Aug 26, 2021

“I am writing this with tears running down my face”: Nurse’s distress after Coles cancels online orders twice

Nurse’s distress after Coles cancels online orders twice

An emergency nurse has written to Coles in tears after the supermarket chain cancelled her grocery orders twice, leaving her “vulnerable” and without food for days while stuck at home with her two young children after they were exposed to COVID-19.

“I am writing this with tears running down my face; in pure shock, disbelief and disappointment,” the mother wrote in a message to Coles on Facebook.

The registered nurse, who works in a busy emergency department in metropolitan Sydney, has two children, aged one and five. They have been stuck at home in isolation for 24 days.

On July 28, the woman’s daughter was exposed to a positive COVID case at her childcare centre, and the whole family went into 14 days of isolation. 

Two weeks later on August 12, both children returned to childcare, but the following day the mother was notified her son was exposed to COVID, “plunging us back into another 14 days of home isolation,” the nurse wrote.

 The woman first placed a ‘click and collect’ order, but due to the fact they were unable to collect the order while in isolation, they phoned the Coles’ customer service department and asked if it was possible to have the order changed to home delivery. 

But the customer service department told her “nothing could be done” and she would have to change the order to home delivery. However, the closest delivery order was six days away, leaving the family without groceries for a week.

The second incident occurred halfway through the second isolation period, when payment failed three hours before the delivery was due and the nurse received a text message informing her the order had been cancelled.

As soon as she received the text, the nurse called customer service and explained the situation and asked if she could pay over the phone so that the groceries could be delivered.

The nurse called the store where the order had been placed, but they couldn’t see the order either. 

Coles left the family in a “vulnerable” position, the nurse said.

She then called customer service in tears, hoping they could offer a solution “because our fridge was empty.”

But once again, “without hesitation” and without even an “empathetic tone of voice”, the customer service team told her she would have to place the order again, which meant being without food for another six days.

“I don’t even know what to say,” the nurse wrote on Facebook.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have all been through a lot.

“I have personally been effected [sic] in so many ways…

“I have had both of my children exposed to positive Covid cases (which is so scary),

“I have lost my step-mum to suicide earlier this year,

“I have not been able to support my dad though [sic] this loss due to lockdowns,

“I have nursed Covid positive patients and

“I have spent 24 days in isolation so far.  

“I suppose, this is just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“And all I can really say is,

“Do better Coles.”

She signed the letter “your former loyal customer.”

Coles responded on Facebook with what appeared to be a standard letter.

“Thanks for getting in touch. We’re very sorry to hear of this poor experience with our Coles Online service .. We’ve shared this with our Coles Online Team so … we can aim to provide a better service moving forward.”

A Coles spokesperson told 7News the supermarket’s team are working hard to meet the increased demand for home delivery orders.

“We are working hard to increase capacity. However, we have unfortunately had to cancel a number of Home Delivery and Click & Collect orders that we have been unable to fulfil.

7News said cancelling a customer’s order is usually a last resort for Coles.

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  1. Why do you cancel the home delivery. What reason? Your company introduced this scheme ,you are obligated to fulfil your promise . Surely you can do better than this.

  2. I have just had Coles cancelling my order due to technical issues. Disabled and no dinner. No offer to fulfill their promise. Same standard replies. Westmead store should be ashamed and we should not be forced to only use one store.

    1. that happened other week but still waiting to have my funds realised. first was told 3 to 5 days then it got to 10 days but here a $20 online credit for you. but I used last my pay to order the groceries which payment in the pending part still.

  3. 7 News are FOS, Coles are FOS, we just had order cancelled firstly due to insufficient funds (we had plenty of money and told them so), then changed their mind and said processing error….they just cancel if they can’t be bothered (former Coles worker). Terrible business that price gouges.


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