I’m not the shopper in our household, but yesterday and last week, I was needed to get a few items from my local Coles supermarket. In the second half of last year, I worked in the IT team at Coles, and I could see Coles starting to turn their image around, and it was working. I couldn’t fault them. Getting out at the checkout was so much quicker than waiting 20 minutes at Aldi – which because of that, we no longer shop at Aldi, which I used to shop their so often, I got the nickname of “Aldi Boy”, considering I’m writing this post on a computer I purchased from Aldi, and I have two other laptops from them.
However, the last two times I went to Coles to get a 5 or so item’s, I have been extremely dissatisfied. The first time, I waited 5 minutes to be served to get their $10 Chicken, and in the end, I just got sick of waiting, and then I spent another 5 minutes at the checkout while a tortoise scanned and packed the items. Usually I would change isles, but everyone had a queue. In the past, if the person in customer service area (right next to the checkout I was at) is not serving anyone, and can see someone with 1 or 2 item’s, they take you to the front and serve you. No, this time, there was a lady ensuring all the pamphlets looked neat on the desk, and trying to look busy because she didn’t really have anything to do. Then again when half the staff are school kids, you’d expect that.
Nevertheless, I thought my bad experience there was a one off thing. All the other times I go to Coles just to by a couple of items, I’m in and out in no time, and don’t have to wait for anyone at the checkout.
But no, it happened the very next visit. When I went there today to specifically get three items (I live walking distance away from Coles, so it’s no hassle) – A2 Full Cream Milk, Yoghurt, and a cooked chicken, I walked out empty handed.
The guy said that chickens would be 5-10 minutes, so I’d thought I’d wait, get the Milk and Yoghurt, and walk around. When I discovered that the Milk I wanted wasn’t on the shelves, I proceeded to the Yogurt, only to find they’ve been sitting on the shelf for a while, considering the use by date.
So I came home empty handed, failing to get 100% of the items on my list. I could understand not having a chicken ready as they need to be cooked, but Milk and Yoghurt, that is just unacceptable. I could have gotten the Yogurt, but I didn’t want to waste my time in the checkout for one item, and the checkouts looked pretty busy. So I just left. I’m surprised someone didn’t tap me on the shoulders and ask for me to empty my pockets when I walked out empty handed.
Seriously, get your act together Coles
I’m still shocked that I couldn’t get Milk or Chicken. I loved Coles, their 5 year turn around plan was working after being purchased by Wesfarmers (Bunning’s) and having all new directors in. I was out of the shop instantly with their 1+2= a queue rule, I could get what I wanted, and there is always a basket. But my last two experiences there was disgraceful, and when I walked out, the basket I put back made it the last one there.
Looking at passed receipts, the store manager has changed since I was working at Coles, so what ever he is doing, he is running the place down, and forcing me to write about my negative experiences.
So come on Coles, get your act together.
Oh, and while I’m at it, with your recent TV ads “If you find it cheaper at Woolworths, Coles, or IGA, we’ll double your refund”, I find it amusing that all the products advertised were Coles branded, apart from the Gravox gravy. What’s the point of that advertisement when you can’t find Coles branded items in Woolworths or IGA? Update: It can be a product of any brand. Eg Coles Potato’s vs Woolworths Potato’s. See here for more information.
Nevertheless, I really like Coles, but this is not how a customer should feel, and I suspect, walking out of Coles empty handed is a rare occurrence.
Update: Down Down, Prices Go Up on Coles Choc Chip Biscuits. Read about it on Google Plus.