CHOICE membership

Promo Ts & Cs


Of course they can if the term is unlawful.

No. As I said, the are other actions available such as misleading deceptive conduct. As a matter of law I don’t think “unfair contact term” would be a successful argument. It would be an interesting argument though.


The term is not unlawful, until such time it is determined as such. It will be interesting to see how the ACCC respond to the complaint which has been lodged.

I suggest that is avenue would be difficult to prove as the T&Cs were clearly stated and provided on the website. If for example of Coles advertised that every purchase is guaranteed (or make a promise) to receive the Coles mini and after the purchase, Coles came back pointing to T&Cs which were not available to the customer, then there possibly could grounds to make such complaints.

I also have not used Coles online shopping through to the payment/purchase completion page, but if one clicks on agreement with displayed T&Cs, these T&Cs could be enforceable. I am not sure if this is the process Coles uses (like I have seen many other online retailers use).


Yes they can complain. It also depends whether the complaint is reasonable.

It is will be interesting to see how the ACCC respond as this will give an indication of whether he complaint was reasonable and should be taken further.


I don’t think the Little Shop Promo Ts & Cs were accepted as part of online shopping Ts & Cs (but I can’t tell now as they have taken them off the online shopping completely). The little shop miniatures were shown as part of the basket of goods that were checked out. The number of little shop miniatures was automatically calculated.


This is possibly why:

As indicated above, there was possibly a lag period between when the promotion was shown on the website and running out of the minis, and when the relevant information about the promotion was removed. It should also be noted that stores may run out later than the online store as well and Coles could chose to wait until most bricks and mortar stores also run out was well before removing from the website.

You may have been unlucky in making your purchase in the lag period.

As it is confirmed they have run out, did you try your local Coles store?.. as it is unlikely that you will get any from Coles online even if the ACCC rules in your favour. Coles will say that there are none available.


Potentially unlawful is probably a more accurate term. Either way, you place too much weight on terms and conditions. Businesses put everything including the kitchen sink into their terms in the hope that at least some of it sticks if its challenged.

The threshold for misleading or deceptive conduct only requires that the conduct was likely to decieve or mislead. It doesn’t require intention. The terms and conditions are only a small part. It is the overall conduct and impression that Coles gave that matters, as well as whether consumers were mislead (intentionally or not).

As for the outcome of the ACCC complaint, I expect he will recurve a generic copy paste and a link to the relevant section of the ACCC website. The ACCC don’t generally act on individual complaints.

In general your comments on terms and conditions don’t reflect the realities of CONSUMER transactions post 2011. The ACL is quite generous and protective in regards to consumer rights, and if it has been breached terms and conditions are almost irrelevant.


Coles hasn’t breach its own T&Cs. It appears that it has stuck to them to the letter. It would be interesting to know if they have been.

Coles has complied with its own T&Cs which is the relevant point and would be considered by the ACCC should it be taken further…and whether the T&Cs are fair or reasonable.

I agree that the consumer rights environment has changed significantly in the past decade to provide more balance to the consumer.

I also agree that the ACCC are unlikely to react on an individual complaint, unless there is merit in the basis for the complaint and it is likely to be a pattern of behaviour (such as they have received multiple similar complaints or it is known behaviour that needs addressing).

As outlined above, the issue raised challenges the standard practice of retailers with respect to promotions. I expect that the ACCC would have look at such practices or well aware since it is industry widespread practice. I expect that they would be reluctant to pursue Coles as it would have industry wide ramifications in relation to promotions…many of which possibly would disappear in the future. If this the case, the ACCC would weigh up whether the potential impact on promotions is in the customer interest. It would be difficult to argue that promotions, whether one agrees with them or not, are not in the customer (and retailers) interest.

That is correct and the ACCC also indicates that any fine print must be consistent with the overall marketing materials.

Looking at some of the catalogues and video advertising for the Little Coles Shop these clearly state that their availability is while stocks last and also point to their T&Cs for more infornation.

If Coles only pointed to the T&Cs through the advertising, then one might gain an impression that they would be suppied for the whole of the promotion period. But the advertising makes it clear that they are only available while stocks last. One’s interpretation of while stocks last would mean that they will be given out with $30 shop multiples while they have then in stock.


Do you have a screen shot if this?

If Coles was consistent with their other marketing material, it would be interesting to see if it also said…while stocks last or similar wording on tbe final purchase page. If it didn’t, then there could be an argument that if one hadn’t seen any of the advertising, promotion or marketing material which outlined/displayed that they would be available while stocks last, that one may have an impression that the minis would be supplied through the whole of tye promotional period. One would need a screen shot of the purchase page and also be able to prove one was not aware of the promotion/marketing campaign.


Just a quick word regarding specials at Coles. I wanted to get 3 bottles of dish washing detergent that I liked. They had only the ones whose scent I did not want. I went to front desk and told them that the ones that I wanted were not there. They searched the store and could find any.
After a while they told me that they had no stock for the time being and were happy to get them for me. Then, I asked if the special promo would apply. They said it would and 2 weeks later they rang me and gave the ones that I wanted…And the promo applied. So, I was quite happy about their service.


Wow! All this over a give away plastic toy!

eBay has sets for anything from $2 to $1750! Go figure!