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Ask RiotACT: Returning shopping trolleys…

By JessP - 8 May 2017 32

Hi Rioters.

I understand why the locks on shopping trolleys have been introduced. I understand the benefits for shopper (with more trolleys available) and the environment (with fewer trolleys straying away from the supermarkets) but what I am unhappy about is the difficulty in returning trolleys across the major shopping centres.

Belconnen is a nightmare. After inserting your gold coin and using the trolley it seems to be extremely difficult to find a location to return the trolley and retrieve your coin. All the trolleys appear to be different sizes, so a Coles trolley can’t be linked to an Aldi or a Woolworths trolley, because, well, they don’t fit. Then, of course, there are the ‘smaller’ trolleys for Coles and Woolworths which also increase the permutations. Then add Dan Murphy’s, Kmart and Target.

Unless of course you are able to somehow link the trolleys, back to back… and then no one else can link up and get their coins back. Strange conglomerations of trolleys in bizarre locations abound! The trolley collectors also seem to have reduced in number so the trolleys are slower at being collected and unlocked in their crazy patterns.

This is not making me want to shop at Belconnen (or Woden or Tuggeranong or Gungahlin). Shopping centres, supermarkets and general retailers… are you listening?

Thoughts anyone?

What’s Your opinion?


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32 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Returning shopping trolleys…
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Jordania 4:05 pm 12 May 17

When Superbarn was extant in the Canberra Centre, the trolleys were the coin/chain type and there were very few lying about outside the shopping centre. When Superbarn died and Coles moved in, for a few months the trolleys were free and they were all over the place in Civic and Braddon, up Ainslie Ave, as far afield as Ainslie (and probably whole shoals of them at Ainslie Village). These trolleys were often accompanied by rubbish, especially old food wrappings, drink cans etc (maybe the trolleys were escaping to have wild parties out in the ‘burbs). Coles has now seen the error of its ways and reinstituted the coin/chain system and I have seen very few sneaking out into the near-Civic suburbs. That’s good enough for me.

devils_advocate 9:38 am 12 May 17

dungfungus said :

devils_advocate said :

dungfungus said :

devils_advocate said :

dungfungus said :

devils_advocate said :

The trolley situation, combined with parking issues in general, has definitely pushed me in favour of Costco at Majura park (although the parking gets more difficult out there by the day). But at least Costco has free trolleys and plenty of trolley bays in the car park, and consistently placed.

Free B-Double size trolleys but you have to pay to shop there.

Ridiculous.

Without wanting to sound like an advertorial for Costco, the yearly membership fee pales into insignificance once you get a few tanks of petrol (which, by the way, you only need your membership card, and not a shop-a-docket, to access).

It costs about $1.00 a kilometre to run a motor vehicle so why would I spend $50 to drive out there and back to save $10 on a tankful of petrol?

I accept that it may suit some but it doesn’t suit me.

Because you have to buy groceries from somewhere and you might as well combine the two activities? Also I think if you have to drive 50k to Costco and it’s costing you a dollar a kilometre for some reason, you might be the exception rather than the rule.

Petrol (or whatever else powers your car) isn’t the only cost. And there is the time involved.

I buy groceries etc. almost daily from my local providers. I don’t like queuing up to by petrol either.

Firstly, if you’re buying groceries daily, that’s outside the scope of this discussion, because by definition the use of a trolley implies the main weekly or fortnightly shop that people do, hence the need to use the trolley. I doubt your family goes through a trolley of food every day.

Back to the topic of cost/convenience of the major weekly shop – I consider the total cost. The cost of groceries is cheaper in Costco. I’m not going to bother debating that. Other costs – yes there is time involved. Like the time spent circling the carpark at other places likely westfield etc. Time spent queuing up to pay for groceries or to use the self-scan (thinking woolies Dickson here). You usually only have to wait behind 1 person at the costco. There’s other costs too. Potentially parking costs if you go during paid parking hours (which in the city are just about all the time). And then of course the subject of this story, pointless frustration at the unavailability of either a trolley, or a convenient place to return it.

I absolutely hate grocery shopping but the place I hate it least is Majura Park. But I’m hoping online shopping gets its act together soon.

dungfungus 7:06 pm 11 May 17

devils_advocate said :

dungfungus said :

devils_advocate said :

dungfungus said :

devils_advocate said :

The trolley situation, combined with parking issues in general, has definitely pushed me in favour of Costco at Majura park (although the parking gets more difficult out there by the day). But at least Costco has free trolleys and plenty of trolley bays in the car park, and consistently placed.

Free B-Double size trolleys but you have to pay to shop there.

Ridiculous.

Without wanting to sound like an advertorial for Costco, the yearly membership fee pales into insignificance once you get a few tanks of petrol (which, by the way, you only need your membership card, and not a shop-a-docket, to access).

It costs about $1.00 a kilometre to run a motor vehicle so why would I spend $50 to drive out there and back to save $10 on a tankful of petrol?

I accept that it may suit some but it doesn’t suit me.

Because you have to buy groceries from somewhere and you might as well combine the two activities? Also I think if you have to drive 50k to Costco and it’s costing you a dollar a kilometre for some reason, you might be the exception rather than the rule.

Petrol (or whatever else powers your car) isn’t the only cost. And there is the time involved.

I buy groceries etc. almost daily from my local providers. I don’t like queuing up to by petrol either.

Vix 5:12 pm 11 May 17

I made this comment on a similar post but here goes again…

We regularly shop at Dickson when most of the time there are one or two people begging for ‘change’ – some have signs proclaiming they want work…

If it were me, I would hang out the front of Woolies volunteering to help older people and mothers with young kids to take there groceries to their car and pack them into it for the cost of the gold coin…

wildturkeycanoe 7:43 am 11 May 17

devils_advocate said :

Because you have to buy groceries from somewhere and you might as well combine the two activities? Also I think if you have to drive 50k to Costco and it’s costing you a dollar a kilometre for some reason, you might be the exception rather than the rule.

50km return is quite normal if you are on the south side or west Belconnen. But as for the groceries, quite a lot of their “specials” are just as cheap in the local supermarket and you don’t have to buy 12 months supply of it in one go either.

JC said :

That said this legislation didn’t just appear so makes you wonder why the supermarkets and their shopping centre landlords haven’t worked on solutions far earlier.

Sure the legislation has been in place for a while, but the government crackdown on enforcement came quite suddenly and retailers had to swiftly react. Unfortunately there is no standard for trolley locks or trolley design, so with large retail outlets the incompatibility issue has raised its ugly head. The losers are the customers who have new challenges to overcome.

devils_advocate 1:26 pm 10 May 17

dungfungus said :

devils_advocate said :

dungfungus said :

devils_advocate said :

The trolley situation, combined with parking issues in general, has definitely pushed me in favour of Costco at Majura park (although the parking gets more difficult out there by the day). But at least Costco has free trolleys and plenty of trolley bays in the car park, and consistently placed.

Free B-Double size trolleys but you have to pay to shop there.

Ridiculous.

Without wanting to sound like an advertorial for Costco, the yearly membership fee pales into insignificance once you get a few tanks of petrol (which, by the way, you only need your membership card, and not a shop-a-docket, to access).

It costs about $1.00 a kilometre to run a motor vehicle so why would I spend $50 to drive out there and back to save $10 on a tankful of petrol?

I accept that it may suit some but it doesn’t suit me.

Because you have to buy groceries from somewhere and you might as well combine the two activities? Also I think if you have to drive 50k to Costco and it’s costing you a dollar a kilometre for some reason, you might be the exception rather than the rule.

JC 9:22 am 10 May 17

JessP said :

Rover said
08 May 17

I lived in England for three years in the early 2000s and coin-operated trolleys were the norm. Everyone managed, no-one complained.

Seriously, Canberrans can find a way to whinge about anything.

I used trolleys in the UK with no problems as well and I don’t have a problem with paying so they don’t get left in all manner of places (although $1 is cheap if you want to steal a trolley).

What I have a problem with is returning the bloody things and getting my $1 or $2 back.

Guess one big difference is in the U.K. most supermarkets where you would be using a trolley are standalone sites, so much easier to provide return facilities. And also easier to provide electronic locking systems too as most are fenced off etc.

Reading the posts here seems the biggest issue is in Canberra shopping centres where there are multiple shops which of course makes it harder to provide sufficient and shop specific return points. That said this legislation didn’t just appear so makes you wonder why the supermarkets and their shopping centre landlords haven’t worked on solutions far earlier.

Rover 12:52 am 10 May 17

JessP said :

Rover said
08 May 17

I lived in England for three years in the early 2000s and coin-operated trolleys were the norm. Everyone managed, no-one complained.

Seriously, Canberrans can find a way to whinge about anything.

I used trolleys in the UK with no problems as well and I don’t have a problem with paying so they don’t get left in all manner of places (although $1 is cheap if you want to steal a trolley).

What I have a problem with is returning the bloody things and getting my $1 or $2 back.

I’ve only once had a problem returning my trolley in Canberra – I just had to walk a bit further. As I say, Canberrans…

JessP 1:26 pm 09 May 17

Rover said
08 May 17

I lived in England for three years in the early 2000s and coin-operated trolleys were the norm. Everyone managed, no-one complained.

Seriously, Canberrans can find a way to whinge about anything.

I used trolleys in the UK with no problems as well and I don’t have a problem with paying so they don’t get left in all manner of places (although $1 is cheap if you want to steal a trolley).

What I have a problem with is returning the bloody things and getting my $1 or $2 back.

Tara Cheyne MLA 1:08 pm 09 May 17

I’ve been speaking with Westfield Belconnen in particular about this issue. They are well aware of it and working on solutions (noting they have a number of different supermarkets to manage) which they hope to implement soon. Anecdotally I understand the number of shopping trolleys which have been left outside centres has decreased a great deal.

dungfungus 10:33 am 09 May 17

devils_advocate said :

dungfungus said :

Given that so many people find it inconvenient to shop at the supermarkets wouldn’t it be better to shop on-line?

In fact, do you get the feeling that supermarkets are happy to be compliant with government regulations re shopping trolleys because subliminally the process is building receptivity for consumers to try something else and online grocery shopping is already there.

We already have to scan our purchases. Next thing they will be asking us to pay a deposit before we shop to “offset shoplifting”.

These are all tactics in the strategy to convert us to on-line shopping. Surely we have all seen the recent TV ads showing the lass selecting the best produce for on-line shoppers?

Online shopping will be fine once it’s supported by real-time inventory. I have tried online shopping – when something isn’t available you don’t realise until your (incomplete) delivery arrives. If you have to go to the shop to get the missing items, it defeats the whole purpose.

Well in that case the supermarkets TV promotions for online are totally false and misleading because it depicts the order picker at large in the real-time supermarket.

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