|Image from here|
Recently the perfect storm greeted me, en route to buying groceries at my local shopping centre. It was wet, it was a Thursday, it was five weeks out from Christmas.
And empty car spots were as rare as an even tempered Kyle Sandilands.
I drove round and around that damn car park, at first assuming I’d eventually jag a spot. Until after the fourth loop I began to curse every single shopper who’d managed to secure what I couldn’t and promptly drove back out again, in a filthy mood to boot.
These actions then led me to a momentous decision – it was time to pop my online grocery shopping cherry! I’d give the guys at coles.com.au a gig and see if having my goodies delivered right to my door was actually less stressful than the events that had unfurled that foul Thursday.
Putting in my order was certainly easier than traipsing through the aisles with a wonky trolley and overtired child who demands we stop at every end row display of tempting toys on offer. All that was now required of me was to wait for delivery day and I ensured that I was home at the allocated timeslot.
I’d purposely picked a work from home day to have my goods distributed so that I wasn’t caught out in the way couriers give you that ambiguous “9am – 5pm” endless stretch of time, however I was surprised when I suddenly realised my delivery window fast approaching its limit and still no goods had graced my kitchen bench. Almost on the dot of the three hour mark, I received a call from Customer Service announcing that there had been a delay and I’d not receive my order for another hour. While this was fine as I had no plans to be anywhere else but I could imagine it be a bone of contention for some. The silver lining though was the refund of my delivery fee (which while it is only a small amount, is what stopped me in the past from online shopping) so I was a placated customer.
Unpacking my goods however was a different story.
While I was mostly thrilled with the ease in which I’d now accumulated a fridge and freezer full of food, I did notice I’d received a substitute of one brand of item (even though I was sure I’d ticked no to that, but I could be wrong!), as well as the fact the mandarins I’d requested were not included, yet I’d still paid for them. I’d also not recalled selecting top loader washing powder when I was after the other type, yet that was what I’d been supplied.
However a quick call to the Customer Service gang again saw me refunded my missing mandarin money, but alas I’d have to take the washing powder back to a store for a refund end exchange. Which was fine, except it kind of defeats the purpose of online shopping if you still have to make a special trip to the shops…
All in all though I’d say it wasn’t a bad experience, when you consider it saved me from car park and overcrowded shopping centre rage. And mostly, it had lead me to the overall concluding message below:
Retailers, are you listening? THIS IS WHY CONSUMERS CHOOSE TO SHOP ONLINE! Sure, the prices are tempting, and there is the fact you can do it all from home without the need to extract yourself from your bathrobe and ugg boots. But most annoying of all is the lack of free freaking car spots in your teeny tiny car parks that are adjacent to your mammoth shopping centres. And I can only stand wasting so much time (and petrol) stalking shoppers as they leave the centre, only to be waived away five minutes after they’ve unpacked their trolley and announce “oh sorry, we aren’t done here yet…”