A Letter to Ocado

Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Dear Sir/Madam

I have gotten rather tired of having to speak to your representatives over the past 6-7 months. They've all been very courteous, apologising profusely and promising that they will pass the problem to the warehouse/head office/superiors so that the issue will not reoccur again. It's what I call very polite lip service aka a brush off designed to diffuse a potentially explosive situation.

There has been an issue with nearly every delivery with either missing items or damaged bottles/produce/containers due to carelessness. It's a shame that Ocado spends so much time sourcing excellent produce only to deliver damaged goods to their customers.

In the past year, I've had heavy items placed in the same plastic bag as fragile ones only to arrive utterly smashed and squashed to bits. Dented cans with liquid spewing into plastic bags, on the floor and carpet or broken eggs spilled all over the produce. Your drivers apologised and fled the crime scene leaving me to spend the next half an hour cleaning the mess. I don't know about you but I don't particularly consider cleaning as a hobby of mine.

Anyone with half a brain would understand to never put 2 huge milk bottles next to eggs or small bags of crisps. Ever tried cleaning spilt quinoa? I had to pick little bits from a bag of onions and whatever produce that had the misfortune of sharing the same carrier bag. The prompt refund was very much appreciated but I'd much rather you save me another trip to the supermarket.

Last week, you've managed to deliver a cracked plastic ice cream carton. Rather difficult thing to do unless your packers or drivers fling items around or launch them as missiles across the room. My 6 year old daughter found a shard of plastic INSIDE her ice cream. It would've been rather unfortunate if she had accidentally swallowed it along with a mouthful of ice cream. I guess if I was in the US, I would be contacting my lawyer now. That was the result of me hoping to excuse yet another damaged item in the shopping carrier.

I've been a loyal customer for years and would love to continue supporting your business. I love your business concept, the marvelous range of produce and the shorter delivery time slots. All I ask for is that my grocery arrives in good condition and that you'll take as much care as  I do when packing or delivering them. It would also save you a tremendous amount of money without having to constantly refund your annoyed customers. The money could've easily been used to support a much needed charity organisation.



  1. switch to abel and cole, they're awesome! it's all organic and you don't even have to be home when they deliver.

    1. I got a leaflet through the letterbox a few days ago and have been thinking of them since. Thanks for the tip. Will check them out.

  2. Oh I can so relate. We use Waitrose instead of Ocado (long story) and nearly every delivery has had a substitution in it to the point where I am thinking ..."and you call this good service?". Yes, if you order something and they don't have it, they give you a more expensive substitution, yes you sometimes get free goods i.e. produce you've ordered but they decide to give you free because it's sell by date is the next day but to be honest - I'd rather have some fresh produce and the goods that I ordered. The hubs still keeps trying to use them ... because it's free delivery over £60 but frankly despite the price matching on a lot of goods, I still find myself paying more for goods from them. To the point where I say - give me the shopping list and let me sort it out. I can watch the pennies so much better if I can see what's infront of me to compare .... and I can pick the best strawberries too without any mushed ones at the bottom of the pack.

  3. Hi Marlene,

    We’re really sorry that we’ve let you down with our packing recently. Although we do pass every bit of feedback on to the relevant teams and train our staff to try and avoid items getting damaged, sometimes mistakes still happen. We agree with you though, it’s frustrating for our customers and it’s not the standard which we aim for (we’d like to exceed all of our customers’ expectations!).

    We’d like to look into this further for you, but unfortunately, we have no way of identifying which customer you are from your blog post/Twitter account. If you’d like to respond here, or privately via DM, with your last customer order number, we’ll have a more detailed look into things for you.



    1. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated! I've sent a DM via Twitter.


  4. ^^^^^^^ Well there you go! Hope you can resolve the problem.

    I'm assuming this is a home delivery service for groceries? Nice. We don't have anything like that here.

  5. wow the thought of delivery to your door is awesome. I can't believe your daughter found a shard of GLASS in her ice cream??! OMG. that is sooo dangerous. I would be so furious!!!!


  6. Ah, the power of social media. I love writing open letters and posting on Twitter. You can get some great results.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This is just horrible and unacceptable! I understand your frustration and it must have been your last resort turning to your blog to get their attention. Anyone can make a mistake, but continuously receiving damaged items, I have respect for your patience. I hope you will get some sort of compensation for every single time you received damaged goods. Good luck!

  9. Oh dear, this is terrible. I really hate it when you've been a loyal customer for years and then things gradually fall apart. I stopped using Ocado over 2 years ago now due to moving house and being closer to 2 major supermarket chains so I did more research and found I got better service with them, better value for money with hardly any material loss in quality.
    I really hope they improve their delivery service!

  10. Thank you all for your comments. It's disheartening when you give 6 months (that's 3-4 orders per month) worth of opportunities for them to clean up their act but other than plenty of apologies and a bottle of wine, nothing has really changed.

  11. I share your frustration but I am mostly thankful that your little one did not swallow that piece of plastic! You have been incredibly patient and by the sounds of it, graceful about the whole situation. I admire that! xoxox

  12. What a shame that they fail to deliver goods in good condition. As much as i hate going to grocery store, i guess it is better that i hand held my bags and deliver them safely to my house. Hope they can do more to compensate on damaged items.

  13. Oh poor you!! I am contemplating writing a similar open letter to the Yorkshire building society. appalling service. so frustrating!
    Great that they've 'reached out' to you.
    We've done Waitrose a few times and they've been really good although with a few random substituations. I don't like that as you get really excited about getting something and something else turns up that isn't the same thing. I have heard really good things about Abel and Cole so I think we're going to give that a shot when we move into our new place.

    1. I wouldn't have gone through this route but seriously, 6 months of damaged goods is pushing it a little too far. I'm pleased that Ocado has replied so quickly and made the effort to improve the service. It's more than what most companies will do. You know what it's like - they make you jump hoops and offer utterly illogical drivel just to avoid taking ownership of the issue.

      Ocado has offered me a refund and voucher. Fingers crossed, the service will get better and I no longer have to make mad dashes to the supermarket in order to replace the damaged goods. Not cool when I'm expecting guests and I don't have the ingredients!

  14. Even though this is a letter expressing disappointment in your local organic grocery delivery service it inspired me to lookup some in the Los Angeles area. I mean... I'm already all organic skin care and hair care... When the most important is probably the food I eat! lol. Though I have tasted organic apples and boy oh boy they taste so different. They're not as hard and crunchy. I used to work in produce so I've had my share of different kinds of apples. :)

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