It was a similar story with other customers who shared their experiences in social media posts.
‘Totally angry. Went in to Lara Coles to pickup the container I have earned and there was NONE,’ he wrote. ‘The offer doesn't end till next week but they have run out and none ordered in. This is not the first time that these campaigns have run short (those stupid plastic fake food things for example) so there's NO EXCUSE this time.
‘I WALKED OUT AND SPENT $170 IN WOOLWORTHS INSTEAD. You have let down your customers once too often. This one, anyway.’
Said another shopper: ‘How am I suppose to redeem my container credits when my local Coles has no containers! There is still weeks left of the promotion.’
Added one more: ‘I went today too and wasn’t impressed. I’ll have a look around to see if I can find a store with stock so that I can claim.’
In an embarrassing gaff, Coles replied to one disappointed customer on Facebook that the promotion had ended on June 2 and forwarded on the link to the promotion’s Terms & Conditions - only to be accurately informed by the disgruntled shopper that the close date, as stated in the T&Cs, was in fact July 2.
After apologising for the ‘miscommunication’, the Coles staff promised to try and track down more containers for the annoyed shopper.
But while some shoppers stuck up for Coles pointing out that the T&Cs says ‘while stocks last’, others thought it wasn’t good enough.
‘There is a justifiable customer expectation that sufficient stocks will be available for a marketing campaign,’ said one.