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The Convenience of ShopRite Home Delivery…Not So Much

July 30, 2012

I may have made mention of this before, but I love grocery shopping. I love the tactile and aromatic experience of handling fresh produce; I love the fluorescent-lit aisles that seem to go on forever; I love the sometimes good, sometimes terrible music that descends from overhead; and until I began bringing children along with me, I always felt relaxed at the supermarket. It’s the weekly chore I actually look forward to doing. I know some people loathe grocery shopping the way I loathe doing laundry, or cleaning, or vacuuming, or emptying the dishwasher, or mowing the lawn, or just about any household task you can think of. Relatively recently some supermarkets began offering online shopping and delivery of groceries, a convenience that certainly sounds like a helpful and useful means of getting food into your house. Extenuating circumstances prevented the MHK from visiting the supermarket this weekend, but since we needed food for the week, we decided to check out ShopRite’s home delivery service. The results? Let’s put it this way – you’d have to really, really hate going to the grocery store to deal with the nonsense that befell us throughout the experience.

Initially everything was smooth – the web site is easy enough to navigate; you set up an account, and you start shopping. You can browse by category – bakery, produce, meats, deli, etc. – and it continually breaks down each category into more specific ones until you find what you need. Or you can type anything into the search box and it will take you there. You can add a note to any item, should you feel the need; for example, I ordered a garlic bulb, but in the notes I requested one without bruises and with a short stem. If you order half a dozen fresh bakery bagels, you can specify the flavors you want. They didn’t have completely everything I was looking for, but for the most part, I filled up my cart with just about everything I needed. I selected a delivery time (they only have so many slots during the day, so the earlier you order, the better chance you have of getting them when you want); you can choose to pay online with a card, or give your card to the driver and pay on delivery. And if you spend a certain amount ($100 I think), there’s no delivery charge. So far, everything was just fine.

A few hours after I placed my order, they called me. They had a list of 4 or 5 things that I had ordered that were out of stock. She offered me alternatives for some, but not all items. I was a little annoyed – if something is out of stock, the web site should indicate it. But it was ok, I selected some replacement items and that was that. Except it wasn’t. 10 minutes later she called back. One of the replacement items was out of stock too. And she had to check on a new out of stock item now as well. Ok, I made some decisions, and that was that. Except it wasn’t…again. The phone rang for the third time in 25 minutes – yet another issue with an item that she thought was there but wasn’t, and it turns out that one of the original out of stock items was in stock, but not in the same variety I wanted. By now I had turned sour and annoyed at the process – the lady assured me that was the last call, and my food would arrive on time. Fine, good, see ya.

Fast forward to the evening – my selected delivery time was between 7-9pm (I ordered late so it was the only available slot that day). At about 7:40 my phone rings – guess who. She asked if the delivery had come yet (it had not) – apparently two bags were left at the store instead of being put on the delivery van. Did I want the driver to come back to get them after he delivered my other groceries, or did I want to pick them up myself, or have them delivered tomorrow? Those were the three options I was presented with (I thought of a fourth option for her, but I didn’t say it out loud). I asked if he would go straight back to the store and straight back to my house – she said she had no idea, depended if he had other deliveries or not (she was clearly annoyed at having to even call me, no sympathy or what I would call even mediocre customer service at all). I said I needed the food that night, so I guess the driver would have to go back and get it. She muttered some response and hung up. Makin’ you want to call them right now, isn’t it? The driver showed up at 8:45 – he was nice enough; I told him about the two missing bags – he said he’d go right back to get them, he had no more deliveries. He returned 20 minutes later with the bags; I tried to give him a nice tip (all this nonsense wasn’t his fault), but he said they can’t accept tips. He was the only ShopRite employee I felt good about giving my money to, and he couldn’t take it. Head-shaking, I know.

I sorted through the bags, making sure I got everything I was supposed to. Guess what – nope. I had ordered a pint of ice cream – one of the phone calls was about them not having that one in stock, so I ordered a replacement. It didn’t show up in the bag, making Mrs. MHK quite annoyed. They didn’t charge me for it, but still – ice cream was ordered. I had also ordered half a dozen bagels – they brought 12. They only charged me for 6, but still – the incompetence, even though this one worked in my favor, is prevalent.

Needless to say, we will not be using ShopRite’s home delivery service again. What was supposed to be a convenient means of grocery shopping turned into a huge pain in our mousey asses. So before you poo-poo having to go grocery shopping, keep in mind that it could be worse.

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10 comments

  1. I would give them a second chance.


  2. Or even a third…..lol


  3. Try Stop and Shop Peapod…I have been using them a long time and none of those things happened to me. The only thing (which I cannot blame them for) was I ordered 1 banana…thinking I was getting a bunch. No…I got ONE banana. hahahaha. So I learned. I have found them on time, courteous and a minimum of mistakes.


    • That sounds great, but they don’t have that service where I live. But thanks for the info! 🙂


  4. That really doesn’t sound too bad. I go to grocery stores and find that they are out of stock all the time.


    • Thanks for the comment…but I wasn’t upset that they were out of things (though usually when I go to a market they aren’t out of so many things I buy), I was upset that they gave me a substitute for what they were out of, but then realized they were also out of that.


  5. Haha! Placed our first-ever order on MONDAY… was to be delivered on SATURDAY, today, after five. At nearly six p.m., we get a phone call, “We’re out of this and that…” and blah, blah, blah. Also out of replacement possibilities. Didn’t have requested poultry or fish. Fish may be understandable. But the hour? I did cancel the
    entire order. Who needs a delivery of an order placed days ago on a relaxed Saturday evening at nearly nine? And I was excited to try this!! Have to have a sense of humor, right??!! Cheers! And here’s to a dish of ice cream. Oh, and PS – Forgot to mention that our service is about a 35-minute drive away… nine was optimistic!


  6. I use this service. My orders have always arrived on times. I do not check the box that asks if I will allow substitutions. I have only had one problem, which is the one mentioned. The computer system does not show all the items that are available in the store and the store may be out of items that show as available online. There needs to be some automatic update of their computer as shelves are stocked and when they are checked out as sold. If they have a computer system that tells them when to reorder they should not have as many out of stock problems. That will avoid some of the problems, but of course there are always goods in transit to checkout and there is the pilferage problem.

    Some of the other problems seem to be with the employees, so that will vary with the store and I often call the manager to tell him of my concerns. Some of the managers are marvelous and welcome input – of course, there are a few who are jerks.

    One of the comment that I read was that an order that is placed Friday got a call on delivery day about things out of stock. I would think that a lot of produce and meat, etc, are perishable and would be picked about two hours before actual delivery, so I think the store was acting in a responsible manner.


  7. I work at my shoprites shop from home services sounds like you just had an employee who didn’t care I mean we leave bags behind but we make sure the coustomer gets it that day or the next no one’s perfect we try our best I work very hard to shop orders for people it’s not shop at homes fault if the store is out of something either


  8. I had a very pleasant experience when I used shoprite home for the first time 2 weeks ago. I usually shop at wegmans, but it can get expensive.
    I only had one call from shoprite letting me know that they ran out of the rosemary in the size I ordered, so they gave me the bigger size for the same price. The delivery man brought all the groceries inside my house and left them on my kitchen countertop. All the organic produce I ordered was refrigerated and looked very fresh. I had a great experience and couldn’t stop talking about it to my family and friends!! I guess service varies by store. I used the one in Pa bucks county.



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