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Helsinki fires senior citizen grocery delivery firm, citing poor service

Food services firm Servea delivered groceries to Helsinki pensioners to their homes and to care facilities for one month before the city filed a complaint alleging the firm was not adequately fulfilling its duties. A temporary fix will be made available until a new, permanent food courier can be found.

Kauppakassit ostoskärrissä.
1,400 pensioners may be affected by the move.

The City of Helsinki has terminated the contract of shopping and grocery delivery service provider Servea, starting on Tuesday. Servea delivered food to the elderly, both to their own homes and to senior centres.

Servea had been in operation for just one month, March, before the city's Social Services and Health Care Sector filed a complaint with them about negligence.

The city alleges that groceries were not delivered on time, the company had not informed customers of their prices or products sufficiently clearly and claimed that customers were unable to reach the courier service producer by phone.

Helsinki says that negotiations about fixing the deficiencies fell through, so the contract ended without any transition period.

The city's own domestic care workers will take on the 1,400 pensioners who were Servea customers before the termination until a new service provider can be found. The City of Helsinki intends to find a new provider through competitive bidding.

Servea: Extra services demanded

Servea writes in its release that it sees no basis for terminating the agreement and that the company would have preferred to continue negotiating.

"This unfortunate situation has been caused by a disagreement between the original competition pact and the wishes of the Social Services and Health Care Sector," says Servea CEO Maria Peiponen.

"The new agreement was to include additional services not stipulated in the original competition pact," she continues. "Our deliveries have been 100 percent successful over the last two months."

Servea says they will not leave their customers hanging, but will give them a chance to keep their old contracts despite the city's ruling.

There is no word on when the next service provider will be found.

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