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What You See Isn't Always What You Get!
Member Name: Mistee-Dreamz
Date: 21/07/12, updated on 14/01/13 (363 review reads)
Advantages: No crowds and long queues and you get to explore the whole site aisle by aisle
Disadvantages: Substitutions are horrible.
I have used a few online shopping sites like Tesco's, Sainsbury's and Asda's. My recent purchase from Asda's was based on the fact that they were offering free delivery on orders over £99 via entering a special code. This was vital for me because I usually have to fork out an extra £5.00 on delivery in addition to the hefty shopping list which is usually above £99. I'm going to share my thoughts and my experience via this review and the outcome of my recent virtual shopping trip.
== The appearance of the site and my first impression ==
The landing page is mainly composed of a green and white background. However this page is crammed with advertisements, tabs and sub-tabs; this may be a problem for first timers as they may be lost where to start. This landing page leads to the two main categories which are Asda direct (Electricals, George, furniture, toys, homeware and more) and Asda's Groceries. While shopping, there is always a virtual shopping receipt on the right hand-side which records every item in your basket. This is very useful since you can keep track of all purchases and you don't have to go to another page to see if the item you desire is in the basket. However this may be a little bit annoying since it crowds up the page even more!
== Registration ==
This step is extremely important as you cannot continue shopping without an active account. The usual registration procedures apply here as well. It only takes a couple of minutes to fill out the form which requires you entering a valid email in addition to the password you desire. As soon as you submit, a confirmation email is sent; then you can shop away.
== Looking for an item? ==
Searching for an item isn't the quickest ever neither the most accurate. You can either search by categories or by the search tab on the top right corner. For example if you search for baked beans, you would get many results; however most of them are not relevant to the main search. Also very little products are displayed on each page so you have to go through 6 or maybe 7 pages to get to your desired product which can tend to be a bit annoying and time consuming.
== My experience ==
I shopped several times from Asda so I'm sort of getting used to the shopping system there. It took me about a couple of hours to finish the shopping. I enjoy my online shopping and I get my boys to join in the fun most of the times but sometimes I don't call them since the receipt would be fairly big and I wouldn't want any additional items. Unlike the real thing you won't get tired and there are no crowds and long queues and you get to explore the whole site aisle by aisle and this is one of the main advantages of using supermarket online shopping. The offers online are slightly different than the ones offline; sometimes they are even better!
The disadvantages are not much but they are significant, always check fresh milk and vegetables and sometimes even meat's use by date. I have noticed that they packed them with a very near use by date which is very annoying especially if you paying for big quantities. I have talked to Asda's staff several times about this issue. Substitutions may not always suit your taste, for me it has never met my expectations and I always leave a note with the driver about how bad and inconvenient it was and I always get an apology in return!
There are some very good offers on fruit and veg and meat and recently on pizza's and frozen food in addition to cleaning products and health and beauty too. I'm sure that you will be spoilt for choices but just pray that you will get what you ordered not a dreadful alternative.
== Checking out ==
After finishing all your shopping, it is time for you to check out. This process can be done by pressing the green "checkout" button on your shopping receipt on your right hand-side. This will take you to the delivery page where you are required to book your favourite time and day for delivery ("Home delivery slots") Please note the minimum fee required for you to undergo an online order is £25 and must be paid with one of the following credit cards:
* Asda Credit Card
* Visa Electron
* American Express.
After placing the order they send a confirmation email with the shopping list and the chosen delivery slot.
== Delivery ==
"Delivering summer" is a special offer made by Asda, where delivery is free of charge on orders over £99. This can only be done if a code which they provide is entered when paying for the products. Delivery slots are usually provided over a 7 day period and you have a choice of 2 hour slots or 8 hour slots. The 8 hour slot is cheaper at £2.50 while the 2 hour slots are available from £3.00-£5.50 depending on the slot you choose.
Or you could use the Click and collect service
This is a new service by ASDA's, you order online and collect your order from your nearest ASDA's supermarket. In my opinion I think it's not a brilliant idea because if I order online why should I bother to drive to my nearest store and collect my shopping instead of having them delivered to my house for free? Well that what I think anyway!
== Upon receiving the order ==
"The driver" seems to be a hit and miss. Sometimes if you are lucky you get a smiling and friendly driver who explains the whole receipt for you and show you the substitution items and explains them for you. The good driver also offers help in terms of carrying the shopping bags and collecting them back. If you don't want them, you give them to the driver since Asda operate a recycling system.
So nice and easy HOWEVER, if it isn't your lucky day and you got one of those grumpy drivers you won't get any of the previous services. On my last shopping order, the driver wasn't up to the standard of the previous driver, we booked our slot between 4pm-6pm, the driver came at 5:45 only 15 minutes before the deadline. He wasn't helpful at all and seems that he was in a hurry. He explains everything very quickly and didn't offer any help carrying the bags, he also didn't ask if we were happy with the substitutions. Another mistake the driver did make is that he didn't give us frozen and chilled products first as Asda's driver usually do. The bags were far too much and too heavy for me and my son to carry so the driver finally offered to carry the last couple of bags and asked me to sign for the delivery of the items!
== The receipt ==
The receipt was very organised and detailed. Each item was listed with the price and the quantity; the substitutions were placed at the beginning of the receipt.
== Substitutions ==
I don't know why they don't stock enough products! Everytime I have ordered online, I usually encounter an unpleasant surprise in terms of the substitutions. For example, on my last order I ordered 500g of fresh chicken breast and in return I had a kilo of frozen chicken breast. Yes, it was more expensive and double the amount but who would eat frozen chicken when you have fresh chicken?
== After sale services ==
After receiving your order, they send you an email containing a short survey about their product and services; I was honest with them and gossiped a bit about the driver, so I encourage you to fill out the survey. You never know! They might do something about it.
== Customer services ==
I contacted the customer services on several occasions, online customer services, in person and on the phone and to be honest, their customer services were absolutely marvellous. They were helpful and polite and offered money back on items that I didn't like or complained about.
== My overall opinion ==
Overall I'm quite satisfied with Asda's services, however it could be better if they focused a little bit more on customers need and offer money back in case that you don't like their substitutions. They are not the quickest but at least they are always within the time slot. I'm always happy to use their services again and I really hope that they improve their site a bit and make it more user friendly.
== And finally ==
There are some Asda's E vouchers that you can download and use when checking out, it might become handy and help reduce the bill slightly. I really don't know why I spend much more money shopping online more than when going to the store in person!
I can happily give it 3.5 stars which is a fairly good rate.
Summary: Hit and miss