When one places a grocery order on your web site -- the site, I remind you, which belongs to the country's largest retailer of such items -- one can generally go back and change that order until 0429 on the day on which it is to be delivered. This means that some of us lowly customers -- such as me -- tend to do a "placeholder" order to hold a specific delivery slot, and then go back and change it later on when we know exactly what we'll need for the forthcoming week.
Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I logged onto your system yesterday evening at 0015 to make some additions to the order that is to be delivered this morning. No, actually, don't bother to imagine my surprise and delight, as those were not two of the emotions present when I read the message saying "system down for upgrades between midnight and 5am; sucks to be you!" (I paraphrase just the tiniest bit).
Now, I work in a technical environment, and I appreciate the occasional necessity for system upgrades, system improvements and the like. However, in the world of grown-ups, we tell people when they're going to be so that they can plan around them. Emergencies happen, sure, but emergencies tend not to have pretty pre-prepared graphics about them and they are also not usually at scheduled times.
I have seen previous evidence that you are capable of warning people when the change cut-off time for a particular order is not what they would normally expect (around Christmas the time is sometimes 2359 instead of 0429).
An email would have been all that it took; just one little email saying "we need to do some upgrades, the system will be down between midnight and 5am on 9th February". You need only have sent it to those people who had an order due for delivery today. Armed with that useful piece of information, I could then have made my necessary changes before midnight, and had a delivery of gasp ACTUAL FOOD.
While I appreciate your offer to refund my delivery charge when the delivery has been made, it does not solve my problem, that being that will be arriving at my front door in approximately three hours' time is:
- cat litter
- cat food
- washing tablets
and nothing else.
My cats will be happy. Sadly, since I feel that a dinner consisting only of those three ingredients might be a little unpalatable to a human, I will instead be going to the Sainsbury's down the road later on and spending my money there.
(It is somehow tempting to put together a little box containing samples of the above ingredients and send it, with a knife and fork, to the Tesco technical department. They'd probably think it was some tasty new gourmet food, though.)