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With the state governments ring-fencing 22 corona hotspots in Noida, 13 in Ghaziabad, 9 in Gurugram and 25 in Delhi, the NCR region went through an unprecedented frenzy over the supply of essential items on Friday, with leading online delivery platforms Bigbasket, Grofers and Milkbasket once again failing to rise to the occasion as 21-day lockdown entered its final phase.
"Unfortunately, we do not have any available slots to service you right now. Please try again later," was the message Arun Kumar, a Noida resident, received from Bigbasket. Kumar has been trying incessantly for the past few days to get an online delivery.
In its latest operational update, Bigbasket said: "We are reporting slot availability across cities each day. We have been working hard to ensure that we are able to service you over the next few weeks".
Angry users blasted the delivery platform on the operational update.
"Tell something new... Every time same updates to fool people. And no slots available in reality," posted Aru.
Another user replied to Bigbasket: "What the hell! Everyday I am checking it is saying all slots are filled."
The Grofers' story was no different.
"Where is my refund.. u guys cancelled my order to take new order in hiked price.. atleast refund money asap so that u can get stuff from offline," Shaktiprasad tweeted to Grofers.
Ajay Kumar tweeted: "I am trying to place the order with Grofers from last 16 days but it's not accepting my order, what I am getting is assurance only, dropped mail but no +ve response receiving".
"We received delivery but not what we ordered," said one BBDaily user from Noida Sector 143 which is not a hotspot.
The state governments had claimed to ensure people that essentials like groceries, vegetables, milk, medicines and others will be brought to the doorsteps of the people in hotspots.
The news also led to panic buying and stockpiling of groceries in Noida and adjoining areas as long queues were seen outside the grocery stores.
The telephone numbers that the Noida authorities provided were either switched off or out of order for many.
Several Noida users, who were not in the designated hotspot zones, were equally affected.
"Apologies for the trouble, due to unprecedented order booking, you may not find slots. We are doing our best to create more capacity. We'll update the slot availability status on our app and website every day. Do keep checking them every now and then for updates," was the message on most of the online delivery platforms.
Several Milkbasket users were left clueless as they did not get deliveries in their societies which were not sealed.
"Dear customer, in our attempt to comply with heightened measures in and around certain zones in the city, we will not be able to service your society until further notice. We can understand the inconvenience it might cause and deeply regret it," was the message people living in several Noida societies received which were not sealed.