The Dangers of Online Grocery –


For health reasons, I did almost all the shopping online.

It’s not more convenient, because the buying process involves a good amount of follow-up, as the buyer ignores their fallback instructions and either texts or doesn’t text for instructions. (I consider it “the world’s worst video game”.) Unlike the person, I don’t have much control over the timing, as purchases will occur randomly up to 3 hours before delivery time . And the delivery window is also only theoretical; I suspect the ratio of potential buyers to customers has gone down and as a result my often large orders with good advice are entered early. This is because they are often delivered well before the window I set, which can also conflict with online meetings etc.

And it’s expensive: I calculate that between the markup of the app on the prices in store, and the tip, I pay at least 25% more than if I went there myself.

And it’s frustrating when certain types of things that I think I can find in person aren’t offered on the app. [Yes, there’s a ‘special requests’ mechanism, but it is a bit of a pain.] And it’s also frustrating when things theoretically on the app turn out not to be available, although I imagine that would probably be just as frustrating in person too, given the supply chain issues.

Today, however, I ran into a new online grocery problem – or at least a new one for me.

In the middle of an order with multiple items, I requested this:

I got most of what I asked for, but in addition to the chicken I asked for (or wanted to ask for?), I also got (and was duly charged for) this:

Yes, I have FIVE chickens. Five. I didn’t save a copy of the original order (I definitely will from now on) so I can’t prove that I didn’t do anything to get the app to save an order for a record number of chickens, although I can’t see how I could have done that.

So now I have five chickens. I guess I know what we’re eating this week. After that.

Plus, I have a new appetite for chicken jokes. (Bonus: Painful Iraq Chicken Jokes 2004.)


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