Coles offers $15 for online outage

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Coles customers have encouraged the supermarket to try “turning it off and on again” as an online shopping outage rolls into the third day.

The Coles Online website has been unavailable since Sunday.

“Our website is down due to an internal software issue that occurred during regular maintenance,” a message on the site reads.

“We understand that this has put customers out and our team is working rapidly to get the site back up and running. You can still do your online shop on our eBay store or in store at your nearest Coles supermarket. We apologise for the inconvenience and please monitor the Coles Facebook page for more information.”

Many customers have received emails informing them they have been automatically credited $15 on their Flybuys card to apologise.

“Whilst we’re working to fix this, we’d like to give you $15 off to spend in-store so you don’t miss out on your weekly specials,” the email said.

The credit “as a thank you for your patience” is valid until May 2 at any Coles supermarket on purchases of $15 or more.

Customers reacted with bemusement that the website of one of the country’s largest companies could be brought down for such a long period of time.

“Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” Kasha Kloosterman wrote on Facebook.

Rebecca Ashenden said, “I am completely reliant on Coles delivery and desperately need food. I was counting on a Wednesday delivery. I hope it is fixed soon.”

Sarah Therese Cartwright added, “I’m sick of seeing nasty and dismissive comments and I hope Coles specifically addresses their disabled and chronically ill customers who are being bullied on these posts for struggling with the site being down for so long.”

On Wednesday morning Coles’ Facebook wrote, “Unfortunately the Coles Online website is still experiencing issues. Thanks for everyone’s helpful suggestions and patience. We’re working as hard as we can to fix the issue and we’ll provide another update shortly.”

A Coles spokeswoman simply repeated the message posted to the online shopping page but added, “We look forward to serving all of our customers via Coles Online very soon.”

The timing is particularly awkward, coming a month after the retailer announced a major $150 million partnership with UK online supermarket Ocado aimed at doubling home delivery in four years.

Under the deal, Coles will migrate its website to Ocado’s online platform and will install its robotic picking technology at its automated customer fulfilment centres in Sydney and Melbourne.

In August last year, Coles suffered more technical woes when a “minor” IT glitch affecting its cash registers forced stores around the country to keep their doors shut for more than three hours on a Sunday morning.

On Monday, Coles reported comparable third-quarter sales growth of 2.4 per cent, which the supermarket attributed to the “Fresh Stikeez” campaign driving high customer engagement.

frank.chung@news.com.au

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