/ Shopping

Stairs? We still want online shopping delivered to the door

Man carrying package upstairs

Do you order from Sainsbury’s online and live on the first floor? If so, you may find yourself carrying your own shopping up the stairs from now on. The question is, will this force you to take your custom elsewhere?

Sainsbury’s has told delivery staff that if customers live on the first floor and there’s no lift they can leave your shopping at the bottom of the stairs. This is ‘to ensure the health and safety of our customers and drivers are protected’.

Although Sainsbury’s rules don’t dictate this so you may find they’ll accommodate you, which makes the whole thing a bit of a lottery. But as an avid online shopper who lives on the first floor I’ll be ordering elsewhere from now on.

The more we shop online the more the fault lines between the ‘go out of their way’ companies and the ‘barely going far enough’ companies develop. And this definitely isn’t limited to supermarkets.

My John Lewis bed was delivered on time and, as I was staring at it in bewilderment, also assembled for me – a clear case of going the extra mile in the name of good service.

But many companies aren’t like this – we’ve heard stories about parcels left out in the rain, left with neighbours you don’t speak to and even thrown over fences. None of this necessarily thwarts the convenience of online shopping but it’s not improving the experience either.

What’s your worst delivery experience? Do you think Sainsbury’s should deliver to your door or are we expecting too much from the poor delivery staff?


I shop from asda and I have those days when they decide not to and days when they decide to deliver to my door. I live on the third floor and I think if it says “to your door” then it’s the door to your apartment or house. I remember when I started online shopping, there were two people on the deliveries. This made it easier for the shopping to be taken upstairs. So this thing of just having one person has brought the problems. It’s not the drivers fault but the stores fault. They should care more about their employees and also their customers. They are busy cutting jobs and making our lives harder by doing that. I think that if there were more people then it would be better, especially if it’s delivery of heavy products. Plus we have to pay for delivery too so that should count. But with that said we should be understanding of each other and be able to work together. Most of the times these days I help the deliverman with the carrying so it makes it easier for both of us. Even though I’m small and skinny I think sharing the load evenly gets every to the point they want to be and both will be happy and satisfied.

I work as a delivery driver for a supermarket and the main problem is the fact that some customers order stupid amounts of heavy products (bottled water, rice etc) and expect the driver to carry it up to the third floor which is why drivers will sometimes refuse to carry it up. Technically we only have to deliver to the main door of your building not your flat!

Yvonne Hyde says:
3 December 2016

I live on the 1st Floor Sainsbury’s have always bought my shopping up just 1 flight of stairs although a new driver appears shy and unable to provide this service???? where is customer service nowadays??? wrote to Sainsbury’s just got back a standard letter dah de dah de dah a rubbish reply well Sainsbury’s you can swivel on it disgruntled customer ,,

Sweetfa says:
7 December 2016

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Simon says:
7 August 2019

My absolute objection as a home delivery driver for a supermarket, is being told, not asked, but told that I HAVE to carry their shopping upstairs, all while the customer stands and watches. In those instances, it gets placed inside the doorway… We’re not here for abuse or to be treated like staff or to be your personal lacky.. Very rarely to we even get thanked for making upto 10 trips to your door,.. You tip a waitress for just bringing your plate to the table, but totally ignore us drivers.
We have a strict timescale in which to make deliveries, negotiate through traffic and we’re only given a certain amount of time to actually make your delivery. If you expect us to carry your order up flights of stairs, no lift, and possibly making a further trip to the van for more, we’re going to end up running late to the subsequent deliveries, and the run the risk of getting shouted at for being late.
This job used to be fun, not anymore.. because of people’s self absorbed, self righteous and selfish attitudes towards home delivering . To me, delivery to the door, is delivery to the front door of the building. You chose to live in a flat, don’t make someone else risk injury, carrying your stuff because of YOUR life choice.
We’re not covered by insurance or health and safety by carrying into your property, for a start!
If we get injured in any way, we get no compensation or afforded any time off sick.. I’ve been injured twice, and at one place, I was expected to carry shopping up stairs, which had very loose carpets. I refused and left the shopping inside by the door.

Some of your concerns should be addressed to your employer, Simon. They could make it clear to their customers what service to expect and provide you with cards to show to any customers who are more demanding.

I’m hopping mad about what happened to me today. I live in a first floor flat and was expecting to have a treadmill delivered. Sure enough, the couriers turned up, but refused to take it up the communal stairs to my flat due to social distancing regulations!!!As this treadmill weighs almost 80 kilos, there was NO WAY I could manage to move it myself. In the end I had to contact the seller and ask for it to be returned with a full refund. To be fair to the seller, they were extremely apologetic about it, but said there was nothing they could do because they couldn’t insist on the courier taking items much further than the front door to the building. I really don’t blame them, but quite frankly, it beggars belief that couriers are allowed to get away with such shoddy service, pandemic or not.