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Tesco grocery deliveries - the picker notes

(38 Posts)
ElderlyPerson Tue 20-Jul-21 19:43:01

A really good facility of the Tesco online grocery delivery system is the ability, optional, to include, separately, for each type of item ordered, a picker note of up to 55 letters and spaces.

These are very useful to customers.

If one has opted to allow substitutions, one can specify an alternative.

If the item is assorted, one can request what is sent. For example, A5 notebooks are in various cover colours, one can request, say, "pink or light blue please".

One can make a request such as "seven bananas please, three yellow, four green if poss." when ordering bananas.

One can ask "please send in the display box if poss please, helps unloading" if one is ordering the quantity that is in a display box.

I wonder if the pickers enjoy the picker notes, on the basis that what could be a rather monotonous inert picking job has variety, a human aspect and job satisfaction of trying to pick so as to help customers get their preferences.

Do readers who have online grocery deliveries from Tesco use the picker notes, and if so, how?

Does anyone here work doing order picking for Tesco online deliveries or know someone who does who could be asked please?

Do other grocery delivery companies have picker notes?

JaneJudge Tue 20-Jul-21 19:45:08

were you an engineer?

no, I've not seen it elsewhere to be honest

ElderlyPerson Tue 20-Jul-21 19:59:29

JaneJudge

were you an engineer?

no, I've not seen it elsewhere to be honest

Not exactly really.

I am interested to know why you ask?

Does what I asked fit some sort of pattern?

JaneJudge Tue 20-Jul-21 20:02:25

what does not exactly really, mean? smile

you just seem very methodical and specific. It's not an insult.

Kamiso Tue 20-Jul-21 20:07:22

I used to use the pickers notes. It’s a very useful tool. I quite enjoyed online shopping but haven’t done it since OH retired. I used to look through the special offers and plan my shopping around them. We tended to get fruit, veg and some meat locally though.

Galaxy Tue 20-Jul-21 20:13:03

I didn't know they existed. I am the opposite of specific sad

Eviebeanz Tue 20-Jul-21 20:16:09

I do use the pickers notes for certain items. eg if I order vegetarian sausages I make a note not to provide pork or any kind of meat sausages as a substitute

ElderlyPerson Tue 20-Jul-21 20:23:26

JaneJudge

what does not exactly really, mean? smile

you just seem very methodical and specific. It's not an insult.

It means that there is often an overlap in subject disciplines between engineering and a few other subject disciplines, and so for some topics that involve engineering in some ways the people doing the work are not actually qualified in an engineering subject as such, but that is not a problem due to the overlap.

ElderlyPerson Tue 20-Jul-21 20:43:14

Eviebeanz

I do use the pickers notes for certain items. eg if I order vegetarian sausages I make a note not to provide pork or any kind of meat sausages as a substitute

Yes, Tesco does have a policy of overriding an unticked Allow substitutions box for some items. A picker note can often block that.

Also, if one does select Allow substitutions, unless one specifies ONLY or NOT or something, if a chosen substitute is also not available it can lead to something else arriving.

Pre pandemic, with a chat at the door with the delivery driver, it was easy to say one does not want the chosen substitute, not so easy now, though a driver did telephone me and ask in relation to a recent delivery.

The thing is, if the picker is trying to be helpful but does not have the information, it can lead to unwanted substitution.

For example, one time, some years ago, Alpro unsweetened soya drink was not available and a picker, trying to help, sent dairy milk that had had the lactose removed, perhaps thinking that my choice of the Alpro soya drink was a lactose issue, though in fact it is because I am a vegan.

Though substitution is often very well done, for example gluten-free pasta in one shape may get gluten-free pasta in another shape, but not wheat pasta in the original shape.

ElderlyPerson Tue 20-Jul-21 20:47:53

Eviebeanz

I do use the pickers notes for certain items. eg if I order vegetarian sausages I make a note not to provide pork or any kind of meat sausages as a substitute

Do you actually put that you are a vegetarian as well?

Hellogirl1 Tue 20-Jul-21 21:22:54

I`ve used Tesco for deliveries for years, never knew about pickers notes. You learn something new everyday!

Doodledog Tue 20-Jul-21 21:38:22

Sainsbury's don't have them, or not locally to me, at least. It would be really useful if they did, as I agree that sometimes the subs are not quite right.

Tizliz Tue 20-Jul-21 21:42:36

The picker doesn’t choose the substitution it is computer generated. Some pickers seem to ignore the notes, think they are too busy.

Doodle Tue 20-Jul-21 21:50:23

Waitrose have them too. I ask for milk as long dated as possible. Or cake if use by a certain date. I don’t use them for most items though.

ElderlyPerson Tue 20-Jul-21 22:06:57

Tizliz

The picker doesn’t choose the substitution it is computer generated. Some pickers seem to ignore the notes, think they are too busy.

I have asked for choices with some things that are assorted and have usually got my choice, of course if the choice is not available then it can't be sent.

For example, choosing a diary just described as assorted colours. I requested a light colour if possible, I received a silvery one. I later learned that they had silvery and black.

For example, there was A5 notebooks recently, assorted colours. The picture showed light purple, white and black. I requested a light purple one, and a light purple one arrived.

Some food storage boxes were described as red, green and blue, online customers will receive a random choice. I requested three different colours if possible. I got one red, two green, presumably because there were no blue ones there.

I was surprised that the website said a random choice for the food boxes, for some things it says there is an assortment, for a specific choice please mention the choice in the picker note.

I suppose that a lot depends on the culture locally. For example, talking to a store dot com manager on the telephone, she referred to the pickers as "my ladies and gentlemen". Her positive attitude to them and her leadership in wanting to provide excellent service to customers gets good results.

Infinity2 Tue 20-Jul-21 22:33:36

God in Heaven - I couldn’t imagine anything worse than being a supermarket picker on minimum wage being expected to potentially read a 55 letter picker note per item.
No wonder the poor buggers mess some of the orders up, and I’m surprised that anyone gets their orders on time.

It explains fully now why my sister got three crusty cobs instead of a pre roasted chicken last Christmas 😂

Scribbles Wed 21-Jul-21 09:10:02

Waitrose online site has pieker notes. I use them for a few items where I would like a specific brand if what I ordered is not available or if I have a specific dislike, eg. Please only substitute with unsalted butter.
It's very useful.

Polly12 Wed 21-Jul-21 09:18:21

Infinity2

God in Heaven - I couldn’t imagine anything worse than being a supermarket picker on minimum wage being expected to potentially read a 55 letter picker note per item.
No wonder the poor buggers mess some of the orders up, and I’m surprised that anyone gets their orders on time.

It explains fully now why my sister got three crusty cobs instead of a pre roasted chicken last Christmas 😂

grin grin

ElaineI Wed 21-Jul-21 09:29:03

Must look but would taker the pickers longer. Just grateful I don't have to spend an hour in Tesco once a week. The click and collect people are great at our local store and know all their regulars by name. Very friendly. Recent issue I had was the young lads had brought the boxes outside towards the end of the hour and when DGC went to get their chocolate buttons they were a solid block of chocolate. DGS1 "Granny the buttons are a bar now - we need more!" Needless to say he did not get more. Mummy is very strict!

MissChateline Wed 21-Jul-21 09:44:35

I’ve never noticed this but I think that most if not all of Ocado pickers are robots so I doubt that anything I added would make the slightest bit of difference.
Surely if you are so fussy about the colour of a particular item you would be best off going to a shop and choosing it yourself. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter whether your storage boxes are green or blue ?

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 21-Jul-21 10:02:39

The notes system is very useful, especially for substitutions. Yes MissChatelaine you might well want different coloured storage boxes for different things and not everyone is able to go to the supermarket. Why do you think Ocado pickers are robots? They’re most likely people doing the only job they can at a very low wage and deserve some respect.

ElderlyPerson Wed 21-Jul-21 10:09:22

Germanshepherdsmum

The notes system is very useful, especially for substitutions. Yes MissChatelaine you might well want different coloured storage boxes for different things and not everyone is able to go to the supermarket. Why do you think Ocado pickers are robots? They’re most likely people doing the only job they can at a very low wage and deserve some respect.

Actually, I think that Ocado picking, which is at a "no customers there" warehouse is very much automated with robotic picking equipment. They would need some staff, but from what I read somewhere, the emphasis is on an advanced automated system.

overthehill Wed 21-Jul-21 10:13:55

Doodledog

Sainsbury's don't have them, or not locally to me, at least. It would be really useful if they did, as I agree that sometimes the subs are not quite right.

I learned the best way with Sainsburys is to not accept subs on lots of items. Learnt this from experience, eg no Lurpak slightly salted so they sent low fat, no good for cooking. I do accept on things I'm not too concerned about and find generally I get mostly what I've ordered. It's coming today and just 2 subs one ketchup...I'll accept, the other ordered dried mint, sending coriander...no. 2 items not available as I wouldn't accept subs but dear hubs popped off to the local shop and got them for me.

ElderlyPerson Wed 21-Jul-21 10:43:20

MissChateline

I’ve never noticed this but I think that most if not all of Ocado pickers are robots so I doubt that anything I added would make the slightest bit of difference.
Surely if you are so fussy about the colour of a particular item you would be best off going to a shop and choosing it yourself. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter whether your storage boxes are green or blue ?

I looked at Ocado when Tesco announced that tray liners were being discontinued, as the circulated email from Tesco head office seemed to be that a customer would either (if elderly or disabled and also not having COVID-19) have shopping brought inside, or would be required to go to the door, open it and unload grocery from trays while the delivery driver stood two metres away and waited for unloading to be completed.

I decided that no way was I going to open the door and do that, in any case it usually takes me about twenty minutes to unload at a steady pace, which is fine for me as I am retired and taking that time inconveniences nobody, yet if a delivery driver with many customers on his or her round had to stand and wait for twenty minutes that would be very inconvenient, both to the driver and also to me as I would feel morally obliged to unload faster and then that pressure might reduce my efficiency and it end up taking even longer.

It seems that Ocado will always substitute with no choice for what the substitution will be and no option to put "Don't substitute". A substitute can be refused before delivery but it seems a bit of an awkward process. The good part about Ocado is that groceries would be bagged and left on the doorsttep then the customer would be telephoned

In the event, with Tesco, I put boxes on the doorstep, added a note in the delivery information (200 characters or less) asking for the grocery to be put in the boxes - and hoped for the best, wondering if I might be told "no door opening, no delivery" on the basis of instructions from head office.

In the event, two deliveries each week since mid-April all done that way, no problems at all, delivery drivers very helpful. One told me that quite a lot of customers are doing similarly, boxes, trays, trollies on the doorstep and the door shut. So each driver is delivering in basically three different styles, depending upon the situation at each delivery address.

Yet even with the recent circulated email from head office, there is no mention of this third option for the delivery process.

I wondered how multibasket deliveries are done - I wondered if the drivers were swapping the baskets, synchronised with the customer going back in the house while that was done. Apparently not, a stack of trays on the doorstep and the driver standing back, though usually further than two metres.

To answer the question, in the grand scheme of things it really does not matter whether the storage boxes are green or blue, yet as there are three colours possibly available, and there are picker notes, and the pickers are helpful, and colour coding is often useful, then if one person fancies a mix of colours and another person fancies all of one colour, then it seems a good idea to say which choice one prefers that the picker makes.

MissChateline Wed 21-Jul-21 11:34:34

Germanshepherdsmum

The notes system is very useful, especially for substitutions. Yes MissChatelaine you might well want different coloured storage boxes for different things and not everyone is able to go to the supermarket. Why do you think Ocado pickers are robots? They’re most likely people doing the only job they can at a very low wage and deserve some respect.

There was an article in the guardian only a couple of days ago regarding a fire at an Ocado picking warehouse when 3 robots collided. The share price for the company fell dramatically. Ocado is a leading innovator in robot picking technology and as far as I’m aware almost all of their picking is done this way.
In no way was this disrespectful of low paid human pickers and packers. If this was the case then I think that reams of requirement notes for individual items is more disrespectful as it complicates an already tedious job.
I still think that in the great scheme of life having the wrong coloured food storage box must come incredibly low down my list of priorities.