Coles customers have expressed fury over a change to the way the supermarket accepts payments for online orders.
Shoppers have claimed the change has left them unable to afford their weekly groceries, as the system now removes money from their account for an entire order, even if some products are unavailable.
Previously, customers would not have been charged for items if they weren’t able to be delivered, whereas now, they face waiting several days to be refunded for unavailable goods.
The original process was what one shopper said set Coles apart from its competition, as it allowed her to shop for her family a week in advance without getting charged until the order was packed and ready.
“In households that live week-to-week means you don’t have the money to pay for your following week’s shop a week earlier,” they wrote in a post to the supermarket’s Facebook page.
The shopper said she had been buying groceries from Coles for eight years and was “very disappointed” at the change.
She was far from alone, with others sharing similar sentiments in other posts to the supermarket’s page.
“Just a bit disappointed that you will be changing the payment system with your online purchasing,” another said, arguing the previous system was far more convenient.
“Some people like to order ahead of time to get either their delivery or collection slots knowing they would have the money in their accounts by then,” they wrote.
“Now you are going to change it and take [the money] straight away and no doubt every time we change our order, and then refunds have a wait time of 24 to 48 hours.”
A third person was similarly peeved, saying the change was “not going to make things easier for your customers”.
“Pre-authorisation isn't helping anyone budget. What a crock. I think I'll be going back to Woolies now.”
Coles said the new process brought the supermarket in line with other Australian retailers.
“Coles Online routinely assesses its capabilities in processing payments and has determined recently, like many other Australian online retailers, to change the way it processes payments for orders placed on Coles Online,” a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
“Pre-authorisation will make it easier for customers to keep track of their budget as the estimated order value will be temporarily held as a pending transaction until the order is picked by our team members for delivery and the final payment processed.
“The additional verification step will also mean that customers will be notified immediately if their order cannot be processed due to an issue with their chosen payment method.”
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