Woolworths online - misleading advertising?

Trivial but annoying… I recently ordered “online only Special” on Swisse Ultiboost Magnesium Tablets 2 for $22 from Woolworths online. Fwiw link to the product page description is posted below but may not last long.

I was charged $22 but only received 1. I complained in Woolworths online chat and was informed that the banner “2 for $22…” in the ad was actually a link which I needed to click in order to get the special.

Not realising this, I had simply pressed “Add to cart” beneath the ad and this meant I was only getting 1 - at the same price!

There may be customers who would elect to receive only 1 instead of 2 at the same price but how likely is that?. The requirement to press a separate area inside the ad was not clear and I was totally misled. In addition I found the online service representative unhelpful and dismissive which I must say is unusual with Woolworths.

Obviously I will know next time to press the banner/link and not “Add to cart” but for first time users the layout seems more than a little misleading.

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I wonder if you only got 1 because it is showing ‘out of stock’ on their website.

It does seem a little odd if it is advertised on the page of purchase that the offer is 1 for 2. I can’t tell if this is the case as the page has been updated.

If you have a screenshot, I would be writing to them asking for a $11 refund. $11 being for the one not received.

If you don’t have a screenshot, use this one if it was similar:

Clicking on the link for this other product, it doesn’t offer an more than what is show on the original page.


@phb, thanks. Good to hear I’m not the only one who finds it odd.
Fortunately I do have a screenshot taken at the time I posted and it shows the banner/link just like the one on your image without any ‘Out of stock’ note so it’s been changed very recently. The unhelpful person in the chat session was clear that my error was in pressing the wrong link not stock shortages.

Anyway I have posted a complaint on the Woollies feedback form which I generally find gets a favourable response.


FWIW. Fuming but what can you do?
Response to feedback I sent to Woolworths below.

The link in my original post now displays what I saw before ordering. The ‘Out of stock’ message has disappeared.

Woolworths think there was nothing misleading about their presentation and I should have checked the order and realised I was only getting 1 for $22 and not 2.

From: New Shop Online newshoponline@woolworths.com.au

Date: 6 October 2022 at 4:23:01 pm AEDT
To: [my email]
Subject: Re: New feedback form submission Customer Service or Store Experience from [my email, name and phone number]
Reply-To: newshoponline@woolworths.com.au

Dear [my name],

Thank you for taking the time to contact Woolworths Online.

We are sorry to read that you feel you may have been mislead with the online special on Swisse Ultiboost Magnesium 60 Tablets that was advertised at 2 for $22.

Upon inspection of the ad where we did a pretend shop online, it was noted that when we entered quantity as 1 and added to cart the price was $22. However, when we clicked on quantity as 2, the special price applied 2 for $22. This was a detail that you may have missed upon checking out.

Please note that before payment was submitted, you would have been given a chance to review your cart and make any amendments if needed.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Should you have any further queries please simply respond to this email.

At Woolworths, we like to listen and learn from our customers to ensure we are continuously improving. If you have been selected to complete a survey today, please note this will be based on our interaction and any feedback is appreciated.

Thank you for shopping with Woolworths Online.

If you have any further questions please visit our Help and Support page to view our FAQs.

Kind regards,

Customer Service Representative
Woolworths Online

Your privacy is important to us. Please view our Privacy Policy for more information.


I can see why they possibly have approached it that way, so customers who only want one don’t end up with two causing unused product turning into waste.

But, it would be good if they made it clear this is what you needed to do.

A clearer solution would be have two options to select when adding the purchase to the cart. The first being option to buy 1 at $22 and a second buy 2 at $22. This means a consumer would select whether they accept the offer or not… rather than having to know that 2 items in the cart means you accept the offer and not you have purchased 2 offers (4 containers in total).

I would go back to them with this and see what they say.


I am in agreement it should be clear online, but they play the same ‘game’ in-store. Colesworths among others have 2 for $ in various forms and formats, some have obvious stickers on the included packs and sometimes not. Buy one and pay full price.

A common special is prominently displayed showing 2 for $15 but when reading closely it is $9.50 for one. Not as bad as the OP’s 1 or 2 for $22, but.

Whether Woolies or any other grocer is pricing to reduce food waste is an entertaining thought when the proliferation of ‘2 for’ pricing seems to be increasingly pervasive. I punt it is about volume, moving stock, and their own quantity discounts.


Yes, it is a ‘game’, if that’s the right word for deliberate exploitation of consumer psychology. At first I thought it was just clumsy design. With online 2 for 1 deals in my experience, normally 1 click gets you one special offer with 2 items. Woollies could do this by adding 2 items when you click “Add to cart”. Only a minority are likely to want only 1 item and being aware of that, could simply subtract 1.

I was in fact misled into paying double, but the response was not an apology and a refund, but an attempt to justify the method. It would be interesting to know how many customers get tricked the same way.

Most people probably know by now the way they’ll sell larger sizes of a product at a higher price per unit weight/volume/etc than smaller ones. So at first a lot of people will just assume larger will be cheaper and pay more. But the retailer hasn’t tried to mislead them, oh no, all you have to do is check the quoted price per whatever on each sticker. There’s probably a whole science to this: how to boost sales by taking advantage of naïve consumer assumptions.


I just got an email from Woolworths saying the full price of $22 has been refunded! Ten minutes after I emailed them a reply to their response posted above.
Must be coincidence I guess, but bizarre sequence. Thanks for the comments and support. It’s really helpful not to feel like a voice in the wilderness.


Congratulations and well done… and for being persistent. Woollies have done the right thing in the end.

I suspect that there are other consumers which have found the same issue with similar ‘specials’…but have been reluctant to speak out thinking that their actions caused the issue, not Woolworths unclear/confusing website. Hopefully your contact with them provides feedback used to improve their website for all consumers in the future. A good business takes on such feedback and are willing to continually improve their customers experiences.