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Sainsbury’s customers slam ‘bad service’ after supermarket can’t fulfil ‘vast majority’ of online food orders

Sainsbury’s customers have slammed the supermarket’s “bad service” as thousands were left without food orders after a software issue impacted contactless payments.

The supermarket said a technical glitch had affected its ability to fulfil the vast majority of online deliveries today and it was working to resolve the problem.

Tesco also said it was working to fix a technical issue which had affected a small proportion of orders that were set to be delivered today.

On Saturday, Sainsbury’s page on X was inundated with customers’ complaints that their orders had not arrived or had been delayed.

Have you been affected by this? Email alexander.butler@independent.co.uk

Sainsbury’s said it was suffering technical issues which have impacted its ability to fulfil the “vast majority” of online deliveries. File photo (PA)
Sainsbury’s said it was suffering technical issues which have impacted its ability to fulfil the “vast majority” of online deliveries. File photo (PA)

Iain Sankey, a retired teacher, claimed the East Dulwich branch had no internet and was only taking cash when he visited on Saturday morning.

“Luckily, I had enough cash but astonished to find that there were still no manned tills in this situation,” he wrote on X.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Due to an error with an overnight software update, we are experiencing issues with contactless payments. All of our stores are open as usual today, accepting chip and pin and cash payments.

“We’re experiencing technical issues affecting some stores, our groceries online service and our ability to contact customers.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to fulfil the vast majority of today’s Groceries Online deliveries. We are working hard to fix the issue and apologise to our customers for the inconvenience. We will contact customers proactively to rebook orders as soon as we can.”

Customers slammed the supermarket’s ‘bad service’ and claimed they only found out through social media (PA)
Customers slammed the supermarket’s ‘bad service’ and claimed they only found out through social media (PA)

Meanwhile, Tesco customer Craig Butcher told The Independent he was due to receive a delivery but got an email saying it was cancelled due to a “system issue”.

A Tesco spokesperson told The Independent: “We are working to fix a technical issue which has meant we have had to cancel some online orders that were due for delivery today. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

Sainsbury’s Customer Alan Woodhouse added that the Sainsbury’s Local in West Hendon, north London, was also “only taking cash”.

In one picture taken in Sussex, confused Sainsbury’s customers could be seen having heated discussions with staff as they queued up outside cash machines with trollies full of produce.

It comes after the Sainsbury’s announced a plan to save around £1billion in costs through reduced deliveries, waste and replenishment costs and the increased use of automation.

Around 30 per cent of online grocery delivery users in the UK use Sainsbury’s, research shows (AFP via Getty Images)
Around 30 per cent of online grocery delivery users in the UK use Sainsbury’s, research shows (AFP via Getty Images)

The supermarket said it would use more automated tills and warehouse robots, as well as AI forecasting tools to ensure it had the right stock in stores.

Simon Roberts, the chief executive of Sainsbury’s, did not rule out job losses as a result of the changes. He claimed the group’s “legacy systems” were slowing it down and leading to more waste than necessary.

As part of up to £850m in annual investment for the next three years, Sainsbury’s is also set to rejig 180 of its supermarkets to make more space for food.

A different Sainsburys customer wrote: “Our delivery was expected between 7.30am and 8.30am. I have tried to call but you’re cutting all customers off.

“We don’t know if our delivery has been cancelled or will be redelivered. You could at least advise your customers. Really bad service.”

Another customer added: “This is terrible service! I’m in the same boat. Only knew about the issue through social media and am left wondering whether it will be rescheduled or whether I do this my self.”

Around 30 per cent of online grocery delivery users in the UK use Sainsbury’s, research shows. The supermarket delivers at least 700,000 grocery orders a week.

Around 51 per cent of online grocery delivery users in the UK use Tesco, according to the same research.