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PC Express Grocery Store Pick-Up Service Review

online grocery shopping

A Small Price To Pay For PC Express Personal Grocery Shopping

If you’re looking for a grocery shopping service with a grocery store express pick-up there’s no shortage these days.

We’ve always been aware of grocery store pick-up services in our area although mainly at the bigger supermarkets.

You may also refer to this service as a grocery curbside pick up which allows you the opportunity to relax.

To be honest, we’d never used personal shopping services or researched how these upcoming programs worked

We are the type of people who like to go into the grocery store to shop and browse around for deals.

Many of our friends use the online grocery shopping service and are shocked that we had never done so.

Perhaps we’re just traditional at heart and enjoy the freedom of roaming around the grocery store.

Unlike us, there are many Canadians who have adopted grocery store pick up services as their main shopping protocol.

This is a contactless way of grocery shopping which has been in high demand since the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Either way, you’re not getting out of your vehicle to do anything.

Placing Our First PC Express Grocery Store Pick Up

As avid shoppers at Zehrs, Food Basics, and Costco we thought we’d try the PC Express grocery store pick up service.

Food Basics does not offer this service however you can order groceries from Costco for home delivery.

The entire experience was shaky from start to finish the first time we got on board with PC Express but now it’s simple.

Like any online program, it takes time to make your way through the system so to get the hang of the process.

Working Our Way Through PC Express Online

We downloaded the PC Express App to Mrs. CBB’s android phone and use our unique PC ID code to log in.

It makes it easier if you can connect all of your PC products with a PC Id code so you aren’t remembering more passwords than needed.

Our first question was whether we could get PC Optimum points for any grocery shops that we had done online.

Yes, you can because when you set up your PC Express App you have the option to add your PC Optimum Card Number.

On the first shop, we missed the cut-off date to add or remove items so we had to let them know when we arrived that we didn’t want the products.

Once our order was ready for pickup on the day we had chosen we showed up and backed into a parking space marked PC Express only.

On the sign, there is a phone number to call to let your PC Express personal shopper know that you have arrived.

Only once have we had a product run out where they asked us if they could substitute it for a different brand.

We were perfectly fine with that.

From there your personal grocery shopper will bill your credit card and then wheel out your groceries.

If you have shopping bags you want her to use then make sure she gets them.

After your vehicle has all of the grocery bags put away then you can start your car and drive off but only after reading the receipt.

Again, we had no receipt issues plus we got PC Optimum points and are now just over 5 million points or $5000 in free products.

Grocery Savings By Shopping Online PC Express

So far in March, we’ve spent $140.34 at Zehrs which is a great grocery budget number.

Although, we still did 2 grocery shops at Food Basics and 2 rounds at Costco which will put us over budget this month.

The reason for this is that we are doubling up on the product so we don’t have to go shopping often.

As Zehr’s shoppers, we were never exclusive customers.

We’d only shop the deals which meant if we were to do full online grocery shops we’d go over budget every month.

For our grocery budget of $500 a month, we have to mix and match stores to get the best deals.

Price Matching is also a great option if your store allows it.

We only have Walmart but aren’t feeling the grocery store aspect lately as we find better deals at Food Basics.

My frugal mindset, lol.

Grocery Store Pick-Up Fees

Online Grocery Shopping

Are there convenience fees for grocery store pick up?

Yes, almost all grocery stores that offer a grocery store pick up service will charge a small fee.

For example, if you use the PC Express at Zehrs the cost for the grocery store pick-up convenience fee is between $3.00-5.00.

Currently, Loblaws is waiving the convenience fee due to COVID-19 and to help limit the number of customers who come into the store.

Your PC Express Personal Shopper

What is the role of a grocery store pick-up employee (personal shopper)?

I don’t have a job description but from a consumer’s point of view, this is what we believe of the grocery pick up service.

  • The PC express personal shoppers are alerted to an online grocery store pick up
  • Print and pick your grocery list for the specified pick-up time
  • Pack the groceries in bags unless you leave a note on your online order that you will bring bags or bins for them
  • Wait for the phone call from the customer waiting in the PC Express pick-up lanes.
  • Alert customer if there are any substitutions and whether they want them or not
  • Pick the substitutions
  • Add the final charge to your credit card
  • Bring the groceries to your car on a rolling cart and pack it into your vehicle

PC Express Pick-Up Locations

There are 4 types of PC Express pick-up locations available although not are all provided in each city.

  1. Grocery Store Pick-up is a parking lot pick-up and delivered by the PC Express personal shopper.
  2. Transit Pick-up is a temperature-controlled PC Express truck, lockers, and pick-up points at Go Stations and TTC great for commuters.
  3. Self-Serve Pick-up is located in the refrigerator for in-store convenience pick-up by the customer
  4. Neighbourhood Pick-up is good for a few bags and in select neighborhood PC Express pick-up trucks or lockers.

Pros of Online Grocery Store Service Pick-Up

PC Expresss confirmation email

  1. Freshness Guarantee is where the customer can return any perishable product up to 14 days for a full refund or voucher for your next online order.
  2. Buying Less than had you went into the store as there are no temptations online
  3. You don’t get to pick the product you want so you rely on the employee to pick the freshest products.
  4. More Time to get other tasks out of the way.
  5. Stress-Free Shopping at your own pace.
  6. Great for people with disabilities, parents, or other people on the go.
  7. Ability To Change, Add or Cancel order but must be done before the cut-off date
  8. Avoid talking or being close to other customers
  9. No need to bring your wallet or purse although I always do.
  10. You can link your PC Express to your other PC products such as PC Optimum using your PC Id.
  11. Spending less money is neither true or false because every shopper is unique.

If it were us we’d likely spend more money as we feel we can get better deals inside the store.

On the other hand, it’s easy to spend more than you bargained for in the store if you see unadvertised sale products.

However, those extra products may help build your pantry stockpile and save you money down the road if prices increase.

Cons of Online Grocery Store Service Pick-Up

PC Express Important Notice

  1. Average grocery bill total due to weighing products and cuts of meats etc and sale prices at the time of pick-up.
  2. Struggle to get a pick-up time that is not 2 weeks away however this could change in the future as online grocery shopping and pick-up times are heavy at the moment due to COVID-19.
  3. Not getting the deal that you had in your online cart if the flyer special swaps over before you pick it up.
  4. Trying to call the PC Express desk and no answer (only happened once)
  5. Waiting for your order if they are behind schedule (could be worse)
  6. Getting the wrong products but not knowing until you get home. (hasn’t happened but could)
  7. Not reading your receipt as it’s tucked in a shopping bag and being overcharged for something. (hasn’t happened but could)
  8. Product Availability may mean having to substitute the product if they are sold out. (Has happened once but worked out ok)
  9. The convenience fee however for some people is saving money since they are spending less had they gone in to shop.
  10. You miss out on any deals such as reduced prices, manager specials, or in-store unadvertised deals.
  11. Possible order and size restrictions of products you can purchase based on each store.
  12. Order cancellation due to overwhelmed staff, no product, or computer system failure.
  13. Having to go into the store if you have a concern with your order after you get home or emailing Customer Relations at help@pcexpress.ca or calling 1-844-295-8219
  14. Missing out on human interactions which for some people is essential especially if they can’t get out of the house due to working long hours, disability, or taking care of a sick family member.

Summary Of PC Express Grocery Shopping

In my opinion, I believe Loblaws has the best online grocery store for grocery pick-up services.

I might also add that I’ve only ever used Loblaws grocery store pick-up services, however, they stand by their product, pricing, and quality.

That’s a good enough reason for me.

Before you place your online grocery order

  1. Plan your meals based on weekly sales, coupons, and kitchen pantry stockpile items. (what can you make with products you already have at home?)
  2. Review your online order and ensure you enable text messages from PC Express so you know when you’re order is ready.
  3. Always read your grocery receipt before you leave the parking lot that way you can have the personal shopper come back out to rectify the problem.
  4. If you find an item that is scanned in higher than the shelf or sales price let the professional shopper know so he/she can apply The Scanning Code of Practice.
  5. Thank your personal shopper for the experience.

Overall, we are happy with the grocery pick-up service and may use it in the future if we aren’t able to get into the store.

Find more information about PC Express Grocery Shopping Pick-Up.

Discussion: Do you use an online grocery shopping pick-up service? What are your pros and cons of the service?

Leave me all of your feedback below as I’d love to read more reviews from other PC Express shoppers in Canada.

MR.CBB

 

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13 Comments

  1. My local Provigo offers this service and I used it as long as the weather allowed me to walk there as I don’t have a car and the bus doesn’t go there. Now I’m stuck with IGA because they deliver.

  2. I used Zehrs pickup twice. The first time I had ordered eggs and they said they had none. But as we sat waiting for our order to come out, I saw a woman come out of the store carrying a dozen eggs. The second time we used the service I ordered a bag of potatoes and I got one potato in a produce bag. This could have been my mistake but I was sure that I had ordered a bag of potatoes. After that I decided to just shop once a week and to go into the store wearing my mask and using sanitizer.

  3. We have never used grocery pick-up because I would prefer to pick out my own groceries and I did not want to pay an extra fee. I wanted to try it due to the pandemic but there haven’t been any pick-up times for any of the 3 Zehrs or 2 No Frills near me. As far ahead as I could see, all the slots were full. So I have just been going to the grocery store. We have started getting a weekly local produce box, this will really cut down on how often we need to go to the store.

      1. We don’t get to chose, there is a just a selection of what is in season. They do send us a list a few days before so we can work it into our meal plan. Last week we got potatoes, colourful heirloom carrots, beets, mushrooms, spinach, watermelon radishes, chives and cucumber. This week we got purple potatoes, parsnips, portobello mushrooms, leeks, onions, apples and Jerusalem artichokes. They try and include as many organic vegetables as they can and many heirloom varieties. They also let you know what farm the various vegetables come from.

  4. Around 2000 a company called Quick.com started up the first online grocery delivery service in the Vancouver area and we used it and liked it. The drivers had a handheld machine to pay with debit or credit card, quite cutting edge for back then! One time they phoned because I had mushrooms on my list and the picker was unhappy with the quality/freshness of the mushrooms and removed it from my list. I can’t remember if they charged $5 for delivery or if it was free after a certain dollar amount. Sadly they shut down after a couple of years. I bet business would be booming now! As for the other grocery stores, I’ve looked at their online stores but pick up dates are days if not a couple weeks away and I did make one online order attempt mid-March only to find out at least 3 things I chose (from an order of about 8 things!), the sale was over by the first pick up date 5 days later so I’d be charged the regular price. So no thanks. I drove in the next day to shop in person. I’m a vegetarian so I go into a local produce store at least once a week to buy spinach, carrots, and bananas because they only have a limited shelf life. Everything else, I’m only in a larger grocery store once a month to shop, though I had to run in yesterday to buy yogurt… Interesting, a couple of weeks ago I got an email from Instacart looking for shoppers. Maybe you should check them out for an article. I’m not sure how much that service charges, but the shopper texts the customer and asks questions for substitutions and the customer can text and add more things to the list if needed.

  5. Don’t anyone forget to clean those grocery items when they arrive at your home. Some good directions are given by
    Dr. Jeffrey VanWingden on Youtube for how to do this properly. Items from public stores, handled by countless persons and the public, should always be cleaned upon arrival at your home. Keep Safe, Keep Healthy!
    ann lee s

  6. I’ve used PC Express once, and my Mum three times.
    First, if the product you want isn’t in stock, they will choose another similar product that costs more but change it to the lower price.

    Second, if you do not want substitutes you can specify that on your order. My Mum has to have organic products, due to sensitivities. If they don’t have it, and you specified no substitutes, you won’t get it.

    Third, my sister used online delivery through PC Express, and the order didn’t arrive; and was cancelled. She had to go in.

    Lastly, create a new order when you get your pickup to ensure you have a time slot you can plan on.

    It’s more expensive, and I totally miss the shopping experience. I prefer (by far) to have control of my budget. Lean ground beef is twice the cost of this week’s Food Basics advertised special, so I decided we didn’t need it. No price matching. At this point, I haven’t found a way to use my points on my order. I don’t save my points, I use them to augment my savings.

    The only reason I do use the service is to reduce my points of contact in the community. I decided weeks ago to only shop in one grocery store that had most of the products I need. That way, if in this terrible COVID-19 pandemic, I find that I need to be notified of contact with people who have tested positive, I will be assured of minimal contact.

    1. Hi Anne,
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂
      That’s what I do. As soon as we pick one order up we get another spot as they are about 2 weeks away. I agree I miss the shopping experience too. Even though I still go into Food Basics it’s still a VERY rushed and stressful time and I just get in and get out. It’s a blur really.

  7. I would highly recommend reserving judgement on PCExpress until after the COVID-19 pandemic calms down. We’ve been using it for 2 years and subscribe to the PC Insiders (the annual cost of that offsets once a week pickup fees alone).

    Normally (prior to COVID-19), you could order and pickup the same day, and substitutions were much less frequent.

    We also find that we are spending much less now.

    Overall, love it, but current experience is not the norm.

    1. I agree with you that this is not the norm which I hope I was suggesting in the post. I wrote it because it was our first few experiences with it as I’m sure it is with many others. I’m curious to see how the service may change once Covid-19 is over. Will more Canadians stay with the PC Express or move back into the store to shop. We were contacted about the PC Insiders to purchase for $99. So, that covers the cost for the year? What else do you like about the PC Insiders?

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