Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fresh Direct Safe From Park Slopers With Pitchforks & Torches for Now

Want to get some Park Slope residents upset? Threaten to screw with their Fresh Direct deliveries. Well, actually, have Fresh Direct itself mess with them by, say, raising the amount of the minimum order from $50 to $100. That was what happened yesterday and it was either (a) a weird mistake or (b) Fresh Direct saw the light of the Park Slope Moms with torches massing on Seventh Avenue and beat a hasty retreat. What are we talking about? Well, the first email we saw was sent to us by a reader via the Park Slope Parents Group:
Fresh Direct has raised its minimum order to $100. This is annoying on too many levels to count, but I'll just throw out a few: usually new businesses get better and easier to use over the years, as Freshie D generally has, with more selection and better packaging. But this makes the service considerably less user-friendly. Our ordering fluctuates a lot: we have weeks when we need just $60 in groceries and weeks when we need $400 worth...Most annoyingly, I cannot find an announcement of this huge policy change on the site-- I just bumped up against the problem when I tried to place an $80 order, and found confirmation several clicks into the site's fine print.
This led another Park Sloper who described herself (jokingly, we think) as having "pitchfork and torch at the ready" to write:
That's ridiculous (of them, not you). I emailed them and told them that if their policy *has* changed, that I probably won't be able to use them in the future. I imagine that if everyone else did the same they'd back off. Let's go stir up a mob on Urban Baby and Babble!
Fortunately, it appeared to be a false alarm, as the original poster emailed later:
Fresh Direct is now saying the minimum order is the original $50. Maybe they upped it this morning and then changed it back? Because a few hours ago, the site's FAQ said:

*What is the minimum order?
*The minimum order total is $100, not including tax and the delivery fee.

And I got this:
We're sorry; you cannot check out because your pretax order total of $83.13 is under the FreshDirect $100 minimum order requirement. Continue Shopping.
Crisis averted. Shoppers appear safe for now. If you you check Fresh Direct's FAQ page, they still say the minimum order is $50. Us, we simply want them to never park under our window running their obscenely loud refrigerated truck engines for 15-30 minutes at a time.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if they do change their minimum order at some point. The profit margin on groceries is very low. Most supermarkets, etc are there as a convenience for the people, not to make money. Fresh Direct ups the ante by delivering their product to your door. This could be tough for them as time goes on. There's a reason that all of those delivery services went out of business (Urban Fetch, etc).
Be prepared for a hike at some point. And when it happens, remember why you order from them. You would rather pay a little extra to not leave your house to shop.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny how these supposedly liberal, eco-friendly slope moms are using FD, which is HORRIBLE for the environmnet

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who says PS is full of eco friendly moms? Isn't it full of typical consumerist ex Manhattanites wanting a back yard for their children?

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see FD just go away. I wasn't surprised when it hit the news some deliverymen were felons or were found to be involved in crime. My street is invariably clogged by their trucks, manned by idiot drivers. They get papered with tickets and take them as the price of doing business. I hate my lazy neighbors when I see the boxes piled in front of their doors. Try getting off your ass and do some shopping.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't they also used to hire felons or something? I read somewhere they mugged a few people a few years back.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True the packaging is horrendous, they put like 5 things in a box AND they put their fruit in these awful plastic containers....this is NYC folks, support your local shops!!!!!

7:02 PM  
Blogger JR said...


I found a new company (Breadnbrie.com), an alternative to FreshDirect, who has a minimum of $50/order and uses green delivery. The prices are comprable to FreshDirect, but the produce is better. I just got my order yesterday, and the delivery person asked me whether I wanted to keep the box, or for him to take it. I loved the quality of food. I don't think it delivers to Park Slope yet, but you can request it and they will add the neighborhood shortly. The company is called BreadnBrie, and if you do use them, you can use my 30% off code "Banana"

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. A lot of anger issues about FD. How about YOU go shopping at the store and you let everyone else do what they want to do? Mind your business please.

4:07 PM  

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