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20 December 2023

My Food Bag customer criticises ‘harsh’ Christmas policy

My Food Bag has been criticised by a customer for not allowing her to cancel her Christmas food bag a month out from the delivery date.

Diane Stephenson had been looking forward to a fun Christmas morning cooking lunch with her sisters. She ordered one of My Food Bag’s Christmas bags to avoid having to plan ingredients and do a big supermarket shop.

But when one of her sisters could no longer make the Christmas Day trip to Paraparaumu, Diane realised there was going to be too much food. On 24 November – more than a month out from Christmas – she emailed My Food Bag and asked to cancel her Christmas bag.

Photo: My Food Bag.

The reply email said Christmas bags couldn’t be cancelled and signed off with “we do hope the ingredients will be useful over the Christmas period and help make your holiday delicious”.

Diane thinks that stance was unreasonable considering My Food Bag was still taking Christmas bag orders up until 6 December.

“You can’t have it both ways, taking new orders and adding to the numbers but not letting people whose circumstances have changed cancel their order,” she said.

“Of course, at some point it would be fair enough to not be able to cancel but this was a month out. Their no refunds policy is harsh.”

Diane asked the customer service representative she’d been emailing to escalate her complaint and a team leader at My Food Bag agreed to refund her.

But she worries others would have settled for the no-refunds message.

“With the costs of living high, it’s easy to think of changing circumstances that would put My Food Bag out of reach. Fewer families may now be travelling to get together, as in my case, and there may be decisions being made about food versus buying presents.”

A My Food Bag spokesperson said the no-cancellation policy was made clear to customers.

“While we like to be as flexible as possible for our customers, Christmas requires longer lead times due to the nature of the products, bespoke packaging and dedicated delivery network needed to execute the product.

“We make a commitment with our suppliers for the volume of ingredients required, including free-range hams and turkeys and bespoke sauces within the bag, as well as the packaging. Logistically, we deliver our Christmas Bags on a dedicated delivery network that only delivers our My Food Bag Christmas products. This requires confirmed numbers in November to ensure required drivers can be recruited and trained.”

Diane said a clear cut-off date for cancellations would make more sense, given the company was still taking orders in December.

“They have a hand extended for new orders and a closed fist of money already paid by those who ordered earlier. There has to be a date after which you cannot cancel.”

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