Saturday, December 24, 2011

Every Little Helps My Arse

There should be a comma somewhere in the title but... oh, never mind.

I had every intention of writing a warm, sentimental, cosy-on-up type of blog post today, I really did. Something that would have had you all scooting up on the sofa just that little bit closer to your loved ones. Something that would have had you nuzzling up to each other like mewling kittens of Christmas love.

And then Tesco rained on my parade last night. Not hugely. Not diluvian by any means. But enough to make me feel like Mr Tesco himself was pissing down my neck.

The wife and I do our shopping on-line. Have done for years. Why spend 2 hours dragging the kids around a superstore at the weekend when 40 minutes on the computer can get it all done for you and then one of Mr Tesco's Little Helpers will deliver it all to your door on the day of your choice at a time you specify?

It's a wonder of the modern age.

Not that it is not without it's little foibles and foul-ups. The chief of these being the "substitute game". This is the one where your personal shopper in-store can't find the exact item you have requested and so substitutes if for something similar or approximating or something barely genetically linked.

This happens quite often. Sometimes we keep the substitutes; sometimes not. It all depends on the ability of our personal shopper to think inside the box and not come out with something so leftfield you wonder if he/she has had one half of their brain removed for medical experimentation.

But the point is, if Tesco haven't got what we want they have always done their best to offer us a consolation prize.

Until last night.

The night our Christmas shop was due to be delivered. The night our big Christmas chicken was being delivered ready for the big day tomorrow.

The delivery guys arrives at 8.00pm. He unloads. There is no chicken. There is no chicken at all. Anywhere. We check the print-out of what we have ordered - just in case the error was ours. But no. The chicken is listed. Along with the size we specified.

The print-out informs us it was not available. And no substitute has been provided.

None at all.


Even the delivery guy is amazed that Tesco have done this. Isn't it obvious that this is the main component of our Christmas meal? What if we were old, infirm and housebound? What would we do for our Christmas meal then? Make do with a couple of mouldy old Garibaldis from the back of the cupboard?

Thank you, Mr Tesco. That was really helpful. That has really warmed the Christmas cockles of our hearts.

I know, I know. They'd probably sold out. Had none left in the store. But we'd placed this order days ago. We'd put our dibs on a chicken and, as far as I'm concerned, had reserved one. I mean, we pay £5 on top of the food bill for this service after all.

The delivery guy recommended we ring up and complain. Assured us that Tesco would be taking deliveries tomorrow and more chickens would be in stock.

I'm sure he was right. But Karen and I had lost our faith in Tesco. We just wanted our chicken now - safely there in our fridge where we could see it's cute little parson's nose slowly defrosting. We didn't want to play Christmas chicken with our chicken and leave it until Christmas Eve when Tesco might let us down again. 'Cos plainly Tesco didn't give a fig(gy pudding) whether we had anything to eat on Christmas Day or not.

So Karen nipped out to Asda. They had a chicken. A big one. And they sold it to us.

It is now in our fridge and Christmas is saved.

No thanks to Tesco, though.

Tesco - Christmas or not - you can cock right off.



Rol said...

I've got one word for you: Ocado. We used to have the same nightmare waiting for the unreliable Tesco delivery. Then we discovered Ocado...

1 hour slots - in 6 months, they've been late once and then it was a genuine emergency. Plus if you sign up for their delivery pass scheme you only have to pay £6.99 a month for delivery rather than £6 a week. The drivers are polite and helpful and though certain things are a little more expensive than Tesco and you can't order single items of fruit (say, 1 orange) I couldn't recommend them enough.

And no, I'm not on commission.

AGuidingLife said...

I always do online shopping, but I've never taken the risk with my christmas turkey except with Waitrose. Because they deliver from a warehouse not a shop they guaranteed the delivery. They aren't as expensive as they used to be either but I mainly do sainsburys because there is no delivery charge mid week. Pleased you now have a chuck, I send best Christmas wishes to you and your family and none at all to Mr Tesco.

Steve said...

Rol: thank you for the hearty recommendation. Will look into it... £6.99 a month is a darn sight better than £5 per week.

Kelloggsville: thank you for your Christmas good wishes - and I'd like to return them with my own thrown in for good measure!

Steve said...

Rol: just found the vouchers in my in-box. Cheers! Have a great Christmas!

the fly in the web said...

I order for mother from Tesco...and refuse substitutions after a couple of incidents which had mother foaming at the mouth and blowing the poor delivery man backwards bow legged.
So this Christmas she didn't get the lamb chops she'd ordered, though the order went in two weeks ago and she didn't get the jars of Stilton that only start maturing when you break the seal...but I can assure you that the substitutes would have been a worse option...though you know that already!

Gorilla Bananas said...

A cock-up of that magnitude must be human error. I don't believe they'd deliberately leave you without a bird at Christmas. Maybe they'll give you free vouchers if you complain.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: oh I do indeed. Juices swapped for different flavours rather than a different brand, chicken breasts swapped for some awful pseudo chicken that was more water than meat... if Tesco were a football team they'd have the most laughable subs bench in history.

Gorilla Bananas: if I'd asked Tesco for "a bird for Christmas" Lord knows what they would have supplied me with.

EmmaK said...

Wow! That is shit! I've never done online food shopping as I think it would make my head spin. I prefer to brave the masses in the supermarket on christmas eve, sharp elbows and umbrella at the ready to poke anyone who tries to grab the last chicken!

joebloggs said...

Steve, couldn't help noticing that a good TESCO bashing was supported by an ADVERT FOR SAISBURYS!!!!!! and a massive plug for ASDA.... is this the commercialising of Christmas creeping in or just a blatant attempt for a bit of free shopping?
May the festivities abound in the Blake household and you all get what you wish for.

Steve said...

Emma: shopping Ninja style... just the thing to expunge the Christmas grumps!

Joe: ha ha! Sainsbury's paid for the ad and Asda is just up the road. Tesco fouled up for real. This is just real life happening. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas too!

Jon said...

Just goes to prove - want a job doing, do it yourself, including shopping.

Mind you, here in the Arse End we have little choice in the matter: internet supermarket shopping is something that happens to other people.

English Rider said...

That's really bad of them. We've just had a similar news story going on here regarding electronics ordered from the huge chain Best Buy. Last few days people have been receiving notices that their orders were quite simply cancelled. No explanation and no offer of alternatives. Many people counting on those as gifts have had to join the "joyful throngs" packing guns and pepper spray, to get what they deserve for Christmas.

Löst Jimmy said...

Tesco chickened out as it were, I'm glad that you managed to secure a last minute substitute. A bird in the (delivery) van is worth 2 on the (family) table...obviously.
Merry Christmas to you and the family Steve

Steve said...

Jon: this experience has proven that getting off your arse and going to the shop yourself is definitely the best way to go.

English Rider: boo hiss to the big consumer corporations! Let's hear it for home made presents!

Löst Jimmy: when you want cock sometimes you just have to go out and get it. :-) A very merry Christmas to you too!

John Going Gently said...

ho bleeding ho!

have a good one my friend x

Marginalia said...

"Every little helps", must rank as one of the most irritating and untruthful strap lines ever.

Next time Tesco submits a planning application that will denude your High Street of shops and character, chain yourself and the missus to a shopping trolley.

It'll be more useful than running round like a headless chicken trying to find one.

Would it have helped if you'd have upgraded to a turkey?

Steve said...

John: thank you - you too (you and your chooks)!

Marginalia: I doubt it would stop the bulldozers. They'd just build the store around us and cement us into the aisles. And as for an upgrade: does a turkey really equal chicken 2.0?

The bike shed said...

Just dropping by to say Merry Christmas. I've been away this month (needed a blogging break) but normal service to resume in New Year.

Hope your holiday break brings you all you wished - even a chicken!


About Last Weekend said...

Well done you with the 40 mins! I"m so useless on the computer that it would take me half a day. We used to do this delivery palaver in London and they would substitute so much stuff that I would end up down the store anyway.

Owen said...

Despite the cock up, or the non-cock, and cock a doodle do to Tescos, yes in spite of all that, here's wishing you and the family the finest of holidays...

And may 2012 be rich in writing and blogging and generally being creative, always a pleasure to stop by here and see what's eating you, or see what you are eating...

Steve said...

Mark: well, the chicken was a good start when we finally got one! Merry Christmas to you too!

About Last Weekend: that is the one drawback of the entire system - the skills of the "personal shopper" are often very questionable!

Owen: many thanks for your good wishes, Owen, hope 2012 brings you many photographic and blogging opportunities - I look forward to reading about them!

Trish said...

So that's why the slogan on their vans is 'You shop, we drop...a bollock'.

Steve said...

Trish: alas, we tried ordering one of those but there was no substitute available.

Being Me said...

You showed them.

Sucks to be you, Tesco.

Steve said...

Being Me: damned right. Nobody messes around with my cock!

Unknown said...

ROFL! Brilliant post!

Steve said...

Livi: and the chicken from Asda was a cracking bird!