Despite the coronavirus lockdown measures beginning to ease, online shopping continues to be very popular so it has become no easier to bag a food delivery slot. We all know how frustrating it can be to prepare a food basket only to see there are still no available slots - and this is even more worrying if you're a vulnerable customer. Since the government issued its list of the UK's most clinically vulnerable people, supermarket bosses have been working to prioritise home delivery slots for those who need it most. We contacted Tesco to find out exactly how vulnerable customers can book online deliveries...
A spokesperson told HELLO!: "We have been working hard to increase the capacity of our online delivery service to help more customers gain access to this service when they need it."
Tesco are prioritising their vulnerable customers
How do I book a Tesco delivery slot for a vulnerable person?
To book a slot for a vulnerable person, you need to go to tesco.com/groceries and log in. Vulnerable customers can book a priority slot with an eight-hour window for delivery.
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What if I don't have a Tesco account but am a vulnerable person?
If you don't currently have an account with Tesco but have received a letter from the NHS because you're classified as clinically vulnerable, you can create an account on their website or call Tesco on 0800 917 7359. The store can then check if you are on the government's list.
Is Tesco adding more online delivery slots?
Yes, they are. The website states: "We’re expanding our home delivery and Click+Collect capacity as fast as we can. We’ve already added hundreds of thousands of new slots, and we’re recruiting thousands of new colleagues to pick your orders, plus thousands of new drivers to deliver them."
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis previously said: "As a result of these changes, we’ve increased the number of online orders every week from 590,000 in the first week of the crisis, to over 1 million this week. We’ll increase this further to 1.2 million slots in the next two weeks."
What priority slots are available at Tesco?
The Tesco website states: "So that we can help as many customers as possible, our priority delivery slots will have an 8-hour delivery window – either from 10am to 6pm or 2pm to 10pm. If you’re a vulnerable customer booking a priority slot, please make sure the mobile number in your account is correct. On the day of delivery, we’ll text you to let you know when your 1-hour slot is within your chosen window."
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Is there a limit on the number of delivery and click+collect slots I can book each week?
Tesco has introduced a limit of one order a week, which means you may be unable to see future delivery slots online if you've already made an order. The supermarket has put this limit in place to help thousands more customers secure a delivery slot.
I've managed to secure a priority slot but now I need to either change or cancel it?
If for any reason you need to change or cancel your delivery slot, you can do this but no later than 11.45 pm on the night before your delivery. Demand for online home delivery slots is of course still extremely high, so Tesco can't guarantee that you'll be able to get another slot in the coming days.
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What is Tesco doing to ensure both vulnerable and regular customers have access to essential groceries?
According to the website, Tesco is encouraging customers to buy only what they need and has kept restrictions on certain products to ensure there is enough for everyone. There is also a limit of 80 items per online order. Tesco explains: "As our stock levels are returning to normal, we’re removing the purchasing limits on the majority of products in our stores. On some products such as toilet roll, alcohol, pasta, and hand sanitisers, we’ve kept these limits until we’re fully stocked up again."
What happens when Tesco delivers to those who are self-isolating?
Tesco has encouraged customers to notify the supermarket if they are self-isolating when they order using the delivery notes box. To help improve safety when they make the delivery, all orders will arrive in free bags. "Our drivers will deliver to your doorstep while keeping a 2-metre distance from you. If you live in a flat, your groceries will still be delivered to your front door," Tesco explained.
There are purchasing limits on some popular products such as pasta
Is Tesco helping other people who need support?
On a recent Tesco newsletter, Tesco's CEO wrote: "We’re also now actively working with the Government to see how we can increase our capacity to help an expanded list of people who might not be on their critical vulnerable list, but who might need our support. We want to continue to free up as many slots as possible, so if you can shop in-store or have someone do it for you, please do."
What are Tesco's shopping times for vulnerable customers?
The Tesco website states: "We want to help everyone through these uncertain times, especially those who need extra help. So all our stores (except Express stores) will be prioritising the elderly and most vulnerable for one hour between 9am and 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday."
How is Tesco helping care homes?
Tesco is helping the country's care homes by partnering with a wholesale company. The supermarket's website says: "Many of our customers are care, nursing, and residential homes, who've been finding it more difficult to place orders of the size and quantity they usually would. To help them get the essentials they need, we've partnered with our sister company Booker Wholesale."
"If you are shopping for a care, nursing or residential home, please register in person at your local branch as new registrations are closed online. Find your nearest branch on the Booker website. When you visit, bring 2 forms of identification, such as a bank statement, utility bill, insurance or any other business document."
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