Coles customer baffled by supermarket's 'insane' used-by date rule

A Darwin woman is reeling after discovering the retailer's little-known rule.

A confused shopper has aired her frustration with Coles after she was denied the opportunity to buy flowers from the supermarket because they'd passed their use-by date.

Posting her gripe online, the Darwin woman recounted trying to purchase bunches of lilies that had been marked down to half price, only for a cashier to tell her; "I am sorry, I can't sell you these."

Coles flowers
One Reddit user remarked that the price tag on the Coles flowers should have read 'no sale' instead of 'quick sale'. Source: Getty & Reddit

Taken aback, the customer questioned why she couldn't buy the flowers, to which the Coles employee reportedly explained that staff aren't allowed to sell the items once their use-by date has passed. A store manager also confirmed the policy.

Perplexed, the shopper shared that she "didn't know whether to laugh or cry" over the policy, which she described as "insane, just insane" and suggested the regulation would only make sense if she wanted to eat the plants.

Several people on social media agreed, with one commenting that it was "such a waste" to throw the flowers away rather than allow customers to take them home.

Free flowers

The incident comes as a surprise, as another shopper recently made waves by revealing she scored three bunches of blooms for free from her local Coles store because they were all out of date. She did, however, clarify that staff only gave her the flowers on the condition she not complain about their quality.

"They would let me have them free only if I agreed not to come back and complain if they die as they're past date," the woman shared on Facebook. "As if I would go back and complain for getting FREE flowers, but this has happened to them before."

Coles responds

Speaking to Yahoo News, a spokesperson for Coles confirmed that the company's policy is to remove any flowers that are out of date.

"Any fresh flowers remaining on shelves after the Best Before date should be removed and either disposed of in our green waste or donated to SecondBite," the spokesperson said.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.