Queue it yourself: 300,000 people an hour wait online, in line just to get onto B&Q website to make Easter click and collect orders
- Online shoppers told they will need to spend at least 60 minutes in virtual queue
- Families unable to visit relatives due to lockdown are turning to home projects
- The retailer urges customers to only travel to stores when their orders are ready
- Social media users claimed they had been kicked out of the virtual queues
- Were you stuck in the queue? Send your story to email@example.com
B&Q customers had to wait more than an hour today just to get on to the company’s website, with hundreds of thousands looking to buy products this weekend.
With the UK still on lockdown, huge numbers of people will instead be turning to gardening and DIY projects over the Easter break, rather than visiting relatives.
As a result, the home improvement retailer saw massive demand for its stock, with online shoppers today told they face a wait of at least 60 minutes before making click and collect orders.
Customers also claimed that they were kicked out of the website after waiting in a virtual queue for an hour.
At one stage this afternoon, more than 317,000 people were simultaneously waiting to buy products from B&Q’s online store, pictured
One social media users said he had been put to the back of the virtual queue despite still filling his basket and this afternoon said he would ‘go to Homebase instead’.
At one stage this afternoon, more than 317,000 people were simultaneously waiting to buy products, as the firm urged customers not to arrive at its stores until told to, in order to follow the ongoing social distancing guidelines.
But customers were left frustrated by the process.
One told MailOnline: ‘I queued for 45 mins for B&Q Enfield as I wanted to purchase some paint to finish off painting my back garden fence.
‘I finally got to enter the website which stated that there were two tins in store. I actually wanted four but nevertheless thought I would order those along with a four litre bottle of white spirit.
One social media user this evening claimed that he had been waiting in the virtual queue for an hour but was ‘kicked out’ of it for no reason
‘As I went to check out and was about to give my card details a pop up emerged saying there was no stock of paint and removed them from my basket.
‘This happened twice as I later decided to try again and once again it stated there were two tins of paint in stock. Totally ridiculous waste of my time.
‘Would have been good to get an accurate idea of stock of an item before having to queue for an hour.’
However, one angry customer said he was waiting in the queue for more than an hour, and was filling his basket with items, but was kicked out and made to start all over again.
Another said: ‘I spent about an hour in the virtual queue, with some 126,000 in front of me.
‘I wanted Anti Mould and Brilliant White Emulsion paint. Guess what? These items were out of stock in my local B&Q (Clacton-on-Sea) and also the store in Colchester.
‘They very helpfully put these items in my ‘Save for Later’ meaning, I assume, that I will have to join the queue again later to repeat the process. Don’t think I’ll bother.’
A statement on the B&Q site reads: ‘We are using a virtual queue to limit the number of customers using the website at the same time.
B&Q, pictured, has told hundreds of thousands of online shoppers not to travel to its stores until their items are ready to collect. The photo above was taken in Peterborough yesterday
‘This is to give you the best possible online shopping experience.
‘If using our contact-free Click + Collect service, once you’ve placed your order, we’ll let you know when it’s ready to pick up.
‘Please do not travel to store until we contact you.
‘Once it’s your turn, you will have 10 minutes to start your visit.
‘Once on the site, you’ll have as long as you need.’
A spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘Our 296 B&Q stores have remained closed to customers for browsing since Monday March 23, when the UK lockdown was announced.
‘As an essential retailer, B&Q has made diy.com its primary store and introduced contact-free Click+Collect services in its store car parks whilst still continuing to offer home delivery.
‘Given these changes, we are experiencing extremely high demand at present for online orders and are using a virtual queue to limit the number of customers using the website at the same time to give customers the best possible online shopping experience.’