VULNERABLE shoppers say they're still struggling to secure online delivery slots from supermarkets with some staying up through the night to try and get lucky.
Some have blamed "selfish" shoppers for taking slots that could have gone to those who need it more.
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Supermarkets have been handed a list of vulnerable people by the government who they need to contact to offer delivery slots to, while others may have set-up their own vulnerable criteria on top.
But some shoppers say weeks after registering they're still waiting to be contacted.
The Daily Mail reports how a couple, both pensioners, have had to wait up till 2am to get an online delivery slot at Sainsbury's.
While we've seen some online saying they've stayed up till 3am.
One person wrote on Twitter: "@asda I have written to you several times with no response. Me and my wife are both 73 and I am on vulnerable list for medical reasons – I have had text from NHS to say so.
"We do not have a car or anyone to help with shopping. I have been trying to get delivery slots."
Another said: "@asda How very disappointing Asda, can't get a delivery slot even though we are on the highly vulnerable list.
"You won't answer the phone, emails are bounced saying you're too busy to answerer them, and your CS twitter channel is unmanned. POOR SHOW 🙁 at this difficult time!"
Someone else wrote: "Four-week wait @Morrisons for shopping delivery to get to vulnerable parents. 20 out of 66 items delivered this morning. Disappointing!"
Another person added: "It is a real shame that as a listed vulnerable person with the uk government shielding services @Morrisons decided to cancel my order that I have waited a week due to my bank not authorising within 4 mins after midnight!!
"No home delivery slots now until after May 10!!"
Some else said: "@Tesco I am over 70 and isolating at home. When trying to book a delivery slot there are several days listed as fully booked then the following days are "unavailable'.
"Can you tell me how this works. I've even tried at 3am. At what time are daily slots released? Thanks Bobbie."
What extra measures have supermarkets taken?
HERE are the extra measures, on top of contacting those on the vulnerable list, supermarkets have taken to help vulnerable and elderly shoppers:
- Asda: Launched a volunteer shopping card, which allows customers to pre-pay an amount for a designated volunteer to do their in store shopping for them.
- Iceland: New customers can register at Iceland if they think they're vulnerable and, if the information they record matches that on one of the governments’ shielded lists, it will offer them priority shopping in future.
- Morrisons: Launched a dedicated sales line for vulnerable and elderly shoppers where they can order from a takeaway menu of 47 essential groceries. Call 0345 611 6111 and select option five. Morrisons is also putting postcards through vulnerable people's door, which they can call the number on to ask for shopping to be delivered.
- Sainsbury's: The supermarket is currently only delivering to vulnerable people on the government's list and on its own list of vulnerable shoppers.
- Tesco: Identifying vulnerable people from its existing customer base to offer priority delivery to on top of the government's list.
- Waitrose: Launched a volunteer’s shopping card e-gift card so people can shop on behalf of those unable to get to stores.
Another tweeted: "@Tesco My parents are in their 70s and usually shop in store, but now they are isolating so can't. How do they get access to a delivery slot?
"My dad even trying at 2am and just can't get anything! They have been trying for weeks with no joy."
But some have criticised non-vulnerable shoppers from taking online slots.
One person tweeted: "On a community page, I’ve seen fit & able folk delighting in securing supermarket delivery slots.
"Not a care for the elderly & vulnerable who can’t go out. This is a Scottish national disgrace. Why not tell the selfish sods to STOP?"
How do I register for deliveries if I'm vulnerable?
If you live in England, you can register on Gov.uk for help getting suppliers if you're a 'clinically extremely vulnerable person" – typically those with a medical condition or those who've been told to shield or self-isolate by their GP.
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Asda says it's list from the government comes from local councils, so it's worth asking them if you can be added too.
You can also contact your supermarket directly to ask if you can be added, although they may say they need to cross-check you against the government's list.
What are supermarkets doing to help?
Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Waitrose all told us they have massively increased delivery slots, as well as taken on more staff to help deliver food.
They all said they're prioritising people on the government's list, while some are also identifying existing shoppers who can also be added to the list.
And Sainsbury's is only currently delivering to shoppers either it or the government had identified as vulnerable.
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at trade body the British Retail Consortium, added: “It would be impossible to deliver to all of the 11million-plus people classified as long term ill, impaired or disabled in the UK.
"Supermarkets are focused on the most vulnerable, using lists provided by the government, and we urge everyone to do what they can to support elderly, vulnerable or disabled neighbours in getting the essentials they need from stores.”
What alternatives are there to supermarkets?
It's worth checking whether local food businesses will deliver to your door – we found a host of independent companies supplying fruit, veg, meat and more.
Check if you can get groceries delivered by Deliveroo, Just Eat or Uber Eats – they've tied up with some supermarkets and local convenience stores, as well as the usual takeaways.
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