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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Aussie Farmers Direct - Review - Not so great for me!

I have used Coles Online to do my shopping for quite a while now and although they can be a pain in the arse, generally they aren't too bad, but as we all know most of the big supermarkets don't always have great quality fruit and vegetables or meat, so when I heard about this Aussie Farmers Direct mob, I signed up. They took a long time until they were delivering to my area, so long I can't remember how long it was lol, finally they were here, I had almost forgotten about them. So I check out their website now I do and have run websites and thought what a dogs breakfast of a mess their site was, poorly designed, difficult to navigate and hard to understand, nothing flowed with their ordering process, it just wasn't intuitive at all. I gave up on them until just the other day, they had someone going door to door, I generally despise door to door sales people but the lass was pleasant enough and lucky for her I had already signed up and was actually interested in trying them out, I thought I would give this company a try.

I did one test order, a "one off" I think they called it (you really need a shopping cart for this in particular), she informed me that the orders are delivered early in the morning, I just had to place the supplied "soft esky bag" outside for the delivery guy to place the "goods" in, she said I would most likely be asleep and I wouldn't even hear him, seemed simple enough and it was for the first test delivery. I thought great, ok I can get the mostly fresh food I need from Aussie Farmers Direct even if it meant now having to use both "Aussie Farmers Direct" and Coles Online, a little more complicated using two businesses as opposed to one, but life was never meant to be easy now was it, never a truer phrase as I found out. I really did want to support the farmers but this company makes it so damn difficult to do that for me at least anyway.

Today I was expecting an order, part of my weekly delivery (fruit and vegetables) they call this the Greengrocer, the first part of it, the second part will come tomorrow (the bread and milk part of it) they call this the Milkman so when I wake up I go to check the bag and it's empty, no delivery, so I ring them up and sure enough I get that CSR that doesn't seem to be able to understand plain english, most likely one of the "New Generation" of geniuses, he couldn't find me on the "system" he kept asking me for details firing questions at me, still not able to find me in the "System" it's exactly this reason I despise dealing with CSRs and prefer to do everything online these days, just talking to a websites database by entering my details, I rarely have a problem with that "System" I understand them, I get them, humans just frustrate me and on this day the wonderful CSR from Aussie Farmers Direct did exactly that, so much so I asked to speak to a Supervisor, she was alright, she figured out without even asking for my details that the delivery I was expecting was not due to arrive until later in the day, I think your door to door sales girl misinformed me Aussie Farmers Direct, oh and I also found out that I don't need to put that "cooler bag" out for fruit and veg, seems strange, left out in the sun at the front of my house asking to be stolen in the middle of the day, okaaaay, what happens if I'm not home?

Aussie Farmers Direct why don't you just give us an easy to find customer number so we can quote that when dealing with your CSR's?

Now I live in a fairly well let's just say crap area with crap people, there I said it, so the thought of my deliveries being left outside because of these "regular deliveries" from Aussie Farmers Direct does not fill me with confidence that they will actually be there if I'm not, when I get home from not being there. With Coles Online I can pick the day and the time or at least a 2 or 3 hour window of time for delivery, Aussie Farmers Direct's window of time is five hours, yep five hours and you can't even pick that five hour window (I could live with being able to pick the delivery window) even if it is five hours, with Coles Online I can order it for an early time and wait for the door bell to ring that I can even hear if I happen to be asleep, which is rare.

This brings us to the next problem, "Payment" with Coles Online I pay for my order when the delivery guy arrives. with Aussie Farmers Direct apparently the money comes out of your account "sometime one week later" sounds good I guess, but it isn't for me, I don't have a credit card, I have a Mastercard debit card, so it's my money, not credit, I don't have a money buffer I live on a fixed income. Ok I found out I could pay some money in advance by phoning guessed it, CSR, joy joy! be great if I could do that online Aussie Farmers Direct, seriously. So I did that, but as I say I needed to deal with a CSR instead of being able to do it online, Aussie Farmers Direct your website leaves a lot to be desired in many ways.

Aussie Farmers Direct get some sort of shopping cart "system", what you have now is not up to scratch for a wannabe online business!

Anyway, seriously I could probably write another page on this whole saga, but suffice it to say until they have a rethink of their website and their whole business model, well the user interface and payment options at least, I can only see much stress in the future, Aussie Farmers Direct I might give it a while until you sort things out before attempting to order or use you again, sorry but you've lost me.
Yep I did send feedback to them and received a reply that someone will contact me, I will update this page if/when someone does, I really don't think it will resolve anything unless they can fix their "system" and actually find me on their "system" easily lol, but who knows. I could see this working well for a large family that use credit cards and basically knows what food they will use each week and where someone is nearly always home and they live in a good area, but that aint my life, not by a long shot!

I want to make it clear that I have no affiliation with "Coles Online" or any other such home delivery business, I don't even like "Coles Online" all that much, they are often out of stock with my order and occasionally the pickers forget items, but I can now say they are the best of a bad bunch, or couple anyway. I really was hoping that Aussie Farmers Direct would work for me, but today I have asked for the money I had paid in advance to be credited back to my account.

Update one 24-11-11 : They didn't get back to me today I have a feeling that no company really wants feedback, they say they do, but reality is a different story, also the money they owe me wasn't credited to my account today either

Update two 25-11-11 : No contact today, also the money they owe me still wasn't credited to my account today either

Update three 26-11-11 : Obviously no contact today (it's Saturday), I'm happy to say, the money they owed me was in my account this morning so was credited back to my account overnight I am guessing, thank you AFD for doing that in a timely manner at least

Update four 3-12-11 : Haven't heard Boo from Aussie Farmers Direct, been over a week now, tossers!
I think I will stop the updates as I really doubt my feedback email will ever be replied to, so bear that in mind if you ever decide to use Aussie Farmers Direct, replying to feedback and trying to sort things out just aint gonna happen! If by some chance they do eventually reply I will update this page, but honestly I really do doubt they are the least bit interested if you send feedback.

Update Alert! 2-4-12
Well I said I would update this blog if I was ever contacted by "Aussie Farmers Direct", ok it is over 3 months ago, but I did receive an email from AFD just this week, apparently I'm a very busy celebrity, because every time they ring me, I am never home lol. My next blog will be all about cabin fever as I rarely leave the house.

Update 25-4-12
I was contacted by Matthew (Quality Assurance Specialist) at Aussie Farmers Direct about my issues, anyway Matthew gave me a credit of $50 to try AFD I did not ask for this, but in the spirit of trying to work things out, I accepted the gift, I probably spent about half of it, I didn't accept the gift just to get "free stuff", it's not how I roll.

I went through AFD's products and really tried to make it work, I added all the things they have that are allowed with the Paleo diet (I'm doing this diet for better health and to lose weight) when all was said and done AFD just didn't have the variety I needed, they had the meat pretty much covered but fell short with their vegetables, the salmon was a bit more expensive and I love Salmon, but other than that I just couldn't do a full shop of the food I needed. It would mean that I would still have to order from Coles as well, just when I was trying to minimise my shop from Coles Online.

Being on a Disability Pension it really is very important I manage my funds well, it makes it a little difficult when you can't pay for your delivered food at the time of delivery, I don't want the money I owe to come out of my account a week later, it's just too confusing and under no circumstance do I want to incur bloody scumbag bank fees, this is my problem of course but it makes it difficult to use Aussie Farmers Direct, I really do want to support our farmers even though I suspect Country folk don't particularly like City people, a friend said to me years ago that I'm not really in a position to shop ethically or morally and he was right, I don't have the income to shop like that unfortunately, I just need food to eat, I wish I had a farmers market near me but alas that's not the case, I haven't found one anyway.

I do think the food is of very good quality and better than when I was ordering from Meadow Heights (vegetables anyway), meat has always been good quality in both locations, so sure the prices are a little more expensive but if you have the money I think it's worth it, as long as you can handle some of the AFD website quirks, I still think that part of it could be a lot better. Even though I am on a strict diet with less options I do try and vary the products I buy each week, variety is the spice of life so they say and I agree, you shouldn't be eating exactly the same things every week, I know families that have set meals because of circumstance and I reckon I would go stir crazy if I was in that position.

I was told they have some good things coming at Aussie Farmers Direct, if that ends up eventuating I may try them again, I still stand by what I have written in this blog, but credit where due, when AFD finally got back to me (some three months later while I was in the middle of moving premises) at least they tried their best to fix the issues I was having, so I am finished with this Aussie Farmers Direct blog and wish them well in the future, hopefully they are a business that will be more interested in customer feedback in the future and who knows they may even see the points I was trying to make, I really do hope so :)

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