Aussie's 'genius' Coles delivery hack after supermarket's blunder

Brisbane man Stephen Pearson said that thanks to a Coles mistake, he's ended up with 'free delivery'.

A fed-up Coles shopper who said he continually orders his favourite products in bulk online, only to be disappointed when they don't arrive in the requested quantity, has claimed his "frustrating" experience has actually resulted in a handy delivery hack.

Stephen Pearson, from Brisbane, said he repeatedly orders his favourite brand of frozen potatoes from his local Coles supermarket but they rarely ever come in the requested bundles of five.

Pearson said the issue has happened so many times now that he simply expects Coles won't provide the stock, and will refund the cost but he still meets the free delivery criteria with his original order being over $50. This, he said, essentially means he can place any order with the inclusion of the potatoes, to tip the cart over the edge for free delivery, knowing he won't get charged for them.

Queensland man Stephen Pearson in a video explaining his frustration about Coles.
Queensland man Stephen Pearson said he rarely gets his orders in the requested volume, which has resulted in the discovery of a delivery hack. Source: Supplied

Queensland man unveils 'genius' delivery hack

"I started online ordering 10 years ago and loved it then, it was new, so they [Coles] had to impress and be better than the other guys. But [online shopping] today it feels like gambling," Pearson told Yahoo News Australia.

"I live on my own and I only buy for myself and it's $50 minimum at Coles and $75 at Woolworths. Like, what the f**k — that's what you have to put in the cart [for free delivery].

"So one day I wanted to try these potatoes and so I added them, but then nothing when I got my delivery. Then I tried the next day and they weren't in stock again," he said, adding that the occurrence was repeated several times after that.

A TikTok uploaded by Stephen Pearson where he details his Coles delivery hack.
Pearson has accused Coles of intentionally leaving out certain products that he ordered in bulk. Source: TikTok

Shopper claims staffer told him to 'contact supermarket ahead' of bulk ordering

Pearson said he believes there's a Coles staff member at the supermarket "deciding" he doesn't need the requested amount of product, and intentionally leaving them out so there's more for other customers.

He told Yahoo that he once even approached a supermarket employee in person who he claimed told him to "let them know in advance" when he orders in bulk, so they don't run out.

Pearson said every time he orders anything that's "really on special at Coles or Woolworths", the amount he orders never comes.

"So even if I'm ordering a lot, if I go way above the $50 minimum, someone — a human there — makes the decision of 'oh, he probably doesn't need that much', and then it goes to someone else instead of like having a back order system or a rain check online."

In response to Pearson's post about the issue on TikTok, some people branded his hack "genius", while others admitted to a similar process involving different products.

Birds Eye Deli Duck Fat potatoes which Pearson says he tries, and fails, to order.
Pearson said he has attempted a number of times to order these Birds Eye potatoes, but they rarely get sent to him, creating a loophole in which enables him to get free delivery. Source: Coles

Coles is working to improve item availability

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Coles said its the team are looking to improve availability at Pearson's local store.

"It’s great to see our Brisbane customers are such big fans of these duck fat potatoes, and we are going to work with our supplier to improve our availability in this store so customers don’t miss out on their online orders," a spokesperson said.

Range of delivery options from Aussie supermarkets with varying costs

Both Coles and Woolworths offer a number of different ways that customers can order online, with delivery fees varying depending on the preferred option.

Woolworths, for example, offers three main choices. Delivery Now (in two hours or less), Delivery Choice (a subscription-based service) and Basic Delivery, in addition to Milkrun, which is operated by Woolworths.

On the other hand, Coles offers free standard delivery when a customer spends over $250 on a two, four or hour six-hour delivery window. ColesPlus members, a service which Pearson subscribes to, can access free delivery on orders over $50. For non-members, the fee is around the $10 mark in most cases.

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