'Total joke': Coles mocked over online order mishap

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Coles has been ridiculed over an embarrassing online order mishap that left shoppers labelling the supermarket a "total joke".

Emma, who opted only to share her first name, on Sunday shared the retailer's shortcoming to Facebook after receiving an email stating she was to receive mandarins in place of two brown onions she ordered online. 

While Emma was able to see the humour in the situation, she was dumbfounded at how two radically different items would have been considered appropriately similar. 

"Would I be able to get an explanation of how this substitute is even a remotely equivalent product?" her post read. 

The outside of a Coles supermarket.
Coles has been ridiculed over an embarrassing online order fail. Source: Getty

"Ordered two brown onions and have been sent a mandarin instead."

Emma acknowledged she was aware having an item swapped out for something else was a very real possibility when placing an online order. 

"I understand that when an item is not available, an equivalent product may be substituted in its place at no extra cost, but I just don't see how a mandarin could be seen as a suitable substitute for onions," she wrote.

Others agreed with her, saying they couldn't help but laugh at the perplexing situation. 

"I'm sorry I laughed. Coles is a total joke. A mandarin! I'm sorry this is happening to you," someone wrote in response to her post. 

Emma conceded that she too giggled at how wrong Coles had got her online order, but still couldn't fathom the mishap.

An email from Coles stating the woman's brown onions would be swapped out for one mandarin.
Shoppers could not understand why mandarins were considered appropriate substitutions for brown onions. Source: Facebook

"It's fine, I laughed too. I just don't understand how either their system or someone on staff sees this as a suitable substitution. Surely other types of onion would be a closer match," she replied.

Another reply suggested that pickers should have considered substituting the brown onions for pre-chopped onions or even frozen onions.

"What if you had wanted to use the onions to make a pasta sauce, and them replacing it with a mandarin. You ain't gonna put a mandarin in as part of your pasta sauce," they wrote. 

Personal shopper 'did their best'

A Coles employee commented on the post claiming the customer's "personal shopper would have done their best to find you the next closest product to the one you ordered".

They added how they were "sorry to hear" about her "poor experience" and said she could return the mandarins to a Coles store for them to be swapped over. 

A Coles delivery truck driving up a street.
The woman ended up receiving the onions in her Coles delivery. Source: AAP

Another woman responded expressing her doubt that Coles had truly tried its hardest to get her order right.

"Coles did their best? Ummm ... nope," she wrote. 

Someone else pressed the supermarket further on "how an onion is close to a citrus fruit".

Coles did not respond to Yahoo News Australia's request for comment. 

Baffling twist after woman placed order

In a baffling plot twist, Emma revealed to Yahoo News Australia that when the order arrived, it actually came with the brown onions she ordered and no mandarins, leaving her "so confused".

"I was fully expecting to have a mandarin in the bags somewhere. But nope, ended up getting what I ordered," she said.

The order arrived a few hours after she received an email about the substitution and her subsequent post to Coles' Facebook page. 

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