Wednesday, 12 September 2012

ASDA (not so) Superstore

Customer Service
ASDA House
Great Wilson Street
Leeds LS11 5AD

12th September 2012

Dear Mr Clarke CEO & President of Asquith & Dairies aka ASDA (I always wondered what ASDA stood for! Thanks for your very informative website)


I would like to tell you a story, a story of frustration, disappointment and certainly not money saving.

Before I moved to London, I shopped at Tesco’s. Not sure why - it was just what I did. However when I moved to the big smoke it gave me the opportunity to reassess, to start again as they say. I was a big boy now and I was making decision all by myself. Again I can’t tell you exactly why, maybe it’s the slightly flirtatious bum tap at the end of your adverts or that my favourite colour is green? To be honest it’s probably because I’m now fending for myself in the big bad world and saving money has become increasingly important and you are indeed the cheapest supermarket to shop with (and don’t you go on about it!!) but for whatever reason I began to order my online grocery shopping with you.

After I found you on the internet and told you what I wanted, you said you could deliver. We agreed a time to meet and although you kept me waiting (fashionably late I suppose) I overlooked this when you arrived at my door and you looked just like you did on the website. Like any relationship there was a blissful honeymoon period, we met a couple more times, all very brief encounters but each as rewarding as the last… and then things started going wrong.

One night a couple of weeks ago, we agreed to meet at mine between 8 and 10 (rather vague but you said you couldn’t be any more specific) but to my disappointment you never arrived. I tried calling and after several calls with no answer I finally managed to speak to someone at your store. I was told your van had broken down (a flash of doubt flickered across my mind but who was I to say you were lying?) but that you would definitely be there to deliver my order that night. So I waited, and waited before calling you again after 12pm to find out what time you weredefinitely arriving. No answer!

After a restless night questioning what had gone wrong I called you the next morning, you apologised apparently your driver had been unable to get his van fixed and returned to the store and gone home without letting me know I would not be receiving my food, I hope you agree not the best customer service to put it mildly. I was understandably disappointed but these things do happen so asked to rearrange for the following evening only to be told this wasn’t possible. Apparently my order had been unloaded from the van and cancelled from the system so you had no record of what I had asked for? After much toing and froing you were adamant that the only option for me was to reorder my delivery online, to log in and select every item again. I was in disbelief and asked to be refunded my money so I could shop elsewhere. To my pleasant surprise I was informed that ASDA don’t take any money until the delivery has been signed for at the delivery stage, and as this had not happen it appeared I was free to pursue a new relationship with one of your friends.

Unfortunately I was about to learn that not every word you say is true, and after a pleasant conversation, with first my bank and then your customer service team, I was informed that although ASDA had not completed the financial transaction (they confirmed theoretically this happens after I have signed for the delivery – so probably sometime next year then?) until then the money for my shop, which has as confirmed by my bank left my account, is locked in a parallel universe somewhere between one where Harry Potter is real and another where I play football for England, possibly one where I get my asda delivery on time but hopefully one where you don’t exist, but never the less unavailable to me for seven days!!! Seven days is a long time, just ask Craig David!

So to confirm, just so that we are clear, despite assuring me you have not taken payment, the money which I have paid for the shopping with has left my account and is unavailable for me to retrieve and spend at a different superstore? Oh I get it, YOU HAVE TAKEN MY PAYMENT!

Stay with me, this story is nearing its end… after cancelling the order and EVENTUALLY getting my money back I chose to shop elsewhere; let’s call them ainsberries. I enjoyed my time with them but after a number of successful rendezvous I was foolishly wooed back to you with the promise of free delivery and a £10 e-voucher. Some time had passed between our argument and I was willing to give you another chance, everyone deserves a second chance, right?

So this brings me to two nights ago, I’m at home waiting for you to arrive sometime between 8 and 10 again, I know I know you can’t be more specific. My phone rings but before I can walk the length of my room to answer the phone stops, “blocked number” my phone reads; but wait there’s a message. Apparently you can’t find my flat…. but haven’t you been here numerous times before?

Ok, you’ve left me a number to call to direct you to my flat, fair enough. I call back straight away and speak to a very helpful member of staff at the store you’ve come from who says they will contact you so I can give directions to you. After a few minutes on hold, she returns to break some bad news. The driver, in his infinite wisdom, has cancelled the order (clearly this guys has never been told if at first you don’t succeed try again) and that means that despite still having my food in the van and still being within driving distance of my flat there is no possible way on earth that my order can now be delivered!  Apparently once that box is ticked there is no going back. But hang on, it’s not even 8.45 yet? Surely you still have an hour and fifteen minutes left to deliver my order, unfortunately not because apparently you are already on your way back to the store (if you were getting home early to watch the England match I hope you were as disappointed as I was!!) and again it is now impossible for me to receive my food. I’m starting to get the impression you don’t like me anymore, was it something I said?

Understandably upset I rang your call centre to complain, again the person I spoke to was excellent and to their credit appeared as genuinely annoyed about the poor service as I was. I agreed to have the order redelivered the next evening (at least this time I wasn’t told I had to order the whole shop over again) and was kindly offered money off my next shop again. As I was contemplating never shopping at asda again this didn’t really help, but the reassurance of the customer service person at least left me feeling like this would not happen again. So I cancelled my plans for the following evening, and stayed in to wait for my shop this time to be delivered around 7pm. …. Oh wait apparently you can be more specific!

At 7.20 my phone rang, blocked number, this wasn’t going to be good news! The same member of staff from your store, who by now I am genuinely feeling sorry for, tells me that the only van she has available to get my shopping to me has broken down (you’ve used this one before, now I’m really starting believe you don’t want to meet up anymore?) and that she wishes there was something she could do but there is no way to get my food to me! I’m fed up now, properly fed up. The manager apologies and offers yet more e-vouchers but they don’t just don’t cut it! I mean I can’t eat e-vouchers can I? Although they’re probably about as tasty as your own brand corn flakes!

And what really takes the biscuit, 
and not literally because I haven’t received any yet, is that yet again I am out of pocket and have no option but to schedule a redelivery for today, meaning I have to cancel my plans to see Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds at the roundhouse. No….they’re not Oasis but still!

Furthermore as a result I have for the past two evenings had to eat beans on toast due to having no other food in the house, don’t get me wrong, I love beans on toast… the trick is to double cook the beans so that the sauce is nice and thick (well in the case of your own brand beans it’s more like quadruple cook as there is so much juice in the can) sorry I digress, but you can see where I am going… your failure to live up to your promises has, and is continuing to, significantly inconvenience me. Thanks for the e-voucher offer but are you going to send me tickets to the concert I missed or the lunches I’ve had to buy? You see because I work 9 – 6 weekdays and because I have no food or money to buy food elsewhere my only option is to cancel my plans and, fingers crossed, receive my delivery tonight!

You may read this and think, this cheeky chappy (I’m not!) isn’t too serious but don’t be mistaken I am extremely angry at the way you have treated me! I don’t deserve this, you could have just been honest from the start and told me things weren’t going to work out…. It’s not you it’s me, you could have said, and I would have believed you. Instead you’ve led me on with undelivered promises and I’ve had enough.

This is it, you and I are over! Please send me my food so I can try to move on from this horrible mess.

And don’t tell your friends this was a mutual decision, I’m leaving you! And I’m taking our friends with me; I want them to know what you’re really like! I honestly feel sorry for your staff that have to deal with complaints like mine, they have been a shining light in an otherwise entirely depressing experience with you and one disappointment I have is that by leaving you I won’t get to speak to them anymore. Maybe I can have them every other weekend?

I don’t know how you string along all the other people you’re involved with (yes I know about them I just ignored it) but I hope they find out about the REAL you!

I wish I could say I would like to stay friends… but I don’t!

Yours sincerely