Ocado customers have been left furious after Christmas delivery slots were all booked up just hours after they went up online.
Angry shoppers have taken to social media to slam the grocery delivery firm, which normally gives priority to customers who pay a monthly fee for its festive delivery dates.
One person compared the ordeal ‘to trying to get tickets to Glastonbury’, as complaints flooded Twitter this morning.
The ‘Anytime Smart Pass’ customers told how they received an email advising them to re-book their Christmas slot from tomorrow.
However, no specific time was specified and when people woke up this morning to book their deliveries, most dates over the festive period were not available. Ocado blamed ‘high demand’ in a response to the complaints.
Ian Latham wrote: ‘Could you at least advise to stay up til midnight to get a slot. 13 years as a customer and this is the first time we couldn’t get a slot.’
It comes as shoppers have been warned that a raft of items are under threat this Christmas, from turkey to beer and electronic goods to bicycles amid the supply chain crisis.
British families may also struggle to find toys, sofas and fizzy drinks – and prices could rise thanks to the continuing labour shortages and shipping problems.
This was the page many disgruntled shoppers were faced with this morning as they tried to book a Christmas delivery slot
Ocado customers are furious after Christmas delivery slots were booked up just hours after they went online
The email that was sent out to customers before slots were released today, although a specific time was not stated in the message, leaving many shoppers without a Christmas slot
Sarah Carter was one of the few who managed to get a slot, although it wasn’t the one she hoped for and is now concerned by sell-by-dates in the lead-up to Christmas.
She said: ‘I just booked my Christmas slot for the 21st as that was all that was left at midnight. As this is a 9.99 slot, will use by dates by guaranteed to last till, you know, Christmas?’
Joanne Bridges, an Ocado customer for 20 years told the MailOnline: ‘I have a regular slot on a Friday, at nine o’clock, and they normally ask you to re-book your slot for Christmas, and I pay a monthly fee to keep my slot.
‘I got an email yesterday evening and it said you need to re-book your Christmas slot from tomorrow. So I was up at 6 o’clock this morning and, lo and behold, there were no available slots.’
Twitter was flooded with comment from unhappy shoppers as many loyal Ocado customers missed out on all-important Christmas delivery slots
The Marketing Consultant from Southampton added: ‘I phoned customer service and they were completely dismissive and blamed the issue on ‘high demand’.
‘They wouldn’t even let me complain to a supervisor, I spend thousands of pounds with them a year and they’ve cancelled my slot, still charged my monthly fee and binned me over Christmas.’
Addressing the concerns, Ocado said to its customers on Twitter: ‘We are extremely sorry to hear that you are not able to obtain a Christmas delivery slot yet.
‘We stagger slot releases to manage the rush at Christmas. Please keep checking back for any slots that might become available in the future.’
MailOnline has approached Ocado for comment.
From turkeys to toys: The festive items in peril this year
Earlier this week, expert warned over shortage of goods this Christmas. Retail analyst Clive Black warned turkeys could be replaced by nut roasts and many people will ask ‘what the hell is this’ when they look at their plate on Christmas Day.
It comes as drivers continue to queue for petrol amid concerns over the fuel supply chain, with industry experts fearing the problems could last for up to a month.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has admitted the fuel crisis could hit the festival season as he revealed the Government’s reserve tanker fleet would be deployed.
Mr Black told The Times: ‘I expect Christmas will be a nightmare for consumers. There will be food on supermarket shelves but there will be a distinct lack of choice.
‘Shortages of labour have meant businesses have not laid down the same number of turkeys or planted the same number of crops and the HGV driver shortage is compounding the problem.’
The Liverpool-based analyst with Shore Capital added: ‘A lot of people eating on Christmas Day will be asking ‘What the hell is this?’ It won’t be traditional.
‘They may be eating other meats and nut roasts. Equally if the CO2 (carbon dioxide) problem does not settle, expect beer and carbonated soft drinks to be in short supply and a lot more expensive.’
He said Christmas is ‘going to be much pricier generally’ and predicted that shipping issues could bring shortages of toys, bikes, sofas and electronic goods.
Mr Black also blasted David Kennedy, the director-general for food at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for being ‘a disgrace’ – and bemoaned what he described as a ‘mismanagement of the economy’.
It comes after Mr Kwarteng was asked if the fuel crisis situation would continue in the run up to Christmas, and said: ‘I’m not guaranteeing anything; all I’m saying is that I think the situation is stabilising.’