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Ocado/M&S online deliveries

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Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Binky » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:30 pm

This is a big grumble from me. We usually alternate between Tesco and Asda for our weekly shop and have had no problems. The total bill is always as expected and there is an itemised and costed account of any substitutes so you know where you are.

This lunch time, we took our first delivery from M&S/Ocado. On checking the bill, we'd been charged £88 instead of £77. What's going on here? It turns out that M&S had 'substituted' some chicken thighs (£4.odd) for chicken fillets (£11.odd). :shock:

When I complained to Customer Services, they brazenly said that their policy was to charge whatever the substitute cost (unlike the other supermarkets who substitute roughly the same quality/price if your original choice isn't available). Sending something three times the price (and not telling me the price difference in their email alert) is outrageous business practice.

As a gesture of goodwill they have refunded the cost of the fillets, but I shan't be using Ocado again and wanted to warn people in case they fall foul of this substitute malpractice.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Lusciouslush » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:08 pm

Thanks for the heads-up Binky - I don't like those tactics either, a company such as Marks certainly doesn't need to employ them so maybe their admin chain needs tweaking & only by reporting/complaining will alert them to this - I would have been straight on the phone to c/s too - glad you had a result!

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Badger's Mate » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:26 pm

Our first Ocado delivery is due tomorrow evening. If they do the same to us I imagine there won't be a second. Waitrose made a pig's ear of their first chance, we haven't been back to them. Tesco & Sainsbury have been fine. We get what has been ordered or something similar unless it isn't possible. Unavailability and substitutions are to be expected, but sending items you haven't paid for, not sending items you have, and subbing with completely different products do seem like a recipe for sticking to the trusted companies.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby jeral » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:31 pm

Binky, I agree entirely with your complaint as it's a very valid one IMO.

Badger's Mate, when I order, I get an online receipt on delivery day, shown as a .pdf attachment that you double click to open, so I can see before the delivery if any substitutions have been made. They say to reject any items you don't want at the door, and, note well, that in covid times without touching them.

I wouldn't give up on Ocado just yet as news reports say they've been overwhelmed with many more orders than anticipated following the M&S partnership. They were disappointingly slow compared with others to cope well with the covid upsurge, but covid came out of the blue.

The M&S deal was announced 18mths ago so they really ought to have got their act together and must resume showing out of stock items at order time as they did before. In over five years I've had only two or three subs, being one reason why I like them.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby KeenCook2 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:07 pm

Binky, I would have been furious, I'm glad they eventually did the right thing but can't believe they tried to justify it.
I'm sure they'll have to change their policy, just as Tesco have started providing a £3 delivery option for a 4 hour time window once they introduced their flat rate £4.50 or £5.50 delivery charge. Tesco always provided a print out detailing the subs so that you could give them straight back to the driver - assuming you've looked at the print out!

I only used Sainsbury's once, and I think they emailed me with the subs/out of stock. They didn't provide a print out of the order.

Asda also emails and doesn't supply a print out.

The few subs they've provided have been acceptable and I'm really not sure what would be the best policy for items that are out of stock! Especially if it was something really important.
I have noticed that if I make some last minute changes the evening before there is a warning if something is low stock. They give you the option to choose something else or let their pickers decide for you. This week they said that their own brand 12 large eggs were running low, but I left them on anyway as if they'd supplied me with more expensive eggs I would have only paid the lower price, of course, unlike M&S/Ocado.
In the end the eggs came anyway!
They didn't have fresh basil so sent fresh coriander instead. On this occasion I think the coriander will be fine but might not always be the case!

All in all it can be a bit of a lottery, can't it?!

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Earthmaiden » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:36 pm

That's very poor, Binky when other supermarkets charge what the cost of the item you wanted would have been. Although I shopped there after a while during lockdown because it was clean and quiet, I have never been a huge fan of M&S food, especially after those smug adverts a few years ago. I don't find it particularly special, just overpriced (although I believe someone posted a price comparison in which Waitrose was higher. I think it depends what you buy).

I like them even less now.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby smitch » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:50 pm

Ocado did that even before the swap to M&S. I’ve never had anything that outrageous but have had more expensive items in the past.

I get a text on the day of delivery with any substitutes on. I’m also emailed the receipt ahead of time so I can see the prices.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby slimpersoninside » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:57 pm

We've used Ocado quite a bit, even before all this malarkey. We also use other supermarkets online and find Ocado have far less substitutions as a rule.
Not sure how I feel about M&S food, not shopped there much at all but will give it a whirl.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Pampy » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:59 pm

Same for me too, Slimpersoninside.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby jeral » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:07 pm

KeenCook2, Tesco have always done a cheaper pick and deliver price if booking a four hour slot. They ring at 8am or 12noon (or 1pm) to say in which hour they'll deliver. It's been easier to get such a slot quicker here as they're very active in this location.

I don't recall having ever eaten M&S food, mainly because they tend to put butter in a lot of things which I can't eat rather than for any idealogical reason.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby KeenCook2 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:30 pm

That's interesting, jeral, I never had that option as I either got offered the one hour, variable charge slots, or the £2 slots for people who were shielding.
When the £2 slots were abolished I only got the option of the £5.50 flat rate delivery, hence my moving to Asda, where it's free for people who had been shielding, regardless of how much or how little you spend.

I only saw the £3 option very recently when I was checking whether Tesco had something Asda doesn't (unfortunately there are quite a few items like that!)

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby jeral » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:03 pm

Perhaps the 4-hour Tesco option is offered more widely as they are now more active in places they weren't before as I've always used it.

I use Ocado (with Waitrose in tow) for reliability meaning stock available being shown, but also, as you say, because Tesco and Asda are good for basics, less so for other items that few of us on here would describe as specialist. I'm hoping that M&S will be as good in that regard. Although, a lot of Ocado's veggie and vegan stuff is from small independents so I hope that doesn't change.

I was never shielding or on a list, but Ocado did guarantee me a weekly slot towards the end of lockdown. I assume that's because they needed to keep their long-standing customers sweet for when workers went back and stopped ordering online.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Pampy » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:21 pm

I think that Tesco's delivery slot prices depend on whether the orders are done by a store or a "fulfilment centre" - the stores have lower operating costs.
I suspect that Ocado has caught a bit of a cold with their service. Because they couldn't react quickly enough at the beginning of the lockdown, they've lost a lot of customers to other retailers, particularly Tesco and Sainsbury's. I've seen some free delivery slots on Ocado's booking calendar, which they've never offered before. I've also had a couple of emails from them offering me free delivery for the next day. Coupled with the mix up at the beginning of their tie-up with M&S, I think some people are turning their back on them.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby jeral » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:35 pm

Here, Ocado has always offered free (or close to) slots at low times especially if a van is in your area. They also now offer a reduced rate on Tue, Wed, Thur.

There seems no doubt to me that Ocado fluffed it at the beginning of lockdown which is why I can't understand with that hindsight why they've bombarded me with "Try our new M&S range" emails and fluffed deliveries for that! Right hand left hand?

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby jeral » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:50 pm

Re Sainsbury's, I've found them good for online so no complaints but a £60 min basket, plus they're more expensive than others are, are deterrents if wanting regular primarily fresh things.

I gather that basket size and concomitent value is hugely important as to whether online is viable, hence M&S held back apparently. On that basis, I wonder how Asda succeed on a £25 min basket. Volume of orders in stone's throw densely populated areas presumably.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Pampy » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:54 pm

The minimum spend for Sainsbury's where I live is only £40.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby jeral » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:08 pm

Thanks for noting that the minimum basket for Sainsbury is now £40 Pampy :thumbsup It seems to be their overall policy now.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Busybee » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:10 pm

I think I have mentioned previously, but a monthly delivery pass for a Tesco is £7.99. As we shop weekly it’s £2 per week, we don’t seem to have a problem reaching the £40 threshold, especially with DS and his hollow legs!

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby Kacey » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:37 pm

I wasn't looking forward to the swap from Waitrose to M&S, but having shopped at our local M&S in town over the past few months for top-up shops - it felt cleaner as they were quite strict with hand cleaning and adequate distancing - I've got a but used to M&S stuff, there selection of general grocery has improved too.

i tried a Morrisons delivery but the number of substitutions was just too great. I'm sticking with Ocado for now as they really are the best for the fewest subs and missing items.

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Re: Ocado/M&S online deliveries

Postby herbidacious » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:54 pm

I think in this order:
Tesco
Sainsbury's
Ocado
Waitrose

I think the quality of Tesco's food is lower than the other's generally (in fact I think for quality of food rating I would just reverse the list, and stick M&S at the top if including non-delivered items) but they have been the most reliable and top marks for getting their Covid act together more quickly than anyone else.
I have had some dubious subs from Sainsburys insofar that I have to take it on trust that they are reimbursing me correctly - not just subbing more expensive things in absolute terms, but also, more trickily, comparatively, because they have sent me a much smaller packet (which still costs more than what I asked for.) It's not that I doubt their honesty - just their intelligence.
Tesco have given me a few really stupid, ignorant subs, but I forgive them because they made me laugh.
Waitrose food that should have kept for a month, has gone off in days. This has happened twice.
Not sure why Ocado comes so low on my list. Price possibly. V expensive. Maybe something else...
Ocado is the only one I had used before Covid, and then only occasionally as a treat when husband didn't come home for weeks. (I don't drive.)

As for refusing subs, it feels like more trouble than it's worth. Certainly, earlier on, I was grateful for any food, and generally have felt so anxious about the whole thing, I have wanted it done and dusted asap. A bit more relaxed now, and indeed going to supermarkets, but maybe I will and should return to my former hyper vigilant state. I do still think that it's unlikely you will catch a virus off a food packet...

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