Bosses at supermarket Waitrose have apologised for what many shoppers have described as ‘inhumane chaos’ after a national glitch meant that their branches were unable to dispense complimentary cups of tea and coffee on Sunday. 

According to a company spokesperson, the entire network of drink dispensers failed simultaneously because of an error when the clocks changed overnight on Sunday. He confirmed that the software designed to prevent ‘free drink fraud’ hadn’t been tested properly in the company’s US data processing facility. 

Jemima Clunge-Murphy told our Chief Reporter that the scene in their Leigh On Sea store was like ‘something out a horror movie about poor people.’

She added: ‘As far as I could tell, every checkout was unable to process free hot drinks for MyWaitrose cardholders, and the queues became so long that hundreds of us were forced to abandon our trollies and leave.’

‘Personally, I had to make a swift exit to try and find another local retailer that stocked organic wheatgerm quinoa and ostrich biscuits. Unfortunately I was too late by the time I left the store.’

Ernestine Flipout told us that a number of customers at their nearby Southend store were involved in ‘angry confrontations’ as the queues got longer and longer. 

She said: ‘People were just throwing their baskets to the floor in disgust, and I was appalled to see that a significant amount of working class people are still trying to take advantage of the free tea and coffee offer by buying a 21p packet of paracetamol tablets.’

‘I know that manual labour can be a headache but if they had stayed away the poor checkout staff could have processed free teas and coffees manually by taking MyWaitrose card imprints.’

‘I rely on my free copy of The Mail On Sunday every week, and so yesterday I was forced to draw my own conclusions about foreigners, cancer and lady bits problems, and also how the three are all linked somehow.’