'Ridiculous': Woman's fury over disappointing Aldi alcohol dispute

Aldi has come under fire for reportedly refusing a customer alcohol even though she produced a form of identification she says is accepted under government rules.

The 26-year-old shopper, originally from Italy, was trying to buy some beer after working a 10-hour shift on Tuesday when a cashier refused to serve her.

She argued that in her four years in Australia, she had never been refused alcohol or told that her Italian driver’s licence wouldn’t be accepted.

“I’m 26 so I know I can look under 25, but not 17. From what I knew and from what I understand from the NSW official website, any driver licence, also from a foreign country, can be accepted,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

A woman passes an Aldi entrance.
Aldi refused a woman beer despite her claim to have legitimate identification. Source: Getty Images

Liquor and Gaming NSW states a driver’s licence or permit issued by an Australian state or territory, or any foreign country, were “accepted proof of age documents”.

The customer said that even after speaking with the manager and presenting the state government’s website displaying the rules, she was still refused.

“I talked to the manager and he said they only accept passports. It doesn’t really make much sense to me,” she wrote.

“I genuinely would like to understand if different venues have different rules.”

Woman stumped by Aldi’s alcohol sale rules

In response to a comment on her post, the woman added that the manager told her they didn’t accept foreign driver’s licences because they were sometimes hard to understand.

She added she was particularly stumped because hers was not damaged and apart from the words “driver licence”, which was printed in Italian, the information about her date of birth was apparently clear.

The fact staff were being “overly rude” about the situation only added to her frustration, she said, explaining that her foreign licence hadn’t even expired yet.

Many people slammed Aldi for its conduct, labelling its refusal of service outdated and “ridiculous”.

Beers on a shelf in Aldi store.
The shopper wanted to pick up some beer (not pictured) after a 10-hour shift. Source: Getty Images

ALDI’s retail alcohol policy

Some people came to the defence of the supermarket, arguing it would be difficult for staff to tell if foreign licences were legitimate given how vastly different they were.

When contacted by Yahoo News Australia, Aldi fell short of detailing its nationwide policy, but instead said refusal to sell alcohol came down to the discretion of employees.

“As a responsible retailer, Aldi Australia supports and adheres to all regulations for the purchase of alcohol including Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA),” a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

A woman - not the one pictured - has had an unpleasant encounter after shopping for alcohol at Aldi. Source: Getty, file image
A woman - not the one pictured - has had an unpleasant encounter after shopping for alcohol at Aldi. Source: Getty, file image

“Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 and for a person under the age of 18 to purchase or receive alcohol.

“There are severe consequences for breaching laws and policies set in place by the Australian government involving the sale of alcohol. It is at the discretion of the person serving to decline the sale should they have any doubts or concerns.”

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