The delivery window seems to keep getting broken

Nabil Mohamed writes: “I have been having problems with Booker’s deliveries. My store in Clapham High Street is very small at only 963sq m and there is no stockroom. This means that deliveries need to go straight on shelf and therefore the time slot, agreed at between 5am and 7am, needs sticking to.”

Last summer he had a late delivery which arrived about 1pm. The stock was all over the place, leading to an old lady tripping over. She had to be taken away by ambulance. Since then he has given notice to customer service that, if there is a delivery outside of the agreed window, they should call to re-arrange.

He adds that his store has been one of their top outlets since 2006. “On average we spend about £30,000 per week with Booker and get three deliveries in a week. So I do not understand if they cannot make it within the time frame, why don’t they call me to re-arrange. We shouldn’t be charged for deliveries that we have not signed for.”

In January stock didn’t arrive until 10am and the girl working in the store couldn’t take the delivery. Nabil was still charged £2,320 for the ambient and £818 for the chilled. The ambient was refunded after three weeks. “I was charged an admin fee on top of this of £60. Since my orders are scheduled for Wed, Thurs, Fri deliveries, I would expect them to be able to just hold onto a chilled order overnight.”

On another occasion he had internet issues. It was fixed in half an hour, 15 minutes past the 9pm deadline, meaning that there was no opportunity to top up the chilled order to reach the minimum required.

He feels a bit trapped. He adds: “I worked for Budgens stores for 27 years. In 2003, they announced the franchise and we were advised to apply. The store is owned by the company which is my landlord and purchased in 2006 for £260,000. They provided a 15-year lease, 15-year business plan and Budgens retail agreement. The delivery window was still the same as when it was a company store. We were also advised to buy the software from them (Londis Manager) for £17,500 and for the IT support £65 per week.”

Via the system he overpaid his VAT by £39k, finding out by mistake when he went to the back office to get a receipt and noticed the discrepancy. HMRC confirmed overpayment of £99k altogether but could only go back four years so he only got back £56k of it.

“Accounts just says ‘so take us to court’. For the past two months we were charged £2,300 for chilled that we didn’t get and admin for £230 for not accepting the delivery as it was out of the delivery time frame and this is their fault.”

I contacted the press office on his behalf but got the usual response. “We are sorry to hear of Nabil’s concerns and although we do not discuss individual customers, we have picked up with him directly.”

But so far, no one has.The delivery window seems to keep getting broken