VULNERABLE shoppers say they’re still struggling to book online delivery slots with the big four supermarkets.
Some even say they’ve been contacted by supermarkets to say they qualify for help.
Supermarkets across the UK have been given access to a government list of vulnerable people who may need extra help with their shopping.
This record is made up of 900,000 NHS patients in England with conditions that mean they should self-isolate for 12 weeks.
GP surgeries and hospital doctors have also added a further 600,000 patients to this list, which is then shared with supermarkets.
Despite this, some vulnerable customers say they’re still having trouble booking a delivery slot with their regular supermarket.
Complaints over vulnerable customers struggling even with the new government list first emerged last week.
Taking to Twitter, one Asda shopper asked: “Despite sitting up until gone midnight someone (me), identified as high risk vulnerable with a delivery pass is still unable to book a delivery slot?! Why is this?”
Another Asda customer said: “I have an account with you and have received a letter from the government saying I am in the most vulnerable group and must not go outside for 12 weeks. I cannot get a delivery slot online and cannot get through on the phone. Can you please help?”
It was a similar story for some Morrisons shoppers, one of which tweeted: “My parents are classed as very vulnerable and are unable to leave the house due to government advice.
“They cannot get any delivery slots and have not been contacted despite being on the government at risk list.”
Another Morrisons customer said: “I’d just like to get a delivery slot please. I sent tweet 25/3, no reply?
“I have been identified as vulnerable by [the] gov but still having problems with your website.”
Meanwhile, a Tesco shopper tweeted: “My dad is registered extremely vulnerable as he has pre-existing conditions and is undergoing chemotherapy.
“He is unable to secure a delivery slot despite being an existing customer. can you please advise?”
Another Tesco customer said: “I’m really disappointed that I still can’t get a delivery slot.
“Prior to this we had a regular weekly delivery slot and delivery saver plan.
“Now despite being on the extremely vulnerable list and all of your emails, I can’t get a slot.”
Sainsbury’s shoppers say they’ve also been missing out, with one tweeting: “I’ve tried calling to register my account for home deliveries my vulnerable mother.
“Text says it sorted but no can do online… can you help please? She cannot get a home delivery slot for five weeks now!”
Another customer told Sainsbury’s: “You sent my sister an email on April 8 saying you recognised through government she vulnerable.
“So offer her online shopping. So far she had not been able to get a delivery slot.”
How do you let the government know that you are vulnerable?
If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), you can register with the government and tell it whether or not you need support.
You can use this website to register.
You may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re “extremely vulnerable”, or have been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician.
If this has not happened, contact your GP or clinician after you register with the government service.
The government warns that “it may take time for any support offered through this service to arrive”.
“Wherever possible you should continue to rely on friends, family and wider support to help you meet your needs,” it says.
You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.
All major UK grocers say they’re still in the process of contacting customers who might need an online delivery slot.
Meanwhile, supermarkets are also asking other shoppers to visit stores if they can, so they can leave delivery slots for those who need them.
Tesco says it’s increased the number of delivery slots by 150,000 over the past week.
It comes after the supermarket’s CEO Dave Lewis urged customers who are well enough to leave delivery slots for elderly and vulnerable shoppers.
What are supermarkets doing to help vulnerable people?
If you are a vulnerable person, you will be able to book a priority slot and select an eight hour window for delivery.
Customers who do not currently have a Tesco account and have a letter from the NHS can either create an account online or call the supermarket on 0800 917 7359.
Once you are told you qualify for priority delivery, you can call the Sainsbury’s customer care line on 0800 636262, although the supermarket has warned it is very busy and you might need to try a couple of times.
When you get through to a member of staff, they will help you arrange a delivery slot.
Vulnerable Asda customers will receive a link to take them to the Asda site, where they will be able to access a recurring delivery slot.
They will also be able to access slots a week further in advance of everyone else if they don’t want a recurring slot.
These customers will also benefit from free delivery and no minimum spend when they place their order.
Morrisons is working to make more delivery slots available, and is adding a fast track to its queue system so that vulnerable customers can be prioritised.
Customers who are classed vulnerable by the government will already have received communications from the supermarket, it said.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have been working hard to increase the capacity of our online delivery service to help more customers gain access to this service when they need it.
“Over the coming weeks we will add hundreds of thousands more home delivery and click and collect slots.
“We know it’s still difficult to get an online delivery slot at the moment due to high demand, and we ask those who are able to safely come to stores to do so, instead of shopping online, so we can free up more slots for the more vulnerable.”
MORE ON MONEY
Sainsbury’s told us it has matched 150,000 additional customers against its database who have been classed as vulnerable.
The supermarket said it’s also increasing home delivery and click and collect services.
We’ve contacted Asda and Morrisons for comment and we’ll update this article when we hear back.