Sainsbury’s cocks up

You may recall that Sainsbury’s managed to deliver only half of our order on Thursday and that the store promised to deliver the rest on Friday. Before we get on to that, let me whinge about another annoyance. (I do hope someone from Sainsbury’s reads this.)

Each time I called Sainsbury’s I had to be put through, not once, but twice or thrice. This silly hierarchical system may suit the businesses that use it but it sure as hell doesn’t suit the customer. When are firms going to finally get the message that when you call them, you want to speak immediately to the person who can deal with your problem – no press 1 for this, press 2 for that and if all else fails, hold the line to speak to an operator: give us a human being who can actually deal with the enquiry, please.

But that isn’t my whinge. My whinge is that each time I was put through, I was put on hold and had to listen to a looping tape of cheerful voices making suggestions about how to serve Sainsbury’s delicacies. You have to listen because the person you want may answer at any moment. This is simply adding insult to injury. If I am having problems getting my goods the very last thing I want to hear is suggestions on how to serve them, especially when the tape goes round and round until you feel like smashing the phone. Can’t firms understand that people waiting to be connected do not want to listen to promotional rubbish: they want to get connected. Nor do we want to listen to someone’s dire choice of music, especially when it goes round and round in a loop. Just a gentle beep from time to time to reassure me I am still connected is all it needs. Can you get that into your heads, Sainsbury’s, and the rest of you?

Back to the story. Friday 8 pm came and went. Friday 9 pm came and went. At 9:15, I decided my order wasn’t coming and picked up the phone. Guess what happened. Yes, I got put through three times and had to listen to the blasted recipes again and again and again.

No one had any idea why my goods hadn’t been delivered. Would delivery tomorrow be OK? No, it would not. Would you rather have a refund? You bet I would. So of course, I had to be put through to the person who does refunds. More waiting, more blasted recipes. I know them by heart.

The young woman I spoke to had no idea of the state of play. I had to tell her the story again from the beginning. She apologized and sympathized but as far as I was concerned we had got past the apologizing and sympathizing stage: I just wanted my money back. For this, I had to go through the receipt and tell her each individual item we had not received. She had difficulty understanding the short descriptions on the receipt but, slowly, we got there.

I was told the amount will be credited to my account in 10 to 14 days. Why? In other shops, the refund is done immediately. Why does it take Sainsbury’s 10 to 14 days?

You will not be surprised to learn that this has seriously dented my confidence in Sainsbury’s. I judge a firm, not on whether it makes mistakes or not – everyone makes mistakes at some time – but on how well it recovers from the mistake. In Sainsbury’s case the answer is “abysmally”. Will I be shopping with them again? I don’t think so. They charge £5 to deliver your goods which is already enough without the cost of long telephone calls (most of which I spend listening to recipes) on top.

We will be exploring other possibilities.

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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3 Responses to Sainsbury’s cocks up

  1. emalyse says:

    Sadly this is similar to our Sainsbury’s experience way back when they launched. I’m sure it varies as to how well each local online outlet is run. Poor communication and inadequately trained staff often seem to be the casualty in some organisations. Online shopping should in theory save you time and be more convenient . If it fails to achieve that then it’s really missed its niche.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    This was one of the problems: staff didn’t really seem up to speed on what to do when things went wrong.

    We will not be using Sainsbury’s online store again for a while if ever. I can accept the delivery being prevented by a road accident but not the failures on the second and third attempts. This is sheer incompetence.

    We’ll try Tesco again as the first delivery was performed very efficiently (but, then, so was Sainsbury’s first delivery…). Tesco seems to deliver any quantity of goods whereas Sainsbury’s requires a minimum £25 order.

  3. Pingback: Sainsbury’s cocks up again « SilverTiger

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