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Supermarkets' service 'disappointing'

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Doing your food shop online is a waste of time and puts you under too much stress, those lifestyle gurus at Good Housekeeping have claimed.

The magazine's latest survey found that visiting the local supermarket is actually quicker than shopping online, with researchers taking an average of 46 minutes to e-shop, while dashing into a local store and braving the check-out queues took just 37 minutes.

In some cases in took up to two hours just to complete an order, not including calls to customer services.

If that's not bad enough, the quality of service provided by the big supermarkets was sorely lacking - as were some of the orders. Not one of the orders placed contained all 26 items on the shopping list. Two deliveries didn’t turn up at all.

The delivery from retailer Iceland included produce of a "poor quality", including a dead fly inside a sealed packet of mushrooms.

Broadly speaking, Tesco got the thumbs up although it managed to miss some of the items from the list. ASDA did well, too - except for the time the groceries failed to turn up. And Sainsbury's web site was so slow it took two hours to place an order.

The only outfit which performed well was Ocado, delivering Waitrose goods, the researchers found.

"Internet shopping should be every woman’s dream with no queuing at the checkout, no carrying and no need to leave home," says Lindsay Nicholson, Editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping magazine.

"Our disappointing results reveal that most supermarkets have failed to perfect online shopping from the customer’s point of view, despite the idea having been around for almost a decade.

"A service which is based on convenience and speed should be catering more for consumers on all fronts - and not becoming a stress-filled chore which takes longer than a trip to the supermarket," she said. ®

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