A gran claims Tesco’s online item limit could leave families without sprouts this Christmas because her two kilos of Brussels sprouts were counted individually.
Sandra Greenwood said the blunder forced her to go without her festive favourites after she bought her shopping through the supermarket’s Click and Collect service on Monday.
Despite only adding 18 products to her basket including bread, milk and two kilos of unpeeled sprouts, the 66-year-old was baffled when she was warned she had exceeded her 95-item allowance.
The following day, the administrator realised Tesco had counted her sprouts as 71 individual items, pushing her well over the limit.
Left with no choice, Sandra was eventually forced to checkout without getting her beloved veggies and worries the ridiculous rule will mean others could face a dinner without all the trimmings this Christmas.
Gran-of-six Sandra, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, said: “Sprouts are the main things for Christmas dinner. Some people love sprouts and can’t imagine Christmas dinner without it.
“[Tesco’s website] had obviously estimated that each sprout is one item, which I thought was quite funny.
“But older people who can’t get out or people without family might be disappointed by it.
“There’s going to be lots of problems for lots of people if they’re doing what I’m doing.
“Of course, I’ve had no choice but to order the [other vegetables] in bags. I’m assuming if it’s doing it with sprouts, it’ll do it with other bits as well.
“What if I wanted potatoes and wanted to put them in loose too? I do normally buy stuff loose and put them in the paper bags.”
After suffering with heart problems and breaking her ankle in June, Sandra had struggled with her mobility so decided to try and secure a Christmas delivery spot with Tesco.
When this failed, she arranged for her daughter Lindsey Greenwood to pick up a Click and Collect order from the Great Horton Road store in Bradford instead – expecting to fill her basket with lots of festive goodies.
Sandra said: “I was looking for all the fresh food in case we can do Christmas Day.
“Normally, you can get sprouts in bags that need peeling but the only ones they had in bags were sprouts that were already peeled. They were about three times the price of what a bag normally is.
“There are 12 of us at Christmas so I need a lot of sprouts.
“They had loose sprouts so I thought ‘if I get 2kg, that’ll be enough’.
“I put them in the basket and all of a sudden, it said that the number of items I could buy had been exceeded.
“When I counted, I had about 18 items in my bag, and it said I had 100-odd items.
“They were limiting them to 95 items per person.
“I thought that the time ‘well, there’s nothing like that amount that’s there’. With the sprouts I’d only spent £28.
“Then the next morning when I took the sprouts out, it reduced my items by 71.
“I had to take the teabags out and put lettuce and cucumber in – but [go] without the sprouts.”
Baffled by the rule, Sandra then called Tesco customer services, where an advisor allegedly claimed there wasn’t much they could do as it was ‘the system’.
Sandra said: “I called Tesco about it yesterday and spoke to a young girl. She was lovely but she said ‘I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it’.
“I told her she needed to send an email and asked ‘does that mean I can’t have sprouts on Christmas Day’, which is rubbish, I can have sprouts. Someone would get them for me if I needed them.
“She said ‘I will send an email but I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. It’s the system’.
“Christmas is a busy time. I’d been trying to get everything in place early because you don’t want people to mess about getting them.
“I can’t just get in the car and drive to the shop to get some sprouts.
“I’m not classed as vulnerable but I’m more at risk because I have heart problems. I’ve had to be careful.
“In June when I was walking my dog, I was walked down a bridleway, went flying and dislocated my ankle, breaking it in three places. They’re the two reasons I’ve been getting deliveries.
“By Christmas I might be walking better but I certainly won’t be going to the shops because I need to be careful.
“I’ve taken the Brussel sprouts out. I didn’t believe it at first, but suspected it was them.”
A spokeswoman for Tesco said: “To make sure more customers have access to online deliveries, we’ve introduced a limit of 95 items per online order.
“A loose fruit or vegetable counts as one item and contributes toward the cap of 95 items.
“Customers wishing to purchase larger orders with lots of loose produce could consider ordering packs of fruit and vegetables – a pack of sprouts, carrots or bananas would each count as one item.”