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Shopping My Way

In recent years, partly due to the Coronavirus pandemic and partly due to just a general social change, the number of people doing their weekly grocery shop online has surged significantly and amongst our members, things are certainly no different. Having choice and flexibility of what and when to buy is fantastic but, when you’re visually impaired, things don’t always go to plan. Not to worry, as we have a success story to report, courtesy of one of our volunteers…

Step forward Jules Armitage, a registered blind guide dog owner who uses Apple VoiceOver to do her online shopping. Jules not only does her own shopping but also that of her elderly father who lives some distance away, so she was perplexed when she attempted to do her usual Sainsbury’s online shopping and hit a technical roadblock.

Jules was able to select her chosen items and add to basket with no problem using VoiceOver which is Apple’s inbuilt screen reader, however when it came to selecting a delivery slot this feature was incompatible with VoiceOver.
Following the difficulties, Jules made several calls to Sainsbury’s. She commented, “I raised it as a complaint to Sainsbury’s on a couple of occasions, and they said they had looked into it and there was nothing wrong with it”. Luckily Jules is not one to sit back and accept a world of inaccessibility!

She immediately started compiling an email of complaint, stating that the experience had taken up a lot of time that week and had been very frustrating. Jules said, “it was quite stressful as I was panicking about not being able to get a slot for my 88-year-old dad”.

Move forward a week and Jules has proved to everyone that customer feedback and pressure can be listened to. She commented on our Outlookers WhatsApp channel, “just to let everyone know who uses the Sainsbury’s app, that following my email of complaint last week after struggling to book appointments, the problem has been rectified and now anyone wishing to book slots and times can do so”.

We say a big thank you to Jules on behalf of all the visually impaired community for not just highlighting a problem but also tackling it head on, and also thanks to Sainsbury’s for listening to their customer base and responding to the complaint raised with positive action.

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