Self-isolating Coles customer forced to wait 5 days after delivery fail

A Coles customer in self-isolation has lashed out at the retailer after her online order delivery "disappeared" and no refund was offered.

Talking to Yahoo News Australia the shopper, who asked for her name not to be used, says it’s taken the supermarket giant five days to get in touch with her, following numerous attempts to locate her $82 missing order.

The shopper, who lives alone, says she was self-isolating awaiting her Covid test results when she placed her order and was unable to leave her home.

“I’ve been left with no groceries and no refund. I was just lucky that some kind friends went shopping for me and left some food at my doorstep," she said.

“I’ve actually reported Coles to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“I honestly worry about vulnerable customers who may have had the same issue as me and were left without food and the last of their money!”

Coles supermarket sign at Brandon Park shopping centre.
The shopper who was self-isolating says she received three different scenarios from Coles staff about what happened to her order. Source: Getty Images

After not receiving her order, the shopper said she tried to contact the supermarket via phone, email, private Facebook messages, their public Facebook page and text message. However, had no luck resolving the issue.

Complaints to Coles go unanswered

Explaining her ordeal on the supermarket’s Facebook page, the shopper said she initially, phoned the store’s Customer Care centre after her order went missing, but received mixed messages about what had happened to it.

“I ordered groceries tonight for delivery between 1pm to 7pm. I’m self-isolating. It’s now 7:15pm. The order hasn’t shown up. I check online and the order states it’s been cancelled,” she wrote after her order didn’t arrive.

“I called your Call Centre... I’m told the order is fine. I then advise it’s clearly not as it’s late and the website states it’s been cancelled. He then checks and confirms yes, it is indeed cancelled.”

The driver was then contacted and the shopper is asked to call back in an hour.

After waiting and calling back, the customer was informed by another staff member that she had signed for the order - but she hadn’t.

Screenshot of texts (left) and of a phone on a call (right).
Following several contact attempts and several long wait times on hold, the shopper finally received a response five days after her order was meant to be delivered. Source: Supplied/Faceook

“I have no food in my house. I cannot leave my house to get food in case I do have Covid. And I can’t order Uber eats as you’ve taken all of my food money and delivered all these lovely invisible groceries," she said, sarcastically.

The shopper then spent over three hours trying to get answers via phone and continued to receive different scenarios about what happened to her order.

One Coles staff member indicated she had been refunded for her order, however, the refund date was the date before her order was made.

“She then backtracked and said she’ll refund me now and it will take five days. I advise she can also organise for the groceries to be delivered free of charge as compensation ASAP,” the shopper said.

“She advised she can arrange delivery Sunday but not for free and will not refund me.

“I ask to speak to a manager and she advised there is no manager.”

Overwhelmed, frustrated, and without a resolution, the shopper says she then hung up.

Other customers hit out at Coles too

After posting about her experience, other shoppers couldn't believe what she had gone through to get her order.

“Not ok Coles. These things can always be fixed and this only escalated because of the complete lack of customer service you received when trying to resolve the matter. Something you would think a large company like Coles would have down pat,” one person said of her situation.

Meanwhile, others said they'd had experienced similar issues with the store's online order and delivery system.

Signage for a Coles Group supermarket is seen in Brisbane, Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Supermarket giant Coles posted an 8.1 per cent increase in revenue sales in the second half of 2020, aided by increased online sales in Victoria.(AAP Image/Jono Searle) NO ARCHIVING
Signage for a Coles Group supermarket is seen in Brisbane, Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Supermarket giant Coles posted an 8.1 per cent increase in revenue sales in the second half of 2020, aided by increased online sales in Victoria.(AAP Image/Jono Searle) NO ARCHIVING

“They’re actually so useless! I modified my order a couple of times before the cut off and each time I did, they took the money from my card again for the full order, and on the 4th time my card declined,” another shopper said.

“So they cancelled the order and refused to give me my groceries even though they could have used the $600+ they had already taken as a prepayment.”

Coles finally responds

Now five days later, and after several attempts to resolve the issue, the supermarket has gotten in touch via Facebook.

“We’re sorry for the unintended delay in response,” the message reads.

“We’re disappointed to hear you’ve encountered issues with our Coles online service as it is intended to make life that little bit easier for our valued customers. We’ll follow this up with our online team. We’ll be in touch.”

​​A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia they had contacted the customer.

“Our team been in touch with the customer to resolve the issue,” the spokesperson said.

The shopper has since confirmed that she has been contacted by a manager at Coles.

"She has assured me the refund was only just processed yesterday, so will take another 2-5 working days to land into my account," the shopper said.

She has also been offered an $80 credit to her online account.

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