I will be going over the following:
- Scheduling Delivery
- Store Hours/Store Lines
- Change of Return/Refund Policies & Staying By You Phone
- My Protection & Your Protection
- Cash Tips
The Dumpling team is working on a more user-friendly scheduling system. Until then we need to make this one work. So as the week fills you will notice the delivery windows close. Once the entire schedule is closed I will open the next available day once it is complete in the current week. Ex. If today is Monday the 6th and the next available delivery day is Monday the 13th, I will the Monday time windows on Tuesday the 7th at midnight to make it available to everyone. Scheduling is on a first come first serve basis. Meaning first in with an order is the first one served.
Once things calm down I should be able to leave the delivery windows open all the time, but for right now with so many wanting deliveries this is the best system I could come up with to be fair to everyone.
Store Hours/Store Lines
In this time of coronavirus, stores have changed their hours to meet the demands of curfews, to allow them time to clean, sanitize and restock, and to allow our senior citizens and those with immune-compromised health issues to shop earlier than the rest of the public. Store openings can be anywhere from 7 am to as late as 10 am. This effects how early I can get to the stores to start shopping for your order.
Then there are the lines to deal with. At this time most stores are using lines at the store entrance to keep the number of people inside the store at a number that allows proper social distancing and keeping the store customers and employees safe at the same time. These lines can be short with under a 5-minute wait to get into some of the larger stores at prime times have waits form anywhere between 30-60 minutes before being allowed into the store.
What this means for you is the delivery windows need to be flexible. That is why I am only allowing one delivery in a 3-hour window. Normally in these 3-hour delivery windows, I would be able to handle 3-4 deliveries, but that is not possible right now. I thank everyone for their patience and understanding with this situation.
The lines at checkout can get long and what slows it down, even more, is the stores taking the time to make sure they wipe down the belt and checkout area between each customer. This takes time that I don’t mind waiting because they are protecting their cashiers, me and you as the person receiving the groceries.
Change of Return/Refund Policies & Staying By Your Phone
The change in most stores return/refund policies is following a state mandate stating at this time stores can not accept any returns of items once purchased. Following that stores can’t refund money on items that can not be returned.
What that means for you is even if I don’t leave the store once I have gone through the checkout process I can not return anything. So this ties in with staying close to your phone while I’m in the store shopping for you. If you don’t respond to my text while I’m shopping I have to decide about an item. I will use my best judgment and that will have to be acceptable. In some stores it is difficult to get a signal on my phone, this is usually the case around the refrigerators and freezers (I guess that has something to do with all the metal). Under normal circumstances, I would go to a different area of the store to try to get a better signal and text or call you. I can’t do that with the greater number out of stock items all stores are dealing with at this time.
My Protection & Your Protection
Stores are wiping down and sanitizing not only the register areas but also the shelves the products, floors and walls. Some are even going as far as closing for an hour in the middle of the day to clean and sanitize the store with customers in the way.
My protection is I wear gloves and a mask in the store and while I’m delivering your order. After I load your order into my vehicle I remove my gloves and drive to your location where I put on a new pair of gloves. I also wear a face mask made from a #4 coffee filter and a buff which is a stretchy tube-shaped material that goes over the filter which is over my mouth. I am currently looking into getting a face shield to go over the face mask.
For both of our protections, I will only make a no-contact delivery, meaning I will place your order on your porch or just inside your garage, whichever you prefer. I can not enter your home or even hand you your grocery bags. This is the new norm and something we all need to become accustomed too.
I have run into the situation already where a rumor was seen on Facebook that looked legitimate, but like with most was hearsay and could not be confirmed. What was said was that an employee at a store tested positive for COVID-19. The store did not close and clean and disinfect the entire store but cleaned only the area the employee worked in. I chose to play it safe and shop at a store in the same chain in Mt. Laurel instead of Cherry Hill. This adds time both to and from the store but my concern is for my clients, my family and myself. If you hear of this happening at a store I am supposed to shop for you please let me know so we can both decide what is the best course of action for both of our families.
For your protection I recommend you wipe down all items you bring into your home whether delivered by me, by the postal service, Amazon, FedEx, UPS or any other delivery service. This may save you and your family from becoming ill.
While I love everyone’s generosity at this time I can not accept cash tips. The less contact with things that can pass on the illness the better for you, your family and me and my family. There is a chance to add an additional tip, if you would like, when dumpling contacts you about the order after it is completed.
I thank all of you for the opportunity to shop and deliver for you during this time of great need. I’m hoping them some of you will want to continue using my services once things get back to some type of normalcy.
If anyone is not working and runs out of food, please don’t go to sleep with an empty stomach. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to send me a private message. No judgment. I will be more than happy to share whatever food I have. I will drop and go.
I was taught growing up that where one person eats; two can eat, too. We have to be more grateful and less selfish. ❤️ Stay safe and be well!