Careless Packing by Ocado

Dear Ocado,

You have not done so well today. Simon, who arrived early, noted a broken egg and said Ocado would waive cost on the box. In fact, three eggs were cracked. At £4.49 for a dozen organic ones, they don’t come cheaply.

Who knows whether this was careless baking or inattentive packing by Ocado?

Was this careless cooking or a delivery problem?

The packers also managed to destroy a fairly expensive apple tart. I expected better for £4.50.

On examining it more closely, the tart itself was not well made. Part of the normal pastry rim simply did not exist and the apple slices, which are normally packed concentrically, appeared to have been thrown in carelessly.

Additionally, there appears to be no sugar on the apples and the cinnamon is clumped in one place. The fact that the tart was tipped sideways in the delivery bag, however, exacerbated the problems. Goods of this ilk need to be packed flat and the packaging says this clearly.

Moving on, of the two medium-sized, ‘perfectly ripe’ avocados, one is rock hard. This is misleading advertising. Your goods are not good enough for the lunch I had planned for guests who are driving here from South London (180 miles return).

Perhaps I should ask them to pick up another avocado, some more eggs and a dessert of their choice at Waitrose on the way? 

Both the packaging and the collation of the apples beg more attention.

Is the packing faulty or the produce the problem?

Alternatively, I could shop for replacements, make a cake, and forget about the decor for a four course lunch.

No doubt, the yolks of the free range eggs from my local farm shop (Dymock Farm Shop) will be their usual bright yellow instead of pale and wan, even if they’re not organic. They may also have one or two large, ripe avocados at £1 each – their normal price.

I hope your standards of packing improve swiftly. Ocado is normally above average in this area; and your delivery men are, without exception, friendly and courteous. It is these things that have made you my online grocery retailer of choice for the last couple of years.

Finally, I have noticed that prices are creeping up despite the avowal that you match Tesco (or was it ASDA?).

Frankly, I don’t understand why you compare yourselves with these retailers. Many of your goods come from Waitrose although you are, often, less expensive. ‘Quality’ needs to be your catch cry – on products and packing. In my opinion, neither Tesco nor ASDA are known for this kind of expertise. But are Waitrose and Ocado slipping as well?

Yours faithfully.