My Saving Grace
Sep 19, 2004 (Updated Sep 19, 2004)
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Back when I actively used bodybuilding as a means of controlling my weight, I pulled my back while performing a set a seated lateral pulls with a fairly substantial amount of weight. I heard an audible snap and then I lost all strength, and rolled over on my side unable to get off the floor. Since I was lifting on a Saturday, and I did not have a lifting partner (he was out to sea), I was alone in the weight room, and it took some time for me to get off the floor. Finally I was able to get off the floor, and limp home, but I was to suffer for a week before I was able to resume normal activities.
Now my back gives out from time to time and with each occurrence the severity and time to recuperate seems to lengthen. Since my wife suffers from chronic fatigue I do all of the grocery shopping, so when my back started acting up at the end of last year, and I could hardly walk, let alone shop, it was Peapod Online Store to the rescue. Around the time my back gave out a coupon arrived in the mail from Peapod prompting me, urging me, calling to me to try out the service.
Swathed in green like a peapod, the Peapod website is intuitive and easy to navigate. At the top are tabs entitled Peapod Home, Express Shop, Browse Aisles, My Lists, Specials, Recipes & More, and Delivery Times. These tabs make it even easier to navigate the site; e.g. under Browse Aisles I can browse select categories such as Dairy, Frozen Food, Beverages, Bread & Bakeshop, Meats, Kosher Foods, Sauces, Spices & Seasonings etc. Categories are also listed alphabetically. These categories are broken down into sub-categories sorted by the brands we are all familiar with. Under butter sub-category for instance, brands are listed together with quantity, unit size, unit price, and price.
Anyone familiar with shopping online will be comfortable with adding item to the shopping cart, the readout of which is prominently displayed in the upper right hand corner of the website at all times. However along with the running total, an ongoing listing of scrollable items is also displayed.
On average I have found the prices for items on Peapod.com cost $0.10 more then prices at the local grocery store, but the convenience of home delivery when I am unable to make it out, makes the cost well worth it.
Payment & Handling Fee
Peapod offers several options for paying for your purchase. I always paid for mine with a credit card, but the easiest and most convenient payment option is Peapod Direct Check, which automatically debits your grocery payment from your checking account. You will need to sign up for the service and of course provide your checking account number and bank routing number. When signing up for Peapod Direct Check a credit card will be needed to guarantee payment. A $25 handling fee will be accessed for all checks or Peapod Direct Check payments returned by the bank.
You can also pay for your groceries with a personal check, and as I stated above credit card; Peapod accepts Discover, Visa, MasterCard and American Express, as well as ATM or bank cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo. Peapod does not accept cash.
I snip manufactures coupons (newspaper and Internet), religiously; every Sunday as a matter of fact. I typically save $25.00 a trip with coupons, so it was important to me that Peapod accept them. And they do with a caveat; coupons are given to the driver when he delivers your order and the amount will be credited to your account and the amount deducted from your next order. If you choose unattended delivery make sure you leave the coupons.
When placing an order with Peapod, delivery can be attended or unattended. I always choose to be around when the Peapod man delivers. You are given a window of time in which Peapod will drop off your order, and deliveries can be scheduled five days in advance within 2 hour windows. Peapod allows you to change your order up until midnight (12:00am) on the day of your scheduled delivery. And Peapod will discount your delivery fee ($1) if you choose certain non-peak delivery times.
If you choose an unattended delivery you must make sure you return the plastic bins the groceries were delivered in to Peapod on the occasion of your next delivery, otherwise you will be charged $5.00 per bin. Peapod also recycle the plastic bags they bring your grocery in.
The Peapod fee for delivery is (from Peapod.com):
For orders over $100.00 the delivery fee is $5.95.
For orders between $75.00 and $100.00 the delivery fee is $7.95.
For orders less than $75.00 the delivery fee is $9.95.
Our minimum order amount is $50.00.
Gratuities for Peapod drivers are optional and at your discretion, but personally I would feel rather lousy if I did not give one. In addition, to the delivery fee Peapod may also charge the following service fees
Redelivery Fee: Peapod charges a $15 redelivery fee for multiple delivery attempts. We cannot guarantee the quality of perishable items included in a redelivery.
Restocking Fee: Peapod charges a $50 restocking fee if we are unable to deliver your order, or your order is canceled after we begin preparing it for delivery.
Quality of Food Items
I have had no problem with the quality of the food I get from Peapodd. The site does state that substitutes will be delivered for item you order that they do not have in stock, though I have yet to have that happen. The fruit, dairy, and meat items have always been fresh; I have never ordered milk so I cannot speak to its freshness.
Customer Service at Peapod is top notch; the staff as always been courteous and very helpful when I have needed them. On my first order the eggs were delivered with three broken. I called Customer Service, got right through, was given full credit for my eggs. And on the next delivery my eggs were wrapped in bubble-wrap. That is what I call customer service.
Since my back healed I have gone back to making bi-monthly visits to the local Jewel grocery store. This, despite the fact that on average Peapodd saves me on my grocery bill, because the urge to comfort shop just isnt there. But, alas I like browsing my local grocery store, I like getting in on the local sales, I like being able to use my coupons at the time of purchase, and I like the exercise I get walking the aisles. And I have to admit I like seeing what I buy, before I buy it.
But, Peapod has become my second grocery store, available to me when I cannot otherwise go grocery shopping. The groceries are always fresh and brand name items are almost always available. And when they are not suitable substitutes are provided.
All-n-all my Peapod experiences have been very rewarding. My groceries were delivered on time, as fresh as if I had picked them up locally. If you need a fast convenient, way to get groceries to your doorstep without leaving your house, you cant go wrong with the Peapod On-Line Store.
What product did you purchase or try to purchase? Grocery Items
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