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Trying to following in the footsteps of the mighty Tesco, Asda have jumped on the bandwagon and you can now order your shopping via the internet (www.asda.co.uk).
Once you have checked that they deliver to your area (you put your postcode in and the website will tell you), it is very easy to register your address and debit/credit card details and then off you go.
The website itself it split into various categories: CD/DVD/Games, Flowers, Gifts, Mobile Phones, Opticians, Photo, Travel and Groceries to your door.
My review will focus on the Groceries to your door facility:
***Ordering On-line*** Once you have entered the groceries section you are asked to pick a delivery date and time (the available dates and times are shown on an easy to read calendar) and then you can begin to shop. The delivery times are within a 2-hour window (eg: your shopping will be delivered between 6pm and 8pm). Your delivery time and date are then held for your for the next 3 hours or until you checkout, whichever is the earlier.
The groceries are set into aisles, much like a supermarket. Down the left hand side of the screen you will see a list of the aisles (pet care, meat and fish, bread and cakes, fruit and veg etc) and once clicked they show a list (including photos) of all items available in that category. The aisles are very self explanatory but if you cannot find a product you are looking for you can always use the search option and it will try and find it for you.
The meat and fish aisle is the trickiest as you very often need to know the amount in weight that you will need so this can take some getting used to.
As you click and add items to your basket, the items appear in your shopping list on the right hand side, along with a running total of how much you have spent (the delivery charge of £3.99 is added when you check out). This is very handy for knowing how much you have spent for those who need to stick to a budget.
One good facility is that you can set up shopping lists - for example if there are things that you buy every week you can set up a special list for this and then when you come to doing your weekly shop you can add these items to your basket with one click of a button.
Once you come to check out you are shown a printable list of all the items you have ordered, together with details of your debit/credit card, and the amount that you will be charged. There is a note at the bottom to say that your total amount may change due to changes of price in the shop on the day your products are picked. A receipt is then sent to you via e-mail.
Here you have the option of asking that a substitute item be picked for you should a product you have ordered is out of stock (see delivery for details).
If at a later date you realise you have forgotten to add something to your list, provided you are earlier than 5pm on the day before your delivery, you can go back to the website and easily amend your list. You than have to go through the checkout proceedure again and a revised list will be e-mailed to you.
***Delivery*** On the day of delivery a man in a van will arrive at some point during your 2-hour delivery window. He will bring the groceries to your door, together with a printout of what you have ordered and highlighting any items which were unavailable. Once you have checked that all your shopping has arrived and nothing is damaged you are asked to sign his handheld computer to authorise payment.
If you have asked for substitutes to be picked, these are delivered with your order but placed in a separate bag which is clearly marked and you can either accept or reject them. Any items which are not suitable are scanned by the delivery man and the cost removed from your bill.
***My Experience*** Being a very lazy natured person I was delighted when I found out that Asda did home deliveries and it only cost £3.99 so I signed up straight away and ordered my shopping on-line.
The website was very easy to use and I didn't struggle to find too many items and those that I couldn't find were easily located using the search facility. I did notice that quite a few things that I knew to be sold in store were not available via the website but thankfully not anything that I bought on a regular basis.
The website is terribly slow and there is quite a wait each time you click on an aisle before it shows the items and photos.
I was a little skeptical about the "substitutes" as this would very much depend on the person selecting your shopping. For instance, if you ordered low fat cumberland sausages and they were not available would the person pick out other cumberland sausages or would they pick some other low fat sausages? We decided we would use the option and see how it went.
I picked a Friday night delivery slot (7pm-9pm).
At 6:45pm the Asda van pulled up outside our house (a little bit early I thought, just as well I wasn't late home from work!).
The delivery man knocked on the front door to check he was at the right house and then went back to his van to get our bags, which he then brought round to the kitchen door.
Well, the first week practically half our shopping consisted of substitutes plus a bag containing items that I had not ordered. Most of the substitutes were things that I would never choose and the delivery man spent a substantial amount of time scanning the items into his hand held computer so that the products were removed from our bill. He wasn't sure where the extra bag of shopping came from (probably another customers order) and he took that away with him.
I was not overly impressed with the service but decided to give it a chance.
The second week was much better and I had much less substitutions and no-one else's shopping. "Oh good" I thought, "Maybe this will work out after all". How foolish was I?
The third week was similar to the first except that the substitutions were not in a separate bag but mixed in with the rest of the shopping making finding them extremely hard.
The fourth week was the straw that broke the camels back.
The delivery man arrived at around 8:30 and brought the bags to the back door. "Is that it?" I asked. He had only brought around 5 bags. All the bread and tinned items were missing along with most of my chilled items. There were supposed to be 3 substituted items but none of those had arrived either. We had also been given a bag containing baby food which was not ours.
The delivery man told me that this happens all the time and suggested that I did not sign his computer to say I was happy with my order and pointed out the customer care instructions on my order print out.
When major problems like this occur you are asked to call the customer care number (which the delivery man informed me is in South Africa - very helpful) and they will arrange for your shopping to be credited back to your card. It took me over 15 minutes of waiting in a queue listening to "you are the next caller" (yeah right!) before I finally got through to an operative.
When I finally got through, because of the sheer amount of items that were missing the girl on the phone could not deal with it and it had to be passed to a supervisor to arrange for the credit. They also offered the alternative option of a re-delivery for the missing items - no thanks! So I had to go out to Asda to buy the missing items, which rather defeats the object of shopping on-line!
I feel that I gave them more than enough chances to get it right but with only 1 out of 4 orders being anything like I ordered it is just not good enough.
Needless to say I will not be using Asda.co.uk again and will instead give Tesco.com a whirl - they certainly can't be any worse!
I've shopped with ASDA online several times (considering my only form of transport is my bicycle) and they've been punctual and my shopping has been fine, if not better with upgraded substitutions. I have also noticed that the speed of the website seems to of increased of recent!
shazzaspannered 07.01.2007 01:41
Lucky for me Asda is literally just down the road and I really enjoy shopping. I've never been one for doing the grocery shopping online I much prefer to go and do it myself, that way any mistakes and I'm to blame x
alleycat01 07.12.2006 13:47
I have yet to try online supermarkets - perhaps I'll wait a bit longer now I've read this! alley x