Customers Behaving Badly

November 13, 2019 Know Your Rights News Our Resources

In recent times, both Woolworths and Coles have offered promotional products to their customers. Both companies have gone down this path hoping to get more customers through their doors and also enticing them to spend more at the checkouts.

Both companies offer their customers a ‘token’ once they spend $30 or more. If the customer spends $30, he is awarded one token; if the customer spends $60, she is awarded two ‘tokens’.

During these promotional periods, we see the best of customers and the very worst.

On the bright side, there are many customers who accept the ‘tokens’ and then happily give them to children or donate them to schools.
However, register operators and self-serve staff have been abused by customers for simply doing their job. Some customers strongly believe that if they, for example, spend $119, they should receive four ‘tokens’ and not three. They believe that $119 is close to $120 and so they believe they are therefore entitled to a free ‘token’. In fact, some of these customers go one step further and believe they are then entitled to abuse a register or self-serve operator because they didn’t receive what they felt they were entitled to receive.

Another disturbing development is where customers have started to stand at the end of register stations and then asking other customers for their ‘tokens’ before they leave the register station. No worker likes someone ‘breathing down their neck’. Every member has the right to say to such customers to move away. If these customers are not prepared to do so, we strongly advise members to notify management.

We have now reached the point where some customers are being totally dishonest. As a result, management have adopted practices whereby customers can’t ‘double dip’ and receive twice as many ‘tokens’ as they are entitled to receive.

When one looks into the crystal ball, it seems very likely that these promotional products will continue to be a feature in the retail industry. Therefore, we provide the following advice:

  • The SDA strongly advises members to follow the company promotional guidelines and not offer customers more ‘tokens’ than they are entitled to receive;
  • Members have every right to tell customers to move away from their work stations as every worker is entitled to their ‘safe space’;
  • No customer abuse towards SDA members is acceptable. Immediately report the matter to management and let them handle rude and unruly customers.