People who are self isolating for health reasons are finding it increasingly difficult to get what they need online, with store purchases continuing to be prioritised. In addition, it is becoming more difficult each week to obtain a delivery slot. This is all against the backdrop of the major supermarket chains claiming to have increased the capacity of their home delivery services.
Lib Dem councillor for Kingswells, Sheddocksley, Summerhill, Steve Delaney said, “I’ve had a number of concerns raised with me about this since before the lockdown but I’m afraid it appears to be getting worse rather than better. The issues highlighted to me have specifically related to Tesco and Asda”.
“The first issue is availability of booking slots, which has been getting progressively worse since the lockdown with shoppers having to wait up to two weeks for a delivery. Earlier this week not a single delivery slot was available from either Tesco or Asda. On 17/4/20 Asda offered some availability for 27/4 and 28/4 only with nothing sooner or later. From the same date Tesco were offering slots from 20/4 to 26/4 only, with nothing beyond that date”.
“The other issue relates to availability of goods. Online shoppers are having to place their orders well in advance but goods which are in stock and available when ordered are later being marked as out of stock and removed from customers’ online baskets as in-store shoppers are buying these goods off the shelves”.
“We are all grateful to the hard working supermarket staff, delivery van drivers and everyone else involved in the supply chain for their sterling efforts to maintain the food supply chain during such difficult times. I am also aware of the considerable logistical challenges supermarkets are facing with increased demand for online shopping and the inevitable staff absences they must be facing as a result of the pandemic”.
“However, removing items from online shoppers’ trolleys is resulting in people who, for health reasons, cannot physically get to a shop, losing out every single time to more able bodied shoppers who can, if required, check back the following day for any out of stock items”.
“I raised these issues with Aberdeen City Council more than two weeks ago and they confirmed the issues had already been highlighted nationally. I also know of a customer who called Tesco to explain these difficulties only to be told they were aware and matters should improve within the next couple of weeks as stocks were replenished. However, the situation has got worse, not better”.
Steve has also written to the First Minister in some detail outlining these concerns. He has requested that matters be raised with the Chief Executives of supermarkets which offer home delivery services asking them to review their processes to ensure those placing orders online are no longer put at a disadvantage