Order 3709237 from Sainsbury’s Berryden, Aberdeen

Good afternoon,

I hope you can help me with a problem. I suppose this is a complaint -its a story of how my local store caused me a lot of problems and cost me a lot of money.

I run an outdoor event. I need 6,000 litres of water. I am aware I can’t get the quantity I need during a routine visit to a local store so I placed an order some weeks in advance. My order number is 3709237.

I called the store one week ahead of the arranged collection to verify the order was understood. I had an HGV booked to do the uplift so I wanted to be 100% clear everything was good to do. I was reassured by your staff member and I agreed a collection at 4pm on Thursday 24 August at Berryden, Aberdeen.

It was a big surprise then to come to the store to collect the order to find that nobody knew anything about order 3709237. What happened to Order 3709237? I still have it and will attach to this message.

I run a cycling event involving 1,000 people over 170 miles, the water was required at 9 rural locations throughout NE Scotland, with the first delivery due at 0700 hrs the following morning. It is an absolute given that an event of this nature must supply drinking water and I had no option but to buy whatever water the store could supply me on the day and then immediate go (with HGV truck that I was paying for) on a tour of other Supermarkets to seek 6,000 litres.

This was the day before a major event that I was the sole organiser of. This cost me 5 hours of time on a day that I don’t have 5 hours. The fact that Order 3709237 was not honoured cost me time that I should have devoted to briefing support crew and marshals. The safety of the event ends up compromised because the order I have in my hands means nothing to the people who printed off for me. How is this possible?

Next is the cost. I ordered 3,000 bottles of Sainsbury’s value water at 17p per bottle. Total cost of £600.00. The fact that order 3709237 that was in my hand didn’t seem to exist cost me £1,896.31 (mostly in Tesco, Danestone, Aberdeen – who were more prepared to help resolve my crisis than the Store that caused the problem). I have paid £1,896.31 to replace the part of my order (value of £510.00) that you weren’t able to supply. I am £1,296.31 out of pocket – this excluded additional cost for the HGV whose drivers had to sit and wait while I tried to sort the mess out.

Naturally I have to ask what you are prepared to do to remedy this? Who pays the cost of mistakes? Those who make the mistake or the customer?

The event I run raises around £250,000 for charities around the region. On this occasion I am the one out of pocket.

Despite the anger that you feel when someone’s actions cost you nearly £1,300.00, I held back from publishing any of this (this page is only shared with you) so I can give you have an opportunity to put this right. I buy this quantity of water every year and usually another £2,000 worth of supplies. You have the opportunity to tell me what went wrong, where the liability rests and what can be done.