Woolworths and Coles online customers left with 'wasted' food

A Woolworths customer says she has been left with un-useable food after a disappointing grocery delivery.

After placing an online order with the retailer, the customer said she received two $6 pre-made salads with an extremely short used-by date, leaving her with a “complete waste” of food.

“I had an online delivery yesterday and I ordered these two salads,” she wrote on the Woolworths Facebook page alongside a picture of the pre-packaged meals.

“I understand the used-by date wouldn’t be long but come on used by the day I get them on late afternoon? I only noticed today and now both have gone to waste.

“Fresh Food People, I don’t order anything fresh online anymore.”

Woolworths chicken caesar salad kit given to customer.
A Woolies customer says she has been left with un-usable food after a disappointing grocery delivery. Source: Facebook

The customer said that while she did feel sorry for busy Woolworths staff during the Covid lockdowns across the country, it was the second time in two weeks she’d received near expired "fresh food" products.

“Last week it was meat that expired the day after I received my delivery. Lucky I noticed and froze it,” she said.

“I’m trying to do the correct thing and order online like we have been asked and it has backfired. I’ll give Coles a go and if they are a no-go I’ll go back to shopping myself.”

Other customers were quick to respond to the Woolies shopper's Facebook post, saying their experience had been similar.

“They do that with yoghurts, milk, and other refrigerated stuff too,” another customer said.

“They pick the worst things for you. I've had bread delivered expiring in one day. My sister has had meat delivered expiring the same day! They don't care!!” another customer added on seperate post about online deliveries.

Others said Woolworths have use-by date guidelines in place.

“We have a guideline that we have to adhere to. These should be minimum three days expiry,” one person who appeared to work for the supermarket wrote.

“Meant to have at least five days on them my local girls tell me,” explained another.

The three items all set to expire within two days of the shopper's delivery date. Source: Facebook
A Coles shopper said she received an online order with three items all set to expire within two days of her delivery date. Source: Facebook

Coles shoppers struggle with same issue

While some Woolies customers thought switching supermarkets might help, Coles shoppers say they are experiencing the same issue with fresh items.

“Seriously Coles do a click and collect for my weekly shop and you give me stuff that is out of date in 2 days?! Pick up your standards,” one annoyed shopper wrote online this week.

The customer went on to say that like most people right now, she’s doing her bit to stay home during lockdown, abiding by the current restrictions in place.

However, she’s now been left with Brioche buns, pre-packed lettuce, and potatoes that she “magically somehow has to use in two days”.

Woolworths and Coles respond to complaints

Both Coles and Woolworths have admitted they are currently experiencing extremely high levels of online orders given lockdown restrictions in place in NSW, Melbourne, and South Australia.

A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the Coles Customer Service team would follow up with the unhappy customer and pass their feedback on to the store who packed the online order to “reinforce our standards for the inspection and handling of fresh produce”.

Woolworths delivery truck from well-known Australian supermarket chain.
Since New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia went into lockdown, Woolworths and Coles have been inundated with online orders. Source Getty.

“We aim to stock only fresh products, of the highest quality in all of our fresh food departments and it is always of concern to us when our standards are not met,” the Coles spokesperson said.

“We are grateful to customers who take the time to let us know when this happens and offer a full refund or replacement for products that do not meet our customers’ quality expectations.”

Meanwhile, a Woolworths spokesperson said the retailer had been in contact with the dissatisfied customers and will replace and refund any fresh food product that the customers are unhappy with as part of their fresh or free guarantee.

“We have a dedicated team of personal shoppers and drivers, who work hard to deliver thousands of online orders to the highest standard every day,” the Woolworths spokesperson said.

“While our teams work hard to provide a great experience every time, we don't always get it right.

“We appreciate it can be frustrating when we miss the mark and we’ve made contact with the customers to resolve each matter.”

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