Woolworths Online

I’ve had two online orders from Woolworths cancelled recently by Woolworths for security reasons. They have done this last minute so it is too late to recover the slot. In both cases the payment was successful and they refunded. I don’t understand why they had security issues. The card I used was in my name registered at the delivery address.

The issue caused me to question one particular online shopping practice that is peculiar to Australia. In Europe the credit card will be charged on dispatch. In Australia a card is charged on placement. I would have thought that, under contract law, the contract is made when payment is taken so I would have thought I gained extra rights when they take payment. In this case, where Woolworths have negligently cancelled my order I think they are in breach of contract and might be liable to refund extra costs that I incur in getting the order from elsewhere. What do people think?


Would be interested to hear from others in the Community who use this service.

In the past, my experience has been that items would randomly be added or disappear from the order. In some cases, this might be a substitution, which is not the worst thing, but often it was just outright picking errors. I tend to just visit the store these days.


@BrendanMays Online shopping penetration in Australia is pretty low by global standards but it will catch up so Australian supermarkets will have to get with the programme. Shopping in bricks & mortar stores is not really the future.

To be honest, picking errors and out of stock are annoying but are not unusually. Last minute cancellation of an order for no reason is negligent and very unusual so could be regarded as a breach of contract imho.


Considering the typical standard of the web sites operating here where they often don’t bother responding to email or their own web forms, don’t worry about accuracy and so on ( then we have those many off shore e-commerce sites pretending to operate here but that respond to emails and web forms to try looking ‘here’), I am not so sure they will get with any program except minimal investment and ever more spin to pretend they look good.

One just need compare ‘our’ web sites with their same-company counterparts in the US.


@PhilT It will come. Just a bit slower than US & Europe.


I hereby introduce the NBN into the equation and agree with you, location dependent in all cases.

… buffering …



@PhilT I agree that nbn is definitely a factor but it is not the only factor. Economies of scale & geography make home shopping penetration more economic in Europe & US. Consumer regulation in EU (distance selling regulations) has protected consumers much better than in Oz so take-up has been easier.


The online purchases would come under the terms and conditions of sale or using their website for purchases. I haven’t used Woolworths online to see if one specifically has to agree to these terms and conditions or it is implied through purchasing on their website. Assuming that one has agreed to the T&Cs, wither at the time of purchaee or when setting uo an online account with Woolworths, the following terms and conditions relate to cancellations by Woolworths…

7. Minimum and maximum amounts in each Order
7.4. If we reasonably believe you are placing multiple orders, whether under the same or different registration details, for the purposes of circumventing the order limits, all such Orders may be cancelled by us without notice to you.

12. Fraud and risk assessment
12.1. We have processes in place to assist in detecting transactions that may be illegal or in breach of these terms. We may contact you by telephone or email to confirm your payment and information details. If we are unable to confirm these details, we may cancel your Order. If you are unsure whether the person contacting you is from Woolworths, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 1800 000 610 or email shoponline@woolworths.com.au.

14. Cancelling an Order
14.1. We may cancel any Order or part of an Order including any Orders that we have accepted) without any liability to you for that cancellation at any time if:
(a) the requested Products in that Order are not available; or

(b) there is an error in the price or the product description posted on the Site in relation to the relevant Product in that Order; or

© that Order has been placed in breach of these terms and conditions.

14.2. If we cancel an Order in accordance with:
(a) clause 14.1(a) or 14.1(b) (where product is unavailable or there is a pricing or product description error): we will provide you with reasonable notice of that cancellation, and will not charge you for the cancelled Order. If any payment has been taken for the cancelled Order, then the full payment amount, including any Delivery Fee, Bag Fee, Crate Service Fee or other fees and charges, will be refunded to your original payment method or through an alternative means.

(b) if your Order is cancelled under clause 14.1©, or where you are in breach of these terms and conditions, we will provide you with reasonable notice of that cancellation. If your Order is cancelled before the day of delivery or collection, depending on the payment method used, we will either not charge you, or if we have taken payment for the Order at the checkout then we will refund the full amount paid, including any Delivery Fee, Bag Fee, Crate Service Fee, and other fees and charges, to your original payment method or through an alternative means. If your Order is cancelled on the day of delivery or collection, provided we are not also in breach of these terms and conditions, then we may charge you a cancellation fee of the lesser of $20 or the value of the payments made and will refund you any excess amount to your original payment method or through an alternative means.

Payment methods
16.3. If we are unable to successfully process your payment for your Order that is accepted by us, then we may notify you of dishonour and cancel your Order.

22. Suspension of account
22.1. We reserve the right to refuse service, terminate accounts and/or remove or edit content if we, acting reasonably, deem that you have acted in breach of these terms and conditions or have used the Site in a fraudulent or improper manner. Woolworths also reserves the right to otherwise cancel Orders in accordance with clause 13.

I wonder if another issue which might cause issues is using a VPN and ordering. The IP address of the VPN may indicate that the purchase has been made from a foreign source, which may be usual for something like groceries…unless the groceries are a gift from someone living 9verseas or one is ordering groceries immediately prior to returning to Australia so they arrive soon after arrival.

Anyway, there are a number of reasons why Woolworths would cancel an order.

Have you tried contacting Woolworths directly to find out the exact reason behind the cancellation of the order…rather than trying to guess what may have caused the cancellation?

It is also worth finding out if it was the result of Woolworths action that the order was cancelled, as a result of your action or another party (e.g. credit card company on processing of the order). Once you know why, you will be able to than take necessary action to prevent a reoccurrence.


I expect this is done to ensure that the order doesn’t progress further until payment is received. If payment is on despatch, Woolworths may have already assigned stock to that particular order declining opportunity for other customers to order the same stock, may have started preparing the order which does cost a supermarket money or the customer may not have sufficient funds on the credit card to allow payment and delivery to continue.

I have no issue with payment time used in Australia as it may benefit both the company and the customer.


In Europe the card is authorised on order but just not taken until dispatch. My point is that this actually might protect the retailer because it delays the point of contract execution (the retailer is only liable for breach of contract when money has changed hands).


Coles online store doesn’t charge your card until the order is filled, so you pay for what you get, and it’s easy to modify or cancel your order without the card being charged. One of a number of reasons why I choose to do my weekly order with Coles rather than Woolies. I have shopped regularly with Woolies in the past but have never had an order cancelled.


Woolworths changed this from October last year, so now they don’t charge cards until the order is picked.

It only applies if delivery or pick up is within 7 days of placing the order

when orders placed on the website and not the app

A pending/authorisation charge will show at the checkout

If an order has any out of stock items or weight range products supplied below the maximum weight, the card will be charged at the reduced amount instead of providing a refund.

No more than the total shown at checkout will be charged

More info can be found here: https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/discover/shopping-online/online-pricing-payment


@backflip I was aware of this change but I don’t think it means that the card is charged after picking. The last two times that they’ve cancelled my order last minute they billed the card first. Also with variable weight items they bill and then refund. Can’t remember what they did before.


Card processing is described at clause 16. It is as clear as ? since in 16.4 ‘For other payment methods we may … charge you the full amount at the checkout and refund you for any out of stock items or weight ranged products supplied below the maximum weight at the time we pick your Order.’


I think you’ve got one of those hologram Star Trek vision for the virtual future.
If I may not only beg to differ but Id also like to raise the bar that not only Bricks & Mortar are the way it will always be, but savvy consumers will be seeking out small regional retails and farmers markets where-ever possible, and taking matters into their own hands, filling in their ghastly pools and re-educating themselves to farming the suburbs again.

But in fairness, the more people online shopping and out of our streets & roads the better for me!!.

Well maybe Australia will remain as a bricks and mortar anomaly in the global retail economy. Somehow I doubt it

I Also expect a changed future looking at how our grown up off-spring choose to manage their time. As well as online groceries, Uber Eats is another technology driven brain child/snap?

How long before Coles and Woolies, to offset raw food sales, slide into home delivered hot and cold meals?
Would you like some paper napkins, or red wine with that order? We’ve noticed your smart loo is nearly out of toilet paper, we can deliver some more at the same time. Please select from the following options! :worried:

It’s little more than 2 decades between the death of vinyl and dominance of digital delivery of music. Marketing convenience wins?

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At the risk of sounding like a Coles advertising person, I must say that although I haven’t tried Woolworths, the Coles online shopping is excellent!

I’m actually very anti Coles and Woolworths due to their lack of ethics and poor treatment of staff and suppliers, BUT insofar as online grocery shopping they have proven to be excellent. The Coles interface is efficient, flexible and I now shop online every week. I initially was reluctant to use it due to the mountain of plastic bags it produced, but now they deliver in crates with minimal plastic bags.

I have opted to go without any products they have run out of as some of the replacement products were not to my liking - but you can let them provide substitutes if you wish. Their system remembers what you have bought before, which speeds things up. I choose the same time slot every week as it only costs $4.00 to deliver, which is cheaper than driving (and cheaper than Woolworths), and overall I’m very pleased with shopping this way. Every once in a while I go to the shop personally to buy those things which are not suited to online shopping.


Likewise, overall I find Coles online to be better. I find Woolworth’s idea of charging for bag free delivery to be totally abhorrent. I also have a Coles Mastercard so always get free delivery with Coles. Coles do often not get it right either though so I’d rather have Woolworths as an option. There are also a few things we buy regularly (cos kids like them) that are Woolworths own brand. I used to live in the UK. Oh how I miss Ocado!!!


Another benefit of Coles (and Woolworths may be the same) is that once you choose the delivery window, they then narrow that down to around an hour so that you don’t need to hang around for the full 8 hour time slot. They also email you prior to delivery telling you of any items they weren’t able to supply. I do think they’ve done exceptionally well on this aspect of their business.

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