How bad can Safeway screw up a home delivery order?

| 2 Comments

This post is made to support the allegation I made here. Rhye placed an order over the weekend to Safeway.com for 50 distinct items. (Order total was approximately $175.) Of the 50 items that were supposed to be delivered yesterday:

A. 9 items were not delivered at all ("Not available").

This isn't the first time we've ordered stuff from Safeway and a significant number of items were "not available". It is very aggravating to go to the trouble of placing an order online and not receive almost 20% of it. One of two things is happening here: 1) Department managers are trying to keep their inventories too low, or 2) the people who pull the orders don't know the products, don't know the layout of the store, or don't put much effort into locating every product listed in an order. (I vote for #2.)

B. 6 items were substituted. (We got something, but not what we wanted.)

I don't have a problem with substitutions in principle, but Safeway needs to do more to make sure the customer will be happy with the substitution. When practical, Safeway should call the customer and ask them if they want a substitution for a product that is not available (they currently do not). If a substitution is going to be made, some common sense should be used. If a customer asks for roll-on antiperspirant, I don't think it's very likely that the customer is going to be happy with a substitution of solid antiperspirant. Also, don't substitute a product that costs 70% more than the original product. (Yes, this actually happened with two substituted items in this order.)

C. 6 items had poor estimates of price due to poor estimates of weights.

When ordering meat and produce from the web site, there is usually a weight estimate of what "1" of that particular product will weigh. The weight estimates on these products were off by a factor of 2, 3, 4. One was off by a factor of 10. If the weights on the web site are not based somewhat on reality, the estimated prices are useless. Until this problem is addressed, Safeway's web site can not be relied upon to give an accurate estimate of what meat and produce items will cost.

D. 1 item was charged as wrong (higher priced) product

The item was cherries that were on sale. The cherries were bagged and labeled at the time our order was filled. Either the wrong cherries were selected, or they were labeled incorrectly. Either way, someone did not read our order very closely. What's the point of specifying exactly what you want if the store is not going to read the order and follow it?

E. 1 item was charged wrong price by web site

This item was a gallon of milk at an odd price - 2 for $3.75, or 1 for $3.07. Safeway's web site did not handle this price correctly - we ordered one and the web site said it would cost us $1.88 instead of $3.07. Technically, we were charged the correct price on the register receipt, but I don't know that Rhye would have bought the milk had she seen the $3.07 price when she placed the order on the web site.

F. 1 item was charged wrong quantity.

We ordered 3 of this item. 3 of this item were delivered. We were only charged for 1 of them. The checker at the register was evidently asleep on that one.

That's 25 items - 50% of the order. Pretty impressive if you ask me. Adding insult to injury, the pricing errors, poor weight estimates, and substitutions added $28 to the total cost of the order. The "not available" items that were not delivered reduced the order total by $34.

Rhye - I gave Safeway a chance, and they failed Big Time. The numbers don't lie. Now you know why I laugh hysterically when I hear you talk about ordering from Safeway. The next time we order from Albertson's, I'll do a thorough analysis like I did here and compare the two.

2 Comments

I had very simular experiences. I posted about it on my blog and, of course, on epinions.

Safeway Home Delivery is a JOKE!!!!! They screwed up my order and when I asked for a list of the items that they did manage to deliver....They Said Oh I don't have one on me but I can get you one in a COUPLE OF DAYS!!!!! WHAT??????
So I called the "Customer Screwed Over Department" and yes they indeed confirmed that I had actually been Screwed Over......have not ordered from them again and YES they keep sending me lovely little "FREE DELIVERY " Postcards....AWWWWWW How Nice :-)