God, the substitutes are just plain weird, sometimes! Asda will think nothing of sustituting dry wine for sweet wine, for instance (because if you've gone to the trouble of selecting a dry wine, obviously you'll be just as happy with a sweet one – not), but then, if they don't have the particular brand of dog food we ordered, they just won't substitute it for anything. And really, Rubin's not fussy!

      Haven't heard of Ocado but will definitely check them out – sounds good…

  • Lila says:

    I tried online shopping and didn't like it..much prefer the morrisons experience, far quieter and much more personalised..prefer to see what I am buying too..tesco in my opinion is worse than asda, in fact the worst supermarket of all for non-online shopping if you don't like pushing and shoving, bright lights and acres of aisles to power walk down, if you can get past the trollies and the gossipers that is…couldnt do without going to morrisons, i get withdrawal symptoms…the place just makes you feel so good…they sure do the sell a shop to the customer well..

    • Amber says:

      Ha, I knew you'd recommend Morrisons! I haven't been there for ages, to be honest, but I don't really like ANY supermarket – they're all just varying degrees of hell to me! Mind you, Asda is the only one that actually gives me migraines thanks to the flickering strip lights they insist on using, combined with those reflective white floors. Perhaps that's some kind of Sign :)

  • Amanda says:

    Hmm, interesting. We've been toying with the idea of online grocery shopping, since as it is we don't have a car and have to taxi back home, and grocery stores are also our version of hell. There's a neat local service that delivers a weekly box of seasonal produce, and for a couple of work-at-homers who also shrivel up in the glare of the world outside, that sounds kinda neat. I'm glad to know we're not the only ones!

    • Amber says:

      Oh, we wouldn't be without it now! Recent troubles aside, it just saves so much time, and we tend to find it saves money, too, because you don't tend to pick up all the extra crap you end up with at the supermarket, plus all of the special offers are all laid out nice and neatly, so you can save more. I do recommend it, when it works!

  • Hayley says:

    I haven't ever tried online grocery shopping, so I can't comment on that, but turkey stuffing sandwich filler?!?! That sounds delicious.

  • Mags says:

    Glad you got your shopping in the end!

    I've never tried online shopping with Asda, though I have used Tesco and Sainsbury's. Tesco were great – on time, friendly and they used to unpack everything in my kitchen (on to the counters, that is… I never could get them to actually pack it all away for me as well!). Sainsbury's on the other hand… always in such a rush that the delivery guys would get to the door, then throw (yes, literally throw!) the bags inside, such that everything would roll out of the bags and all over the hallway. The food from Tesco was also usually well chosen (apart from the two incidents of rotten lettuce – but those were refunded immediately).

    • Amber says:

      They used to unpack it for you?! Wow, I'm starting to think we need to give Tesco a second chance… it's just that we're so stuck in our ways now with all of our favourite little Asda-brand products!

  • Danielle says:

    I cannot fathom online grocery shopping, especially with the grocery store right down the street. Where's the fun in clicking things when you could spend time walking up and down the aisles?

    • Amber says:

      Depends what your definition of "fun" is, I guess. I can't fathom walking up and down aisles when you can have it delivered straight to your door and spend the time doing something else… It takes all sorts.

  • terry says:

    Takes me around 20 minutes to do the shopping online. If I drove to asda, it would take me around 1 and a half hours. I also buy less crap and more stuff that is good for us. And lastly it's much easier to take advantage of special offers online as they are all in the same place rather than spread about a sprawling store.

    I know a few of the pickers from asda and they have it drilled into them to pick as if the food was for them, so they are supposed to pick good fruit and the best sell buy date they can find. And anyway they have always refunded anything I have ever mentioned without any question.

    God I hate talking about shopping :P

  • Amy says:

    I love grocery shopping online! I've been using Tesco for about five years. I have had two bad experiences in that time which I think is pretty good.

    I've used Sainsbury's once too and they were good but they're more expensive.

    We tend to do two big deliveries a month and do mini top-up shops at the Co-op, Sainsbury's or Budgens between times.

    • Amber says:

      I'm actually quite glad we don't have a Sainsbury's local to us, or I'd probably be tempted to try them out too, and I know my bank balance wouldn't like that. Online shopping is the best, though – it's one of my aims in life to never have to shop in a supermarket ever again…

  • Missy says:

    Tesco aren't bad.. occasionally forget things and turn up at worst around 15 minutes late but refund your delivery charge.. Oh and I once got 240 teabags that I didn't order.. bargain!

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