Ocado deliveries back to normal after technical fault delays 1,700 orders

The online supermarket said a computer glitch caused Friday's delays

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The Independent Online

Ocado deliveries have returned to normal after a technical fault at one of the online supermarket’s warehouses affected around 1,700 customers.

A spokesperson for the website, which claims to be the world's largest online-only grocery retailer, said a “computer chip went awry” but could not give any further details.

The problem at the distribution centre in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, caused deliveries on Friday to be delayed by several hours as customers were given automated arrival estimates in the early hours of the morning.

Disgruntled shoppers rushed to Twitter to complain about the “ridiculous” delays, with one person sarcastically calling for “Blitz spirit” as people waited for their groceries.

  Some customers were told their deliveries would be arriving as late as 3am the next day but Ocado said the automatically generated estimates did not apply because all deliveries were re-arranged.

Needless to say, the middle-classes vented their collective spleen on Twitter.

A spokesperson said the 1,700 customers affected only represented around 5 per cent of orders on Friday.

“Although the vast majority of customers last week received their deliveries on time, despite the snow in large parts of the country, a minor technical fault at our Hatfield Customer Fulfilment Centre on Friday caused issues for a small number of our customers,” he added.

“The fault was fixed within a day and affected customers have been contacted to rearrange delivery. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused and we have offered a money-off voucher as compensation to those affected.”

Ocado says it delivers more than 1.1 million items a day on average, shipping 150,000 orders a week.