Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have become the latest stores to suffer website meltdowns, resulting in the cancellation of Christmas deliveries for customers.
On Sunday night Sainsbury’s accidentally cancelled hundreds of online orders after a computer failure. Some customers were offered redelivery dates after Christmas.
A significant problem at Waitrose.com – which staff told customers had resulted in the site “going into meltdown” – has led to a series of failed deliveries on Sunday night and Monday morning.
Customers are being told they will have to go to the store to collect their order or that they could cancel it. A shortage of drivers has meant redelivery was not an option, customers in south London were told on Monday morning.
Sainsbury’s said the website was now running as normal. It has apologised to customers and is investigating what went wrong.
Waitrose said all Christmas orders would be fulfilled and that in some cases customers had chosen to collect their order from their local branch. “The temporary IT problem yesterday was swiftly and successfully fixed,” said a spokesperson. “We have been in touch with any customers who might have a slight delay to their order to apologise and to arrange a delivery time to suit them.”
Customers have been venting their frustration with both stores on Twitter. “Appalling service from @waitrose. No delivery last night, no call to say it wasn’t calling – no call today to rearrange – Xmas stuff missing,” said one. “@waitrose no – still no delivery, I rang the depot at 8:44 this morning, was told I would be called back in a few minutes, 9:33 still no call,” said another. “I’m about to lose my Xmas order (booked 4 wks ago!) because your website keeps crashing and is now down completely! What to do?”
Jenny Grasham-Whalley, from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, was offered an alternative delivery date for her Christmas shopping on 27 December.
“That date is as much use as a chocolate teapot,” she told the BBC. She was offered a £50 voucher as an apology.
Sainsbury’s said its website went down for half an hour on Sunday night. “We experienced a brief technical issue with our website last night, which has now been fixed,” a spokesperson said. “Some customers experienced difficulties with booking or amending their delivery slot. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused. We would like to reassure customers who did not experience issues on the website last night that their confirmed orders will be delivered as expected.”
The company said measures had been taken to ensure the problem did not happen again.
Waitrose said it was working hard to correct the problems caused in some areas, and admitted some customers might find it easier to go to their local store to collect their order.