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Wed, 14 Oct, 2020

"Total disgrace": Why Woolies is facing more boycotts

"Total disgrace": Why Woolies is facing more boycotts

Woolworths customers have responded in fury after more stores transitioned into being completely cashless this week.

A trial was announced for 11 stores across Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year and now the grocer has since expanded the move to three more stores.

Five of the original 11 stores that have trialled cashless payments have experienced temporary closures, which mean that a total of nine Metro locations currently are enforcing mandatory digital payments.

Melbourne’s Bourke Street and Elizabeth Street Metro stores introduced cashless payments in July.

On Monday the Caulfield North and Yarraville stores did the same.

Sydney Metro stores on York and George Street in the city, as well as Manly, on the Northern Beaches, also made the transition in July.

Rosebery in Sydney’s south introduced the change on Monday.

Customers have been swift in slamming the new system which they say requires them to pay for their goods using the available EFTPOS machines.

One shopper said that she had been a loyal customer to the supermarket for over 20 years and would “shop elsewhere” if Woolies went cashless at any of its stores.

“Please consider what you are doing. Giving people the choice to pay with cash is and always will be essential in my view,” her post on the retailer’s Facebook page read.

Another shopper said the change was a disadvantage for disabled people, who they said only used cash because “they do not understand when they use a card they are actually spending money”.

“You are a total disgrace going card only. Apart from that a lot of older people only use cash,” they wrote.

Someone else labelled Woolworths as “the biggest bully out” due to its decisions

“I am boycotting Woolworths and any other business who will not accept my legal tender cash. I vow to never attend a Woolworths store again, and instead I will choose to trade with stores who respect me,” one other shopper declared in a post.

Other angry customers also argued that it was wrong for the supermarket to refuse cash, as it was “legal tender”.

Woolworths says the stores that were subject to a physical cash ban had already been experiencing payments that are predominantly cashless.

“We know that cash remains an important payment option for many of our customers and 99.14 per cent of our stores will still accept cash. That is all of our supermarkets and majority of our Metro stores,” a response from a Woolworths employee read.

Woolworths has said in a statement that the cashless was brought in to offer a seamless checkout experience “for busy inner-city customers”.

“We want Woolworths Metro to be the easiest place to pick up your next meal, top up your grocery shop or buy your next coffee,” a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

“To help make shopping as seamless as possible for busy inner-city customers we’re trialling card only transactions in a handful of Metro stores in CBD locations.

“We will closely monitor the feedback from our customers as we trial this new offer.”