Which? Reveals Biggest Supermarket Substitution Fails

A study by consumer watchdog Which? has revealed some of bizarre alternatives supermarkets are offering customers when items in online orders are not available.

Which? asked more than 7,000 online shoppers to share their strangest online supermarket order substitutions. The results revealed that some of the products ordered were replaced with some very surprising alternatives.

Examples included a shopper who ordered a salad, but got offered a bar of Dairy Milk instead. Another shopper ordered gluten free bread, but was sent dog food, whilst someone ordered apple juice, but instead got a bottle of Chardonnay.

Meanwhile, one shopper ordered toilet paper, but was sent nappies, whilst another ordered a pack of condoms but received a pregnancy-testing kit!

According to the Which? survey, Asda is the worst supermarket for substituting groceries, with around half (48%) of the supermarket’s customers saying they received something unexpected in their online shopping in the space of six months. Amazon Fresh (37%) was next worst for substitutions, while Waitrose Deliver (33%) and Tesco Online (30%) followed closely behind.

Iceland, which was recently named as the best online supermarket by Which?, topped the list with only 12% of online shoppers claiming to have had a substitution in the previous six months.

Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor said: “Substitutions can have a big impact on how satisfied customers are with online grocery services, so supermarkets should make every effort to get orders right first time.

“If necessary, supermarkets need to make intelligent substitutions – rather than some of the bizarre swaps we found – to avoid disappointing shoppers.”