Supermarket delivery slots for vulnerable customers – how to book Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's deliveries
SUPERMARKETS are beginning the task of contacting vulnerable customers to try and help them access priority slots to get groceries delivered to their doorstep.
The government released a list of more than one million vulnerable people to shop bosses at the end of last week, who have been checking them against their own records of who might need extra help.
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Under government guidelines, those who are most at risk of being badly affected by coronavirus, such as those with existing health conditions and older people, should try and stay at home.
But there is also an “extremely vulnerable” group made up of people with specific cancers and other illnesses which mean their immune system is compromised.
If you fall into this category you should have had a letter from the government outlining help which is available.
And the supermarkets say they are in the process of contacting people to make sure they can access home delivery.
If you have never used home delivery before and have a letter from the government advising you that you are vulnerable, you can approach a supermarket directly and let them know that you need help.
Tesco said it had immediately identified 75,000 people on the government’s list as existing customers, and has set about contacting them.
It is now working out how to contact everyone else as quickly it can, it said.
If you qualify, you will be able to book a priority slot and select an eight hour window for delivery.
Slots are available from today.
Customers who do not currently have a Tesco account and have a letter from the NHS can either create an account online or call the supermarket on 0800 917 7359.
Tesco said it would then be able to verify whether they are on the government’s list.
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Sainsbury’s said it is also working to identify vulnerable people who already have online grocery accounts.
As of March 25, the supermarket had contacted 270,000 customers who had already given information that meant it could identify them as being particularly in need.
It says it has already offered priority booking to more than 450,000 elderly or vulnerable customers.
Once you are told you qualify for priority delivery, you can call the customer care line on 0800 636262, although the supermarket has warned it is very busy and you might need to try a couple of times.
Once you are through to a member of staff, they will help you arrange a delivery slot.
If you are vulnerable and have received a government letter, but don’t already have a Sainsbury’s account, you can also call the helpline.
Asda said it has begun reaching out to vulnerable customers in England via email to offer them first access to delivery slots.
There will be a link in the email which will take them to the Asda site, where they will be able to access a recurring delivery slot.
They will also be able to access slots a week further in advance of everyone else if they don’t want a recurring slot.
These customers will also benefit from free delivery and no minimum spend when they place their order.
It is working on a similar scheme for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A spokesperson said: “We're absolutely committed to supporting the effort to feed the nation wherever we can.
“In addition to working around the clock to keep our shelves stocked and deliveries moving, we are now able to use data provided by the government to help those people who have been identified as highly vulnerable get what they need and are protected from Covid-19.”
You can order Morrisons food via its website or from its Amazon store – but slots have been booked up for weeks.
Morrisons said it is working to make more delivery slots available, and is adding a fast track to its queue system so that vulnerable customers can be prioritised.
Customers who are classed vulnerable by the government will already have received communications from supermarket, it said.
Morrisons has been using staff from Marie Curie and CLIC Sargent charity shops – which have closed for the time being – to help elderly and vulnerable people access supplies.
The workers can shop for people in their local community, or help vulnerable people who do choose to go to the shops by helping them with bags.
For people who do not shop online, the supermarket is setting up a customer call centre for orders to be taken over the phone.
And the company has launched food parcels, including one for vegetarians, that can be delivered.
Some vulnerable people have said they are still struggling to get a delivery slot, even with the new measures.
You could try getting groceries delivered via Deliveroo and Uber Eats instead of from a supermarket.
Check out our guide on how to get supermarket delivery slots and where to buy essential items during the coronavirus lockdown.
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