Are Sainsbury's delivery drivers suffering from vertigo?

14 April 2011


Online grocery shopping is one of the few luxuries we have left, especially now that crows trained by the coalition government are trying to peck out our eyes while we sleep. But it’s all going a bit rusty gong (wrong) if you live in a block of flats and you’re a user of the Sainsbury’s grocery delivery service.

That’s because it has emerged that they won’t deliver any higher than the first floor unless there’s a working lift in operation. It’s a potential PR nightmare for the supermarket and a chance for their rivals to crow about their own levels of service (did you see what we did there? ‘Levels’? And ANOTHER crow reference? Different crow though).

Sainsbury’s are blaming the move on health and safety and don’t have drivers insured to climb stairs any higher than the first floor – leaving the customer to do most of the leg work when they’re expecting their goodies to be brought to their door, or even personally fed to them.

Three of Sainsbury’s main rivals have jumped all over the news and taken the opportunity to boast about their own superior levels of service. Ocado, Asda and Tesco have all said that their drivers will deliver to any floor, any time, and will even deliver straight to the customer’s kitchen table if need be.

In response to the furore, Sainsbury's said: “We are committed to providing a reliable and convenient online delivery service to 90 per cent of UK households. However, the health and well-being of all our colleagues is of utmost important to us and, as a result, we may have to limit orders of certain bulky items. In addition, on the rare occasions where there aren't lifts to transport the shopping beyond the first floor, our drivers or store colleagues will discuss alternative delivery options with individual customers.”

However, once they’d had a bit of a think about the potential damage that could be caused to their ‘brand’ they backtracked slightly and added that: 'There is no fixed policy preventing our delivery drivers from carrying orders upstairs and we take each delivery on a case by case basis.'

Have you suffered at the hands of evil, moustache-twirling Sainsbury’s delivery drivers? Are you trapped in your flat? Do you need us to bring you anything? Please let us know.

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Jock
    We get our deliveries from them in Glasgow,and they always bring to 3rd floor of our tenement flat.
  • Tom
    Tesco do this too. The cunt of a delivery cunt refused to bring anything upstairs or even past the security door to the lift even though he could see I had a broken shoulder in a sling. Lasy cunts the lot of 'em.
  • Sgt W.
    Wise up, you get your shopping delivered to your flat. What do you want them to do? Unpack it all for you?
  • Cpl B.
    Got to agree with the Sarge - Its a bit hypocritical for people complaining about delivery drivers being lazy when they haven't even managed to go to a supermarket/shop themselves Not taking into account that a number of these services are provided for free - be grateful they even stop to unload.... as I for one would support a Relief Aid Air drop approach in distributing people orders out the back of a transport plane - Would certainly benefit those on the top floors..
  • Rich
    I wouldn't go there either mind...h&s is a good get out :)
  • Admiral
    Delivery services provided for free? Where? You might get the odd freebie delivery but people pay for the service - and usually pay through the nose. Not everyone has shopping delivered because they are lazy you know. No problems with the delivery drivers I've had dealings with.
  • Livin' '.
    I wanted them to deliver me some Kia-Ora, but apparently it's too orangey for crows. Another type of crow.....
  • callum
    Tesco and ASDA won't deliver to student flats though - they both make you walk out to the road to get your shopping. (I'm not personally complaining as I don't get mine delivered - just pointing out that they aren't as helpful as they claim to be).
  • Seamaster
    That's a load of bollocks from Asda. Lazy bastards won't deliver further than the lobby of my apartment building, claiming — hilariously — that they're not insured to use a lift (if anyone from Asda's reading, it's central Newcastle).
  • akiss
    tough, buy a fucking house
  • wahwahwah
    What the article writers don't seem to realise is that the drivers who refuse to take goods up multiple flights of stairs are often the ones who the customer ordered 15 bags of cat litter and four boxes of 20 beers. Very heavy goods, otherwise. Repeat this multiple times a day and you can see why they can be so awkward about it. As a first aider at one of the big supermarkets I get called to the delivery department quite a bit for drivers who have damaged their backs lifting these heavy loads. If one refuses and the shopping isn't all that heavy though then they're a tit.
  • Nigel M.
    I'm a delivery driver for Sainsbury's and I find your article offensive, all the drivers I work with here in Kings Lynn go above and beyond in our efforts to deliver to our customers. We often unpack goods for people, sometimes putting it away for them. When we deliver to flats we have to asses the situation for example, a flat on the 8th floor, the lift is out of action. 1 contact the customer and ask for help, 2 contact the online manager and tell them about the situation as there will be a knock on effect as to the delivery time, 3 DELIVER THE GOODS. this is the most important thing, as for health and safety that is for the driver to decide if they can't deliver and deliver some other time with ans assistant. Cheap shots like this are good for no-one other that as usual never let the truth get in the way of a good story. The words at Sainsbury's are WE DELIVER!!!!!
  • jason b.
    There are lots of references to Drivers being lazy not going beyond the first floor but who do you think you are having the audacity to drivers lazy when you cant even be bothered to go and get your own shopping, you have to have it delivered. Most flats with no lift have 3 floors a ground floor, first floor and second floor. As drivers are prepared to go to the first floor with your shopping you only have to go down 1 floor to receive your shopping, which is a meet halfway policy. A driver goes up a flight of stairs and down again, a customer goes down a flight of stairs and up again, equal amount of effort required by both parties which equates to a very reasonable compromise. Drivers work extremely hard which does not get rewarded by a decent wage, they are grossly underpaid, you have to evaluate every situation on fairness for all parties. Be grateful you have the facility to be able to have your groceries delivered to your premises, and dont exploit and take advantage of those who are already treated this way....COMPROMISE
  • John A.
    As always people look at these things very narrow mindedly. What you have to consider is all the facts these are. 1) There are free delivery slots late at night from some companies (Ocado for instance) so you don't have to order all your 50 gallons of water at once, have 2 or more deliveries a week. 2) deliveries are timed in order to complete the route you may only get an extra 2 mins to make a delivery to 5th floor without a lift even though several trips will be needed due to amount of shopping. 3) A customer is ordering online because he/she knows how hard it is to get the shopping up to the flat so lend a hand. 4) Often when delivering to flats the van is parked quite a way from the main doors due to lack of parking so the driver has already carried it quite far, and if he has to make more than one trip this increases delivery time. 5) speed is important as he may also be blocking the road or had to park on yellow lines (You know this as you live there). 6) If the customer is disabled he will know this before arriving and take this into consideration. 7) Some customers will not even help to take the shopping from the front door to the kitchen. It's your shopping lend a hand. 8) The delivery driver is just providing a service. He is not your lacky to be abused or talked down to. 9) Once he has struggled to get your shopping to you for free be considerate, ask him if he would like a cold drink or give him a small tip for his efforts. If your wondering, Yes I am a delivery driver and our company does take it all the way even with lifts out of action but that does not make it right!!
  • sty d.
    Moan moan moan, thats the majority who shop @ sainsburys, granted there are the few who are normal human beings. They come into store cry about availability fetch me this and that then stomp around ending up @ the cs desk who pacify them with a store voucher and or coffee. To be honest I would love to be able slap a few faces in there or at least tell em who the fuck are you talking to, but some how I do not think Justin king would approve !
  • Jay
    Hi I'm a tesco delivery driver and I deliverd to a 1st floor flat and fell. When I whent to sew tesco they toll me I can't so I whent to a seliciter a thay told me I can sew the customer so I did. 2 months later I whent to court and sewed the customer for £4000 as they are responsible for your safety when you are on theyer property.
  • Jay
    People who order home shopping should know something. We are delivery drivers and we do not Pick your shopping so if you want a moan don't moan to the driver speak to customer service and moan to them cos Im getting pissed off with customers that are not happy with the service so shop els were.
  • John S.
    For all the delivery drivers moaning if you don't like your job get a bloody new one! Either that or shut up and be glad you've actually got one. I don't pay 6 pounds for delivery just to have some idiot driver treat me like dirt because I live in a flat. Don't like your job? Find another. Simple. And it's funny how it's alway the fat unhealthy drivers or little stick insects who complain. God hit the gym once in a while and lay off the burgers and fags.
  • White r.
    Simples charge customers by the floor they are on e.g house- $3 1st floor $6 and so on.
  • joe s.
    john smith, what a tit. Idiot drivers ! Have you had a bad experience maybe with lets say, the growth of your penis I wonder. It seems you gegged in to these posts to bury your weedy little axe into delivery drivers. Oh just realised, bitter wallet=john smith=TIT simples !
  • Mr.Delivery
    Ha @ this article The title is enough to quit reading, Vertigo is a condition that has nothing to do with heights, who wrote this tripe. People who have never done this sort of job don't understand how stressful it can be, flats are the bain of a delivery drivers life... same drop times as a house, 6 to 9 minutes! a big shop to haul upstairs will put them behind unachieveable drop times unachieveable amount of deliveries within a time slot alot of hard to find houses (named houses in the dark also) road blocking poor parking availability at premises rude customers the list could go on alot of the time they are flat out all day possibly struggling for a break/trying to catch up. Just think of someonle else instead of yourself maybe. So easy to sit on your high horse and judge eh.
  • John F.
    I do this for a living and people have no idea how stressful it can be. Take into consideration that driving, in any form, is stressful anyway, then add to the mix the actual job itself of getting deliveries made while constantly against the clock. We get 8 minutes maximum per delivery, regardless of what property type we are going too, be it a house with easy access or a top floor flat. Considering it can take a good few minutes to get the crates loaded onto the cart and a few more to get them back onto the van once emptied, it's a very short period of time to actually make the delivery itself. The comes the customers of which there are many who think its the drivers fault that they only had white toilet roll instead of pink in store. They are a driver, please save your questions and moaning for customer services who are actually trained to deal with such people and in many cases, at least where I work, paid nearly double the hourly rate of a driver! In most places as with mine, the driver also has to load his/her van before heading out and then unloading all the empties on return. This all takes lot's time which is never properly given and the completely unrealistic route systems make this almost impossible to adhere too, even on a mildly busy day. Many drivers will skip breaks just too catch up or at least try too stay on time other wise they go home late. The man/woman who turns up at your door is badly paid, out in all weathers and has to take varying degrees of peoples crap all day long, all while having to get a job done. As for breaks and lunch, don't for a minute think that they even got one because this happens all the time. When they do, it is often cut short because the system gives them no choice. All this for little more than minimum wage and in most cases the same as an in store collegue who will get all their break and lunch and go home on time without having to bust their ass in crap weather conditions all week. Totally underestimated and unappreciated job that as usual, the British public slate like everything else while having no understanding of what they are talking about.
  • Bob T.
    I couldn't agree more. I'm a trainee online driver for Sainsbury's, less than a month into the job. I've already had to suffer more verbal from spoilt, fat customers than you'd get in a year off Lord Sugar. And on top of that, the most trivial complaints hit you from behind, too, from the Online manager. True, I'm grateful to have a job in these tough times, but I'm in my forties, and a graduate, I don't deserve to be treated like a retarded adolescent.
  • Neil
    Im a Sainburys delivery driver. Some days I spend a lot of time in laybys between drops. Just as often I dont stop for 11 hours. Take a small village in the middle of nowhere. It has no streetlamps. The house you are looking for has a name instead of a number. The nameplate, if it has one, is 10 meters from the road in one inch letters. It is dark and raining. Equally in the middle of town. I have to park somewhere. But as apoint of some peoples idleness. I have one regular drop where street parking is not possible. I park in a Sainsburys carpark and walk the 30 meters to their front door!!! (They are idle and not in anyway incapacitated)
  • Steve
    I work for Asda, we was was sent out on our own after 3 days of training shadowing another driver! We (delivery drivers) suffer everything John F. Mentioned and more. We are also sent out with Sat Navs that have not been updated for over 12 months, so half the time we spend running up and down roads looking for new builds or houses that might have door numbers! The management know our time slots are near on impossible to meet (we come in for our shifts an hour early and work through our breaks to try and catch up on our time slots) often having to ring customers to tell them we are going to be late and having to sign for the customer on the palm (Isn't that illegal?) so the management look good with their overall percentage of shopping being delivered on time! There are no limits to the amount of shopping, (so no overall weight restrictions the driver has to carry just individual ones on single lifts of 15kg and there are customers that naturally abuse this) that one customer can order, (whether it's a house or up 3 flights of stairs) but this is not taken into consideration with the drivers allocated time slots! All this for a few pence above the minimum wage!!
  • Service s.
    I am a home delivery driver working for Asda, I will not repeat all the previous comments made by other home delivery drivers that have been posted on here I must add they are mostly all correct. I have found that 99% of customers I deliver to are really nice people and when I can spare the time I enjoy being able to talk to them, on the other hand the 1% of not so nice people make my job hard, please if you think you are one of the 1% then try not to make my life any harder.
  • Pauly
    Feckin writer who probably would last 1 day as a delivery driver - as would some of the feckin moanin arsehole customers- not many - MOST are OK. 99% of drivers do carry shopping where the customer wants it sometimes 20 TOTES full of booze or bottled water (ffs) up flights of stairs or slippy outside paths and steps. "Oh we never tip drivers" Why not? You give the pizza man £1-£2 to give you your 1 really heavy bag of kebabs - NEWSFLASH drivers earn little more than they do. At our place we even have to load the van, do van checks then go out drive 200 miles and deliver to 20+ odd customers in all sorts of weather - get back and unload - and IF we are back early we don't get paid.
  • Deliverydave
    I am a Delivery Driver for Sainsbury's and have been for a small number of years, My work ethic in this and any other position with any employer I have ever had is to provide the best service I possibly can, I take great satisfaction from being to provide a quality service for those who need it. My personality will always see me approach your door with a smile on my face and a happy cheerful manner about me, regardless of what stresses I have been placed under. MY GOAL IS TO MAKE YOUR DELIVERY A PLEASURABLE EXPERIENCE. However, Although I will often carry the boxes up a number of flights of stairs, particularly for the elderly or disabled and in most cases take the shopping indoors for them, I am by no means obliged to do so. I think some of the able bodied responders to this joke of an article need to ask themselves a question before calling us Lazy, The question being. Why, when living on the top floor of an apartment block have I ordered so many bulky/ heavy items? The answer to that question is simple. Its because you simply cannot be bothered to do it yourself, so therefore I find anyone who has the audacity to call us Lazy nothing short of a complete hypocrite. Sainsbury's have a policy with all staff being that you do not get sick pay for your first three days of absence within the first two years of employment. Since the majority of drivers are employed part time (so that the employer can escape obligatory employer NI contributions (incidentally) this policy can sometimes equate to an entire week of lost earnings through illness this is a bit of a kick in the teeth when sometimes with deliveries such as this it is your Job that has caused the illness so you really should not be surprised when a driver refuses to do something you would, quite frankly not be prepared to do yourself. There have been a small number of times where I have had to take time off without pay due to obtaining a back injury through doing such deliveries, Despite this there are still times when I will lug your water up the stairs whilst wondering if the economy is going to collapse or if nuclear holocaust is about to set in because some of these orders are quite frankly ridiculous, But we never complain to your faces and I always have a smile for you. Back to the Hypocracy., We don't appreciate being called lazy by people who order multipul cases of alcohol in order to service an obvious alcohol addiction that results in your in-ability to work. Because at the end of the day we are out busting or balls everyday to fund your lifestyle through taxation. Please bear that in mind. Everything that has been mentioned by previous delivery drivers regarding drop times and obstacles is correct we do have to sometimes sacrifice our breaks/lunches to catch up because of issues we have absolutely no control over. More often than not our lunch breaks are scheduled into times where we find ourselves in areas where there are no adequate facilities and as a result of that we need to sacrifice a proportion of our break time to seek out such facilities, Its not an easy job and more often than not can be very stressful yet you will never see any signs of that when we approach your door and when you go off at us for something we have little control over, such as missing items or inadequate substitutions don't be surprised if you see teeth marks forming in our bottom lips. I do appreciate your custom (its keeping me in a job) and I always strive to ensure you come back to again. I chose to work at Sainsbury's under the belief that its a quality brand that I am proud to say I am a part of. And judging by some of the horror stories new customers bring to us having used our competitors I'm glad I made that decision. With regard to tips, I have no expectation of a tip when I approach your property and its fair to say you are not obliged to provide one. However we ARE NOT paid as handsomely as you think maybe slightly above the minimum wage but by no means near what is to be considered a living wage. The stores like us to be flexible with regard to the hours we are available to work and believe me when I say flexible we are almost bent to snapping point, more often than not down to management incompetence when doing the rotas so seeking additional employment for those of us who work part time is nigh on impossible. If you do not want to tip fine, but we do this job un supervised and when we have gone above and beyond what is expected of us we get ZERO recognition for it, ZILCH, NOTHING we heavily depend on feedback YOU provide, It costs nothing both in terms of time and money to quickly send off a complimentary email to our employers highlighting your satisfaction and we are over the moon when some of you do, you will be remembered and I personally will bend over backwards to provide continued top standard service to those who show appreciation of it regardless of whatever time constraints I have been placed under when doing your delivery. I have however noticed one or two things over the years that I don't really find that surprising to be honest this being that: We can do a delivery on a very posh housing estate full of five bedroomed houses with double garages and the biggest nicest gardens you could possibly imagine. Everybody on that estate who demands the highest quality service often DEMANDING (no please, just assumption) that we walk the massive order of shopping down the three mile long hallway that eventually leads to the kitchen whilst hearing our footsteps echo due to the steer size of your property and the skin torn off our knuckles having scraped them passed your doorframes yet you very rarely offer a tip (even though you look in a position to be able to afford one) yet on the flip side, we can do a delivery to the most run down obviously NOT owned house on the roughest of council estates where the people do not demand or even expect such service yet these are the people who Tip the most, these are the people who understand the hard work we do and seem to be the most appreciative of it and NEVER look down on us or show us any signs of disrespect. So please the next time your brushing the cobwebs off your purses and wallet please remember that we are human, there is no key in the back of us to wind us up, we are not put together with bolts and rivets and appreciate common courtesy. All in all even with its stresses and strains its a job I enjoy and I don't come to work to be miserable and get great satisfaction from helping those in need with the little things in life the rest of us take for granted.
  • Deliverydave
    Oh and one final word, I feel sorry for any customer in the country Called Andy Dawson, I have a feeling any delivery driver would happily walk up his stairs if only to RAM HIS SHOPPING DOWN HIS VILE, INCONSIDERATE, HYPOCRITICAL Throat !!!!! I know I personally would. What a complete and utter wanker !!! Sorry you didn't get the support you were hoping for you TIT.
  • "Customer"
    I pay Tesco for my deliveries, I work from home so am not passing the supermarket that much, but then again, I am paying for my deliveries. According to their own website I should expect my shopping to be unloaded at the door (or my kitchen, but in this instance it is just my terraced house front door). Not so by one surly driver, I should be getting on my hands and knees to unload the trays myself! This thread is a great example of why this country needs immigrant workers that are, er, willing to actually work. Get a grip of yourselves and do the job you are paid to do without being crybabies about it.
  • tony r.
    Unbelievable, I was stitched up (made redundant) in October and have now been offered a job as a driver delivering groceries. I have always been fortunate to of been in employment and have now had to take a cut of nearly 50% of my recent salary to take this job. i am not going to listen to the waste of space hypercritical idiots that slag of the drivers as i now understand the hours they have to put in to make a reasonably poor wage. How dare anyone make such nasty and pathetic comments when you actually haven't done this job yourself in fact probably have never endured any physical work at all. I am lucky to of been customer service facing most of my 30 years of working and will always smile to your face but take the piss and and be rude then my friend you will know about it. These drivers are probably not far from being better of financially than being on the dole so remember next time they WANT to work and not paid anywhere near enough to take your abuse. Behaviour breeds behaviour just remember that the next time you want to shout your mouth off and maybe just maybe the very very small minority of customers may decide life's not that bad after all otherwise you may get the delivery driver giving you a bit more than your shopping
    • Zoc1

      Totally agree with above comment. They pay paper round money for a hard days work. I should know I'm one of them. Disgusting pay!

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment