Back in May 2010, Woolworths made the controversial decision to stop accepting debit credit cards, demanding customers with those cards select a debit EFTPOS option instead. More than two years on, it has quietly reversed that policy.
Picture by Marianna Massey/Getty Images
To be clear: Woolworths didn't make it impossible to use those cards; it just blocked using the 'credit' option to access them. The same money comes out of the same account either way, but the move was very unpopular with some shoppers, though there wasn't much evidence of a broader consumer backlash.
The most common complaint was from customers who only had a limited number of free bank transactions on their accounts. Other maintained that Woolworths should be willing to accept any type of payment, though in fact that has never been the case in Australia.
Whatever the issue, Lifehacker reader Kai tells us that this policy seems to have reversed:
Things seem to have changed recently at Woolworths. As of a couple of weeks ago, the "Credit" option has returned at all of the Woolworths stores (3 or so) that I've used, and with multiple debit credit cards (NAB, INGDirect).
We've contacted Woolworths to ask for confirmation if this change is Australia-wide, and will update if we hear anything. If you have found the credit option available to you again when using a debit card, tell us in the comments. Thanks Kai!
UPDATE: While we're waiting on an official statement, we understand Woolworths has indeed begun rolling out updates to its stores that will re-enable debit credit cards as a credit option. It hasn't hit all stores yet, but that should happen in the next few days.