Yesterday, my food order arrived at the appointed hour but as we chatted while the driver unloaded the bags from the crates, I noticed large bottles of water in one of the bags. I pointed out that I hadn’t ordered them. The driver was most apologetic although it wasn’t his fault. Then I spotted another bag containing something else I hadn’t ordered. More apologies were forthcoming. Poor man – perhaps some customers are unreasonable and unpleasant when such things happen and he had borne the brunt of their displeasure in the past.
Unpacking the bags in the kitchen I discovered more things I had not ordered. As the delivery van had long departed I ‘phoned the supermarket help line. The young man checked that I hadn’t been charged for them, which struck me as illogical since I hadn’t ordered them in the first place. Then he said that I could keep the unordered items. There were five packs of Thai green curry, retail price £18.75 in total. I passed them on to my daughter who normally makes this curry from scratch but the packets will sit in her store cupboard ‘for a rainy day.’ The two boxes of Balsam tissues I kept. They were £5.00. So the supermarket was willing to allow me to keep goods to the value of £23.75. That’s very generous and presumably means their profit margins are healthy, as I'm sure I'm not the only customer in the country who receives unexpected groceries. I suppose it's more cost effective to 'write off' such items rather than sending someone to collect and redistribute them!
I feel sorry for the person who will be missing these items in their shopping this week. I’m sure an apology will be forthcoming and perhaps a complimentary gift for the inconvenience.
Recently there were two frozen pizzas I had not ordered in a delivery. I spotted them as I was unpacking at the door – no bags from that supermarket – so the driver was able to take them back immediately. I joked at the time that I should have kept quiet about them.
Online shopping is very convenient provided everything ordered is in stock. Occasionally there are really bizarre substitutions – lemon washing-up liquid instead of lemons, for example – but generally I am happier to have the shopping delivered than to trawl the shops for myself.