Woolworths employees reveal they ignore common customer request: 'Most annoying'

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·News Reporter
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A Woolworths worker has revealed she gives online customers substitute items even when they include a note to request "no substitutions" in their orders.

"When I get notes about subbing but they haven't actually turned it off..." a post by the employee reads, followed by an image of an online order showing a note: "Strictly NO SUBSTITUTIONS" but with the "substitute" button clearly ticked.

Facebook post showing Woolworths employee's finger pressing
A Woolworths worker admitted she disregards requests for no substitute items if a customer's online order settings allow substitutions. Source: Facebook

Woolworths staffers air grievances

The employee's Facebook post, which was published in an unofficial Woolworths workers group, kicked off a string of comments from fellow Woolies staff who chimed in with what they really think of customer requests for no subbing.

"The one that annoys me the most is when they leave 'DO NOT SUBSTITUTE!' on all their items but they already have subs turned off??" one employee remarked.

"Clearly had time to write a note but all they had to do was untick the box... Guess who will be getting a sub," wrote another.

Some Woolworths employees revealed other pet peeves from online shoppers related to the initial faux pas.

"If the notes are in caps the customer is yelling at me so no," one worker commented.

"Don't know why anyone would say no, you usually get better stuff," a Woolies employee commented on the post, while another wrote, "sis, you get what you get, do your own shopping if you don't like it".

Hand holding a smartphone camera in front of grocery shelves, with sign that reads
Woolworths employees have shared their pet peeves about online grocery shoppers. Source: Getty Images

Growing need for substitute items

Substitution or "subbing" has been going on since the early years of online shopping in Australia, but supermarkets in the country were forced to implement this policy more frequently during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic due to staffing and distribution issues.

Woolworths and other supermarkets like Coles have a policy to substitute out-of-stock items ordered online with "a suitable alternative of equal or higher value" at no extra cost.

However, Woolworths promises on its website that if no appropriate substitute is available when an item is out of stock, it will refund customers for the item and adjust the final order total accordingly.

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