The toilet paper hoarding has continued in Australia despite calls for calm. Supermarkets have tried to counteract the bulk buying by enforcing limits on key items such as toilet paper and other long-life foods. Woolworths has taken it a step further and changed its returns and exchange policy in a further attempt to dissuade over-buying. Here’s the new policy.
Australian supermarkets have been inundated with shoppers preemptively buying up key items ahead of a potential rise in coronavirus cases. While empty shelves where toilet paper packets once sat have dominated social media and news reports, other items such as pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, beans, soap and hand sanitiser are also being snatched up in bulk.
Some measures have been taken to halt the panic buying including purchasing limits as well as putting out stock at key times.
It’s important to remember that while some Australians are stocked up for the months to come, others are missing out completely. Some are unable to get to stores in time or cart large loads back home. Others simply can’t afford it.
In response to that, Woolworths has announced it’s not offering change of mind refunds or exchanges unless there’s something actually wrong with the product.
“From 11 March 2020 until further notice, change of mind refunds and exchanges will not be available for a range of products that have been in higher than usual demand, including toilet paper, tissues, rice and pasta,” a Woolworths spokesperson confirmed with Lifehacker Australia.
“In addition, rainchecks won’t be offered on any advertised products on promotion. Faulty products will continue to be refunded in full, exchanged or repaired as normal.
“We believe this is a necessary measure to meet the needs of as many shoppers as possible, and thank customers for their understanding.”
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Those specific items include:
- Toilet paper
- Paper towel
- Tissues and serviettes
- Medicinal (pain relief)
- Cleaning (anti bacterial wipes, sprays and cleaners, disposable gloves)
- Feminine hygiene and incontinence
- Baby wipes
- Pasta and pasta sauce
- Canned food (fish, vegetables, soup, fruit and canned meals)
- Flour and Bread Mixes
- Cooking Oils
Other major stores like Aldi and Coles have yet to announce more stringent measures. Lifehacker Australia confirmed with Aldi it’s continuing to monitor the situation but for now, it’s maintaining its limit of one toilet paper pack per customer.
Lifehacker Australia has also contacted Coles to see if it’s planning to implement a similar temporary policy. We’ll update the article when it responds.
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