Coles shoppers divided over women's 'pathetic' label complaint

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

A fierce debate has broken out after a Coles shopper aired her frustration over a seemingly menial labelling mishap.

The Queensland customer took aim at the supermarket on Tuesday, arguing that placement of a discount barcode sticker could have unfairly disadvantage someone with arthritis.

Sharing an image of the back of a product to the retailer’s Facebook page, she complained that “staff should not be covering up important information”.

In the photo, a sticker had been placed partially over the existing barcode and recycling information on the back of a Coles branded Tasmanian salmon pack.

The pack of salmon. Source: Facebook
The woman was unimpressed with where the reduced sticker was attached to this pack of salmon. Source: Facebook

The woman called on the retailer to “please train” staff not to put stickers in such a location, but it seemed she was alone in her strong opinion.

More than 50 people questioned her position, alluding to the fact that other vital information like allergens and ingredients were still visible, and the sticker was not difficult to peel off.

“There is a lot of important information on the back of that product, I think it would be impossible to place the mark down sticker and not cover at least all or part of some information,” one person replied.

Another who pointed out the simplicity of removing the sticker received a hasty response from the original poster, who argued that “not everyone has the dexterity” required for such a task.

The shopper argued the sticker, which was placed over the barcode so the product would scan through at a cheaper price, should have been stuck to the front of the pack.

By doing so however, some people pointed out that would increase the likelihood of the pack being scanned at its original price.

The sticker over the recycling labelling. Source: Facebook
The shopper argued the sticker should not have covered the recycling labelling. Source: Facebook

One woman, who said she worked with the retailer for 30 years, said reduced stickers were supposed to be placed over the barcode, and sticking them elsewhere would be against store policy.

“If they weren’t trained it would be somewhere stupid that makes no sense like the front and not over the original barcode,” someone else wrote in a reply.

A Coles spokesperson responded in a comment to the original poster saying they were “disappointed” about her unhappy experience.

Multiple people rushed to defend the retailer, saying staff were not to blame for the woman’s misunderstanding of the supermarket’s policy.

Coles says the sticker could have been ‘easily removed’

A Coles spokesperson confirmed the reduced sticker had been correctly placed over the existing barcode.

“We know our customers love good value so when a product is near its Best Before date we often mark it down so it can be enjoyed for a cheaper price, instead of being wasted,” the spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

“On some smaller packages it can be hard for our team members to place the markdown barcode over the existing barcode, which appears to have occurred in this instance.

“The health and safety of our customers is our priority, which is why we prioritise displaying the ingredients and allergen information.

“We do acknowledge that the environment is important to us and our customers, so helpfully the yellow barcode can be easily removed once the product has been consumed so customers have the information they need to dispose of the packaging.”

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