Shoppers have complained that the Tesco website “crashed” this morning as hundreds of thousands of customers logged on to try to secure a Christmas delivery slot.
When MailOnline checked at 8.20am, almost 300,000 people were queuing online to get their festive shopping sorted after Britain’s biggest supermarket started taking orders.
Delivery Saver customers were told they could book a place from 6am this morning, but many were shocked to find more than 130,000 people already on the site.
Some complained that the queue opened before the advertised time and others claimed they were “kicked out” before they had a chance to order.
Tesco says it is seeing a “large number of visits to our website and Groceries app” and that it is “working to get things back up and running as quickly as we can”.
Today’s chaos will be an unwelcome distraction for many shoppers already trying to cope with the cost of living crisis and shortages of some products on supermarket shelves.
The cost of some family favorites such as Heinz tomato ketchup has soared, forcing people to change their shopping habits, while some pensioners have been forced to retire to pay their bills before Christmas.
In recent days, supermarket chains Lidl and Sainsbury’s have both run out of eggs, while pub chain Wetherspoon has offered brown instead of the item in its English breakfasts.
Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the online queue to get a Christmas delivery machine from Tesco
Tesco started offering slots to Delivery Saver customers at 06.00 this morning ahead of the Christmas season
The slots that have opened up today are only for customers who have a delivery savings plan with Tesco. Regular customers have to wait until November 22 to book theirs.
Despite claiming to have more than 1.2 million delivery slots available in the week before Christmas, customers rushed online this morning to try and bag the one they want.
Taking to Twitter, one customer said: “I logged in at 5.59am to get ready only to find over 135,000 already in the queue.”
By 6:13 a.m., users posted screenshots showing the queue was up to 180,000 people.
Others complained they spent time waiting in the queue only to be kicked out: ‘Hey @Tesco just sat in your Christmas queue for half an hour and as soon as I got to the front of the queue I got kicked out and now the wait is an hour.’
Another said: ‘I was 38,000 in the queue and the app ‘updated’ itself and now I’m number 178,000. You’re laughing.
Unhappy customers took to social media to complain about the ‘stressful’ experience of trying to get a delivery time
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are currently seeing a high number of visits to our website and Groceries app and some customers are experiencing temporary difficulties logging in or placing orders.
“We are really sorry about this.
“There are still places available for both home delivery and click & collect over the Christmas period and we are working to get things back up and running as quickly as we can.
“In the meantime, we recommend that customers use our website to place their order.”
Tesco offers delivery cards from £2.49 a month for click and collect, while off-peak costs £4.99 a month, the Mirror reports.
The most expensive delivery card plan costs £7.99 a month and offers same day deliveries.
The problems facing shoppers today come amid a wider picture of shortages of some popular goods and a cost of living crisis that has left people struggling to pay the bills ahead of Christmas.
Emptying egg shelves at a Sainsbury’s in a photo shared on Twitter
A sign urging people to ration eggs in a Lidl in Wokingham to prevent the store from running out
The prices of many big brand foods have soared in the past two years with Heinz Tomato Ketchup (460g) doubling in cost, a study has found
Supermarkets are rationing eggs and Wetherspoon is offering breakfast replacements as egg availability is low across the country.
Shoppers shared images of signs at Lidl urging people to limit the number of eggs they buy amid the country’s worst-ever bird flu crisis.
Shelves were almost bare at a Sainsbury’s store, where a sign declared the supermarket was in short supply.
A spokesman for Wetherspoon said the shortage only affected some pubs and was a temporary problem.
The pub giant added that the shortage was not specific to Wetherspoon and blamed the lack of supplies on the bird flu outbreak.
Some brands have passed on the costs of inflation in the form of higher prices, putting further pressure on household finances.
Millions of shoppers have switched to “private label” grocery and budget chain products due to rising prices.
Research looking at average prices in leading stores found that the price of Heinz Tomato Ketchup rose by 53 per cent. The 460g ‘squeezy’ version of the ketchup is currently £2.80 in Tesco but prices vary between retailers.
Meanwhile, Dolmio Lasagne Sauce (470g) increased by 47 per cent – but the increase at one retailer was a staggering 107 per cent.
The study of major brands by the consumer group Which? found Heinz Classic Cream Of Chicken Soup (400g) increased by an average of 46 percent.
Rising prices combined with skyrocketing energy bills have even forced some retirees to leave their pensions and return to work.
Bosses at recruitment specialists Reed say that saving retirees are reassessing their finances amid rising inflation and warnings of a looming recession. They are also worried about a potential reduction in the number of jobs available if the economy slumps in the coming months, according to company chief executive James Reed (pictured)
Earlier this year, unemployment fell to its lowest level in nearly 50 years as the number of job openings rose to a new high of 1.3 million. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show unemployment stood at 3.5 per cent in the months of June to September – the lowest level since 1974. Meanwhile, ONS data for July to September put the number of job vacancies at 1.25 million – down slightly against the previous high of 1.3 million in April to June
Recruitment specialists Reed say save retirees are reassessing the economy amid soaring inflation and warnings of a looming recession.
They are also concerned about a potential reduction in the number of available jobs if the economy slumps in the coming months, according to company CEO James Reed.
Reed told The Telegraph: “If you did a spreadsheet in 2020 and did some calculations about possibly retiring early, your numbers would look quite different to now.
“I can see that for a lot of people it might not have been a viable choice.”
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