Hong Kong consumers are increasingly turning to online grocery shopping as they stay indoors amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog has found that the city’s grocery delivery services are handling perishable foods poorly, with retailers sending melted sorbet, thawed frozen meats and blackened bananas to customers’ doorsteps.
The investigation came as the number of complaints about unsatisfactory online grocery services surged in the first 11 months of the year, more than doubling to 952 cases, compared with 452 in the same period last year, according to the council.
Online delivery services have thrived due to social-distancing rules during the pandemic, leading the watchdog to assess the delivery performance of five local online grocery platforms: HKTVmall, Wellcome, ParknShop, City’super and Big Big Shop.
There have been instances of ParknShop delivering boxes of cracked eggs in two different batches; Wellcome sent over a dismantled five-pack case of boxed tissue paper; while a tin of luncheon meat was dented in one of the packages from HKTVmall. Rotten grapes and meat that had already thawed were among the items received by Hong Kong Consumer Council staff posing as shoppers.