Adam Frank, 32, had been hungrily awaiting his delivery last week but instead was left with just a tub of beetroot salad from the back of the fridge.
Sporting a full beard, Adam answered the door and — despite claiming he’s never been asked for ID on any other delivery — was told he needed it to receive online shopping with the supermarket giant.
The six-foot marketing director had only ordered vegan food for himself, and some milk and bread for his disabled housebound dad – but not a single age-restricted item.
Adam had nothing to prove his age and so the driver refused to hand over the customer’s shopping – leaving his neighbour laughing at him.
“I was very embarrassed because my neighbours were watching and laughing at me”
And now the self-employed businessman has been left £46 out of pocket – after being told it was a three to five working day wait before he would be refunded.
Adam, from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m so angry.
“I’d just ordered vegan food, just plant-based food, beans and bread. Apparently Hovis is illegal now.
“When I opened the door, the guy said ‘are you over 25?’ I said I was 32.
“He asked if I had any ID on me and I didn’t because I’m waiting for my passport to be delivered back.
“I look the part – I look 32. I’m very obviously not under 18 anyway – but there was no alcohol, no cigarettes.
“I was told I couldn’t have my normal food shop.”
Left without any dinner after a long day at work, Adam was then told he couldn’t have his food delivered the next day either – and would have to wait up to five working days for a refund.
“I was very embarrassed because my neighbours were watching and laughing at me,” he added.
“I thought Challenge 25 was about alcohol and cigarettes. They’ve not even apologised.
“I said I wasn’t happy and asked if I could get a same day delivery, but they said they couldn’t do that.
“I’ve ordered from Sainsbury’s before and never had this issue.
“My order was £46 which a lot of money to be waiting for with an empty fridge.
He added: ”Some of it was for my dad too because I’m his full time carer. I had ordered the basics for him too as he’s housebound.”
According to Sainsbury’s, it operates a Challenge 25 policy on online deliveries.
Their website delivery terms and conditions state: “If the person receiving the goods looks under 25 we will request proof of age. We may retain the goods if proof of age or an alternative adult is not available.”
Other customers slammed Adam online for failing to read the terms and conditions, but he admits he presumed any age guidance was for age-restricted items only.
Adam said: “I called Sainsbury’s and they basically said it was just their policy and to deal with it. Apparently it’s at the driver’s discretion.
“If you think about it, it makes it illegal for people who are 16 or 17 and have just left their family home to have a shop.
“Some of the reaction online was that I should have known by the terms and conditions. I did read those but I automatically assumed it was alcohol and cigarettes.”
In response to Adam’s post on Facebook, Sainsbury’s said: “Our drivers must be confident they’re leaving the delivery with someone over 18 no matter what the order contains.
“If they look under 25, they must follow policy and ask to see valid ID. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Our terms and conditions explain customers must be over the age of 18 to receive our online delivery service.
“To ensure this process is followed, our drivers are trained to follow our Think 25 policy. Unfortunately on this occasion Adam did not have ID and was unable to receive his order.”