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Pay for bags, scan my own shopping – now pay for a trolley!?

By Rachel Ziv - 16 February 2017 53

trolleys

I’ve been seeing them around for a while now – token slots on Woolworths and Coles shopping trolleys that require a $1 or $2 coin to release the chain. Up until this week I have remained blissfully ignorant of their purpose, having never walked into a store and found them chained up.

Until this week!

As I walked into Woolworths hoping to grab a few things in a hurry there they were – rows of chained trolleys. Not being one to carry around coins (I’m definitely an EFTPOS kind of gal) I rummaged through my bag trying to find one. I found a ton of silver, and then tried in vain to shove 10 and 20 cent coins into the slot while my two year old looked on bemused.

After a few minutes I gave up, threw my arms in the air and exclaimed, “This is ridiculous!”

I grabbed my son’s hand and a basket and walked a few metres before he started complaining of being tired and wanting to sit in the trolley. I explained I couldn’t get a trolley and he got even more upset, at which point I picked him up and attempted to juggle the basket in one arm and him in the other.

Realising this also wasn’t going to work, I became increasingly angry.

I stormed over to the first Woolworths staff member I could see and asked rudely if they planned to hand out $1 and $2 coins so people who live in the 21st Century and use cards instead of cash could access the sacred trolleys. I raved on for a while (and she was very patient), before she finally said, “Please don’t blame us, it’s not our fault.”

Having been a checkout operator many moons ago, my face softened and I said, “I know. They make you do it from head office.”

To which she replied, “No, I mean it’s really not our fault. It’s the ACT Government. They make us pay every time someone dumps a trolley from our store. This is the only solution we had – make people pay and then give their money back when they return it.”

I was shocked. I hadn’t heard anything about it. And after first being asked to pay for my own shopping bags, then (and this infuriates me) contribute to a lack of future generation’s jobs by scanning my own shopping, I am now required to pay for a trolley.

Apparently Aldi has been doing it for ages. They have a token system, where you buy a number of tokens that are also attachable to your keychain so you never forget them. I don’t mind that idea. I certainly wouldn’t have lost the plot if I saw a $5 pack of tokens (worthy of an EFTPOS transaction) instead of being asked to rummage around for a single gold coin.

It makes me sad that this is the way of the future. If (apparently) we can only walk as slow as our slowest community members, then we must all find a dollar in our pockets to compensate for slackos that dump them in the park.

And lots of people stand to lose with this new invention. The lovely Woolworths staff member ended up finding me a trolley and showed me how to chain it up when I was finished. When I did, I saw a $1 coin still sitting in the slot in the trolley in front of mine. Being the first into the collection bay, its driver had nothing to snap it into to release the coin (thereby having to go in search of another trolley, or leave it behind).

The weekly shop is now umpteen more difficult than it ever was when you just had to worry about how to handle your kids and remember everything on your shopping list.

That’s my pout – what are your thoughts on Woolies and Coles’s response to the new shopping trolley legislation? Is there a better solution?

What’s Your opinion?


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53 Responses to
Pay for bags, scan my own shopping – now pay for a trolley!?
1
Serina Huang 9:30 am
16 Feb 17
#

The really difficult bit, when juggling kids, is getting the trolley back so that you can get your coins returned. Most trolley collection are a long way from the car, so you have to go out to the car with kids in tow, but your groceries away, then put the kids back in the trolley (or make them walk) and return the trolley. These days I opt for small shops using a bag, and yes that is a challenge with two kids but easier than using a trolley.

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2
Bajar 10:03 am
16 Feb 17
#

What’s hilarious is that we are about 30 years behind on this – the UK and Europe have had this in place since the early 1990s. Tip: buy an Aldi token and attach it to your keychain. That’s exactly how I’ve been tackling it.

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3
Rollersk8r 10:03 am
16 Feb 17
#

This is not a new thing. There was another post about the inconsistency of this system – and there definitely does seem to be loopholes. Coles seem to be largely immune to these rules, with no coin required at Kaleen, Belco or Gungahlin. In fact – we usually grab a Coles trolley to do our Aldi shop at Belc/Gung. Otherwise, the Aldi key tag works on all trolleys that require a coin.

Furthermore, in the last few years I’ve probably made $20 from people too lazy to return the trolley to the collection bay.

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4
crackerpants 10:04 am
16 Feb 17
#

This isn’t really new – Aldi have done it in Canberra forever (but like everyone else, I would just grab a woolies trolley from downstairs if I needed to shop there). When I moved to Australia nearly 30 years ago, I remember mum grappling with the concept in Armidale, NSW – mind you, $1 and $2 coins were quite the novelty for us too :-)

I noticed Woden Woolies had a staff member standing by the trollies to assist people, so perhaps your feedback was passed on.

As for coins in a cashless society, you will unfortunately be using coins again once your kids go to school…schools are really on board with apps and electronic payment systems, even for canteen orders, but once you hit walkathons/raffle tickets/school fetes, or if trying to get a 6 year old to decide what they want from the canteen hours in advance doesn’t work (it usually doesn’t), then you will be using coins :-)

A simple solution is to shop online. It’s still fraught with problems, but I’d rather stab myself in the eye than take 3 kids grocery shopping!

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5
GCS14 10:47 am
16 Feb 17
#

Until you can convince people to stop dumping trolleys all over the place, this is the best solution we have for open air shopping centres.

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6
crackerpants 11:31 am
16 Feb 17
#

Serina Huang said :

The really difficult bit, when juggling kids, is getting the trolley back so that you can get your coins returned. Most trolley collection are a long way from the car, so you have to go out to the car with kids in tow, but your groceries away, then put the kids back in the trolley (or make them walk) and return the trolley. These days I opt for small shops using a bag, and yes that is a challenge with two kids but easier than using a trolley.

If I haven’t been able to park close to a trolley bay, I put the kids in the car, leave the doors open, and do the bolt. (By the time I got to no. 3 they could no longer all fit in a trolley). It’s a fine art, but really only takes a few seconds. Returning trolleys to bays is a principle I hold dear 😉 and I hope that others make the effort as well, gold coin incentive or not.

That said, the carpark dash is the least of my worries when out shopping with 3 little terrors, so I avoid it where possible and order online.

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7
Postalgeek 11:42 am
16 Feb 17
#

I don’t see how this can come as a shock unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 10 years. This has been introduced before by Colesworth and comes and goes like the tides. Buy a keyring token from Aldi or an trolley key on eBay.

And it’s not the government’s fault or the shop’s fault. It’s the slackers who dump trolleys everywhere. Once again the few ruin it for the many.

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8
pink little birdie 11:55 am
16 Feb 17
#

Woolworths have tokens for the trolley for 35c that go on the key chain.

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9
Maya123 12:25 pm
16 Feb 17
#

GCS14 said :

Until you can convince people to stop dumping trolleys all over the place, this is the best solution we have for open air shopping centres.

Agreed. They can be found dumped in all sorts of places. Creeks, bushland, blatantly left outside houses; even blocking the storm-water tunnels under Manuka. The mind boggles on the effort to get them into that last place.

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10
JC 12:54 pm
16 Feb 17
#

Best belly laugh I have had in a while. Thanks

FYI you are not paying a brass razoo to use the trolley. You are making a deposit that says you will return it to a collection point at which point you will get your money back. Oh and if you are the first trolley everyone I’ve ever seen either has an old trolley chained to the front of the pay or they have a chain connected to the bay to connect to to get your money back.

As for buying $5 worth of tokens clearly you don’t understand the system. You use a coin or you buy one that you attach to your key ring and use again and again.

Kind of bad that the government has to legislate this kind of thing but you can thank the drop kicks who think it is their right to push their shopping home in a trolley. And I’ve seen them come from all walks of life. Druggies, students, oldies you name it. This at least gives them some incentive to either return the trolleys or a fiscal penalty for doing the wrong thing.

And of course nothing new what so ever. Aldi has been doing it for as long as I remember and Coles and Woolies in certain areas for years too.

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11
Ghettosmurf87 1:01 pm
16 Feb 17
#

Serina Huang said :

The really difficult bit, when juggling kids, is getting the trolley back so that you can get your coins returned. Most trolley collection are a long way from the car, so you have to go out to the car with kids in tow, but your groceries away, then put the kids back in the trolley (or make them walk) and return the trolley. These days I opt for small shops using a bag, and yes that is a challenge with two kids but easier than using a trolley.

So what did you previously do with your trolley when you were done with it? Leave it lying around in the middle of the carpark for someone else to navigate around and return to the trolley bay in the carpark? Most trolley bays are no more than 50-100m from any park at shopping centres.

Why do we as a society always expect that we should receive things for free? Especially when we do nothing to justify this convenience previously offered by stores, but instead make their lives harder for them in return by leaving trolleys all over the place, tossing our rubbish, berating checkout staff when they did pack your bags for you, etc

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12
Serina Huang 3:41 pm
16 Feb 17
#

100m or longer is a long way to go when you have little people who are tired and cranky and want to go home. Many shopping centres are not really designed with young families in mind, even though often (but not always) it the mother who does the shopping. I can see why online shopping has become so popular.

My former local shopping centre has coin slots. Pre kids I actually used to walk to the supermarket avoid driving, but logistically this is no longer so easy with two little people in tow as the distance is too far for them.

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13
HiddenDragon 4:42 pm
16 Feb 17
#

“It makes me sad that this is the way of the future. If (apparently) we can only walk as slow as our slowest community members, then we must all find a dollar in our pockets to compensate for slackos that dump them in the park.”

It’s also the way of the past, and the present – and this dismal reality explains quite a bit about the ever-growing size and cost of government. The fact that the resultant bureaucracy (not to mention associated consultancies etc. etc.) helps to keep so many people in the manner to which they have become accustomed, is one of the reasons why views along the lines you have expressed are usually not well-received in this town……

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14
bd84 5:23 pm
16 Feb 17
#

Serina Huang said :

100m or longer is a long way to go when you have little people who are tired and cranky and want to go home. Many shopping centres are not really designed with young families in mind, even though often (but not always) it the mother who does the shopping. I can see why online shopping has become so popular.

My former local shopping centre has coin slots. Pre kids I actually used to walk to the supermarket avoid driving, but logistically this is no longer so easy with two little people in tow as the distance is too far for them.

You can leave your kids in the car for the 1 minute it takes to walk your trolley to the trolley bays. They will not die in that time.

The lazy people who just dump their trolley in the middle of the car parks or think they’re entitled to walk they groceries all the way home in the trolley is exactly why we now have the coin/token system.

They’re probably the same self-entitled fools who used to demand a plastic bag for their one chocolate bar or loaf of bread.

Unfortunately we can’t legislate against idiot people, and legislate the object instead.

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15
ChrisinTurner 5:23 pm
16 Feb 17
#

No there isn’t another solution. The government has tried the gentle approach for years and it didn’t work. We get 10 to 15 trolleys per day abandoned in our street. The number is already dropping. It actually saves money as ALDI found years ago. That is one reason they are so cheap. They also don’t have self checkouts for the same reason. If you are so rich you can shop at Coles and Woolies the carrying a dollar coin wont cause a problem.

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