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Consumer watchdog slams Amazon's new grocery service

The Local · 9 Aug 2010, 16:39

Published: 09 Aug 2010 16:39 GMT+02:00

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Problems include selection, missing product information and faulty delivery practices.

The company already offers some 50,000 edibles with the service, which started in early July. Products include beverages, baked goods, fresh meats, deli items, regional specialties, dairy and more.

“The large selection, whereby it is difficult to find individual products, showed itself to be incomplete and extravagant,” according to a Stiftung Warentest statement.

In addition to well-known mineral water brands, for example, customers can also treat themselves rarities to a bottle of Tasmanian rain water for €7.90, but most product descriptions are missing information on shelf life and ingredients, the organisation said.

They also complained that shipping could quickly amount to more than the cost of the actual products. Testers ordered 20 fresh products in three different purchases, which totalled around €20, but shipping costs rand in at €25 – and required 15 separate packages.

“The problem: with fresh products Amazon is only the arbiter, shopping is done through partners who all tally up their own shipping costs,” Stiftung Warentest said.

Ten of the packages arrived within two days, the other four arrived on the third day. The final package, containing organic eggs and butter, was only delivered three days after testers registered a complaint.

“So those who aren’t permanently at home increase the risk that the packages will end up at the neighbours,” the organisation said.

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Despite the problems, most of the foodstuffs arrived undamaged an in their desired state. A few exceptions included one wrong product, one broken egg, salad with brown edges, and a melted package of butter.

The top consumer testing agency’s concluded that the new service on Amazon is of "little use,“ though it did say that the company itself has already said it would work to improve the offering.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

23:13 August 9, 2010 by Kayak
Look! See? The sky is falling! - Oh good grief.

Why not try it once?

If it's good for you then use it again and tell a friend why you like it.

If it's bad for you then tell a friend why you don't like it.

Say it in a news groups.

Say it loud

Say it clear.

Do the same for the local butcher, baker and candle-stick maker.
10:22 August 10, 2010 by 9900lawre
The consumer must be mad if you think you can get an egg delivered in the post and not have it broken, Boo hoo to the spilt milk.

Look at Tesco delivery in the UK, you don't always get 100%what you want but if it's broken you give it back to the driver.

Try that with Deutsche post and your in for a polite answer!
11:36 August 10, 2010 by moistvelvet
This niche service being brought into a country with so little grasp on customer service was/is bound to fail.

When you can goto a supermarket and see rotten veg being packed onto the shelf, why would anyone think a German online retailer would be any better.
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