Online supermarket shopping is billed as easy, convenient and lets you avoid the supermarket rabble. And most of the time it’s great… until you’re faced with a substitution that, quite frankly, you couldn’t have made up.
Imagine this – your online grocery shopping turns up and the driver tells you there’s a substitution. You may not be too bothered, providing it’s not that bottle of wine you ordered. But what if you get something completely different?
If you’ve ordered three lemons, you’re going to be a bit bemused if you’re sent three limes. But if lemon-scented Flash cleaner arrived on your door step instead, I suspect that would verge on the laughable. But this actually happened to one Sainsbury’s customer, according to a recent Which? survey.
Crazy supermarket substitutions that defy logic
One quarter of the people we asked had had an unacceptable substitution from an online supermarket in the past two years.
One Tesco shopper told us about the chocolate pudding they received – a bit of a surprise I’m sure since they’d ordered black pudding. And the member who’d ordered icing sugar from Sainsbury’s to make meringues wasn’t expecting the fondant icing they actually got.
Other examples across our survey included a substitution of red wine instead of white wine, a corn on the cob substituted for a ‘vegetable medley’ bag, and dry lasagne sheets in place of a lasagne ready-meal.
But online supermarket shopping isn’t all doom and gloom – I’m generally a fan of shopping online for my groceries. I understand all the arguments about wanting to see and touch certain foods, and there is of course the delivery charge, but for me, it’s generally a stress-free experience.
An option to turn substitutions off
However, while slightly amusing, these substitution examples are hardly logical, are they? I accept that some items are simply out of stock and that you can send the substitution back (all the online supermarkets offer this option) but you’d at least hope that the substitutions would bare some resemblance to your original order.
Plus, it would be nice if all online supermarkets offered the option to turn off substitutions. Not all offer this option, so I think they should all follow Asda’s example – its site gives you the option to tick item by item (not just for your whole order) if you’ll provisionally accept a substitution. This at least goes some way to minimising problems on your must-haves.
What’s your experience of online supermarket shopping. Have you ever had a crazy substitution?