Waitrose online service excels to narrowly shade rival M&S/Ocado in online mystery shop

Waitrose driver was ‘punctual, efficient and welcoming’

Waitrose emerged as the victor by a narrow margin in our most recent evaluation of online grocery customer service, garnering an impressive score of 92 points, surpassing its arch rival Ocado/M&S by a mere two points.

Delivery proved to be a pivotal factor in the assessment. Not only was the delivery slot readily available, but the driver arrived promptly after providing a courtesy call to communicate a more precise time of arrival.

The driver’s exceptional service extended beyond punctuality. In a heartwarming gesture, the driver acknowledged that it was our shopper’s inaugural purchase from Waitrose and warmly welcomed her into the Waitrose family. Our shopper expressed, “He made me feel part of the family.” The driver demonstrated efficiency, attentiveness, and an inviting demeanor, ultimately delivering “a great service.”

Ocado secured a commendable score of 90 points, with their driver service as a standout feature. The drivers exhibited helpfulness, politeness, and a unhurried approach with our shopper. Notably, as a wheelchair user, our shopper greatly appreciated Ocado’s practice of segregating products into bags and categorizing them as fridge, cupboard, or freezer items.

However, Ocado faltered in terms of checking the condition of the items. Furthermore, despite improvements in availability and substitutions, they received a deduction for not offering bagless delivery.

Asda claimed the third position with a respectable score of 86 points. The driver displayed politeness, albeit without acknowledging the six substitutions or inspecting the condition of the goods.

Regrettably, at least three items, including perishable meat, possessed best-before dates that were a mere two days away, leaving our shopper somewhat dissatisfied.

Tesco garnered a score of 81 points, primarily driven by exceptional availability with no substitutions. Nevertheless, there were limited delivery slots accessible, despite our shopper placing the order three days prior to the scheduled shop. Consequently, our shopper was compelled to schedule a delivery for Sunday, a delay of two days.

Sainsbury’s delivery encountered a series of predicaments. When the delivery failed to materialize, our shopper contacted customer service, only to be informed of a delay. Subsequent attempts to reach the driver proved futile as the driver did not answer the store’s calls, leaving all customers awaiting delivery. In an unfortunate turn, our shopper was later contacted and falsely informed that she had not responded to the driver at the door.

Eventually, the delivery arrived at 11 PM, a staggering four and a half hours beyond the designated delivery slot.

Amazon secured the sixth position with a score of 62 points. While it emerged as the most economical option, availability suffered greatly, exacerbated by the unavailability of frozen food in our shopper’s area due to technical issues with the freezers, limited to the Glasgow region. Consequently, nine items were unavailable, and the alternatives offered failed to serve as satisfactory substitutes.

Morrisons provided free delivery to our shopper as a new customer. However, the overall experience was marred by poor availability, with three items unavailable for order and no alternative suggestions provided. Furthermore, the website’s navigation proved less intuitive, failing to rectify misspelled items or notify users of out-of-stock products.

Asda Morrisons Sainsbury’s Tesco Waitrose Amazon M&S/Ocado
Location South Wiltshire Canvey Island Essex Taunton Ottery St Mary, Devon Durham East Kilbride, Glasgow Ilford IG1 4SA
Time taken to complete order 31-35 mins >45 mins <25 mins <30 mins <30 mins >45 mins 36-40 mins
Availability/substitution score (20) 20 5 20 20 17 0 20
Website navigation score (25) 22 15 21 23 20 16 20
Delivery slot/punctuality score (20) 20 15 10 10 20 20 20
Driver service score (20) 14 12 12 18 20 14 18
Damage/sell-by score (10) 5 10 5 5 10 10 10
Plastic bag score (5) 5 2 2 5 5 2 2
Total Score (100) 86 59 70 81 92 62 90
Cost of regular 33 shop (£) £67.73 £72.01 £73.23 £75.47 £83.50 £66.60 £80.24
Delivery charge (£) £3.75 £0.00 £5.50 £5.50 £3.00 £0.00 £0.00
Plastic bags charge (£) £0.00 £0.50 £0.00 £0.75 £1.00 £0.00 £0.10
Total cost (£) £71.48 £72.51 £78.73 £81.72 £87.50 £66.60 £80.34
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