Click and Disconnect; how Waitrose West Ealing get it so wrong

September 28, 2015

IMG_2092The John Lewis ‘Click and Collect’ service sounds ideal. Shop online and pick it up the next day at your local Waitrose. And it would be ideal if it was that simple. But it isn’t. Far from it. I have ranted before about the atrocious car parking in West Ealing Waitrose – both the design and the customers’ inability to walk more than ten metres – and it means one arrives in the shop already ready to punch someone.

Immediately on your left is the Customer Service counter where ‘Click and Collect’ customers are directed to. Unless they suddenly decide to put it in the frozen food aisle without telling anyone. WTF??

So, you tell them the number of your order and you hope they will turn round to one of their cupboards behind them and get it out. But no. Because it isn’t stored there. The parcels aren’t stored anywhere near where the desk is. They are stored literally as far away as possible. In the warehouse past all the food aisles, past the homewares, past the toilet rolls, past the booze and past the pop. And the person you have given your order details to can’t leave the desk until a colleague comes along as they can’t leave it unattended. That would be poor customer service. So we wait. There isn’t an intercom system to ask someone in the warehouse to bring the order. A person has to walk from the desk, all the way to the warehouse, find the order and come back. I have never managed to collect anything in under 15 minutes. I can drive to John Lewis in twenty and there are times when I think that may have been more sensible.

Surely West Ealing Waitrose could set up a counter near to where the goods are stored. At Christmas they have a gazebo outside and despite the shedloads of orders it is quicker for customers as the staff simply have to turn round and rummage in the tent behind them. Why they don’t make it a permanent feature or set up the service close to the warehouse I don’t know. Is it in fact a sly way to make you do some shopping there even if you don’t want to? I turned up today and was told it would be at least ten minutes. No I didn’t have any shopping to do. And I waited. And thought I’ll go get milk and bread as the time ticked on. I ended up buying a few other things and spending ages at the self-service checkout (“Remove last item from bag. Remove last item from bag. Wait for assistant. Wait for assistant”. AAAAGGGHHH!!). I go back to the Click and Collect point and still no parcel for me. Twenty minutes later it feels like Click and Neglect. But eventually it arrives. In the thirty minutes it took I could have driven to Brent Cross myself.


2 Responses to “Click and Disconnect; how Waitrose West Ealing get it so wrong”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    From shopping in that store;
    where exactly could they do that near the back of the store?
    I regularly use the store for click and collect and have to stand next to people who have no Patience to wait. You say why isn’t it in a cupboard behind the desk? Have you seen how many people use that service?! Where would they store all those?!

    • I would put the desk next to the warehouse door where the soft drinks currently are then the staff wouldn’t have to walk all the way across the store to go and start looking for the items. I’ve no idea where the items are stored within the warehouse, but I’d shift them so they were as close to the door as possible (but still inside the warehouse). So I’m not suggesting they have all the items behind a desk, just that the desk is as close as possible to where the items are stored. The desk therefore does not have to be big and can leave the ‘welcome’ desk to deal with the ongoing complaints that the coffee machines aren’t working and to order the party food and dry cleaning… The system works really well when they have the gazebo outside at Christmas and that’s their busiest time so my other suggestion is to make that a permanent structure.

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