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Online Grocery Delivery Nano-Misadventure

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

First, I share with you the raw facts of a particularly disjointed, lengthy customer service experience, though it does conclude with a refund and more. It concerns one of the many times I used a third party service to shop for and deliver groceries from a local grocery store. I follow the story with a bit of an epilogue about how this may turn into a college writing assignment.


I'm on hold, waiting for a grocery store rep, listening to flute music on speaker and then hear, "Currently all our customer care representatives are serving other customers. your call will be answered in the order it was received."

While I'm on hold, I have this conversation with a chat bot on the store's website:

[Store] Help Bot

Hello, Wesley!

Looking for an order? I’m here to help you find it.

Hello. There were some mistakes in my order.

Enter your order number to search


This is an old order. Would you like more details?

Order Date: 6/12/2022

Order Delivered


there was a mistake in the order

Enter your order number to search

I close the chat bot. I’m still waiting . . . and thinking of bailing on the phone, too. The mistakes were pretty small, really, and don't amount to much money lost.

Now I’m on. They’ve taken my phone number and email verbally and now they’re waiting for their computer to load. Now she’s transferring me to the actual store the groceries came from. So, the number provided for me to call was not the most direct. And now, this second person is asking for my name to look it up.

He says the first rep transferred me to the wrong store, or at least he can't find record of my delivery. So, he is transferring me to another store. I got just a tad testy, there, too, but just for a moment and not too bad. I'm a bit humored at the same time.

Now, there is zero sound on the phone.

After a silent wait, I’m with a third person. Turns out I have to call [Delivery Company]. Nothing in the online record of my order there says that. Wasted all that time.

The [Delivery Company] website has instant access to a live agent via chat!

Hudson ---- 13, 2022, 3:01pm

Hi Wesley! How can I help you today?

Wesley Mueller Jun 13, 2022, 3:02pm

Hello. I loved using [Delivery Company] the first two times, but the order I placed yesterday did have some mistakes

Hudson ---- 13, 2022, 3:02pm

I am so sorry to hear that! I can help you out, what seems to be the issue?

Wesley Mueller Jun 13, 2022, 3:02pm

638631092 is the order number

apples, beets, cucumbers, and two chocolate bars were missing

also three substitutions without accounting for that, but I’m less concerned about those

Hudson ---- 13, 2022, 3:03pm

I am so sorry to hear that! Unfortunately it looks like this order was through [Store] so I cannot credit back your account, if you contact [Store] guest services, they can help you out!

Wesley Mueller Jun 13, 2022, 3:04pm

LOL. Just spoke with [Store] for about an hour and finally they said to talk to you.

image credit: Polycart CC


I guess there are some people actually named Karen who are suffering because of the meme, but I wonder how a figurative #Karen would have handled this. Perhaps she'd get thoughts or urges to act out. Not sure. I just found it funny, really, apart from one moment, where I said, “This isn't right," and such to the third of four people (five entities) I spoke with. Or was it the second one?

So, that’s the story of what I thought was my whole attempt to recoup some losses from an online grocery order. A #CustomerService nano-misadventure, I'd call it. Just happened today, but I omitted the names of the companies involved as this is just a normal part of life, really. Pretty loopy service experience, though.


I thought of writing an email letter, instead, and then using the store's response as lessons on the practical value of writing in getting results. I'm a writing professor, if you didn't know.

The problem is the unimpressive value, but the store did write back and did pay me plus some savings off my next order. That inspired me to write a delivery service about a coupon that should have worked but didn't. They tracked down a tech problem that had been the issue, and refunded me, too. Still, only $47, between the two follow-ups. I've also sent an email to the electric company about getting a $75 charge refunded, but haven't heard back yet.

Regardless, the ability to influence others through writing is scalable, monetarily and in other currencies of influence.

The other problem would have been if the store didn't respond or if they had responded with no resolution. But they did.

Now, I guess, to see if I actually make use of this experience and its artifacts in my upcoming classes.

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