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'Really disappointed': Aldi shopper outraged over trolley gripe

An annoyed shopper has taken aim at Aldi over a common trolley issue she described as "really disappointing".

Adriana Verdino became infuriated after doing her grocery shopping at the Aldi store at the Rhodes Waterside centre in Sydney's inner west on Tuesday.

After using a coin-operated Aldi trolley to load her groceries into her car, she ran into a frustrating issue while trying to reclaim her coin.

Aldi trolleys at the Rhodes Waterside location are coin operated. Source: Google Maps
Aldi trolleys at the Rhodes Waterside location are coin operated. Source: Google Maps

"I spent 10 or so minutes walking around the carport looking for a release lock for the Aldi trolley, then another 10 or 15 minutes getting up in the lift and returning the actual trolley to the store and returning to my car," she told Yahoo News Australia.

The additional time it took her to get back to the store to clip her trolley into a chain that released her $2 coin, she had overstayed the two-hour free parking limit at the centre.

Ms Verdino said the coin actually belonged to her friend who she had met for lunch before going to Aldi, and was disappointed she didn't get a chance to return it to her.

"I wanted to do the right thing and give her the $2 back. I know it's not that much money, but it's the principle of the matter," she said.

'Not part of their business model'

Following the ordeal, she took to social media to blast the supermarket, claiming she had been told by centre management that Aldi used coin operated trolleys because it didn't want to pay for trolley collectors.

"The lady I spoke to advised me that Aldi refused to pay for trolley collectors as it's not part of their business model," Ms Verdino said.

Aldi trolleys at the Rhodes store in Sydney. Source: Google Maps
An Aldi customer has complained about the trolley return system at the Rhodes lstore. Source: Google Maps

"We are relatively young but imagine the old people that have mobility issues. Either they should supply proper bays in the car park or remove their coin operation machines from the trolleys."

In a post to the Aldi Facebook page, Ms Verdino speculated the supermarket was trying to "rip off" customers by making it hard for them to get their trolley coins back.

"So basically not only is Aldi tight, but they also hope that customers are too lazy to return trolleys, and they want to rip them off too by collecting the coins from their trolleys," she wrote.

In response to her complaint, an Aldi employee said there were Aldi trolley return bays in the Rhodes Waterside car park but agreed an investigation was required into why there were chain availability issues.

Plans to 'undertake a review'

"We have followed up with the team at Rhodes Waterside who have confirmed that there are trolley return bays for ALDI trolleys in the car park. They will be undertaking a review to ensure all the chains are functional. We apologise for any inconvenience caused," they wrote in a comment.

Ms Verdino replied, claiming that out of the four trolley bays in the car park, none had a release chain attached.

"It needs to be rectified for less mobile people," she told Yahoo News Australia.

Aldi told Yahoo News Australia coin-operated trolleys were used to help prevent them being dumped.

"The ALDI trolley token system is a key preventative measure against trolleys being dumped in backstreets, waterways and public areas. As a result, we find almost all of our trolleys are returned to our stores," a spokesperson said.

"By incentivising customers to return their own trolleys, we save money on trolley retrieval services and pass those savings on to customers in the form of our low prices. It’s part of our Good Different operating model."

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