Why is Woolworths Online always Disappointing?

A bit of a rant.

Why is Woolworths Online always disappointing?

My order is rarely fulfilled in full. Even when it's fulfilled, why make the pickup process so painful?

Booked in a 5-6pm pickup timeslot. Get a SMS at 4:58pm saying my order is ready…. yay! 5:40pm click on SMS link to confirm I'm on my way.. 5:50pm click on link to confirm you're here. 5:52pm standing at collection desk 'here's my order number', 'ok, please wait'. Wait for what? What's the point of clicking to confirm I'm on my way/here? 10 mins later, they bring out my trolley like they are doing me a favour.

Errr, actually no, I don't want the 8 of severely dented cans of Mutti tinned tomato. So I go and swap them myself.

Today was a classic. Went to pick up my 2 x Oral B Pro 1500 which where on sale ($130 down to $60). Of course I make sure I selected 'no substitution'.

…..And what do I get? Apart from the long wait- 1 x Oral B Pro 1500 & 1 x Oral B Pro 100 which is like half the price. 'Excuse me, hmmm you gave me one cheaper model, I ordered 2 of these', checks receipt 'oh you're right, you must have selected substitution' as he looks at his colleague who was the one who went to pick up my order, 'actually I ensured I selected no substitution, this model you gave me is much cheaper'. They go and attempt to locate more stock, of course there was none.

They didn't even refund the difference until I brought it up. They usually do when they substitute for a cheaper item. Of course I requested a refund rather than substitution. Oddly, their POS offered me a refund for $90, possibly because the price went back up, which I pointed out to them. They manually overridden the refund to $60.

I walked away sort of regretting I just didn't take the $90 refund for my time and inconvenience.

Anyway Bradford Banducci, your online buying process sucks balls.

FYI dented cans were like this https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/dented-can-on-whi...

Related Stores



  • +10 votes

    Because you book the 5-6pm timeslot.

    Instead pick the 8am time so it's picked before customers have had a chance to empty the store.

    They will leave it in their fridges etc until you arrive at 5.40pm.

    The store is filled overnight so the earlier the order, the higher the chance of getting what you want.


      This ^

      I used to be disappointed with many items out of stock when choosing delivery (or pick-up) in the afternoon.

      Since I've changed to the morning, no out of stock items for many months now.


        Can't order the white choc, cranberry cookies for AM collection.. This is an issue!


      Thanks for the tip.

  • +10 votes

    Could you imagine if you cooked with those dented tins of tomato?!
    Crisis averted

    • +3 votes

      They weren't small dents, they were like https://image.shutterstock.com/image-photo/dented-can-on-whi...

      Sorry, but not going to eat acidic tomato sauce from a can where the lining may be damaged.

      But hey, you're free to if you want.


        That would be inconvenient for storage too.

        Recently ordered a big pack of TP - one side was slashed with the rolls falling out, and thought to myself 'they really think they can get away with giving damaged items to customers? at full price?' What buggers!! Got them to run back and replace it.


          Some people with accept it like that if it's in their trolley. They won't pick it from the shelves like that but can't be bothered waiting to replace them.

          I'm sure they will have zero chance of selling the dented cans like the ones I received or a pack of toilet rolls that are falling out^.

          ^ with the exception during the great toilet paper shortage of 2020.

  • +3 votes

    severely dented cans of Mutti tinned tomato

    "Microsoft when down 3 points"


    Kinda petty on the tomato tins but overall I agree with you these supermarkets just don’t get it. Their management need to do some serious undercover testing of their online and also self service processes. Not some third party service literally management themselves go visits stores each week and see themselves.

    Most self service maybe every second time through I’ll have some issue. Local Coles had one self service machine scales were clearly wrong on, I point this out to the person there “this machine had issues with weight at least 5 times” literally don’t care nothing done.

    New Woolworths has this fancy detection for closed checkouts the one next to self serve goes off constantly “you have entered a closed check out” just as you walk past… no one has had it fixed a month later.. it’s embarrassing. Oh and new deli there they have this like butcher area and seafood then this huge freezer between it and the deli, then it’s the same staff in deli meant to serve you but they can’t see you people stand there 5-10 mins waiting unseen. Funny gripe noodles sign is above the wrong aisle completely like 2 minute noodles are the next aisle along pointed this out at the desk not a single care nothing fixed weeks later. Actually wasted 5 mins of our day one time trying to find with my daughter.

    I have had the exact same issues ordering online as OP, show up they are completely unready just don’t care a single bit. I wouldn’t trust delivery due to the substitution or other issues.

    Ultimately it’s all management and culture issues.

    • +1 vote

      So it's not just me.

      I suppose if you bought all home brand items, the substitutions can only work in your favour :D

      But the specials? Forget about it.

    • +3 votes

      Eating food from dented tins, even if it's dog food, is a bad idea. It can make you sick as the seal on the inside of the can could be compromised.


      Funny gripe noodles sign is above the wrong aisle completely like 2 minute noodles are the next aisle along pointed this out at the desk not a single care nothing fixed weeks later. Actually wasted 5 mins of our day one time trying to find with my daughter.

      On a related note, they usually have a different set of instant/noodles in the Asian sections.

      The weirdest thing yet was seeing a brand of Chilli sauce in diff aisles, when you'd expect them next each other on the shelf.

      That makes instore shopping a pain indeed.

      Sometimes they even take all products on specials from within aisle, to put out on the ends, so first impression is 'oh, no stock'

  • +2 votes

    your online buying process sucks balls.

    Maybe in the future when robots pick things from shelves and they are more standardised, then load them on drones and deliver it to your fridge/pantry, you'll have your wish.

    At the moment, the two sources of variation are the goods (especially fresh ones, which are not standardised) and the "fulfillers" - who are … human, 1. results in variation in the process, 2. won't shop to the standard you do, because they only give a sh*t to a certain level and also the company doesn't earn any more for C&C and aren't going to throw massive funds at it.

    Maybe try to shop at Aldi online…


      Aldi don't have online shopping/interactive like Colesworth do they?


        I forgot to put /s, but assumed that was a given.

  • +1 vote

    It's actually not possible for those picking orders to substitute an item if you click "no substitute", the system won't allow it. Maybe if you're having so many issues constantly you might be the issue.


      Some shoppers have trouble with online shopping. And it isn't only older people. I'm regularly surprised at people who have wild misconceptions about how online shopping works.


      Not possible? More like they don't give a shit.


        I work at woolworths and have done online order picking. The system physically won't allow it. However by the same token, you probably would have also kicked up the shits if they didn't provide you with anything at all.

        In your defence however the price difference should have been refunded, likely staff just didn't realise. They deal with a lot of orders each day and generally don't have the time to have a detailed look at each order.


          I do get where you are coming from, but I would rather they try to not try to substitute a $30 toothbrush as a $60 toothbrush without letting me know AND not refunding the difference.

          Actually, in the above case, I rather they provide me nothing at all.

          Also in this case, they went to collect the toothbrushes from the counter while I waited.


    When they offered a refund of $90 they knew what they were doing, they did it on purpose for you. Pointing it out forced them to reduce the refund to $60.


      Not sure. They just scanned it and out came the current price.

  • +1 vote

    Only time I have done click and collect it was for a specific item I needed that only one store around me seemed to have in stock - I selected "no substitute".

    • Went to pick it up and they had substituted for something else that was quite different
    • I said I didn't want the substitute and wanted my money back
    • They said they couldn't process a refund in the store and I would have to call up, which annoyed me
    • Then as I was leaving they told me I had to take the item with me.
    • I said I didn't want to as I would then have to bring it back again.
    • They said they will probably just tell me keep it when I call up and I will get it for free
    • Got home, called up and used the automated system and they refunded my money and didn't say anything about the item (value around $60) so I just kept it

    Strange but cool story


      Wouldn't surprise me

  • +1 vote

    Simple solution.

    DIY at Aldi.

  • +2 votes

    Having moved and continued Woolies online shopping for a while, i found it was actually the area I lived in. I don't know whether the orders get packed at the supermarket or the distribution centre, but when I moved all of the problems vanished. In the 1st place, I had never EVER received a correct order, literally never once. There was always something wrong, missing, broken, or I had someone else's bags too.

    To be honest, I don't bother with Woolies Click and Collect at all anymore, it is so slow I could practically do the shop myself in the time it takes them to bring your order out. Whereas Coles used to bring it straight to your car from their dedicated Click and Collect fridge/freezers in the carpark and even load into the boot for you! I think Woolies do something similar now?


      I'd be interested to know what state this was in.

      • +1 vote

        Mine or OPs?

        I was NSW - moved from Western Sydney to South-Western and the situation completely fixed itself, never had a problem again


      I tried the carpark thing with Woolies once. Didn't work for me, I ended up going instore to collect it.


      Yeah was going to suggest op try another store. No issues for me with Woolworths.

  • +2 votes

    I do Direct to Boot regularly since last year. I had heaps of problems with my order early this year, where items would be missing but not reported as OOS, so I didn't get any refund automatically. After raising several refund tickets online I got fed up and decided to resolve with the customer service in store. Any attempt to resolve it at the customer service desk just resulted in the staff asking why it "just happens to me, and not anyone else"

    So I raised a complaint, explicitly telling them that out of X orders I made in three months, half had things missing. Gave them the order numbers and everything. Got an ema back saying my account will not be in "audit" mode, where the staff would double check my trolley before I receive it. Things improved dramatically since.

    There was one time an item was missing , and I followed up with the complaint. The guy said to me, and I laughed, to take a photo of the missing item to prove things were missing. But that was just one time. I reckon that person who packed my order was retrained.

    • +1 vote

      Account would be in audit mode or not in audit mode?


    I think a lot of this comes down to the store you're using and the time slot.

    I've got no complaints at all with my local woolies, order a couple of times a week so they know me by now, don't even have to say who I am when I arrive, they just bring out the right order. I'll click the "I'm on my way" when I leave home (it's probably a 1-2min drive) and it's either there waiting or not far off by the time I arrive. Ordered nearly all times of the day but generally first thing or 2-4pm if I need something from the bakery.

    All substitutes are of higher value so I've never had an issue with them changing anything personally.


      That's a good point…

      Note in my case, my substituted electric toothbrush was half the price (but without a refund)… I wouldn't complain if they gave me the next model up!


        That's definitely a store issue. Right down the bottom of this is their policy…

        If your order has any out of stock items, we'll do our best to provide a suitable alternative of equal or higher value. This is at no extra cost to you, and you'll only be charged the price of the original item. If no appropriate substitute is available, we’ll refund you for the item/s, or adjust your final order total accordingly.

        Given that you selected no substitutes, they should have taken the $90 off the total and not supplied anything.

  • +1 vote

    Funny because I had an online order where the substitutions ended up netting me $15 in higher quality ingredients for free. ie pana granado cheese upgraded to reggiano, salami upgraded from $3.5 one to $7 one (I bought 3). great!

  • +3 votes

    My experience has been really different. Mainly correct with the odd mistake and substitutions usually for more expensive or at least similar items.

    If I have problem, I call and do it over the phone so no debate or discussion.

  • +1 vote

    I sometimes get a single random additional item that I didn't order (completely unrelated to what I did order) in my Woolworths grocery deliveries. When I let them know, they just tell me I can keep the extra food. I'm curious as to whether these are free samples/excess stock they are giving away or if I am somehow ending up with someone else's packet of pasta or tub of yoghurt?

  • +1 vote

    i stopped ordering online as had about 9/10 orders missing half the stuff but they dont tell me until I am already on my way to the store.

    Will try the 8am pickups as someone suggested and see.


      Not surprised, especially if items are on special.

      However if you believe all the posters here, apparently all the errors are due to user error, not Woolies lol.