Choice catches Coles raising ‘locked’ prices; ACCC probe draws apology

Supermarket chain Coles has admitted to erroneously increasing the prices of several products and has committed to refunding customers following Choice’s complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The consumer advocacy group complained to the ACCC that Coles increased the price of a product the supermarket said would be price-locked for a certain period.

“A retailer as big as Coles failing to keep its pricing promises is simply unacceptable, particularly during a cost of living crisis where so many people are already worried about the price of food and groceries,” said Andrew Kelly, deputy director of campaigns at Choice.

“This kind of behaviour from Coles is exactly why we gave them a Shonky Award earlier this year. Coles has been touting how they’re supposedly helping with the cost of living crisis, all while banking huge profits and not following through on pricing promises made to their customers.”

A Coles spokesperson apologised for the mistake and said the company had processed refunds for customers who used their Flybuys card or purchased online.

Customers who purchased items in-store were advised to visit the service desk and present a receipt to process the refund.

Coles also confirmed that its CEO Leah Weckert will attend the Senate inquiry into supermarket prices next year.

“We have worked collaboratively with previous inquiries and are ready to work with the committee and engage in an informed discussion on the factors that influence supermarket pricing,” said Weckert.

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