Shopping Trolley Damaged My Car at Chadstone SC - Photos Attached

This happened on Saturday, 23rd Feb around 10:30 pm. A lady left a trolley unattended and after 2 minutes, it started rolling, picking up speed and leaving a deep dent on the side of my 1 week old, new car, while I was reversing into the spot :'(. The damage will cost between $500-$1000 to fix- I was wondering what options are available? Edit - I think there's a slim chance of identifying the lady and getting the retailers to take responsibility but I just wanted to get some opinions from you all.

Chadstone has kindly provided the images below, which captured the careless customer. However, it is difficult to determine which retailer did the trolley belong to, Coles or Woolworths? Please complete Poll as I am thinking to contact the most likely retailer to warn them of this hazard.

All advises are appreciated! Thank you all in advance.

Update Sat 2nd: I've sent a complaint via Coles and Woolworths website cause I think I should report my incident. I recieved the low quality images above from Chadstone, and have requested for the full video. I can't seem to draw the incident well w overlapping arrows but here is my attempt: Probably best to wait for the video, if they provide it.
I will not go through insurance as it should cost less to fix than to pay an excess and risk higher premiums. Ordered a couple of dent removal items off ebay <$50 and will try fixing it ourselves first- wish me luck XP. Will update again in a week. Thanks for all the responses.
ps. I have been driving for almost 12 years and have never been in an accident that I was at fault. I only had one dent fixed on my old car because another reversed into it- traded in for 10k when I got this new one. I believe that even if I did notice the trolley, I still wouldn't be able to get out of its way in a safe manner, but I will keep all your comments in mind when parking next time. Reasons for a new car is cause it comes with 7 years warranty, roadside assistance and capped servicing. I am not a car person and I know I cannot fix my car if anything goes wrong- including changing a flat tyre lol. I prefer having the peace of mind when driving a new car as it shouldn't have any technical problems within the warranty period.

Update Mon 4th: I heard back from the retailers and confirmed it is possible to lodge an incident report/claim with their Customer Care Team. For others in a similar situation, please report the incident to the store and then you need to contact their team ie. Coles on 1800 061 562 or Woolworths on 1800 069 470. Provide the date/time, location, brand/product details (if a product was involved), description of incident, description of injuries/damages and your contact details via email, fax or letter from yourself. They will then do an assessment of liability and respond whether they will cover your losses.

Happy shopping/parking everyone!

Poll Options expired

  • 87
  • 15

Related Stores

Chadstone The Fashion Capital
Chadstone The Fashion Capital


  • that car park is closest to woolworths but in the second image it looks like it has a redish handle indcating its a coles trolley

    • +2

      Looks like Big W trolley with a blue handle bar.

      • +3

        Agree - last photo shows tinge of blue - however there is no BigW @ chaddy.

        • Any near by? Sometimes trolleys are mixed. I've seen it happen.

          All the best OP!

        • +8

          I think the blue you are seeing is just the edge tinge from the LED lights shining on the trolley by the OP's car.

  • +15

    Aw your poor car! And it was so shiny too!

    (Though how do you not know which store the trolley came from? You were there right?)

    Anyways, your options:

    1. Track down the lady and make her pay;
    2. Claim with your insurance;
    3. Cry poor to the shop and hope they'll give you a hand-out (but keep in mind I don't think they're obliged to do anything in this case*).

    *Because the trolley seems to have been unattended for only a short while before it hit your car (otherwise it would've already rolled and come to a rest in some corner), and the retailer can't reasonably be expected to retrieve all wayward trolleys on such a frequent basis.

    • +2

      Thanks for your response.
      Yeah its frustrating but I'll probably will contact them both at least to warn them of the hazard.

      • +5

        I think I understand what you're going through and can somewhat relate.
        A complete random and stupid thing has caused damage to your brand new car.
        Ideally, the person responsible should be paying for the damage.
        But since that is virtually impossible, you're trying to do the next best thing you can.
        Your post read as though you're planning to claim compensation from Coles/Woolies.
        But you certainly don't seem like the kind of person that would even consider that.
        You just want to do something, anything at all, at least to prevent this kind of random stupid thing happening again.

        Hope both Coles and Woolies will give you a reassuring feeling that they value your feedback and will look into ways to improve.
        Hope your insurance will have your car fixed up quickly, maybe even track down that careless lady and make her pay for the damage.

      • +12

        I'll probably will contact them both at least to warn them of the hazard.

        Why exactly? It's definitely a known hazard, not something new, and one of the reasons there are trolley parks and signs in the car park stating they take no liability for any damage to your vehicle if you choose to park there. Nothing to do with the retailers if a member of public does something stupid.

        • -8

          A known hazard that goes under radar. Shopping trolleys are a hazard and no one reporting the hazard means they do not need to make it safer, apply breaks and prevent incidence like these occurring. The public taking it as normal is actually saving money for the retailers.

          • +3


            saving money for the retailers.

            Instead of increasing costs that they then pass on to customers? You haven't thought this through. But hey, you're entitled to report it as you please, just don't expect anything to happen.

          • @Jodudu: Not sure why all the downvotes..

            Known risk sure, but the number of occasions to which something material occurs should be reported and measured

            If this happened every day, and therefore there was a risk of personal injury it could be argued there is negligence regardless of any terms of the carpark

            • -4

              @digitalbargain: most laws are based on “ reasonable person” test ….. trolleys hitting cars happens more often than people think, as do car doors when person in next car opens door … it’s just that usually the damage is so minor people don’t notice.

              the action of the lady caused the damage, and retailers take reasonable steps to collect trolleys and they provide areas where people are supposed to leave trolleys when finished.

              as i said to owner of a new audi when my door touched his car “ part of urban living, get them to provide bigger spaces or park elsewhere”.

      • +1

        This sucks for you no doubt
        but its not coles or woolworths fault.
        Ofcourse they will know if a trolley is left on a slope it can roll.
        The person who put the trolley there you should be trying to track.
        Also trolley could be Target/Fruit shop, there more than 2 places with trolleys. not that it matter really anyway

  • +2

    You can ask Coles or Woolies, who knows they might give you a used ITunes card but your best bet to fix it yourself or via insurance.

  • +3

    Why not warn them both? It is just as likely to happen to any of their trolleys.

    • Thanks, that's what I am going to do.

    • +1

      Neither owed OP a duty of care…

      No duty of care =/= no compensation

      • +2

        Neither owed OP a duty of care…


        No duty of care =/= no compensation

        If you meant "No duty of care == no compensation" then I also agree.

        I don't think OP is seeking any compensation from Coles/Woolies.
        I think OP simply want to voice their opinion and feedback that more can be done to prevent such accidents.

  • +17

    Please complete Poll as I am thinking to contact the most likely retailer to warn them of this hazard.

    What hazard? That a trolley with wheels can roll down a slope?

    • -2

      Exactly. If it wasn't may car but a person or even a child?

      • +32

        Lol, what do you expect them to do about it?

        They provide trolley bays for people to leave their trolleys once they are done with it.

        If someone deliberately pushes a trolley into someone's car or child, would either Coles or Woolworths still be responsible?

        • -24

          Yeah same shit as someone spilled or pissed all over the floor

          then someone slipped on it breaking the neck

          would either Coles or Woolworths still be responsible?


          • +12


            would either Coles or Woolworths still be responsible?


            So if someone bought milk from Coles, dropped the bottle in the car park, and I slipped on the milk, it is Coles' fault?

            • +47

              @ozhunter: Of course not, the farmer would be to blame.

              • +2

                @JIMB0: Damn farmers. They should put more money into non-droppable bottles instead of unnecessary stuff like feed/water for the cows or wages that they will just waste on food/clothes/power/family needs……

              • +6

                @JIMB0: I'm fairly certain the cow is to blame, in this instance.

          • +3

            @phunkydude: Not the same - even your example isn't correct. Those cases also take into account how soon after the spill the accident happens, whether the store should reasonably have cleaned it up during that time, and then if doing so would've prevented the accident.

            For example, if someone spilled something on the floor and a second later someone slips and breaks their neck? Basically no liability on the store.

            Same thing applies here - it seems the trolley started rolling very soon, if not immediately, after being left there by the woman. It was either on a slope enough to start it rolling or not, I don't think the ground shifted. So I'm going to say the store will have very limited liability, because they can't be expected to have someone retrieving trolleys all the time.

            • -1

              @HighAndDry: Fair enough to factor in the response time.

              Trolley collector guy has a job to do but not expecting him to respond immediately.

              • @phunkydude: To be completely fair though, if this is a very common occurrence, it's not completely unthinkable for them to eventually have some liability if there's overwhelming evidence.

      • Accidents can and do happen. Safety measures are taken against events that are most likely to happen. What you are describing here (people getting hit and injured by trolleys) is an extremely rare event. I'm not even sure if anybody has ever been seriously injured by a shopping trolley before.

        Your claim is that it makes sense to install brakes on every single shopping trolley as it is a safety hazard. This is likely to cause millions and millions of dollars, of course paid for by everyone through their grocery bill. This is a clear and stupid waste of money. I'd rather take those millions and use it to feed the poor or something.

    • +1

      People are hazards of course..

    • yep, park in a safer spot and take some responsibility …..i avoid parking behind cars with tow bars , next to 4wd due to the size of their doors ….life is all about risk management and convenience trade off.

  • +13

    to warn them of this hazard

    Wouldn't they already be aware of such things? Doesn't everyone know that things with wheels can roll down inclines and hit other things? I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve by warning them - they're certainly not going to pay for the damage, since that seems down the negligence of the lady who left the trolley unattended.

    • -3

      All companies should have a complaints and hazard report system - say if the trolleys are similar to the ones at the airport where you need to release a break or like they usually have the coin system, it will prevent customers leaving it unattended and minimise the chance of this occuring.

      • +3

        Okay, but surely you can forsee that they're not going to add brakes to their entire trolley fleet just from this incident?

        • -3

          If there is enough complaints and incident reports, they have to take action I would think. I have decided that I should contact both Coles and Woolworths. Thanks

          • @Jodudu: I'm not sure what kind of action they could take short of stopping people from taking trolleys out to the carpark completely - and then what would happen to say, elderly shoppers, disabled shoppers, pregnant women, families with kids and a tonne of shopping, etc?

            • -2

              @HighAndDry: I was hoping that if more people will lodge an incident report, they will have to modify the trolleys to prevent them from rolling. The trolleys sometime require another person to hold it in place while another unload the shopping. It is a known issue and everyone accept it as normal? I think if they all have breaks like airport trolleys, it would be more convenient and safer.

              • +3

                @Jodudu: You're talking about possibly millions of of the one model of shopping trolley used by Woolies or Coles nationally. You have good intentions but unfortunately this particular outcome is highly unlikely.

                As an aside: airport trolleys warrant the extra features because they both tend to carry far heavier loads (lots of luggage), because they raise a lot more revenue (near-extortionate trolley hire fees), and because an airport is a far busier and dangerous place.

                • @HighAndDry: How often and how long do people go shopping in comparison to airport? Risk is high even if danger is low. Shopping centers and supermarkets are busy as well. If we do not start bringing attention to it, why would they even consider this expense?

                  • +1


                    Risk is high even if danger is low.

                    Sure, but that's why actuaries exist. To simplify it (probably past the point of usefulness), expected value is probability x consequence. A high probability of something minor happening is usually a smaller issue than a very low probability of something catastrophic happening.

                    Plus, your case is a very rare one, because:

                    1. Inside malls and shops, the ground is level - most outdoor carparks are also level, this only occurs in areas where there's enough of a slope to cause a trolley to roll.

                    2. Most people will at least be considerate enough to leave their trolleys somewhere where it won't roll, because it's usually obvious when a trolley starts rolling immediately.

                    3. If the first two are satisfied, the risk only lasts as long as the trolley comes to a rest so the risk only lasts as long as the travel time of the trolley.

                    Add all three together, and the probability itself is also low, and the biggest consequence is a dent or bruise.

                    I'm sorry OP - I feel for you and your car, but trolleys rolling into cars in carparks isn't a new or unknown issue. If I was a betting man, I'd be there've been likely dozens of OH&S and insurance risk reports conducted by supermarkets and insurance companies which all come to the same conclusion: The risk isn't enough to warrant doing anything.

                  • @Jodudu: I've passed around half of the CT exams required for becoming an actuary (did them when I was at uni) and your statement is completely incorrect and meaningless.

                    Risk is high even if danger is low.

                    Your use of the words "risk" and "danger" are meaningless here. It's not quite clear what you mean. Only two things matter - how likely something is to happen (the probability) and the loss incurred if that event is to happen (the negative utility). From these things, you can figure out two quantities:

                    1) The expected outcome, which is the probability multiplied by the outcome.
                    2) The variance (or risk), which is the p * (1-p) where p is the probability (variance of a Bernoulli distributed random variable).

                    Now, first off, we need to acknowledge that the probability of someone getting hit by a trolley is very small. Most people would avoid it, jump out of the way, see it coming…etc. Very few pedestrians are hit by cars, bikes…etc. all of which are much more common running around everywhere than shopping trolleys.

                    Secondly, because the speed of a trolley is quite low and the mass of the trolley is also very low (compared to things like a car or bike with person on it), the momentum a trolley carries is also very low. This means in the event of a crash, a trolley is not likely to do much damage. Just look at your car, if your car was hit by another car, a bike, a kangaroo, or even a kick from a drunk person, the damage will be MUCH worse. Superficial damage of that degree will leave nothing more than a bruise.

                    Okay, so given that,

                    1) The expected value is likely not very negative, as the probability is small and outcome not very negative. I presume this is what you mean by danger.
                    2) The risk is likely very close to zero as p is very small.

                    Therefore, in this case, both the risk and danger are low.

                    Your statement, high risk and low danger, would refer to something like papercuts - occurring frequently, but not likely to be destructive.

                    • @p1 ama:

                      Most people would avoid it, jump out of the way, see it coming…etc. Very few pedestrians are hit by cars, bikes…

                      Superficial damage of that degree will leave nothing more than a bruise.

                      It's nice that you have learned this all as a student and I don't really understand the math for determining the risks involved, but I would just like to point out that a toddler could possibly suffer much more than just bruising if they hit by trolley or hit the their head on the ground from falling - particularly if the runaway trolley is loaded. On that note, since the argument in question is about applying locks for safety purposes, a fully loaded trolley should also be a consideration for this scenario since it only takes just a moment's carelessness or distraction (get the kids in the car, clear some space in the boot where stuff has unexpectedly shuffled around from the drive, pick up an item has dropped and rolled a bit under the car while loading the groceries when the mobile starts ringing, etc.). Also, the very children or elderly who would be those more likely receive worse injuries would seemingly also be the least likely to be able to realise/avoid it.

                      Not that I'm on either side of the debate, but reaching that kind of conclusion felt a little cold and overly simplified for such a definitive response. (Though I'm sure it would have sounded far worse had you had actually acknowledged such a calculation in like "losing 1-2 toddlers over a span of 10-15 years isn't that bad".)

                • @HighAndDry: A Family of 5 doing a full week of shopping is a pretty damm heavy trolley.

                • @HighAndDry: Many places were already modified to have locks on them so people couldn't bring them on excursions in response to the shopping-trolley litter being issue. Though the lost trolleys probably being expensive to replace might have also been a factor.

        • brakes on trolleys, then people with arthritis will complain, mums on TV saying they can’t operate trolley brake and hold their kids hand, ….. we have mums with pushers not even using the brake and kids rolling off train platforms or into rivers …. people like convenience for themselves, heck they even use mobile phones when driving , so you reckon they care about trolleys …..

      • Shopping trolley design has barely changed in decades. Would they really now fit them with brakes that need a coin to unlock? Some people would probably just forfeit their coin.

        • +4

          If the trolley had a coin mechanism, the trolley lady must have forfeited the coin to have left the trolley in that spot. So, if the trolley had brakes that were controlled by the coin, it wouldn't have worked anyway.

          • @pjetson: They could design a Jet-ski style wrist strap that means the brakes are on unless you attach it. But seriously, no shoppers would want to use such a trolley.

            • +1

              @inherentchoice: They'd get sued by the first person who has a run-away trolley and is dragged behind it by the strap…

              • +1

                @HighAndDry: For jet skis it's a safety strap which detaches from the craft to cut the engine so that it doesn't run away.

                • @inherentchoice: Oh, like the ones you see on treadmills? Doable, but the cost (summed over how many trolleys are out there) is likely to be prohibitive.

                  Edit: Oh - and also make it impossible for those trolley people to collect them.

                  • @HighAndDry: It could be just the new ones are made with breaks.

            • +1

              @inherentchoice: It would just be attached to the trolley and not the user. Same as how most people don't use the safety lanyard on treadmills.

        • +2

          I feel like we can influence them to make a change if we take the time to report hazards and near-misses caused by trolleys

        • That's untrue, the coin mechanism works just fine at Aldi, I've only ever once seen an unattended trolley at aldi.

    • +1

      Things with wheels can roll is common knowledge. Adding brakes onto the trolley is a very obvious action they can implement but why would they if no one reports that rolling trolleys can be a hazard. Treating incidences like these as bad luck or negligence will not prevent the trolleys from rolling by itself. People do not bother lodging incident reports and the problems will not get fixed.

      • the complexity of a brake is another thing that can go wrong and needs maintenance, and it the brake locks the wheel and doesn’t unlock due to fault it’s js an even bigger hazard depending g where people leave it.

        reckon a trolley with wobbly wheel is bad, one with a sticking faulty brake would be worse.

  • It's Coles but I am not sure why you want to alert Coles for this hazard. I would worry about my car!

    • The damage is done. I was sad and frustrated but I rather they will prevent it from happening to others. I was thinking that I usually have my parents around, and luckily they weren't there otherwise, if it was a little later and it hit them… that would be worse.

      • +7

        they will prevent it from happening to others.

        They won't and don't need to beyond the current measures that have been risk assessed and put in place. Appreciate you're frustrated but we can't bubble wrap and idiot proof the whole world.

        • On the other hand, OP can bubble wrap their car! (I'd seriously consider that if I ever got a fancy brand new car…)

  • +12

    There will be sign as you enter the car park. It basically says that you park at your own risk. Yo'll have to wear it I would think.

  • +11

    We need images in MS paint before we can accurately identify the trolley.

    • Sorry, this is an impromptu first post. Will be better prepared next time.

      • +7

        You’ve had 1hour 40mins since you saw the request.
        We are still waiting for the ms paint.

  • +1

    I'm not sure I understand the picture sequence. Where is your car in the first picture? Are you reversing in the second picture? If not, how did you get in front of the trolley?

    How did your car get into the position it's in in the third picture from where it was in the second picture?

    If you're reversing in the third picture, where are you reversing to? There's a car behind you.

    How did the trolley get from the middle of the road in the second picture to the front corner of your car in the third picture?

    • I was reversing into the parking spot like I usually do. The trolley didn't travel straight on the road but ended up at the corner of the parking lot. The first picture is when I was driving towards her, hence she's looking over. I remember driving pass her but I never thought she would just leave the trolley there. If I kept driving, if I didn't decide to reverse into the spot but went front in… I could have avoided it…

      • That makes more sense! You're to the left of the lady, outside the image, in the first picture, then you've driven down the lane towards the camera in the second image, with the trolley following you down, then you're reversing into the parking spot in the third image.

        Either the lady didn't notice that the trolley rolled down after you, or she did notice and ran off as quick as she could.

        • Yeh sorry, I should have explained it better. I didn't find any traces of her after I stopped my car to check what happened - probably did ran off… I was distracted by trying to find the lady and didn't notice the trolley - then found three gathered at the corner of the parking lot.

          • +6


            Yeh sorry, I should have explained it better.

            This is why we require MS Paint for all such enquiries.

            • @blitz: Sorry, this is my first post and I wasn't prepared. I actually didn't think I should take action, so I decided to see what other's opinion is. But I have decided I will contact them all now cause I do believe it is necessary. One hazard report is better than none.

      • +4

        Which brings me to one of the things I hate in car parks, people who insist in backing into parks, usually they can't reverse a car into a small space to save their lives and therefore end up way over to one side of park, which is usually about 6" from my door. When you back out of the park there is loads of space to see where you are going. While I'm having a whinge, what about these drivers who refuse to use a indicator in a public car park. Do they think I can read their mind as to which way they are going? Just because it isn't a traffic offense doesn't mean you can't be considerate of other drivers! Clowns, the lot of them.

        • +1

          Rear in is the only way we park. This allows the dashcam which is in parking mode to work properly.

  • +12

    This hazard with trolleys is as old as time itself, they are fully well aware. Hence why there are often signs displayed at the entrance to all carparks saying they won't accept liability for damage.

    Your only beef is with the person who damaged your car. Though fat chance the police will take their time to track them down :( Although maybe she is a regular and hopefully some staff recognise her.

    Sorry but without anyone able to ID her it's either insurance excess time or repair it yourself (or sadly live with it)

  • +1

    Based on the photos, didn't you see or hear it rolling?

    • +1

      Had my music playing and I was concentrating on reversing into the spot, so I didn't notice the trolley until it hit. There were actually three trolleys gathered at the corner of the parking lot - coles and woolworths, so I wasn't certain which one hit my car.

      • +1

        If it's happening a lot in that exact spot, then you would hope they (centre management/parking owner?) would install more trolley bays or something like the little bumps to prevent rolling?

        But that's all costs they would have to justify…so chances are probably slim given there is no direct loss/benefit to them.

        • +1

          True. Issue is that everyone has been treating such incidences as the norm and would not lodge an incident report. More cases going under the radar and wiped off as bad luck means it will keep occurring and no changes will be made.

          • @Jodudu: You can let both potential trolley owners know, but it's likely the shopping centre that owns and operates the hilly parking lot.

        • People are still too bloody lazy to put the trolleys in the bays.

  • Ouch.

    It has been said before; trolleys have a mind of their own.

    Where are you when the first image was taken?


    • +3

      The trolleys are becoming self aware, we must save mankind

      • +4

        I, for one, welcome our new trolley overlords.

  • +19

    Wow super unlucky!

    I blame the lady, no one else. If you are too lazy to walk put it back into the trolley bay, then at least make sure you put it somewhere it won't roll away. It's basic common sense and etiquette. People are so inconsiderate sometimes it makes me angry.

    • Yeh frustrating - I'm asking Chadstone to see if we can track the lady down but chances are slim

      • Can they review surveillance camera footages, backtracking her trail to see if she's shopped somewhere, using her card?

      • +2

        I agree it's only the lady's fault.

        Are the pics still images or caps from a video feed? If video, I would think Chadstone security should be able to track her movement to her car (assuming she would have parked nearby) and thus give you the rego number from it.

        • Yeah, I have requested Chadstone security to look into it. Fingers crossed

          • +3

            @Jodudu: Hopefully she also parked in the carpark and they can snag a number plate!

          • @Jodudu: Is that a bus stop next to where the trolly was placed? I have a feeling the lady is the one standing at the bus stop from picture 2?

  • +1

    Park further away from the entrance?

  • +1

    How did it happen on 23 March when it's still February?

    • Sorry, I have corrected it. The images are from a few days ago. Thanks

    • +6

      More evidence that time travel is real.

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