About Sainsbury's substitutions?

(79 Posts)
nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 18:27:24

Just got a delivery. I don't use their service often but do like some own brand things. I knew they don't price match substitutions. Now am I wrong about the following? In which case IABU.

The 2 subs they made were on items in multi buy offers. They did not sub with other things in offer (I think they could have). Of course I could reject the subs, they were in a blue bag to identify them easily. I asked the delivery man what happened to the other offer items. He wanted to be helpful but didn't know. The only way to find out was to go online and compare the offer price on there with my actual receipt. Obviously he had to go so I did this afterwards. Sure enough the other items reverted to their single higher prices. So I ended up paying more than the offer price for items of lesser quality than I ordered (subs were basics range). Have I understood this right? I think that if they do this then all the items from the offers should be in blue bags so that they can all be easily rejected?

I have written to them but don't expect a reply soon.

dadinthehat Tue 30-Jul-13 18:28:38

Tesco always goes with the lower of the two prices if they substitute.

nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 18:32:53

Yes, I knew Sainsbury's don't do that. Ocado keep the offer price even if they can't provide all the items in an offer.

Rootatoot Tue 30-Jul-13 18:39:24

Ring them. Customer services have always beenjoy great when I've used them.

Rootatoot Tue 30-Jul-13 18:40:11

Blinking phone. Been not beenjoy whatever that is!

Boo86 Tue 30-Jul-13 18:43:23

are you my dp? this exact situation happened to us this morning!

nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 18:45:52

smile Do write (or phone) too Boo86 I think it is a bad policy and we should all tell them it is. My phone is charging and I've written now Root.

Osmiornica Tue 30-Jul-13 18:52:50

Yep, I've had that a few times too. I select no subs for anything like that now as otherwise you end up out of pocket.

Hegsy Tue 30-Jul-13 18:57:37

Sounds a bit pants. Hope you get a decent response from them. Although tesco price match their substitutions I've found some of them a bit strange normally end up returning most of the substitutions.

nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 18:58:17

How does that work Osmiornica as they did have the other items. eg you choose 3 items that usually cost £4 but the offer is 3 for £10. They send 2 items and sub the third. So they charge £8 plus the full price of the sub item. If I refuse the sub they still charge £8. Ocado would charge 6.66 in this case.

Nps1976 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:02:23

Asda will also charge full price if they sub one of the items in a 3 for £10 offer. They confirmed this when I rang to complain but gave me the discounted price as a gesture of goodwill. I'm sure Sainsburys will do the same.

nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 19:10:13

That would help Nps but not for next time. It's a stupid policy and I'm wondering if it isn't a sneaky way not to honour the offer. Next time I'll reject all the items in the offer but have to a) remember what the other items were or log in to online site to find out and then b) root through the shopping to find them. The delivery driver will be delayed.

I shouldn't have posted this, it's making me grumpier about it smile

cjel Tue 30-Jul-13 19:17:48

Waitrose always give you the lower price. Even got 800g gift of free strawberries on Sunday as they were getting close to sell by datesmile

pixiegumboot Tue 30-Jul-13 19:21:55

I always get a refund and a voucher when they do this to me. usually they try and fob me off with a generic email telling me shit about stock control etc. I just reply back telling them to tell someone who cares. if the whole offer is not available they now don't send any part of it too me. I must have a note on my filegrin

herecomesthsun Tue 30-Jul-13 19:51:48

Waitrose do NOT give the lower price if they substitute one of 3 items in a linked offer. It is VERY annoying.

Lomaamina Tue 30-Jul-13 19:55:02

I have the same problem with Sainsbury's, but they are good about refunding if you point out a problem to them. Have you emailed them with the order number and exactly what you want them to do?

BTW don't pay to phone them. Here's the freephone: 0800 636262

nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 19:59:33

I have Lomaamina, thank you.

cjel Tue 30-Jul-13 20:04:02

If you check and find wrose haven't, ring them and its their error and they willx

Winterwardrobetime Tue 30-Jul-13 20:18:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Buzzardbird Tue 30-Jul-13 20:19:19

If you go into the subs section and in the notes for anything on any kind of offer you note "please only sub for items within offer" this seems to miraculously stop them from being out of stock of anything you order on offer

starfishmummy Tue 30-Jul-13 20:24:50

I just tick the box against multi offer items to say I don't want a sub.

Lomaamina Tue 30-Jul-13 20:28:12

That's interesting Buzzardbird and starfishmummy: I must check if that works for me.

nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 20:32:02

Buzzard, that sounds like it would work but for me means doing it every time on nearly everything! Will do it though, thank you.

starfish that stops the sub but not the overcharging on the other items.

Buzzardbird Tue 30-Jul-13 20:43:16

Its laborious the first time but then it 'remembers' ones that you have commented on for further shops. Its worth it, trust me.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Jul-13 20:49:29

Tesco substituted 3x chicken pies for the steak pies I actually wanted last time I shopped online they must think I really love chicken pies as I already had 3 in my order.

Pissed me off because I ordered the steak for the kids who can't eat chicken so it meant I had to do totally separate meals that night.

Speedos Tue 30-Jul-13 20:52:54

I refuse to use Sainsburys delivery because of this exact problem. I complained many times and they refuse to budge saying it would give me an unfair advantage over in store shoppers.

Don't bother complaining, their policy sucks.

nemno Tue 30-Jul-13 21:14:02

That is a rubbish excuse Speedos. There were so many other things in the offers I got this morning that I could have chosen from in store.

Buzzardbird Tue 30-Jul-13 21:29:49

I got 'sub'd' cheese sauce (lazy I know but for emergencies), I got sent cumin seeds! I could not for the life of me make a connection. grin

AlwaysSleepingBeauty Wed 31-Jul-13 00:02:55

I've just made my first Sainsburys online order tonight just before seeing this thread, I'm scared now! I've used a £15 off when you spend £60 on a £62.50 order, I'm worried that the voucher will no longer apply if they make subs that bring the cost down.

nemno Wed 31-Jul-13 08:34:15

I wouldn't worry Always while I don't know for sure what their policy is (and I think the voucher has already been applied and locked in) I am confident one phone call would reinstate your discount if they don't honour it.

StainlessSteelCat Wed 31-Jul-13 08:44:49

the money off voucher will stand even if thecost of shopping dropsbelow £60. Any delivery charge will also stay at lower price if applicable. well, that's what has happened with my orders like that.

DingbatsFur Wed 31-Jul-13 09:10:03

Just call then up! I've found Sainsbury's customer services are very reasonable. You get this problem witg Tesco's too. Twice I have ordered their dine in for 10£ offer. Twice I have lost out through subs but a call to customer services puts it right.

LayMizzRarb Wed 31-Jul-13 09:30:01

Vote with your feet. I have had too many subs problems with Sainsbury. One Sunday morning, they delivered the obvious components of a roast dinner (meat, veg, stuffing, yorkshires etc) and the pots I had ordered were not available. They did not even bother substituting. Really? You had no potatoes available in the store anywhere? Cue frantic rushing to shop 10 miles away before guests arrived for lunch.
I cannot praise Ocado highly enough. They rarely have to substitute as they know exact stock levels at any given time. If they do, they send an email and text message a few hours prior to delivery. And if you shop with care, they are just as cheap as Tesco, and cheaper than Sainsbury.

AlwaysSleepingBeauty Wed 31-Jul-13 10:03:19

Thank you everyone, that's reassuring. We are moving tomorrow so the idea is that it will make it easier and we will have some food in without having to go shopping after a long day. Fingers crossed!

nemno Wed 31-Jul-13 10:13:13

I agree with LayMizzRarb Ocado is the best in my region by a mile. I have a pass for them and use them weekly with barely a problem. Their packing needs attention when it comes to soft fruit type products, though it is so easy to tell them online.

I guess I would find it preferable to shop instore when I really needed the products I prefer from Sainsbury's.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 31-Jul-13 10:21:37

I work for one of those grocers mentioned above as a picker.

Ocado probably are the best, but they don't deliver anywhere near the volume of some of the others.

You may not realise, but I don't pick one order at a time. I pick 6 different orders at the same time. I don't know any other items that you have chosen. The computer doesn't tell me. I only know what particular item I am picking. I can see about 6 items ahead, but I don't know for which customer.

Buzzard don't understand that sub, either. Computer suggests a sub, but I can override.

Sock, the picker prob didn't know that you had already chosen chicken pies for the reasons mentioned above.

When I first started I could see why certain problems arose. We also have a very high picking rate that we have to attain so don't have time to think wink

nemno Wed 31-Jul-13 10:39:37

Ilove that is interesting. So you have say 6 customers shopping in a trolley and then someone else out back divides it up? I wonder if the computer could try a choose a sub in the offer or at least tell you it is an offer item?

LayMizzRarb Wed 31-Jul-13 11:12:37

ilove that is really interesting ! Lord,they really do squeeze the most out of every worker don't they. I had visions of a picker doing my order individually grin
I also have an Ocado pass, so don't pay delivery everytime, and very often do two smaller shops dithered of the week. Their fruit and veg are better quality than Sainsbury in store and I have ordered expensive joints of beef (£50+) and fish, and the standard is always superb. Customer service is faultless. I once had a pot of cream arrive cracked, and it slightly leaked on my hall carpet. They refunded the cream and gave me a voucher code for a bottle of wine with my next order.

LayMizzRarb Wed 31-Jul-13 11:31:14

Dithered? - either end of the week grin

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 31-Jul-13 11:32:27

Prices and offers are not on computer. Prices are on shelf, but you really, honestly don't have time to look!

Yep, we are picking 6 different orders at the same time. So, for example, you are picking 6 different lots of toiletries as they are all in the same aisle. Every shop/trolley is assigned to you. Computer tells you exactly what to pick and which trolley to put it in. When I say trolley, it's one of those green plastic boxes that they often use in the fruit and veg. Each one has a different sign on it. You pick the item/s, scan and put in correct trolley. As I said, if the item is not available, computer will suggest sub. Usually sub is appropriate. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes there is nothing else appropriate available. If it's not appropriate, you can choose one yourself, but it's really difficult if you think about it. I don't know the customers personally, so what is right for one is not right for the other.

I suggest you put comments on the items you don't want subbed, or put other offer items only. We do read those and stick to them.

curryeater Wed 31-Jul-13 12:09:50

Sainsburys are absolutely shit for this and I believe they do do it to avoid honouring the offer. It just happens so often. Or maybe they just have shit packers who can't be bothered to find the thing you asked for. Between this, and the time and trouble and expense of filling in for their generally shit packing resulting in a half-arsed shop, it is very poor value and no real net gain in terms of saving yourself energy.

Ocado don't do this and as a result they do work out better value. If you shop precisely you don't waste anything because you don't end up with missing ingredients for recipes, that then have to be expensively shopped for at a moment's notice; or stupid full price nonsense you would not have bought 3 of, if you knew you were not going to get a deal.

I used Sainsbury's once and not again for this reason. We rang them and did get a refund of the difference, but it's not worth the hassle really. Ocado and Tesco sort the pricing automatically, so I just use them now.

curryeater Wed 31-Jul-13 12:18:59

Sorry, x-posted with judgejudy, very interesting!
I think the software you have is at fault - it could be programmed to manage the offers etc better and to give you better visibility

MissStrawberry Wed 31-Jul-13 12:29:39

If Waitrose substitute they charge the lower of the two prices. You can specify subs or not on each individual item (not just yes/no on the whole shop) and you can also write notes to the packer.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 31-Jul-13 12:30:59

I think if we had better visibility there would be more chance of things getting muddled. It would be very easy to pack the items in the wrong place. Luckily, the computer kind of stops you doing that, but there is obviously only so much it can do without the whole thing becoming very complicated.

Really, when you're picking you're not really thinking about the person whose shopping you're doing. You're just concentrating on getting the job done as well and quickly as possible, using bags or not, depending on what the customer wants.

A little tip - have your shopping delivered as early as possible, then you should have fewer substitutions, ime. My picking is done in a warehouse, though, not in a shop.

gobbin Wed 31-Jul-13 14:57:06

Sainsburys do have some weird subs e.g. the Warburtons white bread I wanted wasn't available so they substituted...nothing! What?! You mean there wasn't one, single boring white loaf of ANY sort available?

Tesco subs are usually sensible.

Sainsburys are great when you do have a problem though (e.g. Out of date tuna sandwich spread recently) and will always give you a refund and a voucher even without being asked (£7.50 in this case which was the delivery plus a bit extra).

Never thought Sainsburys were being sneaky with goods on offer, this has never been an issue for me.

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 12:43:11

This is still ongoing. I am being sent an evoucher today I think. But the generic response only talked about my disappointment at the missing stock and all about their difficulties and how they do their best. So I repeated about how poor their policy re offers is.

If in future, I put a note to picker that I want a sub from within the offer what happens if I then reject the sub because it is unsuitable? Do the other offer items go back up to full price, potentially increasing the overall bill even with the one fewer item?

curryeater Thu 01-Aug-13 13:27:07

JudgeJudy has basically explained that the pickers can't think about your shopping sensibly in those terms, so in other words, you can't shop online to offers - you just can't select and shop that way from Sainsburys - I would say that if that is your modus operandi (it is mine) you can only shop online with other stores or instore with Sainsburys

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 13:46:37

JudgeJudy said "I suggest you put comments on the items you don't want subbed, or put other offer items only. We do read those and stick to them" after Buzzardbird wrote that Sainsbury's have this facility, which they do.

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 14:08:54

It got me doubting so I double checked (it involved me making up and starting to check out another order to almost the payment bit!) and no, Sainsbury's do not allow notes to pickers, just yes or no to subs. I think judge Judy works for Tescos , they do allow you to state 'only other item in offer only' (do Waitrose? Ocado don't).

Waitress let you write any note you want, which can be very useful!

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 14:29:12

Yes, Tesco and it turns out Waitrose are the ones who know I like my bananas green smile

All items in the offer should be in the blue bag - if you were to do a BOGOF in a shop, then wanted to return one of the items, you would have to return both of the items.
same for 3for2, you'd have to return all 3
2 for £2, you'd have to return both.

They should extend that to selling to you - they have basically broken their own T&Cs for not offering you the chance to change the whole offer because part of the offer wasn't available

"eg you choose 3 items that usually cost £4 but the offer is 3 for £10. They send 2 items and sub the third. So they charge £8 plus the full price of the sub item. If I refuse the sub they still charge £8. Ocado would charge 6.66 in this case."

this is your example.

In this case, they should put all 3 items (the two and the sub) into your subs bag, so that you can choose whether or not you would still like to buy the two outside of the offer.
Making you buy them even though they can't fulfil the offer is wrong and unfair

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 14:41:37

I totally agree with this, I stated earlier in the thread that they should be put in the blue bags and this is the gist of my email to Sainsbury's. There is no way to see from the receipt which the other offer items are so if you can't remember it would mean going on line and hoping the offer is still ongoing and then rooting through all the shopping to find them.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 01-Aug-13 16:59:21

Only put actual subs in subs bags here. That's the way the system is. You could write and ask if system could be changed. Maybe it can. I do understand your frustration.

Do you buy loads of offer stuff? In the meantime, could you just scribble on a piece of paper the ones that are on offer that you ordered, put that by the front door so that you can look through your stuff as it enters your house. If you order your stuff without bags, you'd have to unload it all from the green containers, anyway, so you could look through the stuff then? If it's cold/freezer stuff, it's gonna be in different bags, anyway.

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 01-Aug-13 17:01:34

Just saw your thing about the offer stuff being put in the bags with the sub stuff. Couldn't do it, the way I pick. Don't have time to look what's on offer. You could put a note, as we discussed previously. Then we would look. Only subs are put in special bags here as only subs can be rejected other than for bad quality reasons, etc, I think.

I hope you manage to sort something out to your satisfaction.

Judge - that's why it would be useful on your computer for offer items to be flagged up.

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 17:09:04

I really appreciate your input JudgeJudy. Sainsbury's doesn't have the facility for notes to picker, they also don't do bagless delivery. Your idea of making a note of what I've bought on offer is an idea, thanks. But having just had the reply from Sainsburys where they ignore all points other than what they are refunding I don't think i'll bother with them again.

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 17:11:54

Forgot to add, But their website says you can reject any item at all for refund . Isn't this an overall legal requirement for online shopping though?

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 01-Aug-13 17:37:24

Don't have shopping delivered, myself, so don't know about the refund question. Probably you can reject anything, but I suppose in reality you wouldn't unless you had changed your mind as you supposedly need the food you've ordered smile.

You can't put notes for picker? Gosh. Where I am it's all about the notes from the customer. Customer is definitely king.

somewhereaclockisticking Thu 01-Aug-13 17:43:08

makes me think it's never worth risking and you might as well go into the shop (if you can) - it sounds a very sneaky idea to not honour offers that actually I suspect probably are still available in the store, but even if they weren't then there should be someone to call each customer and advise that they cannot fulfill all the order and would they like substitutes?

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 17:48:32

It's Ocado all the way for me now, this was my first deviation from them in months. Lesson learnt smile

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 01-Aug-13 18:54:04

Some I work in a huge warehouse type facility. We do 2600 orders per day. If the item is available, the customer will get it. The idea of the substitute bags is so that the customer can reject the subs if they want. Could you imagine calling 2000 people per day if one of their items isn't available?

nemno Please post on this thread how your Ocado shop goes? Thanks. Does Ocado have the same number of items available? Don't they substitute? Just interested.

ouryve Thu 01-Aug-13 18:59:31

This always bugs me with Sainsburys deliveries and is one of the reasons I only bother about once a month or when we're really busy or someone's too poorly to go out (that, plus the awful website which constantly times out and loses items, plus the fact that I prefer to choose my own food, amongst other things). I've found it helpful, when it was possible to say no subs please, to make sure I allowed subs for multibuy items, so a sensible packer would put two of them in, instead - so I'd choose two different cheeses in a twofer and hopefully, one of them would be in stock, so I'd get my saving.

ouryve Thu 01-Aug-13 19:04:09

I refuse to use Sainsburys delivery because of this exact problem. I complained many times and they refuse to budge saying it would give me an unfair advantage over in store shoppers.

What utter tosh! In store, you choose from what's there and don't have to be telepathic and know that something will have sold out at 10am next Wednesday!

ComtesseDeFrouFrou Thu 01-Aug-13 19:05:10

Interesting to hear how JudgeJudy does it; in my local Sainsburys I see the pickers going round the shop doing the orders so presumably they would be better placed to judge the substitutions and/or whether you're going to go outside the offers if one item isn't available. Conversely, I wonder if they are worse off in terms of availability of items because they're picking from the same pool of stock as all the shoppers in store.

I think that some areas have warehouse picking and some have in store picking, so it's another one that depends on where you live, a bit like the helpfulness of your delivery driver.

ouryve Thu 01-Aug-13 19:07:46

LayMizz - some of us can't vote with our feet. Here, we have a straight choice between Sainsburys, Tesco and ASDA. I can't stand Tesco or ASDA and find it impossible to do a decent week's shop at either store, so I'm blown if I'm going to use their online service.

Neither Ocado nor Waitrose deliver to these parts.

ouryve Thu 01-Aug-13 19:15:15

Sainsburys used to have the notes section, about a decade ago.

Interestingly, I made a new accounts linked to my own Nectar card, instead of DH's, since I do most of the ordering while he's at work, now, and while I had substitution checkboxes on DH's account in June, I didn't have any on mine, 2 weeks ago.

dimdommilpot Thu 01-Aug-13 19:19:33

This happened to me with Sainsburys. The driver refunded me (it was a bogof and what they sent wasnt)

nemno Thu 01-Aug-13 19:22:46

JudgeJudy, you've been very helpful thanks. Yes Ocado do substitute but really really rarely. I think because they are only online and pack from a warehouse they can allocate you your product at the time you place your online order. If they have allocated all of it the website stops anyone else ordering it ie it shows online as out of stock. But you will still get it.

If they do have to substitute you already get told by text early on the day of delivery. And as I said if something is on offer at say 3 for £10 then whatever they do deliver from that offer is £3.33.

MissStrawberry Thu 01-Aug-13 19:27:29

I used to have Ocado bring my food because I thought they were part of Waitrose. Not now though especially as Waitrose don't get the money and I prefer W to O.

dottyladybug Thu 01-Aug-13 19:34:47

About a month ago I was doing my Tesco delivery online and DH asked can I get some cherries, just a handful as he is the only one in the house who likes them, I added 20 loose cherries to my basket.

The next day when the order arrived the driver said you have a sub for your cherries. They had no loose cherries so were unable to send me the 20 I ordered so had given me 20 small plastic cellophane wrapped containers each containing apron 20-25 cherries (at £1.00) each.

I was a bit shock hmm confused, asked the driver if he would get in trouble for that as there was no extra charge and he said no. We had about 400 cherries, that was a month ago and they have never charged for them.

Needless to say Dh hasn't eaten a cherry since!!!!

TimeofChange Thu 01-Aug-13 19:45:57

I ordered a load of special offer drinks from Asda and noticed that it said that if the goods aren't on offer the day the goods are packed then they would charge full price!

I only bought them because they were on offer.
I didn't want them if they were full price.
Anyway, I did check the receipt and it was ok.

I know it does sound like I'm a hoarder of bargain drinks - but honestly I'm not.

HaroldLloyd Thu 01-Aug-13 21:19:30

I've been using ocado lately, they have a price match on with tesco and if you don't order anything posh its not that bad at all. Plus free delivery from a man who always offers to carry stuff through in an amusingly named van.

nemno Fri 02-Aug-13 13:51:58

Because JudgeJudy asked;

I got an email in the small wee hours stating Geoffrey in Lemon van would be delivering and there were no substitutions. The attached receipt showed the expiry dates of all products (soft fruit on Sunday , everything else longer) and spelled out all offers. I got a text at 8am confirming. He arrived halfway through the allotted hour, was very polite and friendly and brought my bags into the kitchen.

All is present and correct, I am happy. I know I will get an email later telling me how my shopping cost compared to Tescos and giving me a discount voucher if Tescos was cheaper (occasionally is).

I don't know whether Ocado has as many products as the big supermarkets but I've never noticed anything missing. I think even though they stock Waitrose own and Ocado own brand things these ranges may not be as extensive as say Tescos. But all branded stuff is there and they stock some high end foreign brands eg Reflet and Natoora (very expensive).

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 02-Aug-13 20:41:49

Thank you for the update, nemno. That's very interesting and sounds fantastic. No subs and all the expiry dates. Wow!

snugglesnook Fri 02-Aug-13 20:42:32


Lomaamina Thu 08-Aug-13 07:41:12

Update on refunds: I'd keep an eagle eye (and clear notes) on items returned. By the time your bank statement comes through it's up to a month from when items might have been returned. This month for example I had to chase up £7.00 worth of goods that Tesco 'conveniently' forgot to refund. I wonder how much money is lost by customers this way?

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