M&S shoppers left furious as Ocado deliveries are cancelled and hundreds queue to access website – The Sun

FURIOUS Ocado customers have had their orders cancelled with less than 12 hours’ notice after the online supermarket launched its partnership with Marks and Spencer today.

This morning, Ocado began its £750million tie-up with the upscale food retailer, making the entire M&S food range available to buy online for the first time.

M&S takes over from Waitrose, which as of today, ends its 18-year deal with Ocado.

But some loyal Ocado customers say they've had their long-standing orders cancelled at short notice, many overnight, with the retailer blaming a “surge in demand”.

The cancellations have affected long-stading Ocado customers who bought Marks and Spencer products to be delivered today, weeks ago.

To make matters worse, within hours of the launch hundreds of shoppers were left stuck in a virtual queue  to access the website.

It's left hundreds of furious shoppers venting their anger on Twitter.

 


One dad tweeted: "Ocado, you've just cancelled our family weekly shop with less than 12 hours’ notice.

"Now we have to go shopping in person, and then redo our entire order. Hours of time and effort wasted.

"You have had months and months to sort this stuff out, this is just incompetent."

'I've been a customer for 15 years – but Ocado cancelled my order'

Another said: "So despite being a customer for 15 years, Ocado not so kindly cancelled our order.

"With a sister who is recovering from cancer, we are unable to get out often; therefore, these orders are essential for getting our groceries.

Another said: "Marks and Spencer shame you picked Ocado to deliver your food! One day and it has already messed up! So frustrating and disappointing.

"To give us less than twelve hours’ notice is shocking."

Other shoppers were forced to queue before accessing the Ocado website this morning.

When The Sun checked there were over 800 people waiting to get in.

Ocado and M&S said dedicated teams had been working for a year in preparation for today's launch date.

An Ocado spokesperson said “The M&S launch has been incredibly popular. We have seen a surge in demand for M&S products in the run up to launch which has impacted a very small number of orders today.

"The vast majority of customers are unaffected and will be delivered as normal.

"We would like to thank our customers for giving M&S such a big welcome and sincere apologies to any customers having to wait a bit longer.”

Ocado charge a minimum delivery charge of £2.99 and a maximum of £6.99 for orders of less than £75.

For standard orders of £75 or more, you may be offered free delivery.

M&S bought a 50% share of Ocado's retail business in the deal, which it funded by selling £600million of shares and by cutting its dividend payout to shareholders by 40%.

The move comes at a crucial time for the business which is cutting 7,000 shop floor workers as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the high street.

Britain’s retailers are facing a double whammy of lower footfall amid the pandemic and the ongoing shift to online shopping.

Despite non-essential retailers reopening, the number of visitors to high streets and other retail destinations is still a third lower than before the pandemic.

Debenhams, for example, has laid off 2,500 workers and has put itself up for sale.

While unemployment has risen by 649,000 workers since lockdown.

And from this month, the government's contribution under the furlough scheme will fall to 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 a month.

 

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