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Battle of the Grocery delivery apps – Checkers Sixty60 vs PnP Bottles – who won?

My PnP Bottles Review
Pick and Pay Bottles Grocery delivery – a review | Going Solar
My Checkers Sixty60 Review
Checkers Sixty60 Delivery – a review | Going Solar

Both orders I made had teething issues.
Process for managing issues on both apps / services is a bit lacking, as is driver training.
Overall the Checkers app is substantially better, although limited in the size of orders you can make (one motorbike load). The Checkers App substitution mechanism is highly non-optimal though, as it needs to be done on a item by item basis. I also couldn’t see any “specials” via the App. i.e Store Card specials. If you wanted to get those, you’d need to go to the shops in person. Not sure why that can’t be integrated into the App – they have your store card details already in there, tie it in! PnP had some specials in app, although similarly to Checkers, none of the PnP store card specials are listed.

Both options really need you to check the order you’ve received VERY carefully – (ideally before the driver tries to leave). In my view, both need to provide a printout of the order that you can sign off on. Preferably making the driver make you sign., which other delivery companies do. Neither do that yet.

Was unhappy at the time with the checkers substitution that I couldn’t return. I have noted that you can select “don’t substitute” items, but again, its seriously inadequate when you need to select that individually, per item, per order.   I should probably deduct a point from my scoring for that UIX atrocity.

Packaging for Checkers was a lot more re-usable, and more environmentally friendly. The brown paper bags are great. The PnP plastic ones are horrid, and not re-usable – there definitely needs to be some attempt made to make that packaging better – we only have one planet PnP…

Would I use either again?

While the overall ease of use of the Checkers Sixty60 process was a lot better, the limited ordering for the relatively high cost of delivery makes it less worthwhile for me, especially when its not 60 minute delivery. I checked again today in their app, and I got offered delivery options for tomorrow only – nothing for today (and that was when I checked at 11am this morning).

The PnP Bottles app – while buggy, at least lets you order more items, and that in itself makes it more worthwhile, as the value proposition is better. Not sure that its fair on the delivery driver though – especially if they only deliver by Motorbike.
I’ve seen the Tuk-tuk’s roaming around before where I live – why aren’t those being used? That edges it slightly over the Checkers ordering for me, even with the wobbly edges.

As I know people that know people, ahem 🙂 I’ve forwarded both reviews, and my summary to relevant people at both companies, and will update if I get any feedback.

Pick n Pay Bottles Feedback
Pick n Pay are the first to get back to me – relatively quickly too!
Their response arrived a day after my request for info to them.

Pick n Pay’s reply in full below (any personal information has been redacted)


·  Bottles was recently acquired by Pick n Pay. See article here for reference.

·  The app name is currently Bottles by Pick n Pay, as Bottles is an existing delivery app which was recently acquired by Pick n Pay. Bottles was launched in 2016 as South Africa’s first on-demand alcohol delivery app, and partnered with Pick n Pay Liquor in 2018. Following the prohibition on the sale of alcohol in March, Bottles in partnership with Pick n Pay re-purposed its app within four days, emerging with a new offering to deliver on-demand ‘grocery essentials’ to customers. 

·  Bottles Privacy Policy is available on the app and website: see here: https://bottlesapp.co.za/policies/privacy-policy. This is available during registration, from the app main menu (under Support and on our website) 

  • We are currently working on integrating Bottles App & Pick n Pay Online into one business and team, and the mobile app’s Privacy Policy and Pick n Pay’s Privacy Statement will be updated accordingly
  • In terms of information requested on registration:
  • Customer’s name is used to address and identify the customer
  • Mobile number is used to ensure someone is available for the delivery and to contact for any issues regarding the delivery
  • Email address is used for sending of invoices and order details, as well as for marketing related deals and offers
  • Date of Birth is used to ensure we only allow the sale of alcohol to people over the legal age
  • A few other comments:
  • Driver: 
    We do allow driver tipping in the app as part of the order process. You may also decide to tip the driver in cash if you prefer. 
  • The driver is paid in full for all deliveries, if he needs to make multiple trips, he will be paid for multiple deliveries and Bottles takes on this cost on behalf of the client
  • We have currently branded 50 of our delivery vehicles and are working towards branding more
  • We make use of cars for bigger deliveries, when available
  • Packaging: we are working on a better packaging solution to be implemented ASAP  
  • App Crashing when clicking “Share Bottles by PnP, get R50 off!” link on the order detail screen has been resolved in the latest version


Pick and Pay Bottles Grocery delivery – a review


PnP Bottles (bit of a weird name for a grocery app, I suspect they bought an existing app off someone else) is similar to the Checkers Sixty60 grocery ordering app, in that you can order online. Similarly to the Checkers Sixty60 ordering app, its also App only. Bleh!

PnP want a whole slew more personal info for sign up ahead of ordering, in comparison to the Checkers60 App though.

Score -1 for that.
There was also no indication of what they want to do with all my info.
I’m not stupid, its going to be sold to 3rd party marketers. A privacy policy should be provided _always_, especially if you ask for more than name/ address and phone number.
As PnP has a fairly substantive privacy policy published here – https://www.pnp.co.za/privacy-policy, I have emailed PnP’s Information Officer and asked them if this policy also applies to their Bottle App.
I will update this post when I have a reply. Regardless, currently it feels a little more intrusive than their competition.

Onto the App.
This is definitely not as well polished as the Sixty60 one.
There are a few UI issues (mostly related to the keyboard not dropping away when necessary, and scroll views not showing the full window).

Searching for items in the app is a little bit iffy. Results are a lot less relevant than in the Checkers60 app, and the selection of items seems a lot more limited. They do have specials in the app though.

Plus side – I can order a lot more groceries than the checkers app. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious mechanism for items that can’t be fulfilled, and doesn’t seem to be a limit on order size unlike the Sixy60 app.

Down side – delivery seems to be scheduled, and a lot slower – my order made at 10:40 can only be scheduled delivered between 2-3pm.

Firs delivery was actually made at 12:51pm.
This is over an hour earlier than the app delivery time –
While I appreciate an early order, this was slightly inconvenient, as I was planning to be out, and luckily happened to be home still.
Delivery times should be as scheduled, so you can plan around that.
Would be better to have an sms if you are going to deliver earlier (or later) than arranged.

The delivery unfortunately only included 3 bags of items – apparently the driver has to make 4 trips for all the items I ordered. Guess PnP need to do the same optimization that Sixty60 did (and limit orders), or use a larger vehicle for deliveries.

First issue – one item arrived unsealed / opened. Definitely a no-no, even more so in Covid times!

Driver was away before I discovered that, but as he’s on his way back 3 more times, I’ll see if he can return it with him.

I have gone through the submit a problem on the app (its prominently displayed on the order at least, unlike on Checkers60), but it says you may need to wait 2hrs! for a reply.
I think some points can be deducted for that.
To be honest, I’d want a reply immediately if there is an issue, and its during delivery hours.

Package arrived already opened from the PnP Bottle App order.

Approximately twenty minutes later, the next partial delivery was made.
Some good news – my motorbike driver has accepted the opened item, and will return / swap it. (see above image)

This time around, more bottles of sparkling water delivered (I ordered 48 in total). Driver has delivered a few bags worth this time

1610277545745.png


As an aside – not sure why they didn’t use a tuk-tuk, I’ve seen them before in the area.

I also feel quite guilty for the driver now as he has to make a bunch of trips, so intend to tip well (or at least more than I originally planned to).

Gratuitous driver shot –

1610277771717.png

Note the lack of branding on the delivery vehicle – this is in stark comparison to say Checkers, who have obvious branding. I would appreciate some sort of lanyard / identity card as well, so you can verify that the driver is indeed from the store before letting them in.

A subsequent 20 minutes later, the next delivery for the same order arrived (at 13:51pm)
What looks like the final delivery of everything has arrived.
One downside the PnP bags things came in are rather unusable, as they are taped together, and need to be ripped apart. I now have a ton more plastic waste.

This delivery unfortunately, has a completely different delivery driver, so I can’t tip the guy 🙁
Good news though, the opened package has been replaced (although somewhat gratuitously, that was sealed in yet another separate plastic bag).

I finally have what looks to be everything, and let the driver head back.

Well, I thought I did… I’m actually missing one of the bottles of sparkling water I ordered.
I have noted that on the App “Chat to us” in case of issues button, and am still waiting on a response.

Literally as I wrote that, I got a ping back from the app, and a response.
Apparently out of stock, and they’ll refund me.

Overall, my experience with PnP Bottles has been satisfactory, although much like the Sixty60 App, they really need to resolve or better work through their process management.

The Bottles App is buggy though, aside from the UI issues, I could repeatedly get it to crash by clicking the “Share Bottles by PnP, get R50 off!” link on my order detail screen.
I assume that they’ll fix those minor App issues though.

For the amount of stuff ordered, R35 for delivery was excellent value. Saved me going to the shops during Covid season, especially seeing as I could order a months worth of sparkling water at one time.

That said, the same exact issues that Sixty60 have, also plagues PnP Bottles.

– You need to check the order carefully on delivery to make sure of any issues.
– The drivers need to be better educated as to how to process returns or missing items.
– While the app has a better placed Issue with your Order – “Contact us” button, the timeframe for replies should be much faster. 2 hours for a reply is unacceptable during delivery hours.

My Score – 3 / 5

I’ve deducted 1/2 points each for –
– The buggy app
– For the excessive information required to register / privacy concerns.
– The drivers not wearing any sort of identification or proof that they’re a PnP Bottles delivery.
– …and for the delivery time not meeting the scheduled appointment time.

I’ll probably use this again, purely because I found the value in getting so many bottles of spring water delivered was worth it to me. I often go to the local PnP and find no stock.

Our local PnP (Longbeach Mall) is awful to shop at, I vowed never to go back after a previous bad experience [staff attitude & literal rudeness at checkout, bad service, and a manager who didn’t care / brushed me off when I reported the cashier and the packer].
I generally shop at other stores, or head to the Simons Town PnP branch, which although smaller, is a lot better.

Checkers Sixty60 Delivery – a review

While (or should I say when) I live in Cape Town, I do live in a slightly rural part, so don’t have much in the way of food delivery.
No uber eats, and the only junk food delivery is so-so pizza (Debonair’s).

Grocery delivery on the other hand seems to be picking up, as this last year – (referrring to 2020 – seeing as we’re barely into 2020+1), I now have two, yes two grocery delivery options.

Checkers Sixty60, and newly open for our area – PnP Bottles (to be reviewed in a subsequent post).
Both have similar costs for delivery – R35, and same day (or next day) delivery.

Checkers Sixty60
I ordered from Checkers Sixty60 last month. Annoyingly you can’t order from their website, only from their app. I find that a bit of a downside, they could easily replicate the functionality on a webapp (which is pretty much what their iOS / Android app is anyway).
That said, the app is actually quite good – signup is easy, searching for items is good excellent with fuzzy searching / result sets returned, and similar items recommended.
The UI is also fairly decent. I’m happy with it anyway, and I’m generally a cantankerous grumpy old man when it comes to dof decisions in app design.

You can only order a limited amount of items through the app – this ties in to be roughly what they can fit into the motorbike pannier / basket.

As an example of this – I could order 11 individual bottles of sparkling water, but no more.

My overall order experience was not as good as the app, which I’ll detail in a brief moment.

Ordering via the app was a breeze, and delivery was scheduled for an hour later.

Delivery wasn’t on time, but close enough. Delivery guy actually went past and drove off, so I had to run out and tell him to turn around.

Items were packed well – I’d actually say overpacked – the brown paper bags used could have been fuller. The bag quality is excellent, and will definitely be reused by me.

Delivery guy was friendly, but other than delivering items, had no way to process things like returns or items not ordered/incorrect. He was also clueless about anything other than ‘here are your items’. The delivery vehicle (a motorbike) was branded with the checkers logo on the sides of the back box. I forgot to note if the driver had any other ID on them to say “Checkers delivery staff”, but it was fairly obvious it was indeed a Checkers order.

One of my items got swapped out for another item. Luckily I caught that before the driver left, but there was nothing I could do in person. There was also no mechanism in the app for complaints or returns, and the delivery guy wouldn’t accept the wrong item to return, so I was stuck with it.

In retrospect, I could have checked don’t swap out items in the Checkers Sixty60 app, but its onerous to do this for each and every item in a shopping list. Their app needs to have a global option for that, or at least subsequently warn the buyer that a swap will happen prior to confirming the delivery.
None of that happened.

Delivery was free this time around, as I used a free delivery with your first order coupon.
While the majority of the order was correct, getting stuck with an item that I didn’t want, and couldn’t return soured me on the experience, especially when that replacement was double the cost of what I ordered, and not what I wanted.
That item also turned out to be melted into a gooey mess (but its been a month in the freezer since I ordered, and I don’t think I’ll be able to do anything about that now).

Lesson’s – check your order carefully and don’t let the driver leave until everything is counted and correct.

My score – 2.5/5 (see updates below for final score)

– The app side (for ordering at least) is excellent.
– I’ve deducted another point for the delivery size limitations, and another point and a half for lack of return procedures.
– The procedures need work, especially for complaints / issues, but I would use it again if I had better mechanisms for issues*.

I’ve subsequently gone back into my orders on the Checkers Sixty60 App.
(Orders / My Orders / Order #), and now see a Submit an Issue button.

I’m not sure if this is new to the App, as I looked all over the app previously for a complaint mechanism, and didn’t see it at the time, and there have been App Store Updates for the App. Either way, it needs to be far more visible / obvious.

The delivery driver had no clue about anything so couldn’t advise.
I suggest better training for drivers, and making this a lot more visible in the app. With that said, I’m going to return the 1.5 points I deducted, as this seems to be sort of resolved, although how the process will work I’ll have to leave to another order and update this again. I’m deducting another 1/2 point off for the UIX deficiencies though.

Updated Score – 3.5/5

Weep, for this is whats in charge of Nuclear Energy

tina-joemat

I’ve uploaded a video of the Honorable Tina Joemat-Pettersson giving a speech at parliament.
I am strongly convinced that either she’s on drugs, or her speech writer is.

Sadly this is whats in charge of Energy in this country.

I weep for us.