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04 Sep 2005: Canary Wharf

A picture

Canary Wharf Vista

I may have been a whinging ninny last month, but that's not to say I can appreciate good service when it comes to visit. Last month we tried out a new online shopping delivery service called Ocado, who are partnered up with Waitrose.

Although they did turn up a little late, there are several promising indicators. One, they actually 'phoned us to let us know they would be late. Two, the best before/use by dates on all of the products were sufficiently far ahead in the future, unlike Tesco where you could quite often find yourself with food that would be dead in a day. Three, everything was delivered, no substitutes at all (Tesco often can't deliver all of your order and will give you appropriate substitutes). Four, we didn't get anyone else's shopping by accident (admittedly, this was our first time). Five, they've got these nice colour-coded bags so you can see what goes in the fridge, freezer and cupboard without having to check each bag individually. Six, a certain batch of a Waitrose product was recalled recently and Ocado knew we had that received one from the affected batch - they told us to throw it away and the refund would be automatic.

I'm not sure exactly how Ocado works, but it sounds like they work from a warehouse rather than a Waitrose branch. Tesco do all their home deliveries from a branch - I know, I've seen the staff collecting them - and I'm not sure this particularly efficient or attuned to customers' needs. Thus far, Ocado: thumbs up.