Coles / alleged theft
My partner was issued a $300 fine after the following chain of events:
1. Partner purchased a bag of fruit from an external fruit shop
2. Partner entered coles, picked up a punnet of blueberries and put it in the trolley, and also ate a small number of loose blueberries in the display box (which were not in punnets and therefore not saleable) to test the quality of the product. At this point store security began to tail her.
3. Partner went on and did the weekly shop - total value approximately $98.
4. once through the checkout, store security approached her and accused her of theft, as about $5 worth of vegetables (an onion etc) had been mixed in with the vegetables from the goods from the external fruit store. My partner realised her mistake and immediately offered to pay for the goods in question, as it was an oversight on her behalf (what idiot intentionally steals $5 worth of stuff after dropping $100 in store?).
5. Instead of directing my partner to rectify this mistake, security took her to an interview room, to wait for the police (who were en-route to deal with an actual theft).
6. Police and other staff openly expressed surprise at the allegation of "theft" made by store security in light of the value of the theft vs value of purchased goods, but were obliged to issue a fine because of the actions of security.
1. Security acted too heavily on what was obviously an honest mistake.
2. Complaint dealt with by saying store security acted within company policy, but with no recognition that a $300 fine was out of line given the circumstances of the alleged theft.
3. Response email had the audacity to suggest that their "business is truly committed to serving [their] customers". After having spent many tens of thousands of dollars in store over the years to be slapped with a $300 fine for an honest mistake and having a complaint so quickly dismissed as being covered by policy, it is clear customer service is not something they can claim.
4. I responded to their short reply to my complaint requesting an escalation of the complaint but have not had any response.
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