Coles supermarket has come under fire over a new $1.50 charge affecting millions of customers.
On May 18, the retail giant started charging the $1.50 flat fee to Coles Online customers for bags to hold their home delivery groceries.
The $1.50 fee is charged per order and covers the total amount of bags needed to hold a customer’s items – no matter how big or small the order is.
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Woolworths also charges a flat fee of $2 per order for bags with all home delivery orders.
With Coles’ recycled paper bags costing 25 cents each, some shoppers have pointed out that the new charge disadvantages those who place smaller orders.
Sharing on Facebook, one angry pensioner said the charge is “totally unfair” to “singles” and the “elderly”.
“Why is there a flat rate of $1.50 for my online home delivery order,” she said.
“I shop weekly and average three bags. Previously with the plastic bags I was charged per bag. Why can you not do this for the paper bags?
“You are ripping off all those who have smaller shops, usually singles or elderly. I am not happy to be charged more for less. Go back to charging per bag!
“Today three bags and all cereal boxes loose. Appalling!”
The customer added: “It is totally unfair to charge a flat rate of $1.50 on home delivery orders. I believe the paper bags are 25c each so you should be charging per bag used.
“My average shop is three to four bags and that’s what you should be charging.
“I don’t believe I, a pensioner, should be subsidising every one else with larger families and far more groceries than me. Yep just me!”
Other customers have also taken to social media to speak out against the new charge.
“Is it no longer possible to opt for no bags with delivery, or is this just your way of getting another $1.50 off customers?” asked one.
Another said: “Why is there a $1.50 charge for one paper bag on online orders?”
A third added: “Coles, COVID is over – why can’t you go back to delivery to kitchen bench?”
A Coles spokesperson has defended the fee, and says the supermarket is trialling an alternate home delivery “Swap-a-box’ option for some customers.
“We recently made the decision to provide customers with 100% recycled paper bags as an alternative to soft plastic bags. For a flat fee of $1.50 customers will get their groceries delivered to their home or boot regardless of how many bags they require,” the spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
“Our transition to paper bags by the end of June in-store and online shows our commitment to reduce problematic packaging at the checkout, and will remove 230 million plastic bags from circulation in 1 year. The 100% recycled paper bags can be recycled kerbside and hold up to six kilos of groceries.
“In order to reduce the use of plastic bags Coles is also trialling a new initiative called Swap-a-box in selected states that allows customers to use a reusable box when making Click&Collect orders. There is a bag-free option for Click&Collect customers where a team member packs the items directly into the customer’s boot.”