Money Consumer Coles backflips on its self-service trolley ban ‘trial’

Coles backflips on its self-service trolley ban ‘trial’

Coles has once again backflipped on a new policy decision. Photo: AAP
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Coles’ decision to ban trolleys from some of its self-service checkouts has proved short-lived in the face of an extensive consumer backlash.

The company’s latest backflip came only a day after it announced it was trialling a “baskets-only” policy.

The trial was intended to tackle congestion and offer “convenience and efficiency” at self-service checkouts. It ran at only about 20 unnamed stores across the country.

However, a Coles spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday that the trial had ended.

“To improve service to customers and ease congestion, we ran a trial to limit trolleys in assisted checkout area in a very small number of stores, which has now ended,” she said.

“We’ve listened to our customers and will continue to allow shoppers to bring trolleys and baskets in our assisted checkouts.”

The trolley ban was first reported on Wednesday morning after customers took to social media to vent their anger.

Many blamed congestion at assisted checkouts on problems with self-serve machines (for example, failing to correctly recognise the weight of a product) and hassle with reusable bags.

Others said they chose self-service to avoid long waits in queues at understaffed full-service checkouts.

“Perhaps there should be no customers, with Coles taking away staff and now trolleys,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Maybe they could make sure that all the empty checkouts are staffed, then we won’t be forced to take trolleys through to serve ourselves,” another said.

It’s the latest in a string of backdowns for Coles, which also sparked customer anger with its repeated changes of policy on single-use plastic bags – handing out replacements for free, then deciding to charge for them, then making them temporarily free again.


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