Online grocery shopping is not a luxury for me but an essential. I use a wheelchair so am limited in what I can carry home from the shops. Do I fancy trekking home with a sack of cat litter attached to the back of my chair and a watermelon on my lap? No thank you!
I recently started using Ocado after years of alternating between tesco and asda. My initial reason being that they stock my favourite brands of free from products. But they have come to be my favourite all round.
Firstly, in my experience , they send substitutions less frequently than asda or tesco. The same applies for unavailable items, it hasn't happened yet. I assume that this is thanks to them pointing out items that are out of stock prior to you checking out, so you have the option of selecting your own alternative. This is very handy indeed.
On the one occasion that an entire bag of shopping was missing, I called them for a refund only to be offered the option to have these items delivered at a time of my choosing the following day. With tesco and asda, this has happened and they offer a refund only. This is a huge selling point for me as I can't just pop to the shop and pick up missing items.
If you are particular with your diet, ie organic, vegan, gluten free et al, then you will be pleased by the selection on offer. There are regularly good offers on, allowing you to stock up on your favourite gluten free cereal without burning a hole in your wallet. Previously I could only find some of these items in holland and Barrett or on Amazon. So again, points to ocado.
Prior to your order arriving you receive a text with the delivery drivers name plus any substitutions in your order. This is a nice touch. They always offer to bring in the shopping too, regardless of who else is here. Tesco and asda would not do this if they could see that I had company, ie an able bodied person to carry it in.
For the first three months I had a free smart pass and was happy enough to purchase this when the trial expired. It was offered at a discounted price. The pass that I selected offers free delivery 7 days a week, plus certain discounts, first in line for samples. Its worthwhile if you like to shop regularly.
Only one minor complaint is that sometimes the fresh produce is a little iffy. This has been across the board with online shopping in my experience. Customer services are friendly and helpful though so I don't doubt that they would have refunded my squishy avocados or furry raspberries if I had asked.
Website is userfriendly, as is the smartphone app.
I signed up to Ocado because it was nearly Christmas, I had a voucher code for £20 off my first shop and I fancied some treats. Four months later I am still using the online supermarket for my fortnightly shop.
I am easily pleased so receiving a text before my first delivery advising the name of the driver, the colour of the van they'd be using and advising that there were no substitutions made me happy. When my food shopping arrived in colour coded recyclable bags (fridge, freezer and store cupboard), I was delighted. When I found out that I would get free chocolates or champagne after my fourth order I was sold.
But what about the ease of ordering and food quality?
The Ocado website is straightforward to navigate. Delivery is bookable in one hour slots and these are held for an hour whilst you shop. The website highlights times where the van is already in your area so you can choose the more environmentally option should you wish.
Finding products is easy and the results are presented in a grid format that can be filtered and organised in different ways, for example, alphabetically or in cost order. My only niggle is that products are sometimes organised into categories based on size. This can make it tricky to work out which is the best value. Whilst this feature can be turned off you need to do it for each new search.
The range of products available is good, particularly if you are buying food for specialist diets. I buy a lot of gluten and dairy free food and Ocado has a much better range than any of the other supermarkets. As a result I've discovered several new products.
I was a bit nervous about buying fresh food as I'd previously read reviews about short dates on products. I haven't, however, had any problems with this. The own brand fresh fruit and veg is probably not Ocado's strongest point – I've had some items arrive quite bruised. Getting these items refunded has, however, been straightforward and can be done online.
Once you've completed your shop, you have to go through several screens whilst Ocado checks with you whether there's anything you've forgotten based on previous shops and highlights its best deals before you can actually pay. This feature is something you either love or find intensely annoying.
Overall, I'd recommend Ocado as I've found shopping with them a hassle-free experience. Products are generally of a high quality, there is a good range – and they price match Tesco.
Ocado is a great service. We get food delivered every week. It delivers food direct to your door and saves you the hussle and bussle of the supermarket, the fight for a parking space and the petrol money and miles on your car. When you work hard at work all week you want as much time in your own home as possible, so relax and let somebody else do the work.
The initial shop is painful. Hundreds of different butters, breads etc. Its not like grabbing one off the shelf and it takes a lot longer. However once you have found what you normally buy you can save this list and access it quickly the next time so the shop takes a lot less time on the subsequent shops. You don't get drawn in by the BOGOF and 3 for 2 offers that catch you in the supermarket or the impulse buys and feel good purchases that they plant at the entrances and on the checkouts. You can exercise more control from your armchair at home.
The service is ok. Food gets delivered during a time slot. I have to say that you can't always get a convenient time slot because they are not avialable but most times your ok. The driver arrive during the time slot 95% of the time and elp you carry the shopping in.
The worst part of it is when they arrive and tell you there are substituted items and the fact that they give you rubbish dates on the bread and mild, sometimes the milk literally goes off the next day.
Overall a good service!
We have been shopping with Ocado for over two years and happy with the service they provide. We have seen the changes they have implemented when you make comments and that makes you feel like a valued customer.
The online choice feels more like a quality food market sometimes than a 'supermarket'. They really support small business and offer a great range of organic and gluten free products.
When a product is out of stock they have a list of alternatives products to choose from, only downside is when you can't change your order after a certain time due to the cut off they need to pack your items so sometimes they replace your items with for example : Boneless fish for fish with bones. Diced steak for mince steak.
They have introduced a smart pass for a small cost , the advantages are
Save 10% on smart pass products.
Priority Christmas slots
Competitions [very good prizes]
The delivery men are very good and just get on with the job. Help you with your bags and even take the previous bags to recycle. They talk you through your receipts if there are any changes.
The website has a pet store, recipes, the kitchen store, seasonal promotions, offers, promotions introduction to friend discounts.
I would happily recommend OCADO.
I've used Ocado for a good couple of years now and my experience with them has always been great.
Their website is fantastic and really easy to use. I more often than not ordered via their iPad app, which is equally fantastic. Far better than any other supermarket online ordering. The choice is good. They offer Waitrose products, as well as own-brand Ocado and big name brands. On check out they even tell you if you can swap an item for a cheaper alternative.
Communication prior to delivery is excellent. They send you a text message with the name of the driver, his van registration, and details of any substitutions, where they didn't have what you ordered and have offered a substitute. When the driver arrives you can say yes or no to any substitions. I have shopped with other supermarkets online where you only know about substitutions when it arrives on your doorstep so you have to make a snap decision. I think only twice in over two years did they run late, and they text to tell me. On occasion the driver would call saying he was in the area so could deliver early if I was home.
They deliver in one hour slots. A lot of supermarkets deliver in two hour slots, so this is a real bonus.
Food is delivered in colour-coded bags according to cupboard, fridge and freezer which makes it really easy to unpack.
The one downside is the delivery charges. Sometimes they can be as much as £6 or £7 which I just can't justify spending when there's a Tesco five minutes down the road. I would often opt for late night delivery, such as the 10pm-11pm slot which is generally much cheaper, but not so convenient.
I recently reviewed our household spending, and after a good experience at Aldi, I'll be going there from now on. Ocado is great and unrivalled in my eyes when it comes to online food shopping, and they price-match Tesco, but the high delivery charge and the cheap Aldi prices have unfortunately tempted me away.
I use this service weekly for the bulk of my cupboard groceries as I find it difficult to do a proper supermarket shop with a new baby. However, I usually buy fresh meat/vegetables/fruit daily from my local shop.
There is a wide variety of options available from the 'basics' value ranges to the higher end brands. You can always find what you want and the beauty is that Ocado provide a price match promise with Tesco meaning that it really isn't as expensive as you would perceive.
The website and app interfaces are well designed and easy to use with a 'favourites' section and 'recent searches'. I use the iPod and iPad apps and find them problem-free.
There are always a number of delivery slots available to choose from and my deliveries have ALWAYS been on time. The drivers are incredibly friendly and helpful - they will carry your shopping to wherever you want it.
I intend to carry on using this service.
I had a voucher code from MSE for 25% off and free delivery on your first order. Also you get £8 for your first delivery through quidco so I went away from Tescos for one week to try Ocado. You had to spend a minimum of £50 but this shop lasted me a week with some cleaning products as well. I also bought all my lunch items so I saved a lot of money!
The site was easy to use, although its not easy to see all the offers and they are written in small red writing on the actual item. I searched each of my usual items that I buy but tried to keep to the own brand of Waitrose. I found the own brands sometimes more expensive than the branded items! So I may have spent more on items that I usually buy at Tescos as I never usually buy branded products.
So I paid for my delivery, chose a delivery slot which was at 5pm as I am home from work by then. It arrived bang on that time and the driver was very helpful and as I was a new customer offered to explain the process to me. I did listen and he explained that my receipt had all the use by dates for perishables labelled by day eg monday, tuesday wednesday. This was great as then I could plan which meat and vegetables I would need to eat first.
The shopping also comes in bags that have colour coded handles, red and purple. If you get a large order I can imagine that this is very helpful for unpacking your shopping making sure the fridge stuff goes in first.
I would use it again if I found another code to get money off. Overall I found the service to be excellent and the process easy. The only thing letting it down is that its generally more expensive for the Waitrose own brand which for those on the downgrade challenge is no good!
I am highly disappointed with the turn of events that has occurred with my first ocado experience. Upon hearing very good things about this service from my housemates, I signed up for an account and placed my first order with ocado. Shortly after, I received a message stating that my order was canceled due to verification problems with my debit card. I then phoned customer service, knowing there was absolutely nothing wrong with my debit card, to ask what actually had happened. I then was told that someone from the same address had an outstanding bill, and needed to pay in order for my account to reactivate so I could place my order. I then spoke with my housemate, who paid his bill with ocado. After waiting for a few hours, I tried to log into my account again, and it remained "inactive." I then phoned customer service, and was told. after waiting for an hour on hold, that the payment was shown to have been placed, but it needed to be cleared in order for my account to reactivate. I then waited all day today and recently tried to log in once again (even though I am getting quite tired of trying), and my account still remains inactive!
I have NOTHING to do with my housemate or his unpaid bill. My debit card is perfectly fine, and the fact that I would even be paying for the order IN ADVANCE before even receiving it should be an indication that I have no connection with my housemate having an outstanding owed amount. Ocado refused me service for NO APPARENT REASON! They have lost a potential customer in myself, and I will make sure that any other people that I know of who have an interest in ocado will choose otherwise as well. There are other grocery delivery companies in London, and I will have no problem trying one of those! I am exhausted from fighting to constantly be their PAYING customer!!
They are rude and accusatory! Refused me service because my housemate didn't pay his bill. They made my account inactive, and accused me of lying about who I really was. I am unable to lift my own groceries due to a recent operation, and this service would have been very useful. However, I will now look elsewhere because I refuse to give business to a company that treats their potential customers this way!
This is a review of my first ever online shopping for groceries experience - with Ocado. I mention that it's my first time so you can appreciate that I don't have any other experience to compare to. Other than elderly and disabled, I used to think people were plain lazy when it came to getting their shopping delivered to their door and to those people I thought that about, I now apologise. It was mid week, we were running out of lots of big bulky things and our 20 month old daughter suddenly has an aversion to sitting nicely in a trolley kids seat. I felt stupid asking for a babysitter so I could go and do something as dull as supermarket shopping so I had a little browse online to see what might be possible.
My old boss used to rave about Ocado and she generally only expects the best when shopping. I knew there were some online codes and discounts to be had for the first shop so I found some cash back and discount and began to place my order.
Once you have created an account, you set up a user profile to let them know who you are shopping for (kids, pets etc) and the sort of things you usually buy like fizzy drinks, fresh food, fish, meat etc. The first page recommended a number of items that might appeal and it was easy to see what sort of offers were available. Beyond the recommendations you can shop either by department or directly through search terms for the food or brand you are looking for.
As you shop, the total spend is displayed in the top right corner so you can keep an eye on things and it is easy to change your mind and remove things from your cart. You are taken to a page on delivery when you check out so you can pick a suitable spot and generally the later and more unsociable the time, the cheaper the delivery was. I paid £1.99 for delivery which I thought was fine. Checking out was easy and the discount codes were visibly activated so you knew exactly what you were spending and buying. Any items you chose that were unavailable were given suggested replacements and you could either select or reject them.
Upon paying for the goods, I received a confirmation email and the next day a text to remind me that my shopping would be delivered that evening, even naming the driver and the van.
On the night, the driver called me to say he was running early and would it be convenient to deliver at 8.05pm (which was an hour earlier than the slot I had paid for). This was suitable for me and he turned up on time. All the shopping was colour coded by bag handle into freezer, fridge, cupboard and non food and was easy to put away. The driver was polite and friendly and pleasant to meet. The delivery was accompanied by a print out of all the food on the order and a shop magazine with articles, recipes and offers inside.
A few days later a posh lady called to find out how our experience shopping with Ocado had been. It was on a message so I never actually spoke to her but it was nice to be asked for feedback.
My final thoughts
As Ocado are connected with Waitrose, I thought they might be a bit more expensive than Tesco and Asda but they still had offers and whilst perhaps not so many own brands on offer, the chance to take up offers was easy to navigate through the site. The convenience of having it delivered to the door was great and I would certainly consider using this company again if I am unable to visit a shop in person. I can't fault the service from beginning to end and loved how the website worked. I think repeat purchases are even easier and quicker as you can pick from your previous purchases to speed things up. I have had a few emails with offers from Ocado but I did agree to receive such messages and it is not an intrusive or too frequent communication from them. I will probably try out other online delivery stores to see how they compare some time in the future but for me Ocado were top notch and a pleasure to spend our money with!
Firstly I should start by saying that I am a big fan of internet shopping, especially supermarket shopping! Not only does it help us budget (no nasty shock when you get to the checkout and realise you've spent twice as much as you thought!) but it also means I don't have to torture myself during the week by attempting to shop with two kids in tow, or waste precious time at the weekend, which is the only time I could go child free!
I have shopped online with Asda, Sainsburys and Tesco. I had always avoided Ocado as I thought they would be too pricey, but a couple of years ago we decided to make use of their ongoing introductory '£15 off a £75 shop' offer and buy some 'luxury' items for my daughters birthday party. Not only I have never looked back but I have also converted several of my friends to the wonders of Ocado!
For those of you that don't know, Ocado stock their own brand products and Waitrose products, along with all the other brands you'd expect to find in a supermarket.
This is why I like Ocado (in no particular order!):
I have been shopping with Ocado for over 2 years and could probably count on my fingers how many substitions/missing items I have had. One of the reasons I gave up on Sainsburys is because receiving an order without a substitute or missing item almost never happened, and what would irritate me most is that they would substitute the same items EVERY week. They were obviously allowing people to 'buy' items they didn't stock!
This follows on from the above point. You receive a text the day your order is due. If there are any missing/substituted items the information is in the text. So if it's something you are needed that day you have time to go buy it elsewhere or change your plans! You also receive a text the day prior to your order reminding you to make any last minutes changes before the deadline.
~Super Intuitive Website~
The website practically does your shopping for you. You can choose to have Ocado do a 'suggested order'. This means it will put all your frequently bought items into the trolley for you. I always to this. It is quicker to do this, then remove anything you don't want, than to individually add all your essentials, such as milk, butter, bread, etc. Then, as you search for other items, it will bring previously purchased items up first as these are most likely the ones you are looking for. After your previously bought items will be items on offer. It is by far the best supermarket website I have used.
~It's not as pricey as you think~
I always avoided Ocado because I presumed they would be expensive. I'm sure if you bought Waitroses top of the range stuff you would spend a fortune. But, if you do what I do, and stick to either Ocado/Waitroses budget range and other brands (Heinz, Kellogs, etc) the price is pretty much on a par with all the other supermarkets. I have checked this out at mysupermarket.co.uk. This is a site where you can do your online shop with your chosen supermarket. At the end of your shop it shows you how much the equivalent shop would be at the other leading supermarkets and give you the option to change to one of them. Ocado was always either cheaper or just a few pounds more. And I am prepared to pay those few pounds more (always less than £5, usually only £2) for the extra quality of not only the produce, but the service too.
The Ocado/Waitrose food is of extremely good quality. We usually stick to their budget range and it is by far better than other Supermarket own brands. The fruit and veg is always of a quality I would choose if I were going to the supermarket. With other supermarkets I have felt that shopping online meant you ended up with poorer quality fresh produce, but I don't feel this with Ocado.
You have the option of buying a delivery pass. We currently pay £14.99 every six months for a midweek delivery pass. This entitles us to deliveries with no further charge on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You are limited to one delivery a day, but could have three deliveries a week if you were so inclined! There is another option where you pay £10.99 a month for deliveries on any day of the week, which although much pricier is still cheaper than paying for individual deliveries. If you do want to pay for delivery then, if my memory serves me correctly (I can't view this information anymore because I'm a pass member!) prices vary from £2.50 (midweek and daytime) to £5.99 (Saturday and Sunday).
You can reserve the same delivery slot on a weekly or fortnightly basis, saving you the hassle of remembering to book your delivery slot every week. I used to find this extremely helpful but lately we have tended to shop with them on a monthly basis (nipping to our local farmshop for fresh fruit/veg inbetween) so I have cancelled it. I imagine this is more useful if you want your shopping at a popular time, such as Saturday morning. As I have my deliveries midweek I can usually book a slot for Tuesday evening on a Monday morning.
~Good choice of delivery slots, including 'Green' ones~
When you go to the 'Book a Delivery' page you are faced with hourly time slots, at half hourly intervals. It may have changed now, but when I last shopped with any other supermarket the time slots were two hourly. Some of the time slots will have a green coloured van in them. This means that there is already an Ocado van in your area at this time, so if you book the same slot you are helping Ocado be greener! I regularly book 'green' slots.
~Colour Coded Bags~
This is a minor point, but can be handy. Your shopping is delivered in colour coded bags for Fridge, Freezer and Cupboard products. I have found this useful on occassion, if I have been dashing out for example, I have unpacked the Fridge/Freezer products and left the Cupboard things for later.
~Well Packed Bags (and option of returning them to the driver)~
As someone who tries not to use carrier bags I would despair every week when my online shop would arrive (pre Ocado!!) and I would open a bag to find....one tube of toothpaste, then I'd open another to find......one tin of tomatoes! So many bags for so little shopping! Ocado pack their bags to the brim - but not so that anything gets damaged. You can also return any carrier bags to the driver for recycling the following week.
~Ocado helps you save~
During the checkout process (which is ridiculously lengthy) you are given the option to swap items for cheaper alternatives. You can ignore the suggestion, request that it doesn't show you it again or take them up on the offer! It will also inform you of any multibuy offers you have not completed, for example, if milk is on 2 for £3 but you've only put one in your trolley.
~"Have you forgotten?"
Again, during the lengthy checkout process it will ask if you've forgotten products that you have previously bought. Yes, I know it's just a ploy to get you to spend more, but more often than not I have forgotten the items they are suggesting so I do find this useful.
Once again, during the lengthy checkout process (they really don't want you to go!) you are presented with a Flash Sales page. As the name suggests these are items on offer, and usually at a good discount (50%). Yes, another ploy to get you to spend more money, BUT it is offers like these that you miss out on if you choose to shop from the comfort of your couch so yes, I do sometimes buy them.
Drivers are always on time, we've never had one late delivery. In fact they quite often ring and ask if they can come early, which you can say no to if you're not in!
If you receive a product that is damaged/spoiled in anyway then you have 24 hours to claim a refund on the website (I presumed you could do it after this time over the phone). You go to the 'need a refund' tab, select which item you want refunding and what the problem is from the list of options (inappropriate substitution; missing item; item soiled by another product; item damaged: squashed, smashed, leaking, burst; poor quality: mouldy/other) and you're done! I have had to do this a couple of times with no problem.
Hmmm....I think that may be all! Oh, apart from you get a free bottle of a wine on your anniversary of shopping with them! What more could you want! This has turned out to be quite a lengthy review! But I really do rate them highly and wanted you to know why! There are a couple of downsides. One is the lengthy checkout process. I always seem to be checking out in a rush and there are 4 or 5 pages to click through before you finally check out. The second is that the range is not as vast as you find shopping online with other supermarkets. There is not always enough options, but there is not so few that I am put off shopping with them! So, if you haven't gathered by now, I think Ocado provides a fantastic service that is definitly worthy of five stars!
Ordered some maximuscle protein shake that was half price, earliest delivery slot was over a week. I waited, got confirmation of my order and they took my money. The day before and on the day got a reminder saying it would be delivered, i made sure i was home only to be told buy the driver that the main part of my order the protein shake was out of stock and i would have to go back online and re-order. I tried to do that but it was full price now. So called their customer service who said because they did not let me know earlier they would let me have the protein for half price and he would call me back next day. He never did. I emailed them 3 times no reply even though they say they reply within 48 hours. I complained on twitter and they called me back straight away only to quote their terms and conditions and would not help. Such poor service from a big name. Waste of time and would definitely not recommend them!
I have been using Ocado for almost two years. I first tried using them following a suggestion from my mum, who could see that I was finding a trip to the supermarket with small children more stressful than it needed to be. Having tried Ocado once I have continued to shop with them - I have tried online shopping with each of their major competitors, but found that they could not match Ocado's quality customer service and/ or their delivery charges were very expensive by comparison.
Ocado stocks the following food brands: Branded products e.g. Marmite, Cif etc., Waitrose products and Ocado's own brand.
What I like about Ocado:
Quality Ocado own range - Ocado's own range of food is both diverse and high quality, which means that there is normally a decent, cheaper alternative available than branded or Waitrose product.
- Excellent customer service. They once were unable to complete my order as planned, so offered me £25 off my next shop with them. I also had an incident of a bottle of bleach opening in a carrier bag, and marking my trousers. Ocado reimbursed me the full cost of the trousers. To top these examples the drivers are always on time, are friendly and helpful, and assist me with carrying the bags through to my kitchen.
- Easy to use website. The website is intuitive to use, and it is easy to identify special offers. Ocado also offers an Android phone app, which I sometimes use as it comes with a barcode scanner - very useful for scanning products that are almost empty and adding them to my shopping list!
Delivery pass - You can pay a monthly fee to Ocado to have as many deliveries as you'd like (orders need to be over £40). As we live in a rural area, where a round trip to town is over 10 miles the pass easily pays for itself when considered against mileage costs. The delivery pass costs £10.99 a month (minimum term of 12 months).
Free magazine with offers - Since shopping with Ocado I have received the following free: Italian cookbook, a bottle of port, packs of pasta, 2 x bottles of Innocent orange juice and washing liquid samples. They also produce a regular 'lifestyle' magazine which is free to customers.
Ocado's own range of food - Ocado have their own range of food, which is generally cheaper than the Waitrose or branded food that they sell. Always good for cutting down costs, and the food is generally of very good quality.
Receipt itemised with sell by dates - The receipt lists foods by the date that they are due to go off. Likewise, food always arrives with a decent amount of time left before the best before date - this is something that I can say that some of Ocado's competitors don't do. I have been very cross in the past to find that when I made an online supermarket shop food was delivered that that was due to expire the very same day. Therefore shopping with Ocado makes it easier to menu plan for the week, and reduces the amount of waste.
Where I think Ocado could improve:
Offering fruit and veg by weight - One of Ocado's competitors offers fruit and veg by the kg, unpacked - whereas all of Ocado's fruit and veg is pre-packed and therefore costs more.
Offering a points reward system - There is no points rewards system for Ocado shoppers, which is offered by many of its competitors. Also, up until the 1st Feb 2012, if you pay with a John Lewis card you do qualify for John Lewis Partnership points (as if you were shopping in John Lewis or Waitrose). However this offer is set to terminate from Feb onwards, and it will be back to one JL Partnership point per pound spent in Ocado - disappointing.
Overall I would recommend Ocado - they provide a 5 star supermarket online shopping experience.
I first used Ocado for home delivery a couple of years ago, when mysupermarket.com said they were cheapest for my groceries and I had a voucher. Since then I've been using them on and off for my main supermarket shop, and occasionally I do a price comparison with Tesco and Ocado always comes out cheaper for me.
I find the website very easy to use, either by navigating menus (akin to wandering the aisles in a physical store), or you can search either by product name or type in a shopping list. There's also an app for Android (and I believe other phones) so I can scan the barcode of whatever I'm about to run out of and add it to my basket.
I can add things to my basket as I go, so if I remember something and it's going to be a while before I need a big shop, I just pop it in the basket and then it's there when I'm ready to buy.
Another thing I really like is that if I add something which is part of an offer, but not the whole offer (say I put in one packet of biscuits and they're on BOGOF) I get reminded that I can save. There's also an option to switch for items which are cheaper by volume, this can be a bit hit and miss, for example suggesting single cream for double, but can be very useful, for example suggesting two smaller packs of cornflakes on offer rather than a big pack.
At checkout there are often flash sales, where you get offered something that might be of interest at a reduced price, and that has led to me trying some interesting things, but I often don't bother with those. I also get quite a lot of freebies, from a bottle of juice to a jar of sauce, not every time but maybe once a quarter, which is always nice. I've never been sent something out of line with what I'd buy, for example my children are allergic to oranges and I've never had anything orange flavoured, so I think it is targetted to some extent but they're quite unobtrusive about it. You can opt out of this if you prefer, as well.
As I've been using them for a couple of years, I bought a delivery pass which means I don't pay extra for delivery whatever time I have it, but I was very impressed as a new user that some slots were free, and they highlight when a van will be in your area so you can help the environment and save money.
In the event of there being a substitution, this is always flagged and they give it for the same price as the original item if that was cheaper, or even give the offer discount if there was one. If one of the items from an offer is unavailable, they still refund the appropriate amount for the other items. This is always written in a separate box on the receipt so it's easy to see. In fact, for my last delivery, the list of offers and money saved was as long as the list of items!
In your account, there is a list of all the items you've bought before 'favourites' which you can remove if it's no longer something you want (for example when my dog died I removed the dog food), or you can add to if it's something you think you'll want in future. Then if there are offers on items in your favourites, that gets flagged too. I always stock up on coffee and hot chocolate when they're on special offer as they keep well and I buy the expensive kind, and I haven't bought toilet paper full price since I started using Ocado, thanks to this feature!
Using this, you can ask them to put together an order for you, which always comes up with a sensible load of shopping (sometimes better than I manage for myself!) and you can edit that. If you're the sort of person who often eats the same thing, then it's a good option, but I like a lot of variety, so I often have to edit it. It's useful if I'm in a hurry though.
In all the times I've been using them, they've been late once or twice, and I get a phonecall to explain (and it's been because of an accident or breakdown outside their control). The drivers are always lovely, and will always stop and talk to my daughter (who gets excited about the shopping, she thinks it's presents for her) or, when I had one, my dog (who had the same idea). They'd be happy to put the bags wherever I want as well, and always remind me to give the bags back for recycling.
They've been early rather more times, they usually arrive right at the beginning of my hour long slot, but sometimes five or ten minutes early. The one time they were 45 minutes early, I did complain, and was given a £10 voucher and a note put on my file that I'd rather they were late than early.
Another complaint I made was that the picture for one product was wrong, it showed the flavour I wanted but actually that flavour's been discontinued. That hasn't been corrected sadly, but the text was made clearer and I was refunded the price of the item.
I've being using the internet for my grocery shopping for a while now, but I've alwayds used Sainsbury's, Tesco or Asda and although I find it easier than going to the shop itself (and far less tempation from walking down the offer aisles!) I have never been greatly impressed.
Last week I recieved an email from Ocado offering me £20 off my first shop (of £60 or more) so I thought I would give them a go as the £20 (and £9 from Quidco) would offset any higher prices.
So onto their website I went, it was a simple website to use, asking for a few family and food preferences to tailor their recommended items then it lets you search away for the items you need. I was also impressed by the 'clearance' section, as I always have a look at the bargains when I'm in the supermarket but miss out when I'm online - thumbs up from me on that one!
Placing the order was simple enough and the day before I recieved a text to remind me. I also recieved a text on the delivery day giving me the drivers name, registration number and informing me that I had no missing items.
Delivery day arrived, my slot booked for 8.30-9.30 (for free, which is great as Sainsbury's have a minimum spend of £100 for free delivery, Ocado have selected times free) and the driver arrived about 8.35 so I can't fault them for time keeping.
All my shopping was bought to the door, with no need for me to sign anything. Bags colour coded for freezer, fridge and cupboard so I could unpack them in the right order. Also, the invoice is sorted by best before date - that's now pinned to my fridge so I can eat everything in order and nothing will go to waste even if it's hidden at the back of the fridge.
I was very pleased with Ocado and will most certainly be using them again, even without the £20 off voucher as I don't think they were that much more expensive than the other supermarkets but I do tend to buy what's on offer.
We've been using Ocado for a few years but are now going to change to a different provider. Initially (and for quite some time) they were faultless, but sadly the great quality of service and products we'd grown to expect from them has been declining.
For many month now, every time I order from Ocado, there's a problem (or multiple), whether delayed delivery (anything from an hour to a day), omissions without substitution (36 litres of sparkling water is quite a big thing to leave out of a delivery), surly drivers (the last one wouldn't look me in the eye or say a single word, sighing with every trip from the van before banging down the bags), "use by" dates not being within their stated minimums (e.g. meat 'expiring' the day after delivery), sub-standard fresh produce, many regularly-bought items disappearing from their range... every order brings at least one inconvenience or unpleasantry, which is not what you want from a service that's supposed to make life easier.
Customer Service are usually very nice and apologetic - I actually have great sympathy for them - but there are only so many £5 discount vouchers, refunded delivery costs and bottles of cheap wine a person can be given as compensation before giving up and taking their custom elsewhere. I've lost count of the number of times I've been told that my "comments will be passed to management".
We'd already stopped buying almost all of our vegetables and meat from Ocado, as well as the items they've stopped stocking. Looks like it's now time to buy the rest elsewhere too.
It's a shame, as they seem to be intent on ruining what used to be an excellent service. I also like the website shopping interface (the last major update included some great enhancements) and iphone/ipad apps - perhaps they're investing more in their digital offerings than in their core business?