A local grocery chain is blaming a bad delivery system and the way it handles its online orders for a $500,000 outage last week that affected up to 1,000 people.
“We have experienced a lot of delays in the last few days,” Madewell Transport Inc. CEO Doug Smith told CBC News Monday.
“It’s a tough time, and I think it’s going to take a long time to get back to normal, and it’s definitely something that’s not going to go away.”
The outage, which lasted for about two weeks, affected more than 1,400 Madewells in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The company said the problems began when a shipment of grocery orders arrived at the grocery store on Jan. 12, causing the computer system to mistakenly send the orders to Madewels online.
“They would send them out the door, but we would get them back a few hours later and the orders would be out there, but there wasn’t enough capacity to process them,” Smith said.
Smith said the company has since implemented a “smart ordering” system, which automatically orders items based on customer feedback, and has been able to get the orders onto the shelves.
But the problems haven’t gone away, and Smith says he has yet to be contacted by any customer who lost their order.
“The customers that were impacted, they are still waiting to receive their orders,” he said.
“I don’t know if they have been impacted or not, but if they are, we will work with them and make sure that they get their order and their money back.”
Madewell is one of several grocery chains in Manitoba that reported significant online delays last week.
The outage affected around 200,000 customers, according to the company, and affected about 6,000 Madewel customers.
The company says it has not been able or willing to compensate any customers who were impacted.
Smith says Madewillys website has been working for more than six months to improve its online experience, but the online order system still has a long way to go.
“Our customer service team has been hard at work improving the website and getting it up to speed with the new technology that’s coming in,” he told CBC Radio’s Manitoba AM.
“That’s why we’ve been able, with the help of our partners, to get it online and working smoothly and seamlessly.”
He says Mades website has also been updated to ensure customers can get their online orders delivered to them, including the “smart order” system.