Online shopping is, as I have said many times before, one of the marvels of the modern world.
The fact that you can sit at home in your pyjamas deciding what you’re going to have for dinner that week without having to drag the kids out to the shop and getting caught out by those sneaky checkout sweets EVERY TIME… It’s brilliant.
But let’s face it…
Online shopping, especially for fresh stuff, can be a little confusing.
I have long told the tale of the 3kg of grapes that arrived at my door when I thought I had ordered 500g (aka a normal amount). That’s a lot of grapes, even if you (like me) like grapes.
That is by no means the worst of online shopping fails to befall anyone ever; most people, it emerges, have a story like this. It’s easy enough to do.
Jo said ‘I went to order 7 carrots and ordered 7 bags of carrots when I was pregnant. When they were delivered I was asleep and as I had been craving carrots my husband accepted the whole delivery of them.’
Amanda ordered ‘7kg of bananas instead of 7 single bananas. We had a LOT of banana bread.’
Another friend told me that once she mistakenly ordered a whole kilogram of fresh ginger… and another time 1 tomato, 1 potato and 1 carrot. That’s a really sad stew.
At other times, the substitute system maybe doesn’t work as well as it should.
‘Despite having a completely vegetarian shop, because I didn’t put in the notes that we were vegetarian it was perfectly acceptable to replace quorn peppered steaks with beef steaks, raw and bloody.’ (Katie, Mummy in a Tutu)
An (anon) friend who works in Tesco blames the system, which offers up such genius items pregnancy tests when condoms are out of stock. Unsurprisingly, she says, they receive a fair few complaints.
Someone else told me they’d once ordered a pack of kiwi fruits to go in packed lunches and received a tin of kiwi boot polish instead, another said that rather than the large chicken they’d planned to have for Easter lunch they were sent a large chicken soft toy!
Then there are the times when life gets in the way and your shop maybe doesn’t quite go as planned.
‘I’ve chucked a couple of bottles of champagne in my online trolley, just to reserve a delivery slot before, with the intention of going back to do my proper shop later. Of course, I forgot, so had a bit of a surprise when a bloke turned up with champagne and nothing else!’ (Beth, Beta Mummy)
As mistakes go, that isn’t a bad one really.
‘I book a shop, I always make up the £40 minimum order with 15 packs of Purina one cat biscuits, then when I can be arsed I edit it with what we actually need. However, last week I forgot to take the cat biscuits off the cart and £40 worth of cat biscuits showed up at my door. The cat thought Christmas had come round again!’ (Rebecca)
I’ve heard this one done with a singular bottle of gin too; which was delivered on its own at 8am with an excessive delivery charge for not meeting the minimum spend.
‘I asked my husband to place an order and stock up the freezer after a holiday, he bought so much meat we actually had to buy a second dedicated meat freezer. It’s come in handy though, OTT meat buying seems to have become something of a habit’ (Sam, Dafuq Is Dis)
Well, if there was ever a time to consider buying a commercial freezer, Sam…
That’s not the only tale of men buying badly.
One friend said her husband is so distracted by the deals advertised online that he often ends up buying five or ten of the same thing in a fit of over excitement because of the bargain price, though I’m not sure that’s how money saving works.
Sometimes though, it’s not the fault of the people, it’s the product description that’s wrong.
‘I have 4 rolls of baking parchment because every time I put “tinfoil” into Ocado the first thing that pops up on the list is actually baking parchment and I just click on it. BECAUSE I TYPED TINFOIL NOT BAKING PARCHMENT’
‘When I was younger I was allowed to choose something from the Toy Section in the LittleWoods catalogue. I was so excited that Mum agreed to a children’s pushchair, she couldn’t believe the price, when it arrived we’d actually just ordered a rain cover for a toy pushchair. Needless to say it went back and I never got that pushchair!‘ (Cassie)
And sometimes it’s a drunken purchase fail and you begin to consider your life choices.
At least I know I do every time a ‘Wish’ parcel turns up (although I maintain that automatic loo seat light was a brilliant use of £2).
‘My MIL got a crochet goldfish for Xmas, that night I got drunk and ordered myself one and didn’t know until he turned up a week later. He’s called Boris‘ (Lisa, Pass The Prosecco Please)
And possibly my favourite…
‘If anyone needs packing nuggets or knows someone who needs them please take some from me! I may have got my quantities mixed up and may have ordered 10x what I actually needed’ (Daniella)
In short, as wondrous as online shopping can be, it can also be a disaster.
I guess the takeaway message is to stay sober, and check and double check your baskets before checking out, or alternatively share your shopping fails with us in our Facebook group!
This is a collaborative post.