But amid the struggle for many, one person has been pleasantly surprised after noticing a rather generous detail on their receipt from Coles. It wasn't until after checking out that the person saw their total, which came to $124, had been deducted by $100, leaving only $24 remaining.
What they assumed was a technical glitch — though debate has since erupted online over what truly happened — has apparently occurred to a number of people in recent times.
The shopper posted the receipt anonymously on Facebook and said they're at a loss over what had occurred, but "isn't complaining".
Glitch or generous surprise?
"Did a shop at Coles this morning and noticed it only charged my card $24 and not $124. Looked at the receipt and noticed a $100 discount for Flybuys offer. Anyone know what this is for?" the person asked.
"I haven’t activated anything," they went on, "(I) receive all my offers as points rather than money off of a shop, so seems very random."
People quickly flooded the comments with their own similar experiences.
"I got the same on my Coles online order," one person said. "Couldn't work out why they only took $72 and then found on my receipt 'loyalty discount'. No Flybuys points were deducted either.
"This wasn’t a promotion or an offer, just automatically deducted $100 as a discount bonus."
"Happened to a tonne of people. Think it's a glitch. None of them were owed money for their last four weeks of spending," hypothesised another.
"It used the automatic money instead of points. Something went wrong when activating the offer," another said.
Yahoo News Australia has sought clarity from Coles.
Not the first time Coles extends generous offer
The confusing scenario comes just weeks after Coles customers were urged to check their emails for a "surprise".
Taking to the popular Markdown Addicts Facebook group, one Aussie shopper shared her delight at receiving a $100 Coles gift voucher.
"Check your email from Flybuys guys. Coles sent me this about two weeks ago and I almost [forgot] about it," she wrote. "[I] placed an order just now and it worked. (I believe every code is different)."
The email, which has the subject line "$100 Coles Gift code for you", is being sent out to selected Coles shoppers and Flybuys members.
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