Woolies Latest Acts Of Stupidity

While policies seem to be relaxing we had issues at both Coles and Woolies where the stores were hard about return/exchanges. One was a mistaken product (wrong flavour in our basket) and the other was a terrible juice product - we wanted to exchange a second unopened one for a different brand.

The mistaken product was so sad too bad change of mind and the ‘exchange’ was simply refused. We did not pursue the former w/Woolies but went to Coles corporate for the latter as a satisfaction/quality issue and they approved the exchange; we took their email to the local and they honoured it.

Nothing ventured, …


Even our useless local Woollies is not that stupid.


In my experience, Woolworths staff are not grubs.


Welcome to the forum.

In my experience in the usual way of things they are a mix of good people and good workers and some not so good, some who rarely make an error and others who are not so careful. There is plenty of evidence that Woolie’s policies and systems from time to time throw up anomalies and stupidities. When they work correctly of course it is unremarkable.

This range of outcomes can be found in any large organisation.


Welcome to the community @whosthatgirl.

Also my experience. The staff, workers employees or however we like to put it of any business are just like the rest of us when at work.

When a business delivers a bad outcome, it is rarely the staff who are to blame. Even if they are, it’s an issue for the management who on complaint would hopefully resolve any consumer complaint in a constructive way.


I am not happy to then, re-purchase the biscuits you returned. There are nutters out there who put needles into food so Woolworths have to absorb the loss because you changed your Mind?

Someone placing needles in food is a criminal act and if you happened to find one in purshased food, you should take it back immediately. This would not be a change in mind but a major fault under the Australian Consumer Law. In such case, one could chose whether they wish a refund or exchange. The retailer needs to be made aware of this quickly and directly as it is a criminal matter and may result in a recall of other potentially affected products.

If one places needles in items which are to be exchanged, expect the full force of the law flowing your way.

If one purchases say yellow split peas and when getting home realised that they should have bought green ones as they didn’t like yellow ones, then this is a change of mind. Change of mind sits outside the Australian Consumer Law and it is the discretion of the retailer how to approach a customer’s change of mind. These are usually covered in a store’s change of mind policy or in the terms and conditions of sale. Such is very different to finding needles in a foods.


It is most likely that any refunds under the ACL or any store policy goes against the suppliers account rather than on the supermarkets. So the supermarkets don’t ‘absorb the loss’. Stores like Bunnings have stock on consignment from the supplier, so this makes handing the costs back to the supplier easier.


A belated update. I contacted Woolies via Facebook and they said I could have exchanged, so I went back and exchanged the one remaining can I had (mainly on principle as it was only 85c). I found the receipt on my Rewards app - the staff member was reluctant to exchange because it was more than 30 days but I mentioned I had been in contact with Woolies Facebook and she exchanged grudgingly. I will know for next time. Thanks for you help.


Whilst at our local Woollies yesterday, I noticed that they had raw tiger prawns “on special” for just $11.50/kg.

A lady before me was buying around a kilo and the staff member who has been at Woollies for many years proceeded to put them in a flimsy plastic bag which she then wrapped in their deli paper.

I asked another staff member for a kilo, and when she also grabbed a flimsy plastic bag, I asked for a prawn bag from the pile under the work bench.

I had also asked what the use by was for the prawns which she could not find so she simply said that they had to be eaten yesterday as the price was so low.

The “special” sign was just another Woollies Shonky as opposed to marking them “reduced to clear” or using yellow signs with black lettering like Coles do for reduced to clear fresh produce.

I opened the bag this morning and peeled them, and they were still perfectly fresh.

Only at Woollies.

An article regarding Woollies rolling out body cameras for employees.

This is in addition to the A4 signs they have posted in their stores regarding staff being abused by shoppers.

Perhaps if Woollies stopped their deceptive and misleading behaviour and smartened up their customer service, they would not have a problem.

Its amazing that Coles do not have similar problems.

Definitely “Only at woollies”.


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Until recently our Coles staff were much better at customer relationships than our Woolies staff, as well as doing their jobs better from my perspective. Recently we experienced a decline at Coles whereby mentioning (not complaining) to a stocker that a particular product had not had a price for weeks resulted in him first rationalising and then making excuses rather than thanking us for noticing and organising a price tag. Since he told him we knew the price he was confused why we cared about a shelf price being displayed.

Part 2, the Coles has the sanitiser station by the trolleys and over many weeks it has become normal that the trolley wipes were dried out and the hand wipes hit or miss whether any were there or whether they too were dried out. Politely complaining at the service desk resulted in a terse-bordering-rude lady who first stated there was no legal requirement to have them, dispersed wipes to the other shoppers standing about now waiting for them, and to us last, then begrudgingly refilled both and retreated as if we had insulted her.

Could just be multiple Coles staff had a bad day, but it may not be only at Wollies any more. Only a few months ago every staff in the same Coles usually went beyond just helping and assured the customer was always served/helped in a courteous manner.

Seems there may be a race to the bottom whether a function of hostile customers, staff burnout, or whatever.


One of our local Coles has signs within and on the entrance about not tolerating abuse towards staff, the other may also have them but I haven’t looked for the signs there. Abuse by customers is becoming more widespread it would seem, many places now have signs warning that abuse is not tolerated and that Police and prosecution will be used as will exclusion.


I have the utmost respect for the staff of stores like the supermarkets over the last year. How would you like to spend your working day wearing masks, and dealing with complaining customers because something is out of stock? It is not their fault that mad swarms of panic buyers hit their workplace like locusts.
I am all for cameras to record the behaviour of problem customers.


That’s strange. The population in FNQ were only required to wear masks for a relatively short period this month.

During this period, all the employees at Coles and every other business I visited were wearing masks as well as all the public, with the exception of a handful of grubs, so I do not consider this earns Woollies employees any extra brownie points.

And as recently as this afternoon, our local Coles still does not have any signage regarding staff abuse problems.

However, when I was back in our local Woollies this afternoon to get an item I had forgot earlier, I heard an announcement on their ghetto blaster volume PA system regarding fantastic markdowns on seafood as they would be closed tomorrow, and when I went to the deli seafood display, some items which had not been reduced 30 minutes earlier had signage with one variety of Emporer fish fillets reduced from $39/kg to $17/kg.

However, another variety of Emporer fish fillets was priced at $39/kg, but when I asked the employee, she said that they were reduced by 30% but it had to be done manually, which she did when I bought some.

I expect that customers who bought the seafood before the announcement got charged full whack along with customers who bought the fish I did without asking about the announced fantastic savings.

And as the current Woollies catalogue has the WA Rock Lobsters on special this week for $20, save $5, our local Woolies has not been displaying any, probably due to their scam of claiming that they were “on special” at $25 for weeks.

Of course, the customers have much to complain about due to the behaviour of these grubs.


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I often wonder, Fred, why you continue to shop at Woolworths at all, given how much you find them lacking.


Whenever I go to our local Coles, I pop in to Woollies to check if there are any worthwhile markdowns.

Apart from that, I only buy things at Woollies if the price is unbeatable or Coles do not have a particular item.

As I have posted previously, I buy most of our requirements at Coles and a lesser amount at our local Supa IGA.

Woollies only get the scraps which is still more than they deserve.

Ahh. Clearly I missed that post. I dont have an IGA near me, alas, otherwise I would likely shop there.

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The Dairy Farmers Lite White 2 litre milk reappeared in our local Woolies some weeks ago and is still priced at $3.50.

I was going to ask the store manager what happened but the few times I have spotted him, he has been busy on his phone.

Their website no longer lists either the 1 litre or the 2 litre sizes being stocked at any of their Cairns stores.

I have only seen fresh Barramundi fillets in this store a couple of times in the last few months. They are once again in the Woolies weekly catalogue which finishes today and the one which commences tomorrow.but the website lists no Cairns stores having stock of the skin on fillets and the Earlville store as the only one with stock of the skin off fillets in the Cairns area.

Why put items in the catalogue if all or most stores do not stock it?

And in the liquor products listed in the new catalogue, clicking on the images of almost all products results in a different product being displayed.

Only at Woolworths?


Approx 60% of Australians live in NSW or Victoria.
Approx 70% of Queenslanders live in the SE corner of the state.

It’s a long way from No1 Woolworths Way, Bella Vista, NSW, to Cairns.

Not sure why the suburb is called Bella Vista. It’s nowhere near Sydney Harbour or on the edge of the Blue Mountains. Slap bang in the middle of the far west?
Of Sydney!

If one lives in Cairns, is Woolies really the place for fresh Barra?


As clearly shown in the screenshot, the catalogue we see is marked “Weekly Specials Catalogue FNQ” and “Showing Catalogue for: Woolworths Mount Sharidan store, 4868”.

So what does NSW, Vic or SEQ have to do with anything?

If one lives in Cairns, is Woolies really the place for fresh Barra?

The barra that Woolies sometimes have is the best in town by a country mile.