As promised, here’s an update on how my first online shopping experience went with Woolworths. Unfortunately, not well.
Looking back at my order, it looks like I ordered about 52 items. Of those, one was out of stock and I got an email alert. No biggie. But there were about 10 other things that went wrong.
I got beans instead of bean sprouts. One can of tomatoes instead of two – but charged for both. Ice cream and sorbet that were both melted enough to be oozing out of their cartons (possibly because they were delivered about 9pm, the outer limit of the 7-9pm window I requested).
Let’s see what else? Caged eggs instead of free range, two small chickens instead of one, a small box of green tea instead of a large bog of chai tea.
Less bothersome were the bake at home bread rolls sent instead of bake at home baguettes and the three boxes of hash browns instead of the one kilo bag on sale.
So in some cases I was overcharged and in others, such as being charged for one free range chicken then getting two smaller ones at a higher price, I was under charged.
After unpacking and noting all the errors I called customer service and could not get through. At that time of night I suspected they weren’t actually there (there were conflicting hours on the website and the order confirmation email).
So I followed up with a polite and detailed email. When I got no response, I called late on Saturday afternoon and was told I could have the problem items re-delivered but not for a few days. Or I could get credit. I went with the latter for the four items that were the biggest mistakes – giving me a refund of about $14 (the order was about $174).
I had hoped for a reply to my email but a week on and I haven’t heard a word. The customer service representative I spoke to said the service had been operating in my suburb for three weeks and would improve. She didn’t sound terribly surprised by the mistakes nor terribly sorry.
Compare this with my first Coles delivery a year or so ago where I alerted them to the rather trivial matter of frozen spring onions. They credited my account without question and were pleased to have been notified.
What seems most strange about this whole situation is Woolworths is playing catch-up in a market Coles has had to itself for about a year.
Why haven’t they done some homework and tried out the Coles service? Coles has better delivery windows for starters, not to mention giving customers an estimated price to take into account the final and actual weight of items like meat, whole chickens and fruit and veg.
Part of the problem is Woolworths appears to be giving its personal shoppers’ a computerised list of items to tick off with pencil but the final results, weights and prices are not being taken into account in the way Coles does.
It surely can’t be good business sense to give me two approx 1.2kilo chickens worth about $17 instead of one 1.7kilo chicken for $13.60 or to charge me $9.27 for 450g chicken breast that actually turned out to be $7.55.
Unable to secure a delivery window and not really having the time to take the risk with Woolworths, this week I went back to Coles. My delivery for 6-8pm arrived at 6.05pm with everything itemised and in their bags in good condition. As has become Coles’ habit, I also received some free samples.
Now that’s service. I think I’ll give it another few weeks or even months before I try Woolworths again.