Coles Has Upped The Ante In The Supermarket Stupidity Stakes

Coles has upped the ante in the supermarket stupidity stakes this week.

Flybuys sent offers to our family offering $50 worth of points or discount if we spent $70 a week over 4 weeks.

They then sent a second offer to spend $90 this week and receive $10 worth of points or discount, followed by another offer of $15 worth of points or discount and free delivery if $100 was spent online.

They had already sent an email late on Tuesday afternoon listing some specials based on previous purchases including Coles Finest White Vienna Sourdough for $5 a loaf, save $1, and another later email listing Coles Brussels Sprouts 400gm for $2.50 and Coles Baby Cos lettuce for $2.50.

As the offer of $25 worth of points or discount for spending an extra $30 was too good to refuse, we ordered online for the first and last time.

When the order arrived, one pack of ice cream bars was missing and the other pack had been torn and was starting to defrost, as was the other frozen item.

I immediately contacted the call centre who said that the $6 should be refunded in five (5) business days???

The Coles multigrain toast bread slices had an ‘S” shape as they had obviously been squashed in handling.

The Coles Finest White Vienna Sourdough had been charged at $6 instead of $5.

When I shopped at our local Coles yesterday to buy some broccoli and brussels sprouts, the latter had been marked down to $3.75 as the use by date was today and the shelf price was $4.50 a pack. The baby brussels sprouts I wanted to buy were not available.

I then noticed that the Coles Baby Cos lettuce had a shelf price of $3, not the $2.50 special price.

But the Coles Finest White Vienna Sourdough actually had a special price shelf label of $5, save $1.

All three products are still listed on Coles website for the full price so it is anyone’s guess how many customers have been ripped off.

Whilst I have not had any problems with Woollies with their online-only specials to date, I cringe to think just what sort of disgusting rubbish either of them would pack for orders of fresh fruit & veggies which is why I will continue to shop instore and “cherry pick” them myself.



I have seen both Coles and Woolies staff wandering around filling delivery orders. There seems to be no care in selecting items from the display or shelves, goods seem to be selected on a ‘closest to hand’ basis.

The higher/non-discounted online pricing has been discussed before on other threads, and seems to be normal practice.


And they do not seem to know the layout at all as if I ask them where a particular product is located, they often have no idea unlike the normal floor staff who are now an endangered species.

They appear to go from location to location using their handheld gadgets which obviously have each order loaded onto them.

There will often be 3 of them with their trolleys in the same aisle.

I recently read that online shopping presently only accounts for around 3% of Coles & Woollies supermarket turnover and thay want to boost it to 50%.

To accomplish that with their present procedures, they would need to close the stores to customers and all other staff.



I’ve had the same experience @Fred, not with online but with observing just how the shoppers behave when choosing things for the trolleys. No way will I ever order online, convenient and all as it seems… it costs more and you end up with lower quality. Not for me. I’ll be cruising around the supermarket in my scooter before I will allow those fools to shop for me. (oh yeah I dont have a scooter yet but I want one)


I’ve actually done online at both of the 2 majors and on the whole have found them quite good. Rarely have had damaged or missing items, and the frozen stuff as always been frozen, and had no real issues with fruit and veg. The times there have been issues they have always substituted for a more expensive item or received a refund. These days we tend to do click and collect at one and shop in store at the other. At least at Woolies, click and collect costs the same as shopping in store.

I did ring Coles once because noticed that something wasn’t showing as on special even tho it was listed in the catalogue. The person at the call centre told me that not all in store specials are available online and vice versa. That was a couple of years ago, so unsure if that is still the case.

It’s my understanding that if the Use By Date is today’s date it legally cannot be sold. If it says Best Before it can still be sold at a reduced price, tho some retailers still won’t sell if it is Best Before with today’s date.


At 50%, it seems more likely most of the products will come from centralised warehouses. IE Amazon style with robotic stack and retrieval systems. No people required.

The final step is prepackaged F&V eliminating one more variable in the supply chain.

In comparison retail store floor space is expensive and the cost of manually maintaining shelf stock within human reach more so.

When it comes to pass, will Woolies and Coles reduce the cost of online ordered products to reflect these savings?


Coles takes silliness to the next level with this email I received today.

"Collect 50 bonus points

when you tell Coles about your customer experience!

Valid until Sun 14 Nov 2021

Help us make your shopping experience even better at Coles by filling in our survey.

We are committed to reading your feedback and working with our team members at Coles to improve your shopping experience.

Tell us about your recent visit to Coles Earlville by answering the questions in the survey. To say thanks, we will give you 50 bonus points* after you complete the survey. The survey should take 5 to 10 minutes to complete, depending on your answers.

Your nearest Coles is located at Stockland Cairns, 537 Mulgrave Rd, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4870"

“Your nearest Coles is located at Stockland Cairns, 537 Mulgrave Rd, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4870.”???

Not only do they not know that our nearset Coles is in Mt Sheridan, they now think that their Earlville store is in Surfers Paradise.


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Online buyers take a risk with every order, basically:

  • I’ve had Coles deliver me about 2/3 of someone else’s order.
  • I’ve had Woolies omit two or three items in one (highly expensive !) delivery.
  • I’ve had both send me emails detailing several items in an order that aren’t available.
    It comes down to the store from which the supplies originate, of course - and within that, to the pickers given your order. Some are brilliant; some are lazy slobs who need their (|)s kicked. Over-all, the problem is lack of oversight by higher-ups.
    That’s what I reckon, anyway.
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