[OM] Michael's VESO: Grocery delivery options

Subject: [OM] Michael's VESO: Grocery delivery options
From: "Michael R. Collins" <MRC.OlympusList@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 16:35:51 -0400
VESO = Vignette Every So Often, in these troubled times. Today's tale: checking grocery delivery options. (We're voluntarily mostly-isolating, while continuing to work at home.)

1. Signed up for Grocery Gateway, smooth enough and we like and trust Longo's [the small supermarket chain here that owns it], only issue is that the first delivery slot is about 10 days away. But a British-born Canadian, so queueing for an indefinite time is normal.

2. Bruno's [a small supermarket chain here, one is just up the street] says they're not able to take on any more delivery customers, understandable. They have asked customers to reserve 8:00-9:00 daily for elderly and more needy customers, I think I'll choose to qualify, first time was pretty peaceful and everyone well-behaved. I like Bruno's.

3. Pusateri's [another small supermarket chain here, one is just down the street] is opening an hour earlier at 7:00 daily for elderly customers; same choice for me. Also, though, the Pusateri's Web site says they've partnered with Instacart for shopping and delivery. Quick check shows Instacart is a San Francisco-based multinational (US and Canada), since 2012, some dubious business practices, but almost any port in a storm at the moment. Except cruise ship ports.

Sign up, no problem. Start shopping at Pusateri's as a test, initially no problem. Got seven things in the cart, go to the cart to check out, oops, "Pusateri's: Delivery unavailable". Wha?

Pusateri's has a blog, apparently they suspended the delivery service on the 17th, reinstated it on the 19th, so that can't be the issue. Decide to double-check in the morning before calling them to rant.

Morning: lo and behold, there's a "within 5 hours" slot available today, though nothing after that until Thursday. Called Pusateri's anyway and left a message, want to understand why I couldn't set any delivery date/time last night.

Order confirmed. First, "Erika K is shopping your order." Then after a long while it's Fred. Then it's Carol S. And together with each notification, I'm invited to "add items before shopping begins". Wha?

Then the delivery window, initially 2:10-3:10, is revised to 3:30-4:00 due to "a surge in customer demand"". But haven't I had *three* people shopping for me for hours already? Something not truthful here.

At 2:51, text says driver is en route (local Pusateri's is 2 minutes away, but don't know which one Carol was shopping at), Web site status says Carol is still shopping for me, status is Shopping Complete but not In Transit. Hmmm.

At 3:25 Carol deposited the bag on the doorstep (but didn't ring the doorbell as instructed). Just what we ordered, all good.

Will we continue to use Instacart? Probably, though will reevaluate after the first Grocery Gateway end-to-end experience (so far very straightforward). But this is 2020, for $%^&* sake - can't a company with a valuation of $8B run a simple business properly, after 8 years of practice?


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