Coles accused of 'ripping off' shoppers with price tag tactic: 'Load of rubbish'

An angry shopper has accused Coles of "false advertising" after noticing a price discrepancy on a sales price tag.

The Melbourne man was perusing the aisles of Coles Cardinia Lakes in Pakenham on Sunday when he spotted the suspicious tag.

"Would just like to point out your ridiculous false advertising I just came across," wrote the man in a scathing post on the Coles Facebook page.

Coles customer exposes price error on price tag
An angry shopper has accused Coles of false advertising after noticing a surprising detail on a sales price tag. Source: Facebook

'Absolute load of rubbish'

A red "Down Down" sales tag on a two-pack of Sunrice Wholegrain Brown Rice Cups caught the man's eye while shopping at the Coles store.

The tag, which had been taped over the top of a regular price tag, advertised the rice cup pack for $3, down from $3.50.

As a regular consumer of the Sunrice cups, the man suspected something was amiss and decided to take a look beneath at the regular price.

Coles shopper exist supermarket with plastic bag
The Coles customer's suspicions were correct, as the price shown beneath was lower than the sales price. Source: Getty

The man's suspicions were correct, as the price shown beneath was lower than the "discounted" price on the sales tag.

"Was $3.50 – absolute load of rubbish, this has been $2.50 since I can remember," explained the man.

True enough, the price beneath the sales tag was $2.50, or $1 per 100g.

Cost of living crisis

The disgruntled man pointed out that many shoppers are grappling with the rising cost of living, including a 5.3 per cent increase in grocery prices in the June quarter.

"Some people are struggling in the current climate of the world and you ripping people off even the slimmest of margins doesn't help!" he wrote.

He concluded his furious rant by urging the supermarket to "be better".

Coles vows to investigate

A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that the supermarket was disappointed to hear the customer had issues with the shelf price and vowed to follow it up with the Store Manager.

"All Coles Supermarkets apply 'Our Promise on Price Scanning' to ensure confidence in the pricing accuracy at our registers," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson explained that if a single item scans at a higher price than the advertised or ticketed shelf price for that item, Coles will give the customer that item free.

"Our Promise on Price Scanning goes above and beyond the requirements of the Australian Consumer Law, which requires businesses to refund the difference between any overcharged amount and the correct price of the item."

Ongoing issue

This isn't the first time Coles has been accused of dodgy sales tactics by customers.

In January, several shoppers slammed the supermarket after noticing the "Special" price listed on some yellow tags was the same as the usual price hidden underneath on white tags.

One shopper spotted a "misleading" tag on gluten free tacos, while a second noticed the same thing on tortilla chips and a third on bottles of tomato sauce.

Coles customer shows error on specials tag in supermarket
Coles customers previously found a 'Special' price that was the same as the regular price on the shelf. Source: Facebook

At the time, a Coles spokesperson attributed the discrepancies to "genuine human error" due to the stress and heavy workload supermarket employees faced during the Omicron outbreak.

Yahoo News has sought comment from Coles on the new price tag complaint.

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