Posts Tagged ‘sainsburys’

Why I’m annoyed at Sainsbury’s

Friday, May 19th, 2017 | Life

This is a rant. We get Sainsbury’s to do our weekly delivery. On the whole, it’s good. However, it is not without its problems. Namely:

  • They miss stuff out
  • They send incorrect items
  • They fall out with suppliers
  • Their bagels are short-dated

Incorrect items have not been a big problem recently. But, in September last year, they sent the incorrect item three weeks in a row. The exact same mistake. So I’m not going to be removing that item from the list for a while.

Missing items is a problem, too. Maybe every two months or so we will notice they have missed something out. I’m not religious about checking it. Last time, they forgot to include our bread. They always refund me for the missing items when I complain, though.

Several times, things have disappeared from my order, including the confirmation. However, I can’t prove this and Sainsbury’s deny it happens.

Recently though, they seem to have fallen out with suppliers, too. Things disappear from their store as they change their ranges: McCain wedges and HP barbeque sauce being two examples. But all the Schwartz spices have been disappearing as well.

I emailed them about this in February. They emailed me back to say that they had not fallen out with Schwartz. Then refused to answer any of the emails I sent in February, March and April. When I phoned them about it, they said they were dropping Schwarts. Which means they lied to me in their original email.

This was the same email I complained about their bagels. When you buy them from Co-op, they come with a month’s shelf life on them. When we buy them from Sainsbury’s, they come with five days shelf life on them. They’re still investigating this.

EDIT: Since writing this they have contacted me to say that they cannot explain how Co-op have such long shelf lives because they have spoken to New York Bagel Co who have told them they only release bagels with a shelf life of 5 days. We’ve also ordered the same Bagels from Ocado who only had 4 days shelf life on them.

Root ginger

Monday, November 2nd, 2015 | Life


When you order online from Sainsbury’s you can order root ginger in a distinct number of pieces. However, the size is a little variable. The piece on the left is one week’s piece and the piece on the right is the one from the week before.

Online supermarkets compared

Thursday, February 19th, 2015 | Food, Reviews

I have been thinking about whether we’re using the right online supermarket. That in itself is a pretty depressing action. However, I’m doing it having spent last week in London and Birmingham, and tonight in Sheffield, so it’s not like I just sit at home thinking about these things.

I am using Sainsbury’s at the moment. I tried Morrisons last month, and it was very good, but I much prefer the ordering processing with Sainsbury’s and I can amend by orders until 11pm. This is key, because I usually do, whereas Morrisons cut off is 5pm.

I also thought about switching to Waitrose because they have such a good reputation for customer service. However, it is significantly more expensive and their minimum order is like £60-65. Plus their website keeps crashing my computer. They do sell Swiss chard though.

Today I’ve been looking at Ocado. They have won loads of awards of their experience, and do sell chard. However, they are super expensive. They consistently come in the top two most expensive in Which?’s rankings, alongside Waitrose.

I also took a look at mySupermarket which is a really cool service. You add everything you want to your basket and it tells you how much it would cost at each supermarket. Here is the example basket I made for myself:


I started with the Sainsbury’s product set, so I don’t know if this biased it in any way. However, Sainsbury’s does come out really well for price, and with the good service I have always enjoyed, it does not seem to make it worth switching.


Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 | Photos


I tried to buy some juice from Sainsbury’s. Turns out what I actually bought was juicy water.


Thursday, November 10th, 2011 | Life

Despite little success last time I complainted to Sainsbury’s, I decided it was worth one more go when I had another complaint.

To whom it may concern:

Earlier today, I visited your branch located on The Headrow in Leeds.

Upon arriving at the tills and scanning my items I was asked to produce identification to complete my purchase. I have recently turned 25 and therefore was expecting not to be flagged by your Check 25 policy, given I have now been able to legally purchase alcohol for 8 years and nice as it is to think, there is no way I look 9 years younger than I actually am.

More to the point, however, is the fact that I was attempting to purchase non-alcoholic wine. It therefore baffles and frustrates me that I would have to produce identification to prove I am over the age of 18, for a product which is alcohol free.

I asked the assistant who approved the item for me why such a product would be classified as restricted, but she said she didn’t know.

I believe such a restriction should be removed from such items, to avoid further aggregation for your customers.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Chris Worfolk

Luckily, this one was slightly more fruitful. Well, I say that, this time they said that it was indeed a problem and generally a bit silly, but there wasn’t exactly a promise to do much about it.

I contacted the store and spoke with Lisa, the Customer Service Manager, who advised the checkout automatically prompts colleagues to ask for identification when items are scanned. Lisa apologises if this has inconvenienced you and advised she will have your feedback logged for future reference.

We appreciate you taking the time to make us aware of this issue and look forward to seeing you in store again soon.

Still, better than nothing. And way better than Co-op who don’t even respond to your complaints.

Sainsbury’s, guardians of all that is good

Saturday, May 14th, 2011 | Thoughts

A few weeks ago I went into Sainsbury’s, accompanied by my girlfriend Elina, who was there to keep me company as I did some personal shopping. We were throwing a soirée that evening, so included in my long list of food was a bottle of champagne.

I got to the checkout and scanned everything through on the self service checkout. I had to call an attendant over because, as usual, the system went a bit crazy and my bags needed “verifying.” While he was over there I asked him to approve my alcohol purchase.

I’m 24 so on the boarder line of whether you really need to ID me even on a Check 25 policy, but he decided to, to which I quickly produced my driving license clearly showing I was no less than six years past the date in which I was legally allowed to buy alcohol.

That would have all been fine, but Elina, who was hovering behind me, not actually helping me in any way with my personal shopping, was then asked to produce ID. She didn’t have any. As such, I was declined the sale of the alcohol.

Now, I don’t mind carrying round ID, even though for me to be under age you would have to believe that I looked seven years younger than I actually am. While that’s quite a nice complement, there is no way any rational human being would look at me when playing guess the age, and think “that man is probably about 17.” Not least of all because people who are under 18 and are trying to get hold of some alcohol to go drink in a park somewhere don’t buy champagne. But I’ll overlook this, let’s pretend it’s a sensible policy.

When it really does get mental, is when everyone who is with me has to carry ID as well. As it happens, Elina is 23, but what if she wasn’t? What if she was 17? Does that mean that I shouldn’t be allowed to by alcohol with my personal shopping?

I put this to Sainsbury’s customer service team. They gave me a prompt but fairly nondescript reply, going through their policy in vague detail stating that…

If a group of customers go through the checkouts together, all may be asked to provide identification. If any member of the group is unable to provide ID when requested, we will be unable to complete the sale.

…and ending with…

Sometimes it can come across as over-zealous but it’s really important that colleagues don’t risk age-restricted products being used by anyone underage.

This argument, simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny however. Requiring everyone who goes through the checkout, even if it is just one person actually buying anything, to produce ID in no way limits the sale of alcohol to people underage because as only the person buying something is actually required, everyone else can just wait outside.

I could easily come along with some underage, make them wait outside, go in and buy nothing by alcohol for them, come outside and give it to them and Sainsbury’s would have effectively just sold alcohol to someone who is underage, according to their thinking.

Yet, when I come through making a purchase for myself, clearly as part of my weekly food shop, clearly not for underage drinkers to get drunk because it wasn’t White Lightning or Sainsbury’s Basics Table Wine, I am unable to complete my purchase because, for perfectly understandable reasons, Elina wasn’t carrying an ID (or money, or anything), because she wasn’t buying anything, she was just keeping me company.

In such situations I could of course just ask her to wait outside while I go in and do my shopping. This is probably a valid option if you don’t consider the idea of her coming to keep me company and then spending most of the time waiting outside the store, beyond ridiculous.

But of course this isn’t always an option – take for example a mother who is doing her weekly shop and wants to buy some alcohol. Her kids genuinely are under 18 and she can’t just leave them outside on the street while she completes her shop. To me, this seems like discrimination as their policy is clearly victimising a specific group here.

I asked them what their policy was for such situations in my original email, to which they ignored it, so I pressed them for an answer in my response. This is what they said…

We have to leave the judgement to ask for ID up to our colleagues, as it is them who can be prosecuted and fined for selling alcohol to underage customers. It’s important to note it’s also an offense to sell alcohol in the knowledge it will be passed on to someone underage, which is why we look for ID from the whole party.

If you were shopping with your daughter we would hope that our colleagues would use their judgement, but if they were unsure they would err on the side of caution and ask for ID.

So their policy seems to be that they don’t have a policy, but train their staff to ID people as often as possible, even at the risk at denying perfectly legitimate purchases or discriminating against people with children.

Fair enough (well, not really), that is their policy, but I disagree with it because I think it because I don’t believe that it actually prevents the sale of alcohol to people who intend to give it to underage people but I do believe it unfairly targets legitimate customers and even implies criminal behaviour when they suggest I could be buying alcohol for someone who is underage.

So I asked for the contact details of who I could write to, to express my concerns about the policy. My request was declined.

I’d like to be able to provide you with the contact details you’ve requested, unfortunately, this isn’t possible. The Think 25 policy wasn’t a policy created by one person or a group of people, it’s an initiative that Sainsbury’s as a whole has created and it’s something we all stand by.

As mentioned, this policy is supported by the British government and as such, we feel confident using this system.

So far, I’m not impressed. Supermarkets have a reasonable duty of care, and this seems way past the line of reasonability to me.