A Coles customer has been left in tears over an ongoing saga to get her groceries delivered while in isolation.
The customer, who is a registered nurse in an emergency room of a Sydney hospital and a mum to two small children, took to Coles Facebook to share her “disbelief” at the supermarket for failing to deliver her essential items while the family was in isolation for 28 day.
“I am writing this with tears running down my face; in pure shock, disbelief and disappointment. I have never felt so let down and helpless in my entire life,” wrote the Sydney nurse.
The distraught mother-of-two, who did not wish to be identified, has been in isolation with her young family since July 28, after her children were exposed to Covid-19 at childcare on two separate occasions.
During this time, the desperate customer said that the Coles Customer Care team left her family “in a vulnerable position” by failing to provide her with an alternative delivery method for the Click and Collect order she had placed three days into isolation.
“Due to our inability to collect the order, I phoned the Coles customer care department, and explained our situation (that we were unable to collect the order due to being in isolation). I asked if it was possible to have the order changed to delivery,” wrote the nurse in her open letter to Coles.
However, when the Sydney nurse phoned Coles she was told that “nothing could be done” and she would have to “change the order and select the closest delivery slot” which meant that her family had to wait almost a week for her essential items including baby formula and nappies.
Woman suggests Coles ‘do better’ for customers
On the second occasion, Coles cancelled the woman’s order three hours before it was due for delivery, sending her a text citing a declined payment as the reason. She was forced to reorder her groceries and book a delivery slot for six days away.
“After receiving that text I called customer service and they said: ‘Sorry, there is absolutely nothing we can do to fix it because once it's been cancelled, it's done, it’s gone, the end,’” the disappointed shopper told Yahoo News Australia.
She suggested that Coles provide better solutions for vulnerable customers, such as giving them the option to make their payment before cancelling the order completely, or offering a priority service for those in isolation.
The nurse acknowledged that she was in a “fortunate position” that meant she could enlist the help of friends and Uber Eats when her Coles order failed to show. However, she said that not everyone was so lucky.
“Some people aren't as lucky as us to have friends locally who can drop necessities over. Some people don’t have the money to spend $50 on Uber Eats to feed their kids,” the concerned customer told Yahoo News Australia.
The woman made it clear she was “not disappointed with the work of Coles workers,” but said it was a failure on the part of the wider corporation.
“It’s just the [supermarket] corporation itself that has systems in place that need adjusting and two years into a pandemic where 80 per cent of Australia are using Coles or Woolies for essential services in food, they should be able to do better.”
Coles offers ‘gesture of goodwill’ to customer
A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that cancelling a customer’s order is absolutely the last thing the supermarket wants to do and not something they do lightly. Especially for vulnerable customers, customers in isolation or customers working on the front line.
The spokesperson said that Coles is pleased to confirm that after speaking with the Customer Experience Manager at length, the customer has received her groceries and a gesture of goodwill from the supermarket.
“We know that for some customers, coming into our stores may not be possible and we are seeing increased demand for Coles Online,” said the spokesperson.
“We are working hard to increase capacity; however, we have unfortunately had to cancel a number of Home Delivery and Click and Collect orders that we have been unable to fulfil.”
“We understand this has caused some frustration and we appreciate our customers’ patience during this time.”
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