Elderly and disabled

Coronavirus crisis: Fury as supermarket delivery chaos leaves disabled customers without groceries

Services booked up

Supermarket customers have reacted with fury as a surge in online orders due to the coronavirus crisis appears to be leaving disabled people without groceries.

Amid reports of panic-buying emptying supermarket shelves of staples like pasta and essentials such as hand sanitiser and toilet roll, more and more people appear to be doing their shopping online.

Empty shelves at Tesco
Empty shelves at Tesco’s store in Southall, London (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Read more: Coronavirus outbreak: UK supermarkets braced to deal with panic-buying

But the surge in demand has left some companies’ delivery schedules fully booked for as long as a week – leaving less mobile people unable to get the food and household goods they need.

Others have reported issues with deliveries cancelled due to drivers being ill, or delivery staff not taking the shopping into customers’ homes.

One angry customer wrote on Twitter: “I’m disabled, nothing is in stock or for a week away delivery! On a key meter so who is helping me? @asda @morrisons @tesco @bbc #help.”

Think about those who rely on this service.

Another tweeted: “Heads up any #disabled online grocery shoppers. Delivery slots are crazy full right now. Can’t get a slot for a week in my area.
@tesco @asda @sainsburys @Ocado @Morrisons all full. Have any supermarkets ever thought about a disability register to prioritise disabled customers?”

A third said: “I’ve just gone to book my regular Sunday @Tesco food delivery as I am disabled and depend on it but there are no slots available until Monday night. Please stop going crazy, people, and think about those who rely on this service.”

Someone else wrote: “Shocking service from @Tesco delivery this eve. Huge number of items were not delivered: soup, pasta, flour, toilet paper, cleaning supplies. These are the basics I need, I am disabled and housebound. Delivery man unable to bring food upstairs to my flat, even though requested.”

A fifth raged: “Thanks to everyone #stockpiling, my disabled housebound daughter can’t get a @Tesco home delivery slot and no loo roll or cat litter is available either. She asked me, ‘Is it the apocalypse?’. If you have vulnerable neighbours, please check in on them and see if they need anything.”

“I am disabled,” tweeted another. “Trying to protect myself a little regarding poxy #COVIDー19 #coronvirusuk, @Tesco home delivery, NO hand sanitiser, NO painkillers, how are compromised people supposed to cope?! @PHE_uk.”

Someone else said: “@asda @AsdaServiceTeam so a friend who is a) disabled, b) housebound and c) lives alone just had her home delivery of essential shopping cancelled. Your excuse, ‘Driver’s off sick’. Great planning, eh? What the hell is she supposed to do?”

Read more: Coronavirus crisis: Outbreak could lead to 24-hour cremations due to spike in death rate

As of Friday afternoon, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK had risen to 790 and 10 people had succumbed to the deadly bug.

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