Woman charged $18 for single head of broccoli in bungled supermarket order

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Woman charged $18 for single head of broccoli in bungled supermarket order

Getting the right groceries in your online order can be hit and miss, especially during lockdown.

But one Auckland woman’s experience with ordering online led to the arrival of a very expensive vegetable on her doorstep.

Amanda Jones had ordered around $60 worth of groceries from her local Countdown in Greenlane – well over the $50 minimum spend required to qualify for delivery – including bakery items and dog food.

But she was astonished when just a single head of broccoli was delivered to her home – and she was charged $18 for it.

Countdown charges $14 per order for delivery, but Jones had requested that no substitutions be made to her order in case certain items weren’t available.

“I ordered a few things and ticked no substitutions,” she told the Herald.

“Instead of notifying me [that they were out of stock], they sent the broccoli and charged the courier fee.

“It was stupid – if they’d let me know I would have just said don’t worry about delivering it.

“They just delivered the one piece of limp broccoli.”

Countdown’s delivery policy on their website states that orders up to $199.99 come with a delivery cost of $14.

“A minimum order value of $50 and a $1 bag charge per order will be applied at checkout.”

In response to the Herald’s request for comment, a representative for Countdown said they would refund the delivery fee.

“We’ve reached out to see if we could resend the missing items from their order, now they are back in stock, and to credit the delivery fee back.

“Under our online shopping terms and conditions, if shoppers don’t allow for substitutions, the final total of their order will reduce as products are removed from their trolley but the fixed delivery fee will remain the same.”

However, they did not comment on the fact that Jones hadn’t been notified that items were missing from her order.

She’s still confused as to how it went wrong, though she said she’s now been refunded for the delivery.

Jones isn’t the first shopper to have missing items in her delivery due to low stock – and she wondered if the biggest issue was down to shortages in the store.

Last month the Herald reported that supply chain issues and labour costs were leading to rising food prices, particularly for meat, poultry, fish and vegetables.

The price of chicken was up 10 per cent, eggs 12 per cent and roasting pork 8.7 per cent, according to Stats NZ.

And the price of vegetables alone has risen 19 per cent in the past year – showing in higher prices for tomatoes, lettuce and broccoli.

Broccoli was also one of the most popular items purchased at grocery stores across New Zealand during lockdown.

During August when the level 4 lockdown first hit, the biggest-selling item at major supermarkets across the country was bananas, closely followed by broccoli, avocados and milk.

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