Monday, March 07, 2005
This past week, we decided to try a grocery delivery service called Peapod. If you haven't heard of Peapod, it's because likely you live somewhere other than the Northeast, DC or Chicago. Basically, Peapod provides a handy web interface, a complete inventory of everything you have purchased at the local Stop and Shop grocery stores, and they allow you to click through each item you want for that particular order. You schedule a delivery for a time convenient to you, and you let the deliverers do the rest.
By coincidence, we chose a day for delivery during which we received a sizable amount of snow, so I was skeptical about the service. My wife reported back to me that afternoon with a mostly positive review.
- The prices (already exorbitant, in my opinion) were comparable to the brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, some prices were even lower.
- The selection on the web was more than sufficient, and, in some cases, even exceeded the Stop and Shop. For example, we were able to find the right kind of ladyfingers for my wife's homemade tiramisu. The same ladyfingers were not carried in the main store.
- The produce was actually better in some cases than what we normally buy in the store, with the exception of the strawberries, which just didn't make the grade.
- The driver left us some vouchers for our next order, enticing us to use them again.
The bad points were few.
- Coupons are accepted, but in a strange twist, they apply to your NEXT order. This would not be a point of contention if the company had prominently disclosed this beforehand. Thus, our bill was a bit higher than we had anticipated.
- The driver apparently was not perceptive enough to spot the many piles of dog poop in the front yard, as he neglected to shut the front gate. This is an annoying habit of nearly all delivery persons in the Northeast (yes, I am talking to you, UPS, FedEx, and the Post Office!)
So all in all, it was a good experience, although the delivery fees can add to your final cost by 10% or more. However, Peapod is a premium service of sorts, and such fees should be expected. The only drawback is that, in order to recoup our previous coupons, we are actually forced to order again. So, the Opinari blog gives the service a recommendation for convenience and selection, although we think we will more often than not be making the trek to the local grocer to save the additional cost.
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