Supermarket delivery slots have been more in demand than ever in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic. With worries over spreading the virus, many shoppers have been trying to minimise contact with others while shielding groups have been forced to stay home. But the surge in demand has caused Tesco to make a big change to the way it prices its deliveries.
Tesco scrapped its peak and off-peak pricing model on Monday in a huge shake-up of its delivery fees.
The supermarket previously had prices of as little as £2 a slot, ranging up to £7 for peak times.
Shoppers could then choose whether to pay more for a busy time slot or to select a cheaper option if it was convenient to them.
However, the new rules mean that there is just one flat fee – causing some shoppers to be angry at the fact they’ll now be paying more to have their order brought to their door.
READ MORE: Tesco delivery rules: Prices up as supermarket scraps cheap options
Tesco has changed its delivery fees
Tesco deliveries now have a flat fee
But with more and more people working from home and a surge in online orders due to the pandemic, the retailer said it made the move because there is now a constant demand – leaving peak and off-peak prices unsuitable.
The new fees mean that deliveries will now cost £4.50 per one-hour slot, while anyone whose orders are delivered from one of its fulfillment centres will pay £5.50.
There’s also an added charge of £1.50 for Click and Collect orders – and for both options, there’s a £4 surcharge applied if your order isn’t over a certain value (£40 for deliveries, £25 for Click and Collect).
But while all of those charges may sound steep, MoneySavingExpert.com, the website set up by finance journalist and campaigner Martin Lewis, has revealed that it could work out fairer – and the team has suggested how to save money on the new system.
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While it’s true the fees will seem higher to those who used to bag an off-peak slot, it now means you can shop knowing you’ll never pay higher than £5.50, the MoneySavingExpert team pointed out.
What’s more, Tesco offers a delivery membership scheme that could mean you’ll save money.
Tesco’s Delivery Saver subscription allows customers to sign up and pay a monthly fee of £7.99 – which gives them as many free deliveries or Click and Collect orders as they like.
The service was put on hold during the initial lockdown as the stores struggled to keep up with demand – but it’s now back up and running.
MoneySavingExpert shared a top tip to save on the fees
Money Saving Expert explained that if you know you’ll shop more than twice a month, the deal is a no-brainer as it will save you money now that the fees have jumped up.
Regular shoppers would be better off using the plan, which is now open to new customers.
However, the Tesco website does state that it is limiting the number of sign-ups, due to high demand.
You can also pay a one-off fee of £47.94 for a six month plan.
Supermarket share in the UK
It also promises that subscribers will have early access to delivery slots at Christmas and Easter.
However, your order still needs to be over £40 in order to qualify – otherwise you’ll incur a £4 surcharge.
Tesco also says that it will refund the difference in an eCoupon if at the end of your plan you have spent more than you would have done through regular slot fees.
Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Morrisons have similar plans in place for subscriptions, ranging from £5 a month to £10.99 a month.