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Food shopping online: pros and cons

Shopping for food online saves a lot of time and you don't have to lug bags of shopping and crates of bottles. Above all, working people living in towns and cities value having fruit and vegetables delivered to their doors. Some people are a little sceptical about trusting the quality of the products that someone else selects, because, of course, you can't send food back.

In principle, the online store has an obligation to deliver goods in an acceptable condition. It has to meet generally accepted average standards. That's what the German legal magazine "Deutsche Anwaltsauskunft". Because people's expectations will vary, it's empirical values that count. Bananas, for example, may certainly have brown spots, while apples are certainly not allowed any rotten areas. One mouldy strawberry in a punnet is not a reason to complain. On the other hand, a rotten vegetable isn't acceptable.

Decisive: the supplier's General Terms and Conditions

If it comes to the crunch, your online store's general terms and conditions are decisive. They set out the rights and obligations of the supplier and the customer. If your online store offers, for example, bananas in different states of ripeness, then it has to abide by that offer. Special requests made when placing an order do not necessarily have to be met. If, for example in Germany, suppliers deliver beverages in crates, as a rule they will take back the empties, but probably only the ones they supplied.

Delivery times

Delivery is another debatable point. With some suppliers you might have to accept a time slot lasting several hours. If the van driver doesn't find you at home, you may incur a charge, or have to pay the whole amount. Other suppliers let you change your slot, even at almost the last minute. If your delivery doesn't arrive at all, or comes too late, the consumer has the right to cancel the contract 


To sum up: Online shopping has a number of advantages, especially time savings. But with fresh fruit and vegetables it's better to trust the evidence of your own senses. 



Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de