Ocado warns customers to expect 'missing items' on online deliveries due to shortages

OCADO is warning customers that there could be an increase in "missing items" on deliveries.

The online retailer sent an email to regular customers which warned that supply chain issues could lead to higher numbers of substitutions too.

The email read: "Changes to theUK supply chain have affected some of our suppliers and may result in an increase in missing items and substitutions over the next few weeks.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we are working to mitigate any impact."

Plenty of shoppers took to Twitter to make fellow Ocado users aware of the warning, with several worried about what future shops would hold.

Sasha tweeted: "Just got the same email. Will be interesting to see how the substitutions look in my delivery next week!"

Indeed, some customers have already reported several ingredients missing from their shops.

Sunhita tweeted: "Ocado, what is going on with your kiln dried wood supplies?? It has been removed from my last 6+ deliveries!

"So cross – we have been without heating! In this weather. During a pandemic! A shielded household!! Should show some prioritisation here. Or just get more wood."

A customer services representative for Ocado responded reiterating that supply chain issues may mean more missing supplies than usual.

On Ocado's website, it warns that because of the new strain of coronavirus, the supermarket will not accept returns on substituted items after delivery has taken place.

Instead, your delivery person should read out all the substitutions for you before you touch your shopping. At that point, you can reject any alternatives that you no longer want.

Once you've picked up your shopping you won't be able to take it back, so make sure you've been alerted to any substitutions first.

If you are self-isolating, your shopping will be left on your doorstep and you'll get a phone call saying it's been delivered.

As the driver will be gone at this stage, you won't be able to reject any substitutions at the door.

Instead, self-isolating customers can get their money back via the usual refunds process.

A comment on the website read: "Please note that our supply chain is not functioning as smoothly as normal so please be more understanding in accepting substitutions."

The Chairman of Ocado, Lord Rose, has previously warned that supply chain issues caused by Brexit are likely to be passed onto consumers.

He told BBC's Radio Four: "You will see some short-term shortages but let's be clear, there is not going to be a famine.

"At this time of the year 50-80% plus of our fruit and veg comes in from Europe and beyond and a lot of that comes in through Dover on trucks.

"We're talking about fresh product which is perishable. If it doesn't get out within 24 hours, it goes off, it rots, it gets thrown away."

However, despite the impacts of Brexit, so far Ocado is the only major supermarket to issue a warning to customers that shopping may be missing.

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