A Christmas rant.

This could be called the problem of the missing F in Tesco.
Before anyone tells me that there is no F in Tesco, that is the problem.

I need both hands to walk (sticks or walker) and cannot carry anything.
My wife can carry for very short distances, but cannot lift.
We have our groceries delivered.

Last month, Tesco advertised that Christmas delivery slots should be booked early
They gave a list of which slots could be booked on which days at the beginning of the month.
So I booked a slot for Monday 21st.
What their web-page did not point out was that if no items were ordered for that slot within two hours, the slot was lost.
So on Saturday, when I went to order the groceries, there was no slot.
The attitude from their helpline could be described as “Tough, we have no slots”.
So, two disabled OAPs now have to go ad get their own groceries, and get them into the house.

So there is my problem: no F in Tesco.

So I now have more work to do researching grocers with home deliveries. Obvious, isn’t it? If that is the way they treat regular customers, then we will no longer be regular customers.


Unfortunately, if you are not a regular customer (or even if you are, but you’ve not tried to make an advance reservation before), you will be unaware that your slot lapses if you do not check out within a given time.

I appreciate it’s too late for this advice now, but what I tend to do, if I want to reserve a future slot, but not necessarily complete the order now, is to fill the basket with as few items as necessary to constitute a valid order (I think there’s a minimum spend of £30 or £40, so make that up of stuff you ALWAYS need).

Then check out, regardless whether you’ve finished or not. This action secures the slot.

You can usually amend the order up to about 11:30 at night, the day before it’s due (don’t know if that differs at all for Christmas). So it doesn’t matter that you’re not really finished. As irrational as it is to check out before you’ve finished, do it anyway!

Sometimes I don’t feel up to doing it all at once (even though it’s all online), so continue to amend the order over the course of several days - still retaining the slot all the time.

Only a few things to watch - you MUST remember that you placed an order without finishing it, and you need to go back and complete it, otherwise all that will turn up is the few bits you ordered to meet the minimum spend. You also MUST check out again, every time you edit it, otherwise you WILL lose the slot - as happened to you. I agree it’s all a bit of a faff, but I suppose it’s the only way they can prevent people hogging slots they then don’t use - leaving them unavailable to customers who would use them. You have to order SOMETHING, before your slot is properly reserved. You can’t speculatively grab one, which you may or may not use.

I personally think they make it pretty clear on the website that your slot is only held for you for a couple of hours, and if you haven’t checked out by then, it’s released.

That’s not to say I don’t sympathise with you that you didn’t realise, for whatever reason. I’m really not sure what Tesco could have done about it at this stage. I’m not surprised they didn’t have any available slots for tomorrow or what remains of today.

I’ll be very surprised if anyone has any delivery slots for tomorrow, that weren’t booked up weeks ago. I’ve recently found it hard to get slots for the “normal” shopping and that was well before Christmas week. I’m wondering if you could actually hire someone to shop for you - a professional, or maybe a neighbour or their teenage offspring, keen to make a bit of extra money for Christmas?

Obviously, you’d have to give them a list, and choose somebody quite responsible, who’s going to pick reasonable substitutes, if they can’t get your first choice.




i get ur frustration/anger/disappointment.

i have been using tesco home delivery for 3 yrs now-mainly because i didnt realise asda delivered in my area.

since discovering that asda do deliver in this area i have only had 4 deliveries. with tesco i rarely had substitutes and asda every delivery however in my favour-financially. i only refused one alternative that they sent yest. i must admit that carlisle has much bigger issues currently than my shopping! every company should deliver (in all senses!) what they promote but they cant!

in the past 10 years since diagnosis i have learnt there is a world of difference between the theory and reality! i am not saying for a second that its right but sadly its true. i think the world has changed so much and we live in such a ‘i want it now’ and so much has been lost under the banner of progress.

it really does scare me…

i have went off on tangent-my apologies. i guess u have just reminded me of how unrealistic life in general has become and how hard it is to continue to stick to my ideals/principles without getting caught up in modern hype of it all.

touch typing being taught in schools instead of handwriting is a recent ‘progress’ that took my breath away until i thought about it…why do this and next generation need to learn to write?!

as i said-SCARY stuff!

i hope that you and wife/family get some shopping somehow geoff.


me again

have just seen tinas reply which is a good idea-actually thats what i do but wouldnt know where to start to try and explain it all-well done tina!


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Oh Geoff, what a wretched nuisance! How ever did you manage?

Something you have to look forward to next year is ‘accidental Christmas grocery shop slot deletion anxiety’. I start waking up screaming about this one annually from the moment it’s booked, 12 weeks ahead. When placing weekly orders in the meantime, I tiptoe around the Christmas one with superstitious care and try to resist prodding it to make sure it’s still there in case I delete it by mistake.


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Hi Geoff

Just to add to what Tina said. If you book a slot before you know what you need, put any old rubbish in your trolley it doesn’t matter if you don’t want the stuff and check it out. When you do know what you need add that to the trolley and remove the original stuff.

Hope you find a way of getting your shopping done. One of the supermarkets is advertising an army of helpers, is it worth ringing them to ask for assistance for when you go. They probably wouldn’t be able to do much if you just turn up.

Good Luck and Merry Christmas!



Hi Geoff ALL supermarkets do this online. You can only reserve a slot for about two hours regardless of who you shop with. When you book a slot it does actually tell you above the time slots they can only keep it for 2 hours. Sorry hun, but it would be too late now anyway to do online shopping for Christmas day.

Is there anyone who can help you to do a shop? Member of family etc?

I actually do my online with Tesco, or Iceland. Iceland is free delivery over 35.00.

I hope you get your Christmas shopping.

To be honest today is the best day to go as its really cheap. If you ask whatever supermarket your in to help you with your groceries they will even load them into the car for you.

Again sorry you had this issue and no matter who you choose for the future, book your slot then do your shop and save. Then you can go back and amend your order anytime you like until so many hours before its delivered.

I book on Monday for a delivery for Friday. It gives me all the rest of the week to add or take away before my shoopping arrives.

Big hugs. Merry Xmas. xxx


Geoff if I was you and I didn’t have guests to feed I’d say “sod it” and have whatever I usually had or whatever was left in the cupboards. You could have a special meal to celebrate a belated Christmas another day. Most Christmas lunches are only a glorified Sunday lunch anyway.

I hope you can both laugh off your disappointment and make it a Remember When story for the future.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you both.

Jan x

Ho Ho Ho

Don’t know if you eventually got sorted or not, Geoff. But if you didn’t, don’t know if it’s any consolation, but looks like I won’t be having Christmas dinner either, but making do with whatever’s in the cupboard.

Just set off to go to M&S - figured it would be quieter today, as most people will have finished - plus might pick up a few bargains.

I waited over 30 minutes for the bus - which I think is more than generous - getting cold, wet, and exhausted (there’s no seat), before giving up and coming home.

The bus company’s Facebook and Twitter feeds are “inactive 'til 4th Jan”, so there are no updates about what the heck is going on with services, except for vague threats yesterday, that there might be “long delays” today, in the direction of Cribbs Causeway (where I’m going). There’s supposedly “another” bus (not sure there can be another, when there wasn’t one in the first place), at just gone noon, but don’t know whether to even bother with that one. Will there be anything left at the shops if I set off that late, and more importantly, will I be able to get home again? It’s supposedly a normal weekday timetable, but I have a hunch they’ll all be in the pub by mid-afternoon (those who showed up for work at all), and I can forget about going home again.

If I don’t go, I will never have had such a lean Christmas, as it’s just store cupboard basics I have anyway, but I won’t starve. Hardly a festive treat, though. :frowning:


The rest of the story … And this might explain my rant

We go out on Tuesday to do a shop the old-fashioned way in Sainsburys.
My wife takes a shopping trolley (excellent walking aids) and goes to the service desk.

They send someone out for me with an electric scooter (they are great about this) and we do our shop.
Having checked out (“Do you want help packing?”) we stop at the service desk and someone comes to take the scooter back.
She loads the car for us and we head for home.

Coming up the front path, I am in front with two sticks and my FES, My wife is behind with a small coolbag with the frozen stuff in it.
There is a gasp from behind and my wife is falling, grabbing me on the way down.
Luckily I keep my balance and look back she is face down on the edge of the path - and it is after dark, and raining, and our front hedge would have screened her from the road.
She is able to pull herself up using me for support, but is in a state of shock. Get into the house, sit her in a chair that she cannot fall out of, and feed her hot sweet tea.
I contact a neighbour who brings in the rest of the shopping.

Now, if my wife had brought me down with her, we could both have been on the ground, in the rain, in the dark, not visible from the pavement. Now my rant is explained.


Hope your wife is ok, and have a lovely xmas anyway. Thank goodness you had a neighbour close by. x

Oh blimey Geoff. What a horrible experience for you and for Mrs Geoff.

I suspect all the other posters are right, that there is something that tells you to checkout within x amount of time on the delivery slot. But still. It’s a crappy experience and you’re right about the F in Tesco. I suspect my language would have been much, much, fouler. But then I’m quite well known for being unable to be left alone with children for fear of tainting their language skills forever and causing them to be expelled from school for using unsuitable “words”!!

Glad you both managed to get in the house. Hope you managed to get all your Xmas food sorted. And have a happy day.

Sue x

And I have just had a wonderful Christmas dinner - cooked by the husband of our youngest daughter.

Mrs Geoff and I have sat and done nothing.


Oh goodness me, what a nightmare. I remember shopping in the UK. It was okay online if you bought the same thing each week/month. Falling though? That is what I fear most. I can’t get up.

We don’t have that Internet shopping here yet, and if I wasn’t lucky enough to be married, I’d struggle. The world needs more community. I know that my neighbours would offer to take me in to the nearest shops, but I don’t like feeling obligated. It is such a mental struggle, taxi or friend? I’m going to find out what impaired people did before everyone had cars. It’s my project for this holiday. When our ancient car dies on us, which does happen, we have to rely on taxis. It’s €20 to the railway station or to my workplace.

Im really glad you both had a great meal. I hope this year brings more care and mobility for you both.

feliz año nuevo


Hi, i think in the olden days it was more community spirt. People helped each other, besides which there were not so many of us about lol. More corner shops, made it easier too.

I remember travelling to hong kong in 1972 with my husband and baby, when we got there our flat was ready for us, the beds made, and the fridge had food in it. All this done by the Army ladies who were going to be my neighbours, we all looked after each other. I know it was the same in civvy street too.

Now everyone works, no one has time for one another. Although i must say, my neighbours 2 young people who work hard every day, she has even come over on her one day off and mowed my grass. I never asked her to do so, she just did it. I know if i needed anything she would bring it me, even now.

Also families. Families were so much closer to each other too.

I do think we shop far too much lol. After this story, i seriously looked in my cupboards and freezers (yes i have 2), and realised really why did i need to shop for a month lol. The only thing i needed really was fresh vegs, which you can even get sent via post now lol.

At christmas we waste far too much food. Tons of it is chucked out which is very sad.

I wish you a happy new year too. To one and all. x

Pleased to hear Dr and Mrs Geoff both well and dry indoors, and well done youngest and hubby for cooking lunch

I too was shopping too much each week, have cupboards with dried pasta, flour etc all now months out of date. I hope to cook from scratch much more from now on.