By Mary Hanbury for Business Insider US
UK grocery giant Ocado was forced to delay or cancel thousands of orders this weekend after a fire broke at one of its London warehouses, the BBC first reported.
The company said in a statement Monday that three of its robots collided.
Thousands of robots zoom along a grid at its automated warehouses, collecting groceries and taking them to picking stations where employees pack orders. According to the BBC, this warehouse handles up to 150 000 orders a week.
As Insider’s Charlie Floyd previously reported, the grid uses an air traffic control system intended to prevent any crashes.
Ocado said the damage from the fire was limited to 1% of the grid, and that no employees were injured, but that 800 staff were evacuated.
The warehouse was closed for several days, affecting thousands of orders. The fire started on Friday, June 16, and deliveries recommenced Monday morning, Ocado said.
Customers took to Twitter to complain about the lack of clarity around delays and cancellations.
A spokesperson for Ocado did not immediately respond to requests for more details.
Customers who live in other parts of the country were also confused as to why their orders had been affected.
On Tuesday, Insider was unable to request a new delivery slot for a London address. Slots showed up for other addresses in the UK, however.
By Jan Vermeulen for MyBroadband
If you file too many claims against your car insurance policy, your insurer may fire you as a client and note the fact that they cancelled your policy in the national Insurance Data System (IDS).
Finding an alternative insurance provider if this happens is no simple task, as they will check the IDS database when you ask them for a quote.
Insurers may decline to cover you based purely on the information in the IDS. Having a cancelled policy against your name alongside an eventful claims history is a big red flag.
This is feedback from the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) and OUTsurance.
OUTsurance told MyBroadband it is generally more difficult to obtain insurance if your policy has been cancelled previously.
Although insurers may cancel your policy for claiming too much, for them it is a last resort.
“We cancel very few clients due to an excessive claims experience as a first action and would rather apply remedial actions such as increased excess or a higher increase at renewal stage,” said OUTsurance.
SAIA highlighted that the Insurance Data System is not used to explicitly flag individuals as problem clients, but confirmed that the IDS is used to store claims history data and whether you have had a policy cancelled.
It is then up to individual insurers to decide whether to provide someone with coverage or not.
OUTsurance explained that claims experience and cancelled policies are important factors that insurers use to decide whether to give you cover or not.
OUTsurance told MyBroadband that it looked at a few factors when determining if a client needs action to improve on their claims experience, or if a policy is to be cancelled.
These factors include:
- Number of risks on cover
- Claims frequency
- Value of claims
- How each client’s frequency and loss ratio compares to other clients
“Very few clients are actually flagged monthly for cancellation or other measures,” OUTsurance stated.
MultiChoice on Tuesday evacuated its headquarters in Randburg while the Johannesburg Fire Department tried to extinguish a blaze in the building.
Details were still sketchy but Eyewitness News confirmed with the satellite TV broadcaster that no one was injured.
It is not yet clear what started the blaze.
MultiChoice’s group executive for corporate affairs, Joe Heshu, said the affected buildings were all evacuated but the fire was isolated to the technical area.
“The fire department is on-site. No employees have been harmed and we expect no interruptions in service or customer care,” Heshu said.
Staff said the fire began just after 1 pm in the afternoon.
The building was evacuated as a precautionary measure and staff would only be allowed back inside once it’s been declared safe.
The extent of the damage was not yet known.
According to The Sowetan, “The fire was mostly on the ventilation system on the roof of the building. This is not the new MultiChoice building, but the old one – the technical [operations] building.”