Woolworths customers trying to get hold of aerosol deodorants are turning to social media to vent after discovering the common bathroom item has been placed behind lock and key.
The supermarket giant is one of the major retailers around Australia to lock away the items to combat the growing problem of "chroming" – a potentially deadly form of substance abuse that involves inhaling deodorants, solvents and other chemicals.
Chroming has become a worrying problem, especially among the youth in certain cities across the country, with several reports of teen deaths since the trend began.
Social media angst
The move has however sparked a lot of angst among some customers trying to go about a normal shop.
"I'll give you the hot tip, @woolworths, I'm not pressing a button so a staff member can come over and let me get a can of deodorant from the vault," one Twitter user vented in a tweet showing a photo of aerosol deodorants locked behind a glass shelf with a sign reading, "Press button for assistance".
On a separate post on TikTok, a customer expressed frustration – not over the move itself, but rather the lack of customer service at the Queensland Woolworths branch he was at.
The 20-second video, which has been viewed nearly 10,000 times, shows the frustrated TikTok user repeatedly pressing the call button on the glass door.
"I have been pressing this button for at least 15 minutes now. I know because I checked the time," he says in the clip.
While some users were quite sympathetic, both posts have also sparked online debates over Woolworths' move.
"I saw this and thought it was in America. Then realised it's Australia, and am now a bit shocked," one Twitter user said in response to the photo, while another replied, "Sadly Australia has travelled a long way down the road towards becoming 'Little America'."
"I would like to see where they keep the lettuce," another person commented in reference to lettuce prices shooting up in parts of the country over the past few weeks.
"The lettuce is in the big vault out back," came a reply.
"Just order off Amazon at this point, would arrive faster," one user commented on the TikTok post.
"Maybe try roll-on lol," another commented.
"Imagine needing assistance to access deodorant," said another.
While users with knowledge of the chroming issue jumped in to defend the move, others agreed that the new regulation is a cause of frustration.
"It's time-consuming to stand around and wait for staff members to be available and come and unlock a cabinet when you can just pick it up elsewhere, without this process. This isn't going to solve anything. People that want it for that will just buy elsewhere," one woman opined in response to the Twitter post.
"Maybe they can employ staff to be waiting there so no one has to wait," another person suggested.
"If it's like a checkout, you'll be 10 deep before they open another 1," someone else added.
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