Home delivery services are something I have embraced 100%, especially since I have no car or bike. The convenience of getting your groceries delivered to your doorstep is a godsend that I first discovered in Bangkok, where the fee was literally peanuts. As I packed my bags in Manila, I dreaded having to drag my groceries home on a granny shopper trolley again like I did 11 years ago, or for smaller quantities, on the bike. Much to my delight, I found out that the two major supermarket chains in Berlin offer home delivery, something that was initially set up for homebound senior citizens.

frogshoppingbag0001_tnsI first subscribed to REWE, not really knowing any better. The first two deliveries were perfect, arriving on time and complete. By the third delivery (I order once a month) things began to go horribly wrong. My order was delivered along with two additional bags of some else’s order, which I realised only later as I started to unpack. I quickly ran after the delivery guys to return them but they said they were only responsible for delivery, not packing so there was no way of knowing whose bags those were. No, I couldn’t return them, said customer service, and there would be no extra charge either, so I might as well enjoy the free groceries. Hmmm, it would have been a pleasure to do so if they were actually products that I buy! Most of them were items that I would never even dream of putting in my shopping cart even if you paid me, let alone eat or use. Pickled potatoes? Instant noodles in milk? Linseed oil? By the fourth delivery, I received only half of my order and half of someone else’s again. By this time I was done with REWE and called it quits.

If I didn’t pick up a small item or two on the way home, Amazon Prime Now bridged the gap. Then I discovered Bringmeister.de, the delivery service of EDEKA. So far, after five months of service, they have messed up only once with a partial order from the fresh meat section that they forgot to include, and I received a full refund for the items.

000046-0100-000098_tnsNow, food delivery services is a whole different creature, and when there are glitches, I don’t know whether to blame the messenger, the service or the restaurant. Sometimes it is all three. One afternoon in the office we waited for over two hours for a pizza delivery c/o Lieferando.de that never arrived. My card had been charged and the tracker said the items had been delivered but there were no pizzas in our office. Someone else in the building received the pizzas and didn’t bother to find out who had placed the order in the first place – and happily ate all four pizzas! Then there is the recent case with Foodora.de where the order was supposed to take 30 minutes, but on the 24th minute I received an email saying that the restaurant had rejected the order. Hrmph! In all fairness, Foodora.de sent me a EUR 5 voucher as an apology (on top of the full refund).

My daughter sent me message last night with an item to add to this list. Her local McDonald’s in Florence also manage to screw up a very simple order. Instead of a large iced tea she received three Cokes! How does this even happen in this day and age of online booking? I wrote back and said Imagine how the other guys are going to feel when they receive one iced tea instead of three Cokes!