As Australia prepares to ban single-use plastic bags on July 1, Woolworths has been busy introducing new online delivery fees, which will see consumers pay an extra $3.50 for a “crate to bench” home delivery service.
Online shoppers are facing extra fees from supermarket giant, Woolworths, as the company plans to charge shoppers $3.50 for a crate to bench delivery service. The alternative is a flat $1 fee for online orders packed using the company’s new heavy-duty bags that are reportedly made from 80 percent recyclable materials.
“With the new crate-to-bench service, orders are packed directly into our delivery crates, and then unpacked on to a customer’s bench by a delivery driver when they arrive. The amount for the crate-to-bench option reflects the additional costs of providing this new service,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.
After announcing the extra online delivery fee on Thursday, customers took to Facebook to express their frustration.
“I am in a wheelchair and do online shopping as I don’t have much choice. I’ll have to cut back on my groceries to pay for the bags or crates,” one user wrote, while another said that Woolworths is taking one step forward and another step back. “I love the idea of crate to bench, but to be charged $3.50 each time is wrong. I’ll sadly have to pay the $1 to get my delivery bagged. One step forward, 10 back. Woolworths need to re-think this charge.”
Others even went so far as to say they would no longer shop with the supermarket chain in light of the new fee.
“Goodbye Woolworths online shopping, hello Coles for me.”
“I’ll just shop online with Coles instead. Such a shame Woolies! $3.50 is ridiculous!”
While Woolworths plans to charge for its bagless delivery service, Coles has announced it will offer the same service completely free-of-charge.
“Coles Online’s new bagless delivery option, which utilises reusable crates, will not incur any additional charge to Coles customers outside of the current delivery fee,” Karen Donaldson, the general manager of Coles Online said.
Consumers will also have the option to have their Coles online groceries delivered in reusable bags that retail at 15 cents each.
Woolworths has justified its decision to charge for its new crate to bench service because of the extra time it will take for delivery drivers to fulfil orders. The $3.50 fee has been introduced to cover these extra labour fees.
Coles, who plan to offer the same service for free, isn’t concerned about the extra labour required to deliver online groceries in crates and then unpack the goods for the customer at the receiving end.
Single-use plastic bags will no longer be available from online and in-store retailers across the country, excluding NSW, as of July 1.