CHOICE membership

Woolworth Supermarkets Yellow Price (Discount)Tags

Forbes NSW 2871 Woolworths Supermarket Store

Went to do some shopping around 6.45pm tonight and found that the majority of yellow special tags had been removed by the assistant manager to whom i spoke to. Told her that i had previously contacted Woolworths re this matter before to which i was told this should not have happened before atleast 10pm. The assistant manager seemed to be a bit blasaie about this and she said the only tags removed were local store savings of which i thought BS. as she had a green basket with about 60mm of tags.I informed her that i would be sending an email to Woolworths, to which she shrugged her shoulders and this gave me the impression of “so what”
I proceeded to the checkout register to finalise my shopping. If i had used the price tags on the shelves showing for the items then my total shopping would have been an additional $10. This early removal of the yellow special tags does not help when you are on a pension.
Informed Woolworths my experience will be sent to Choice and to see how common this practice is.

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They have to be removed at the end of the sale period and before the next one starts. I recall that Woolworths (and Coles) run weekly specials from Wednesday to the following Tuesday. I suspect that they are removing them on Tuesday and preparing to place the new ones for the next weeks specials.

While they might seem to have been removing them early, the flip side is if they remove them on the Wednesday morning when first opening…the specials no longer exist and one may be mislead thinking that the labels were still current…and those shopping for that week’s specials wouldn’t see the new tags until some time after the store opened, the old tags removed and the new tags installed.

There will always be a period where current special tags won’t be presented in store, unless Woolworths pays staff to work overtime to replace the tags sometimes during the night when the store is closed (maybe causing food price increases to cover the additional labour cost). This raises the question how do they manage to change the tags in 24 hour stores so that at 11.59:59pm they are last week’s specials, these are removed at midnight with next week specials all in place at 12:00:01am. One can see the practicalities (and dilemma face by a retail store) of ensuring that all tags are there instantaneously to ensure that they are correct at all times.

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One of my favourite “savings”.

I don’t try to read the finish date, especially at Woollies, as the print is too small, but when I check my receipt before leaving the store and a price is higher than the shelf label, I go back in to double check the label, then go to the service desk for my refund.

Ususlly they get someone to go and check the label and they return with it but sometimes they fail to remove it, thus resulting in additional freebies.

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Your statement is plausable but why not remove the label after 9 pm and thats 3 hours later when there are much fewer people in the store. Where i live is a rural area and not many people are about after 9pm. On my previous communication with Woolworths i was assured this would not happen in the future, maybe i needed to ask when this future date will start. Just my 2 cents worth

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The process of placing the new specials into more prominent positions, removing the almost expired yellow special tickets, and placing out the new tickets is a rolling process that depends on store closing time, staff rostering, staff availability, and the amount of stock relocation that is required.

Perhaps in your rural area staff numbers mean that the job could not be completed by close of business if not commenced earlier than the designated 10pm. Another reason management staff may need to start earlier is that they have to factor time for getting called away to attend to approving discounting, managing staff relocating old and new specials stock, customer enquiries, price checks, authorisations, etc.

So knowing that the management staff need to start the process of removing sale tickets earlier in your local store, perhaps you could accommodate that? If the discounts start on Wednesday at opening and go till Tuesday close of business, perhaps you could manage to visit earlier in the sale week as you are more likely to find the special available, or at worst, earlier on the Tuesday night to avoid any confusion with the ticketting?

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I have found that excepting for short dated in-store specials Woolies scanners will usually (not always!!!) scan at the advertised sale price. Like @Fred123 we have received many freebies when they did not, but in recent months even when the signage and stick on tags showed the normal prices while still in a sales period, the correct price has been charged.

A cynic might think consumers might not grab a regular priced item, even if is on sale, if the sale price is prematurely retired from view, enhancing profits by a few cents or dollars per unit as they may buy something else in lieu.

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Overall a bit disappointed in some of the replies but that is the opinion of others. I am a pensioner who does most of his shopping on specials as i also have other expenses to deal with. At the same time i do shopping for other pensioners who have trouble leaving there residence and they rely on me to further there dollar where i can. I will leave it at that with still no response from Woolworths.

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If this is the case, the specials can still be seen on the Woolworths website and within weekly paper/online catalogues published by Woolworths (and Coles). A suggestion may be to review the online cataloges/website (click on specials) before shopping and make a list of those special you wish to purchase when you visit the store. Coles also has the same information on its website as well.

Alternatively, maybe look at shopping at another time other than late on Tuesdays and early on Wednesdays if you needs to rely of instore shelf labelling. This would ensure that you see the labels and make instore purchase decisions based on that.

These might mean a slight change in one’s shopping behaviour, but these simple solutions will reduce any confusion of what may or may not be on special when one shops.

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Just had a phone call from the manager who profusely apologised for what has happened and has assured me it will not happen again with the tickets to be removed between 9pm and midnight on the Tuesday night. Also received a bonus on my rewards card, so all is good for now. :grinning:

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Good on you for persevering and the reward is a little bonus for that effort.

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I do a lot of my buying based on specials, too, so I can sympathise (to some extent) with your complaint (it’s worth noting that they run out of some specials lines by Tuesday, so it’s a good idea is to shop earlier in the “discount week”). Good that Woolies finally came to the party for you. Another trap I’ve encountered is that (as a Rewards customer) I get sent a set of highlights of the specials; sometimes these are unique to me, so are not marked with yellow tags, but the checkout always applies the correct discount. I fell foul of this once and bought a smaller bottle of moisturiser as the larger one didn’t have the yellow tag, though I had been shown it on the App as much better value. That’s when I asked and was told some specials are unique to me…

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Woollies continues to perpetuate their dodgy behaviour in displaying short dated foods as normal specials, especially in the seafood section of the deli, so ensure that you ask for the use by date which is only displayed on the back of the price sign.

Our local Woollies had a special sign for the fresh Barramundi fillets yesterday for $25, normally $33.

I asked the staff member who checked the back of the sign and said that they needed to be consumed or frozen by last night.

I expect that there would be a great many consumers who simply buy such produce in the expectation that it is really fresh and expect it to be fine in the fridge for some days.

“Woolies, the fresh food people, with loads of scams for you”.

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I agree! The fresh food people slogan is so ironic. The woolies near me is abysmal. Meat products have an off smell, fruit and veg goes bad in a day or 2 or already bad hidden in the tomato punnets, bakery products are terrible. And their prices for that sub par food are so high its disgusting. Everytime i shop there its for 1 or 2 items that i cant get at aldi or coles, end up doing my whole shop there and then im kicking myself over it for a week.

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Welcome to the community @Jo77.

How does your local Woolies compare with others in your area or part of Australia?

In our part of SE Qld we live out of the big smoke, we have one large Woolies supermarket, and an Aldi in the next township. There is no Coles for a regular comparison. We mostly buy non perishables from Woolies, but every everything else locally, - butcher F&V etc.

We do make comparisons with the occasional shop on the Coast - Caloundra or Brisbane - eg Ashgrove. Woolies beats Coles every time for F&V. I’d suggest meat too for quality, but it’s an infrequent sample.

Perhaps it’s time for another survey post lockdowns by Choice? @jhook

It would be interesting to see the some useful demographics. Regional vs big city urban. Single supermarket towns vs major regional centres. State vs State. Especially given the top 3 on Choices last survey are not within our area, and our IGAs are local (small store formats). We have shopped at some great large format IGAs when back in Newcastle last year. Our only large IGA closed several years back unable to compete - parking constrained and too small a market to support a large independent plus Woolies once Aldi arrived. My assumption, based on relative checkout queue sizes.

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These remarks of mine were meant to be in response to PhilT .

I have no idea how they would up here.

I recently bought some chicken thigh fillets at our local Woollies that were on “special” at $11/kg without asking what the use by date was, for a recipe my wife wanted to try.

I then went to Coles and bought a 500gm pack of Lilydale free range chicken breast slices which were marked down from $10.90 to a mere $1.50 as they were Best Before that day.

We cooked the Lilydale chichen the next day instead of the Woollies chicken and it was still perfectly fresh.

The following day, I used the Woollies thigh fillets to cook a curry and they seemed to be not quite fresh after a mere 2 days.

It was obviously just another Woollies scam of promoting short dated stock as specials instead of markdowns.

Yesterday, I bought some barramundi fillets at Woollies as I had seen them in the catalogue on special and I asked the employee what the use by date was.

Unlike the previous time, they were actually fresh.

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Just yesterday I was charged more than the advertised price at the checkout by Woolworths and after quite a lot of trouble they agreed to charge the lower advertised price.

But I did not get the items free as they’d agreed to as part of being permitted not to price all individual items when the regulations were changed a long time ago. They had made a firm undertaking to do that.

This time they argued with me over what the advertised price was.

I’ll give you a photo and I’m sure you’ll agree with me.

The price of the Gruyere cheese was advertised at 4 for $12. They said it was $9.35. See for yourselves.

They said there was a problem with the fridge so the price was distant from the item. The 4 for $12 tag was actually touching the cheese items and it was closer to them than any other item.

They said when they changed the fridge ( that is put a new one in) they’ll look at changing the way pricing is shown. That should not be my problem as a consumer.

The fact they agreed to charge what I asserted was the advertised price indicated that they understood my point about the advertised price. They should have given me the items free.

It’s always a major argument when the advertised price is not charged at the checkout. I’ve always found it very hard to get the item free. I’ve given up a numerous times in the past. Even times when they’ve fully accepted they’ve charged the wrong price. My example here is a little different because of their problem with their fridge and the positioning of tags. But other times when there’s been no dispute about their charging the wrong price I have not got the item free. Often I’ve simply given up.

I think we should go back to individual pricing of items until our supermarket semi monopolies honour the undertakings they made to relief them of their responsibilities to price all items.

Most people do not check individual items on the docket later - especially when there are a lot of items.
I usually don’t either. But it was pretty obvious to me something was wrong this time because I had relatively few articles.

I think this is a problem that Choice should follow up with supermarkets. They’ve got away with not honoring the undertakings they made for far too long. It sets a precedent for breaking similar undertakings in the future.

I’m sure if Choice suggested if they weren’t prepared to honour their undertakings that Choice would campaign to revert back to individual pricing the supermarkets would soon start readily honouring their undertakings.

I can’t see the 4 for $12 tag. Is it out of the picture? I see a $9.35 tag.

I’ve been caught at one of the big supermarkets where the tag was above the boxed ice creams, but only referred to one flavour (which wasn’t obvious) and I bought one of the dozen non-special varieties. I check carefully now. Same with tags placed over or under a product, I check that this refers to the product in hand - check bar codes most of the time.

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The advertised price is $9.35 and not 4 for $12.

The pricing in supermarkets are on the shelf the product is on (namely the label is front and below the product)…not attached to the shelf above. This is consistent across all supermarkets (Coles, Aldi, IGA etc) and other retailers (Kmart, Big W, Bunnings etc). The only ones which I can recall which are different are clothing stores where clothes hanging on racks, the price is on the hanging bar above the clothing.

If the pricing label was on the shelf above, it would be harder for consumers for a number of reasons:

  • unless one is right in front of the shelf, it would be hard to determine which product on the shelf below the product related to. Being on the shelf containing the product, its potential parallax error is removed.
  • for the top shelf, most consumer would not be able to see the pricing on the shelf above the product (if a shelf above exists) as it would be too high.
  • the top shelf often doesn’t have a capping shelf, meaning the price can’t be attached to the shelf above (this is especially the case in some cleaning products, refrigerated products, fresh fruit and vege etc).

They are right not to offer it free to you as as it appears to be a mistake on your part rather than that of the supermarket. If they gave it to you free, I would complain about every product next time I was in a Woolworths that the pricing above the product was not what can through at the checkout, demanding the product be given to me free.

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