Not-So-Great Night In Family Movie Collection, from Coles Supermarket

A couple of weeks ago I saw this offering in my local Coles (Chisholm) supermarket. It was located in the entertainment section, and labelled “The Great Night In Family Movie Collection” - with a second label at the bottom stating “15 part DVD collection”. There was no price on the box or on the shelf. Photos of the front and back of the box, as well as what I discovered inside, are below.

On returning home, I decided to look up what this contained, and learned that some News Corp newspapers had given away 15 family movies with the daily paper (e.g. Cairns Post). Presumably Coles was selling the left-over product, or had jumped onto the band-wagon.

Accordingly, I grabbed the shrink-wrapped box when next I was in the supermarket, and took it to the (self-service - that’s pretty much all you can get to nowadays) checkout.

I was pleasantly surprised when this big box of entertainment scanned for only $2.60! It showed up as “Madagascar” - clearly just Coles messing up its barcodes again. And I have experience with Coles selling some things for way below market - a cupboard full of electric toothbrush refills attests to this.

On getting the box home, I handed it to my wife. She commented on its light weight, and proceeded with the unwrapping… SURPRISE! A box made for fifteen - and with slots for each movie - contained only a single DVD.

I returned to the shop, and was treated with disdain by the ‘customer service’ representative. I wrote to Coles both through its website and via Twitter, and while my concerns about the lack of customer service have ‘been referred to the local supermarket’ I have heard nothing about the false advertising of this product. Given this, I am now turning my complaint public in the hope that it is properly resolved with the assistance of my favourite consumer advocacy entity.

The product remains on the shelf, and nothing has been changed to make clear to prospective buyers that they are not getting what is advertised on the outside. Shrink wrap prevents closer inspection by the prospective purchaser, and I have not received the fifteen movies clearly promised on the box!

Not impressed, Coles!

Final note: I was in a larger shopping mall yesterday, and walked past a QBD bookstore/magnet. They had this same product on sale, in the same packaging but sans shrink-wrap. Every spot inside the case had a DVD inserted in it.

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This is the T&Cs from the Cairns Post Website:

*1st DVD and Collector’s Album are FREE when you buy The Sunday Mail (RRP $3.00) on 15/10/17. DVDs 2-15 are available from 16/10/17 to 29/10/17 for $2.60 each when you buy the Cairns Post or The Sunday Mail. Total collection $66.20 max. Available at participating newsagents, Coles, Woolworths and IGA supermarkets while stocks last. One DVD per original token from hardcopy (not digital) newspaper only. MADAGASCAR © 2017 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Also, ‘15 part DVD collection’ means that the set contains 15 parts…when reading in conjunction with the T&Cs, this means each part is available from 16/10/17 to 29/10/17 when one also buys the Cairns Post/Sunday Mail.

I would suggest the promotion has finished and Coles is selling off the promotional materials cheaper ($2.60 for the first one instead of the $3 as outlined on the Cairns Post website.

Did you take a photo of the stand in Coles? It is likely to have the T&Cs outlined above displayed (or telling one where they are available), albeit in small print. Did you also buy the Cairns Post/Sunday Mail when making the purchase, as outlined in the T&Cs?

My only purpose in showing the Cairns Post link was that it gave me some idea of what this box was supposed to contain. I normally have News Ltd websites blocked on my computer, so would not otherwise venture into that hive of scum and villainy. The Cairns Post ‘terms and conditions’ were not on display in the supermarket, and even as written are clearly irrelevant to what I found on the supermarket shelf as there was no newspaper, no ‘token’, nor indication of either of these ‘requirements’. We are also a long way outside that ‘offer period’. The only purpose for that link was that it gave me some idea of what to expect inside a shrink-wrapped box whose only indication of contents stated “15 PART DVD COLLECTION”.

To be clear, no newspapers were anywhere near the Coles display, which was in the DVDs, children’s books and stationery section of the store.

There was nothing else on the box to say what was inside - just the images and some small print about the copyright proprietor’s licensing of this film. Again, exactly this same package (minus the shrink wrap) was in QBD, with exactly the same ‘15 part’ label and the same small print on the back. The only differences were the price ($39 in QBD, or $2.60 per movie), and the fact that I could open the box and see all fifteen discs neatly placed within.

I did take a photo of the ‘display’, although the shot I grabbed does not show the entire display - and there was no indication anywhere on the display of the product’s existence let alone its price or its content. I was reliant on the packaging for this information, and as you can see the packaging said nothing about it holding only one of the claimed fifteen movies. If I happen to go back in the near future I will try to take a shot of the entire display - assuming Coles does not get its act in order and take it down by then (I have let the company know of this post, and will of course update it based upon Coles’ to-date totally inadequate response over the last two weeks).

New side note time: going back to the Cairns Post stuff, if there are 15 DVDs at $2.60 each, that’s $39 in total (the price charged by QBD). If you include the price of the paper ($3.00), then we’re up to $84.00 ($5.60 x 15). How did they come up with $66.20 as the maximum collection RRP?

This should have set of some alarm bells as it is highly unlikely that a 15 disc dvd set would sell for $2.60.

I have seen Woollies and other stores selling off end of promotional stuff cheaply or without satisfying the conditions of sale (e.g. not having bought something else to allow the purchase).

Still $2.60 is still cheap for a movie dvd.

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The calculation may be based on things other things. A bit like a carpet showroom selling carpets for $29 and staing the rrp is $999. Anyones guess how the instore rrp is calculated, unless it was the guide rrp of the manufacturer.

Coles/Newscorp newspapers may be quoting the rrp recommended by 20th Century Fox…which used to be part of Newscorp up until the last week.

Perhaps a technicality but they remain independent entities. The sale does not close until some time in 2018 or even 2019.

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Yes, and it’s highly unlikely that a massive stack of electronic toothbrush replacement brushes would sell for a ridiculously cheap price - and yet this same supermarket is where I bought a ten year supply of these things. My experience is that Coles sometimes sells things for far less than I expect. (Other things cost far more than one might expect, and so I don’t buy them - thus functions the ‘law’ of supply and demand.)

There is unlikely, and there is remote, and there is reality (just ask the nurse in the Netherlands who was convicted of murder based upon the allegedly 1 in 342 million chance of being at the same hospitals as a bunch of unusual deaths, but eventually exonerated). Coles pricing is often confusing, sometimes astounding - and so if I see a product that says what it contains on the outside and is shrink wrapped I have no other option than to believe my eyes and my experience.

In this instance, the label lied. This is commonly referred to as false advertising, which is why I am kicking up a fuss. The fact that the price was low is neither here nor there - the reality is that the box said it contained something and in reality this did not match what it actually contained, thus presenting a clear example of false advertising by Coles Supermarket.

Just to be clear, had I bought the product from QBD when I saw it there two weeks later I would have been buying exactly the same box. Yes, I would have paid more - that is irrelevant. Relevance comes from the fact that QBD was selling inside that box exactly what the box said it contained: 15 DVDs - while Coles failed to ensure that the label and the contents aligned and worse, prevented me from even checking the contents by putting it in a sealed plastic wrap (as you can see in the photo of the shelf, above).

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Maybe not. The key is the word part. Part is a piece which, when combined with others, makes up the whole of something.

If the label said 15 box DVD set or a multimovie box set, which most multiple DVD packs have on the outside, and one opened the ‘set’ to only find one DVD inside, then there would be deceptive labelling of the product.

If a product is labelled as part of a 15 part DVD collection, I personally would assume that it was part of a 15 DVD box set…and would be curious to know where or how to get the other 14 parts to make the full collection.

I also suspect the QBD packaging would be different and would contain the words box set or something similar to incidate the enclosed contents include the whole collection.nit possibly would also list the full contents of the enclosed.

What is confusing is what ‘part’ is enclosed as the packaging is silent…but outlined on the Cairns Post website.

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You can imagine how these things might come about. Coles accesses the leftover promotional DVDs (probably for next to nothing), and it seems like an easy ‘win’ for the company before Christmas. However, there’s clearly a high chance for consumer confusion and frustration here, seeing as though it would be easy to think this is a full ‘collection’ like the one found at QBD bookstore. Suddenly, you really have to question whether this is a ‘win’ for anyone involved.

Is it even possible to access the remaining parts for the collection without resorting to sites like eBay or Gumtree? Another concern is the treatment by customer service and store management, who could print out a label or put a sign on the shelf to at least avoid further confusion. As a former retail employee, I can understand how crazy things get at this time year, so perhaps that’s a factor, but Coles must still be responsible for its products and practices.

@postulative good work for taking the time to let Coles know about the issues this has caused, and for sharing the experience with the Community. If Coles were to receive enough complaints about the issue, I’m sure it would change the way they thought of reselling the leftover promotional stock in the future.

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You are absolutely right in your statement - except it did not say that it was one part of the collection. It was a box with 15 spaces, shrink-wrapped so I could not check the contents, and that note on the front is not saying “part x of 15”, it is saying it is a collection. That circular bit, by the way, is part of the box, not an addition to it. It is exactly the same as what QBD had - except that QBD did not shrink-wrap, and I was able to open the box which contained a DVD in every one of the available 15 slots.

I returned to the store this morning on the way to work, and took a photo of the (yes, still on the shelf) display in its entirety. As you can see below, there is nothing on the shelf or on the individual items to indicate price or contents, other than that “15 part DVD collection” - which does nothing to say it is part x of 15.

Coles has come back to me on Twitter, seeking to point their mistake to “a promotion by the Herald-Sun/News Corp, which ran during the month of October…”. The company says it is unable to provide the additional DVDs “as this promotion was run by Herald Sun/News Corp and has now ended.” Uh - what? Coles is selling these in store and saying “not our problem” - and saying “the promotion is over” on the same day I get another photo of the display and three days after confirming that QBD is selling the same thing… only properly?

I simply cannot imagine a clearer example of false and misleading advertising. I can understand that you may think “15 part…” means this is one of many, but there is absolutely no other indication of this, and the box is made for 15. If Coles had all of the advertising paraphernalia that one imagines went with the newspaper promotion then I could understand that it would explain the situation - but it had nothing but the boxes!

Précisément. While Coles says it has now removed the item from store shelves, I strongly suspect that if I go into the store on the way to work tomorrow it will still be there. Coles has dealt with this with the speed and grace of a slug in molasses, and is simply failing to properly clean up its own mess.

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Apologies. I didn’t realise that the DVDs were on the shelf, where Coles sells DVDs, without any information about the former promotion. They do look like any other DVD on sale. I had assumed that it was on the promotion stand like I have seen Woollies do with old promotion materials they have discounted heavily after the close of the promotion period.

It is now obvious that there was no way you would have known about the promotion or of its T&Cs just from visiting Coles.

What Coles has done is unsatisfactory as it appears they assume that one would know about the promotion and therefore buy the first part of the promotion if one still needed to buy it. Not advertising the T&Cs of indicating it was promotional material is deceptive.

I would be asking Coles for your money back and also requesting that they change their in store display of the DVDs to ensure that other customers realise that they were part of a promotion which is now closed…OR removing from the shelves and placing at the customer service counter to provide to any customers who do make a request for part 1 of their former promotion.

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On the upside, I understand that “unboxing” videos are very popular on YouTube.

Now forewarned, parents can capture the look of abject disappointment when their child unwraps one of these on xmas day. :weary:

Seriously though, I can imagine some well-meaning uncles/aunties/grandparents receiving the evil-eye on the 25th…

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I’m with you @postulative.

I would not have picked up the nuance that it was only the first disc of a collectable. I would have assumed there were 15 discs inside as well. Without any contra-indication of the shrink wrap contents not being 15 discs would result in the majority of consumers assuming there were actually 15 discs inside.

Another way to look at it is: if I had picked up an open one of those DVD cases in Coles with only one DVD inside it, I would have assumed that the remaining disc had been purloined.

I imagine Coles would have received the DVD cases shrink wrapped, so most probably the deception was wasn’t deliberate, just a complete lack of thought and understanding by Coles management. None-the-less it resulted in a misrepresentation of the contents of the shrink wrapped DVD case.

I agree with @phb about asking for a refund.

Also, if you do Facebook I would suggest you write on their page (https://www.facebook.com/coles/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf#) about your feelings on this matter. There are 1.2M people who like, and also who follow that page. You might get a better response from Coles once that many people find out about this.

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I am not actually on FaceThingy, but would encourage those who are to link this thread on the Coles page there, if only to make for RedFaceBook (and to encourage those 1.2 million subscribers to have a look over here).

I did check on the way home, and the store has finally managed to clean its display of the offending object - which to me was somewhat of a surprise given their previous failings. Now I just need to find that customer ‘satisfaction’ survey.

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Maybe Coles reads the ‘FaceThingy’ or this thread, and why they have taken action!

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Great work @postulative, I’m sure a lot of people had similar frustrations with this product, but it’s easy sometimes to ignore problems or pass them off. By following up on the issue and getting them to remove the product from the shelves, you’ve also assisted others and no doubt helped avoid some embarressment and disappoint at the gift-giving time of year.

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