Coles has faced harsh criticism from customers who have found themselves waiting days for their own money to be refunded to them after being charged twice for online orders.
In July, Coles changed the way it processes payments by introducing pre-authorisation for online orders, similar to the way hotels may take a small deposit in advance that is then refunded to customers.
The transaction is finally processed when the order is picked and fulfilled for delivery, and the pre-authorised payment is refunded back to the customer.
Last month, customers were outraged as they found the pre-authorised funds took days to be released back to shoppers.
Now, some are still experiencing the same issue – but Coles is pointing the finger at NAB bank as the only financial institution that takes up to 10 days to release the funds, where others release it within 24 hours.
On Wednesday, one shopper said she was “pretty disappointed” in Coles for charging her $260 for her order, and then a further $280 on top after she amended her order with additional groceries worth $20.
“I can’t believe that you can’t just charge the extra $20 instead of expecting your customers to pay twice then wait for a refund!!” the customer wrote on Facebook.
“Especially in our current circumstances many people would not be in a position to come up with an extra $280.”
She said the experience was “super frustrating” and said it was a “cautionary tale” to others using Coles’ Click and Collect.
“Will be sticking with Woolworths in future I think!”
A fellow commenter warned that she could be waiting up to 10 days for funds to be released.
“We are still waiting for our money from last thursday!! [sic] its honestly a f****** joke!!” they said.
“They don’t care that customers are out of pocket for almost 2 f****** weeks.”
One shopper, Julia Matthews, started a Change.org petition to have Coles revert back to the old method of payment.
“During this current economy and World Crisis, people need money and food. This ‘new payment processing’ system does not help your customers Cole [sic],” Matthews wrote in the petition.
“CHANGE YOUR SYSTEM COLES! Please sign so no other family has to endure financial stress due to this system.”
A Coles spokesperson said customers were charged only for the available goods they order, and that the customer’s bank should release the pre-authorised amount.
“While most banks have processes in place to accurately release funds and ensure pending funds are returned within 24 to 48 hours, we have been made aware that some payment methods take longer including NAB Visa Debit customers who may have to wait up to eight days,” the spokesperson said.
“We acknowledge this is a stressful time for customers and we are working closely with financial institutions to improve this experience.”
Yahoo Finance has reached out to NAB for comment.
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