Worthing vegan discovers meat in Hello Fresh recipe box

A Worthing vegan who had meat delivered in her Hello Fresh recipe box has called the company’s behaviour ‘insulting’.

Victoria Boarer, 36, paid £20 for a half-price Hello Fresh vegan delivery box, containing enough food and recipes for four meals for four people.

But after opening it on Thursday morning she was horrified to find two packets of pork inside and, to make matters worse, was auto-charged a further £36 for a repeat order she had not requested.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Victoria contacted the company asking them to cancel and refund next week’s order but in an online chat the company did not apologise and said ‘I mean, just throw the meat out’.

Victoria Boarer SUS-210125-152915001

She was also told next week’s order could not be refunded as the deadline was Tuesday evening – two days before she had even received her first pack.

Victoria said the company’s response was worse than the actual mistake.

“You can’t deliver someone’s first box, make a massive mistake like this which is insulting, then say something quite rude and tell them ‘you can’t have your money back’,” she said.

“None of that’s acceptable. If you were at a restaurant and ordered a vegan meal, you wouldn’t expect to get a side of meat and them to just say ‘well we’ve not charged you for it’.”

The meat Victoria Boarer found in her vegan Hello Fresh box SUS-210125-153915001

Victoria, who owns Inkquisitive tattoo parlour in Clifton Road, said her vegan lifestyle stems from her commitment to being zero-waste and taking responsibility for where her money goes.

Regardless of whether it was free of charge, she said, the unwanted meat should have gone in to a meat-eater’s box but instead created extra waste.

The company’s suggestion that she should simply ‘throw the meat out’ would only mean more meat had to be produced.

After being contacted by the Herald for comment, Hello Fresh has now refunded Victoria for both orders, which she has donated – along with the meat – to homeless charity Turning Tides.

A spokesman for the company said: “We apologise to the customer for mistakenly including meat in the order and for the response from our customer service agent. On this occasion we did not meet our usual high standards of service and care in getting our recipe boxes right.

“We have reminded our team of the need to recommend the passing of unwanted items to local food banks, where possible, to minimise any waste.

“HelloFresh is a flexible subscription with no minimum term so it fits in with our customers’ lifestyles. Customers can cancel, skip or amend the date for the following week’s delivery up until midnight on the Tuesday before the order is due.

“This benefit is made clear at the point of signing up as a customer and in all welcome messages to new recipients.”