PC Express Grocery Pick-up During Covid-19 Review

grocery store to denote using PC Express during Covid-19

PC Express grocery pick-up during Covid-19, sounds like an interesting idea. Because right now we live in a world of social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. With PC Express, you do not even have to enter the grocery store. All you do is place your order for groceries online, pick an available pick up date and go to one of the designated parking spots to pick up your groceries. You don’t even have to get out of your care as they will even load your groceries into your trunk if you pop it open for them. Sounds like an awesome way to do your grocery shopping during the pandemic. My wife and I thought we’d give it a try.

PC Express Grocery Pick-Up During Covid-19 – Expect Delays

Last weekend my wife placed our order online to PC Express and as expected pick up times were filling up fast. We expected this as we assumed many would try this. However, there was one slot available – a pick up time of Wednesday at 6 pm and we took it.

A few days later, on Tuesday Superstore sent us an email that our order could be delayed a day or more and they would contact us once our order was ready. We had no problem with this as we knew they would be busy and actually appreciated the email letting us know. We weren’t in a rush to get the groceries. Two days later on Thursday we got another email message stating that our order was ready to be picked up. I got ready and went to Superstore to get our groceries.

PC Express Grocery Pick-Up During Covid-19 – Things Get a Bit Chaotic

As I got to Superstore the first thing I noticed was that the place was packed with cars! I think the sunny day was partly to blame for this. As I drove to the PC Express stalls (they had 8 marked stalls), I noticed all of them were filled with cars, all with their trunks open waiting for their groceries. I also noticed over a dozen other cars around these stalls with their trunks open waiting to pick up groceries. Immediately I thought, “Houston, we might have a problem”.

I found a parking stall as close as I could to the PC Express ones and then called the phone number that had been given to me in the email. As soon as I finished dialing the number, I immediately was given the message, “the phone call you attempted has failed”. That was weird, so I tried to call again a few more times and got the same message. I then called my wife at home and asked her to call from her end. She could not get through as she got a busy signal. We both kept trying. My wife finally got through and was told to leave a number to be contacted later. She did and as soon as she did she got cut off. Not knowing what to do, I decided to go in the store.

PC Express Grocery Pick-Up During Covid-19 – Things Get a Bit Unsafe

I went to customer service and was directed to the PC Express area, which were by the check out aisles. As I got to the area, there were grocery carts full of food everywhere and I assumed that these were all the pending PC Express orders. By these carts was the PC Express area. It was a small room about the size of a small bedroom. There was a large fridge and groceries in there along with about four people working feverishly in it. All of them looked completely overwhelmed. I felt for them. Unfortunately, only one person had a mask on. The rest did not. Also, they were working pretty much shoulder to shoulder, so social distancing was not being practiced. But how could it be? The room was way too small for it.

I managed to talk to one of the workers and tried to keep my distance (fortunately I was wearing a mask, googles and gloves) and explain my situation. He was at least wearing gloves. He took my license plate number and make of my car and told me to pop my trunk and expect a long wait. I went back to my car and waited.

After a Long Wait, Go into the store again

I waited for an hour in the car and tried the number a few more times but to no avail. So I decided to go back in again to check the status of my order. As I got to the PC Express area there were still a lot of carts with food parked. There were also a few people lined up to talk to PC Express and I lined up behind them trying to keep my distance between people. One person beside me had a mask on which gave me a little relief.

However, we were lined up in the area where people exit the check out aisles. Also, the PC Express carts with food were also in the area and all of a sudden, things were very congested. There was no chance of practicing safe social distancing, as we were constantly moving to avoid people leaving with their groceries. It was a bit unnerving.

No End In Sight

As I got closer to the front of the line, the person in front of me said that her original pick up date had been Tuesday. At that point, I realized that I might have a long wait yet. When it was my turn to talk to the employee , she said that there were 7 or 8 orders ahead of me and that once they got to me that they would then make my order. I thought that was weird as the email they sent me said that my order was ready. At this point I started to feel a bit angry.

I asked if could just take my order myself. She said that I would have to wait and when I asked how long – she said she could not tell me. She had no idea how long it would take. I tried to explain to her that I’d been there an hour ago asking the same questions. She said she was just there helping out. No further help was provided.

Time to Flee!

I then realized “This is not right!” Here I am talking to this poor stressed out lady who is trying to help. She’s not wearing a mask and has no gloves on. We are only standing three feet apart. The people in the PC Express department behind her weren’t wearing protective wear, and were way too close and are touching people’s grocery orders. The people beside me were way too close and the people going by us wee way too close. Not good!! We were all in danger.

Why would Superstore overbook their pick up Service so much? Why would they not provide their employees with protective wear? And why did we have to line up in a main exit for customers?

I realized right there and then that I had to leave and protect myself and my wife at home, as staying there longer increased my danger of getting infected. I said to the lady to cancel my order immediately and I left as quickly as I could and went home. When I got home, I immediately took off the clothes I was wearing put them in the storage room (our sort of decontamination zone) and took a shower and calmed myself down.

Conclusion

I would not use PC Express grocery pick-up during Covid-19. It is way too risky. They don’t have enough space, manpower, or organization to make this work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. You would be safer just going into Superstore and shopping yourself. Or even safer, just go somewhere else to shop. (A place that is smaller and far less busy.) I do have a friend who says the service is great but she shops at a different location than the one I went to. I was pretty freaked out by the experience.

Also, yesterday the news reported that the location I went to has a case of Covid-19 with one of their employees. The employee hasn’t been to work since April 12th but I wasn’t surprised in the least based on my experience. I really hope that Superstore improves their PC Express service – in particular at this location. Because people’s health and lives are at risk. However, I am not going to take the chance to find out. Instead I will be shopping somewhere else where I feel safer. Stay safe everyone.

What can I do if I Can’t Pay My Bills Because of Coronavirus?

Picture showing dilemma of how can I pay for bills during coronavirus

“I can’t pay my bills because I was laid off because of Coronavirus.” Sound familiar? This is a scary scenario but unfortunately this is a reality for many today amid this pandemic. This reality is apparent when we see that in just one week in Canada, over 1 million applied for EI or other emergency support benefits. If you find yourself in that scenario, what can you do to help yourself and your family?

Communication – Talk to Your Bank or Utilities providers

Communication seems overly simple but this is vital especially when everything is so fluid right now and it is hard to know what information is correct. So, whoever you pay bills to, you need to contact them and let them know your situation and see what options you have to lighten your bills because of your changing job situation, due to the coronavirus. There might be options to help. Here are some things you can do if you have bills to pay in these five main areas.

Mortgage Payments

A few days ago, the countries six largest banks announced a plan for deferral of mortgage payments to up to six months. Individuals and business owners should contact their bank to discuss available options. Each deferral request will be reviewed by a case by case basis.

Rental payments

At the moment there does not appear to be a program to address help for rentals. Some areas like Ontario are encouraging landlords not to evict anyone during this time. However, the best thing to do is to contact your landlord to see if there are any options to help provide some financial relief. You can also look into the government’s Covid-19 relief package to see if you qualify for any of the relief. Also, you can look into any provincial relief packages that your province might provide to help give you money to pay for your rent. (Updated March 26/20 – B.C. now has provided help of up to $500/month to help renters pay the rent on their homes.)

Car Payments

Contact your financial institution to see if there are options regarding paying the loan or lease of your vehicle due to financial hardship. For example here’s that information from the RBC website concerning this:

Client relief: The events surrounding COVID-19 are truly unprecedented and disrupting the daily lives of Canadians. RBC has put in place financial relief programs for personal and business clients who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. To help clients with immediate relief, some of these programs are available by self-serve, including skip a mortgage payment, an auto-loan payment, and personal loan payment. These options will provide you with direct relief for one month. Please know that we will continue to work with you to provide further financial assistance, including further payment relief (for example, up to 6 months on mortgages), should you need our help.

Utility Payments Such as Power, Phone, TV, and Internet

It is best to contact your provider to see what options you have due to financial hardship. These companies and utility providers are well aware that many people are in this scenario and they are looking to assist. For example, here’s an excerpt from Shaw’s website:

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and we know that the threat posed by the spread of the virus will result in some Shaw customers facing unexpected financial challenges. We also know that particularly in times like these, we rely on being connected – to our family, our friends, or our workplace – or keeping our families informed and entertained. If you are having any concerns about paying your monthly Shaw internet bill due to hardship resulting from the COVID-19 situation, we will work with you to find a flexible payment arrangement that considers your financial and connectivity needs.

Credit Card Payments

It is best to contact your financial institution and let them know of your situation. Communication again is key! Fortunately, many banks and financial institutions are reaching out to clients and letting them know their options to help lighten the financial burden. For example, here’s an email I received from Capital one:

We understand that COVID-19 is having an impact on our customers’ lives. For those who are experiencing financial distress, we’re working on options to provide support through this difficult time. As soon as we can, we will make more information on these options available.

For additional information about our response to the COVID-19 situation, please visit our webpage. We’ll continue to update it with relevant information.

Conclusion

Not being able to pay your bills during the Coronavirus pandemic is a horrible prospect. We are in uncharted waters and do not know how long this will go. As result, it’s hard to make decisions – especially financial ones. The best thing we can do is to get as much information as possible on our options for potential relief by directly communicating to the companies we owe money to.

There’s an old saying that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. This is true because the more information we get from our creditors, the greater chance of some sort of financial relief. So look at your bills one at a time and see if there is a chance of some sort of relief. The result might be a little less stress in these already very stressful times. Take care and be safe.