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Annoyed by Coles or Woolworths? Now’s your chance to do something about it

Customers are being encouraged to share instances where they believe they've been “confused or misled” by the supermarkets.

Coles and Woolworths customers are being urged to share whether they think they are being ripped off at the checkout, ahead of the consumer watchdog’s investigation into supermarket pricing practices.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a public appeal for supermarket customers to share information about how they shop and what they have experienced, including anything they think has been “confusing or misleading”.

Customers have been flocking to social media to vent their frustrations over high supermarket prices.

Coles and Woolworths customers
The ACCC has issued a public appeal for Coles, Woolworths and other supermarket customers to share their experiences. (Source: AAP)

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One Aussie dad recently went viral after sharing his shock at paying nearly $200 for a small trolly of groceries at Coles, while another shared their shock at Woolworths charging $16.90 for two organic red capsicums.


Others have voiced their concerns about the supermarket giants misleading them on discounts, after they’ve lifted a “special” price tag only to find things don’t add up. Coles recently apologised to “ripped-off” customers after it incorrectly increased some if its “locked” prices.


The consumer watchdog is also calling for submissions from farmers, wholesalers, retailers and other interested parties.

“We know that consumers and suppliers alike have a range of concerns about Australia’s major supermarkets, and this is their chance to have their say,” ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said.

“We will be using our legal powers to compulsorily obtain data and documents from the supermarkets themselves, but consultation with consumers and grocery-sector participants is an important first step in our inquiry.”

How you can have your say

Customers are being asked to complete an anonymous 10-15 minute survey on the ACCC’s website about the supermarkets.

“We want to hear from you about how you choose where to buy your groceries, and which products you buy. We also want to hear about any particular concerns that have arisen for consumers in relation to supermarkets,” the ACCC said.

This includes times customers have spotted what they think are “confusing or misleading” practices, including “was/now” pricing or “shrinkflation”.

“Was/now” pricing can be deceptive if a supermarket claims to offer a discount on a certain product but it has actually increased the product’s price briefly before the sale.

“Shrinkflation” is where the size of a product is reduced while its price remains the same, or sometimes goes up.

Grocery supply chain participants and other interested parties can make submissions via the ACCC’s consultation hub. Both the survey and submissions close on April 2, 2024.

What investigations are happening?

The ACCC is conducting a 12-month inquiry into Australia’s supermarket sector, as directed by the federal government. The last time the ACCC conducted a comprehensive inquiry into the grocery sector was in 2008.

This probe is in addition to the federal senate inquiry into supermarket prices, along with a review of the food and grocery code of conduct.

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