Coles customers slam Flybuys promotion rule: 'It is wrong'

Coles shoppers have slammed the supermarket giant over whether the current popular Flybuys promotion which gives away picnicware should continue.

The Coles Flybuys promotion gives customers the opportunity to collect credits and cash them in at a Coles store to redeem free picnicware items.

Taking to Facebook one infuriated customer questioned why the promotion hasn’t been moved online, given the currently escalating Covid-19 situation throughout Australia, particularly in NSW and Victoria.

“Coles should not be running a campaign during a Covid lockdown where customers must go to a Coles Supermarket store to redeem their points,” the concerned shopper wrote on the Coles Facebook page.

“According to the terms and conditions - 3.6 picnicware will only be redeemable in a Coles Supermarket store. Customers cannot redeem their credits for picnicware on Coles Online.

“It is wrong to encourage people to shop in store if they don't have to or feel vulnerable.”

The picnicware on offer at Coles. Source: Coles
The picnicware promotion includes dipping bowls, bowls, serving bowls and plates but they must redeemed in store. Source: Coles

The post divided opinion amongst other shoppers with some saying it was up to the individual to decide to go into a store or not.

“If people choose to shop in store over their own health that is up to them,” one person said.

Others said the popular promotion wouldn’t run out because not as many people are redeeming them.

But the shopper who originally questioned the promotion continued: “​​If people choose to not shop in store then they can't get the picnicware. Surely it wouldn't be that hard for Coles to add this to an online order.”

It was pointed out in the post that Coles staff are already “overloaded” with online orders and moving the promotion online would add to their workload.

“They are overloaded with orders and things as it is. People complain about everything as it is so they would be bombarded with complaints and queries about it when they have more important things to do,” the person said.

Entrance to Coles. Source: Getty Images
Coles customers have complained that they can only pick up their latest giveaway in store. Source: Getty Images

Coles responds to complaints

Victoria and NSW residents are being advised to stay at home under the current public health orders as Covid-19 cases continue spike.

Both states have already extended lockdown periods and curfews in place with NSW today locking greater Sydney down until the end of September.

A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that customers will need to continue redeeming the picnicware range in stores instead of online because of a "technical constraint".

“At this stage, customers are unable to redeem their “picnicware credits” online due to a technical constraint," the spokesperson said.

"Customers can contact our Customer Care team if they have any questions about the new picnicware range and they will endeavour to help in any way possible.”

The promotion is in high demand

The product range is currently flying off shelves nationwide as shoppers cash in their credits.

Some customers have said stock levels in their local stores are starting to dwindle as shoppers eagerly snap up the range.

“Went to my local store, excitedly armed with points but the cupboard was bare,” she said alongside a photo of an almost empty Flybuys display shelf.

Empty shelves of picnicware. Source: Facebook
Customers are concerned the popular picnicware will quickly sell out, just like previous FlyBuys promotions. Source: Facebook

However, a Coles spokesperson reassured customers that stock levels are being replenished across all stores.

“Our latest loyalty program featuring collectables Picnicware has proven to be incredibly popular with customers," the spokesperson said.

"As the range includes low-credit items starting at just 10 credits, we are seeing customers quickly accumulate enough credits to redeem a piece of picnicware during their weekly shop.

"Our stores will receive regular deliveries of picnicware throughout the campaign so customers will have ample opportunity to collect a piece from the set.”

How the picnicware promotion works

Coles customers who are Flybuys members have the opportunity to collect credits per each shop and use these credits to redeem different items in the picnicware range.

For every $20 spent in one translation in store and online, customers will receive one credit when scanning their flybuys card.

Shoppers will need between 10 and 20 credits to redeem items across the range which includes a set of two dipping bowls, a set of two bowls, a set of two plates or two serving bowls.

There are also bonus credits that can be collected on more than 1000 participating brand products.

Flybuys and Everyday Rewards cards
Shoppers must be a Flybuys member to collect and redeem the credits. Source: Getty Images

These include Abbotts Bakery, Head & Shoulders, Colgate, Swisse Vitamins, Fancy Feast Cat Food, Jalna Yoghurt, Blue Ribbon Ice Cream and Dairy Farmers.

The range of picnicware is also available to purchase from Coles stores, while stocks last, starting from $10 for the set of two 10cm dipping bowls.

The supermarket giant is offering customers free plastic reuseable picnicware, which can be redeemed through collecting Flybuys credits.

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