Coles customers fume over 'ridiculous' call wait times

Coles is facing the wrath of customers who are growing increasingly frustrated over the extensive holds on their Customer Care phone line.

Hordes of angry shoppers have taken to the Coles Facebook page to voice their irritation at the supermarket giant after waiting on hold for extended periods, in some cases for up to three hours.

“Trying to contact your online orders by phone because our order won't go through and the wait time is 2.5 hours... really?” wrote one customer on the Coles Facebook page.

Another customer wrote: “I need my address updated manually via customer care to be able to complete an online order,” alongside a screenshot of their 2 hour and 40 minute call time.

“Nearly 3 hours wait time to speak to someone is ridiculous. I am still waiting. And this isn’t the first phone call,” she added.

Two screenshots show customers' lengthy waiting times while phoning Coles.
Coles customers have complained about being stuck on hold with the retailer, at times for almost three hours. Source: Facebook

Coles customers going for 'hold world record'

Other customers were more light-hearted in their posts to the Coles page, like the shoppers who joked about challenging one-another for winning a “world record” for being on hold.

“I am contending for second place,” wrote one commentator, while others joked that “you’ve got to laugh or you’ll cry” after facing hours’ long waiting times, missing deliveries and having their orders cancelled altogether.

Although the jury’s still out as to who is the true winner of the Coles on-hold challenge, the longest wait on the Facebook page was one customer who waited over three hours and one minute to speak to the supermarket after they failed to deliver her $500 online order.

“And not happy as they didn’t deliver my groceries but still took the $500 out of my account,” wrote the disappointed shopper.

Coles advises customers to email or text for support

A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that amidst the current lockdowns across the country, the supermarket is handling an influx of online orders and customer queries.

“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 Coles spokesperson.

“We’ve learnt a lot through previous lockdowns and have moved quickly to increase Coles Online capacity, with additional drivers and shoppers on board to help us pack and deliver groceries to customers,” said the spokesperson.

Coles store front. Source: Getty Images
Coles has said they are doing their best to accommodate drastically-increased demand. Source: Getty Images

“We are also offering delivery through third parties.

“Our Customer Care team is working hard to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours and we appreciate our customers’ patience during this time.”

The Coles spokesperson advised that any customers with concerns or issues contact their support centre via email them via a form on their website or text them on 0429 989 656 (including your full name, email address and order ID) to avoid long waiting times.

Coles store slammed as a 'dump' during lockdown

As Victoria and NSW went back into lockdown in recent weeks and supermarkets, like Coles, were named “essential” to the public, it’s clear that the added demand has taken its toll on our supermarkets.

A concerned shopper recently took to social media to label a Coles store in Victoria Gardens, Richmond as “a dump” for what they saw as a lack of in-store cleanliness.

The customer posted a five-second video to the Coles Facebook page, which shows collapsed cardboard boxes, plastic scraps, scrunched plastic bags on the floor and stock boxes stacked near the fridges of the freezer aisle.

A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that Victoria’s Covid lockdown likely had a part to play in the mess captured in the shopper’s video.

“With Victoria in lockdown, we’ve seen increased demand for groceries as more people cook at home, so our team members are working extremely hard to ensure we maintain well stocked shelves,” said the spokesperson.

“This is often done in the evenings or overnight to have minimal impact on customers."

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