Tesco apologises to customers after booking delays for Christmas…

Tesco says sorry to customers forced to queue online for hours as its website struggles to cope with surging demand for Christmas delivery slots – as Ocado is also overwhelmed

  • Tesco forced to install an online queue system to handle ‘high volumes of traffic’
  • Tesco customers said on social media they were being made to wait for hours
  • Supermarket sad they apologise ‘if things take a bit longer than usual’

Tesco has apologised to customers after its website struggled to cope with demand from shoppers seeking to secure Christmas delivery slots.

The supermarket giant was forced to install an online queue system to help it manage ‘high volumes of traffic’. 

Tesco customers on social media complained about the delay, saying they were being made to wait for hours.

Tesco tweeted in response to apologise ‘if things take a bit longer than usual’.

‘A lot of customers are using our website and app at the moment,’ it added.

Supermarkets have seen overwhelming demand for online delivery slots, with rival Ocado already running out of slots due to the spike, although more may be made available in early December.

Tesco has apologised (pictured) to customers after its website struggled to cope with demand from shoppers seeking to secure Christmas delivery slots

 The supermarket giant was forced to install an online queue system to help it manage ‘high volumes of traffic’ (file image)

A Tesco spokeswoman said: ‘Demand for online slots over the festive period is high, and we have more slots this Christmas than ever before.

‘We experienced high volumes of traffic to our website and groceries app this morning and temporarily limited the number of customers using it.

‘We’ve now removed the waiting room and customers will be able to log straight on.

‘We’re sorry for any inconvenience this caused and would like to reassure customers that there are still slots available for home delivery and click and collect over the Christmas period.’

It was last week reported that Waitrose had more than tripled the number of online order drop-off and collection slots ahead of the festive season to 190,000 each week, but these are already being sold out. 

Tesco customers on social media complained about the delay, saying they were being made to wait for hours

It had already had bookings for 115,000 deliveries for December 20 to 24, which compares with 44,000 slots for the whole Christmas run-up last year. As a result, all the slots between December 20 and Christmas Eve are already fully booked in some areas.

Other online grocers will not open their delivery slots until closer to Christmas, however it is clear there will be a battle over the prime dates.

Tesco is using its sought-after festive delivery slots as an incentive for shoppers to sign up to its Delivery Saver subscription, which costs £7.99 a month. Slots for Delivery Saver members open up on November 13, but it is a week later for non-members.

Marks & Spencer has teamed up with Ocado to offer a hugely increased home delivery capacity.

The amount of money spent online this Christmas is expected to overtake the high street for the first time, creating a need for an armada of drivers to drop off orders [File photo]

Sainsbury’s has increased its online order capacity from 340,000 a week in March to 700,000 this month. And Tesco has already taken on 16,000 more pickers and drivers. 

Shoppers are being advised to make online purchases early to spread out demands on the courier system and so avoid the feared delivery log jam. 

Amazon has tried to spread sales by launching Black Friday deals a month early while many others, including John Lewis and Debenhams are running 50 per cent off deals.

The chief executive at the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said: ‘We’re encouraging people to shop early and prevent the last minute rush so their fellow customers and all the store colleagues, warehouse workers and delivery drivers working behind the scenes, have the space they need to stay safe and well.’

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