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Coles IT crash frustrates customers, temporarily shuts 800 stores

Customers nationwide were left to abandon shopping carts in more than 800 Coles supermarkets on Friday, as the chain suffered a crash of it’s payment systems, disabling it from processing any purchases.

Stores had to close only temporarily – a few hours – but customers were quick to voice their frustration on social media, though many also sided with Coles employees who had to deliver the bad news to those instore.

On Twitter, the supermarket said “a technical issue meant we were briefly unable to process transactions”, and thanked customers for their patience during the outage. And to make it up to frustrated shoppers the supermarket offered triple flybuys points over the weekend, and free delivery on orders over $50.

However, Macquarie University associate professor Jana Bowden asked whether the supermarket’s actions would be enough to placate frustrated shoppers who were turned away from stores or who left shopping trolleys mid shop.

“Depending on the category, businesses can potentially turn a dissatisfied or disengaged consumer into a pacified, satisified or even loyal one. But getting service recovery right involces several key considerations,” Bowden said on Twitter.

“Did Coles resolve the glitch fast enough? Did they clarify the error and reassure consumers? Were they empathetic in their communications? Is the value of triple Flybuys and free home delivery on orders over $50 enough as compensation in consumers minds?”

Coles Express and Liquor stores were not impacted by the outage.

Inside Retail has contacted Coles for comment and clarification, but has not received a response.

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