Supermarket delivery slots throughout the coronavirus lockdown have been like gold dust, which can be a frustrating process for vulnerable customers or those shopping on their behalf. We contacted Ocado to find out exactly how vulnerable people can secure these in-demand food shopping deliveries during lockdown 3.0 - plus, what to do if you don't need priority access.
Back in March, a representative for Ocado told HELLO!: "We have received the government’s vulnerable shield list and have cross-referenced it with our customer database to help support those in need. We have already identified our customers on the vulnerable list and reached out to offer them delivery slots with ocado.com. We will continue to do our part as the government updates its shield list."
Ocado is giving priority bookings to vulnerable customers
Who gets priority online booking slots with Ocado?
The online food shopping service is giving priority access to their customers who are on the government’s shield list of extremely vulnerable people.
How do I find out if I'm on the government's vulnerable people list?
Ocado advises customers in this situation to visit gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable to register onto the government’s list. They will ask for your NHS number but you can still register if you don't have it. Ocado reminds vulnerable customers to declare that you are in need of support with essential supplies, otherwise they won’t receive your data from the government.
MORE: How to secure a Sainsbury's home delivery slot for a vulnerable person
I have received a government letter but not heard from Ocado – what should I do?
The Ocado website states: "If you’re an Ocado customer and you, or someone in your household, has received a letter from the NHS or Wales' Chief Medical Officer to say that you, or they, are 'extremely vulnerable' to the symptoms of Coronavirus, please let us know by filling out and submitting our Contact Us form." You can also call the company's dedicated phone line on 0330 123 0022.
I've been given priority access – why can't I see any delivery slots?
Ocado explained when you log on, you should see availability for the next seven days and it is updating delivery slots on a daily basis. The website states: "We are constantly releasing new slots – if you don’t see any available slots when you log on, it could be that you’re trying to view too far in advance, or we haven’t released extra slots. Either way, it’s worth checking back to see what we have for you."
Ocado encourages vulnerable people to contact them if they don't need priority access
I'm a vulnerable person but I don't need priority access – what should I do?
In some cases, people who have been marked as vulnerable by the government may already have some way of accessing essential supplies, such as those who live with others who can shop for them. If you have been given access but you don't feel you need it, Ocado is urging you to get in contact with them so they can free up delivery slots for others.
The website states: "Please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer access to somebody else who needs it. Please complete our ‘Contact Us’ form and select ‘Extremely vulnerable Ocado customer’ as your reason for contact. Please state ‘Remove me from the extremely vulnerable customer list’ within the message box."
I'm not a vulnerable person – can I still get an Ocado delivery?
Ocado states: "For all remaining Ocado customers, those that haven’t received an email about priority access, we will release any remaining next day slots after 6pm. But this time may need to change in the future. Customers should go to ocado.com/coronavirus for the latest information."
MORE: How to secure a Tesco delivery slot for a vulnerable person
Is my slot safe when I've booked it?
The Ocado website says: "We’re doing our best to ensure that there are little to no changes to any booked slots although this may occasionally be unavoidable due to workforce capacity and the ever-changing nature of the circumstances we’re in. But we promise we are working round the clock and doing our best to ensure that customers experience little or no change to their orders."
I've never shopped at Ocado – can I still register?
Yes, right now you can. The Ocado website does state that it's very busy though and the extra demand may make it harder to secure a delivery slot. You'll need to register first and see if they deliver to your area.
How has Ocado responded to the pandemic?
Ocado has 350,000 home delivery slots available and is prioritising helping their most vulnerable customers. The company's CFO previously defended their efforts to make more delivery slots available after people complained of struggling to secure them.
He said last May: "If we entered this crisis with a 1.5 per cent share of UK grocery market, don’t expect our number [of vulnerable people served] to be as big as Tesco'."
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