Doesn’t it just frustrate and rile you no end when the only choice you have is a shit choice? It does me but then I suppose I’m getting old and the older I get, the less shit I tend to accept.

Safeways online shopping service that requires me to physically travel to their supermarket to complete my order, is one such shit choice. At least in the Bendigo region. In fact, it’s false advertising.

By and large, my day is spent at home, either at the computer in a futile attempt to earn money or running around the house cleaning up after disgusting children. A long-term forced marriage with clinical depression, coupled with an anxiety disorder, ensure that popping out to the local supermarket is an event of some magnitude when acheived.

Those not affected by such  debillitating, psychological ‘balls and chains,’ could hardly understand the consequences of living with such disorders. I’m certainly not after your sympathy, simply painting the picture.

The idea of shopping online is great for people such as myself and lazy bastards in general. Unfortunately, Australia still has some distance to go before the concept reaches ‘critical mass’. Web developers need to up their skillset, bricks and mortar businesses need to aknowledge and promote this expanding market and ultimately, consumers need to feel confident enough with both the product and the process. But I digress.

Online shopping works if it works, if you follow me. My point is that shopping online and having it delivered to my door, is a useful concept and one I’m sure is vital for many.  Notwithstanding the obvious benefits to those unable to physically visit a supermarket, the very fact that this mundane chore is removed, is brilliant. Cup of tea in one hand, a mouse in the other and not a single jobsworth checking bags on your way out, what’s not to like?

However, if items are missing from your delivery, it kind of defeats the object if you are then forced to go out and get the items yourself. Every week, without exception, several items are missing from my order and last week precisely half the order was absent. It’s not so bad if the item in question is unimportant but should the main course not turn up, you have no choice but to go out and get it. For example, Coq au Vin is simply a plate of hot wine if your chook doesn’t show and have you ever tried eating muesli without milk?

In my case, by the time the order is delivered, and there are several time slots to choose from provided you are in a position to hang around for several hours as requested, there is no time to get to a local store before children return from school or some other such comittment prevents it.

Potatoes and vegetables hardly constitute a complete or nutritionally balanced meal where I come from and anyone who wishes to point out that I should be thankful I do not live in the Sudan or some other third world country where any food constitutes a welcome meal, I am and you may take this opportunity to cease pleasuring yourself and remove your head from your supersized lard-laden backside. Actually, do yourself a favour and **** off!

In an effort to reduce the number of missing items from your delivery, you have the option to select whether or not the packer should substitute them with suitable alternatives. This would surely nessesitate extra work for the packer who, after discovering my toilet tissue was out of stock (alledgedly), would be required to walk an extra 6 paces along the same aisle to locate a suitable substitute. Indeed it must be far above and beyond the call of duty as I have yet to recieve a substitute of any kind even though I select this option to avoid visiting them in person.

On the subject of stock or more accurately lack of, Woolworths/Safeway have been unable to make actual stock figures tally accurately with the online store and all too often you will unwittingly pay for phantom items. This is incredibly frustrating and I have voiced my annoyance on several occasions but it has obviously fallen on deaf ears.

I know that someone in that organisation has listened, or rather read, because in one of the emails I fired off to customer support, I mentioned that their delivery confirmation emails contained a dud link and the problem was corrected imediately.

At the end of the day, I don’t give a toss about amatuerish coding mistakes in emails or even on their site. All I want is my bloody shopping. Is it seriously too much to ask? It seems so but what choice do I have? Yes, electro-shock therapy has shown promising results in some of those with depression and following a lengthy course at my nearest sub-station, I’m sure I will be fully cured and more than eager to drag my five young children, kicking and screaming around the aisles, all the while desperately trying to avoid causing serious injury and death by trolly, to innocent bystanders.

The fact is that there currently is no choice in grocery home shopping services for the Bendigo region. One is forced to make do with what I loosely refer to as the ‘service’ offered by Woolworths/Safeway that is sub-standard and shoddy at best.

Come on Coles. How long before you begin covering this area? If it works, I will love you… you long time!