Monday, November 22, 2010

A friendly letter to Coles and Safeway

Dear Coles and Safeway Management

Remember the good old days when you employed trolley boys? They were generally teenagers earning pocket money grabbing the trolleys and clearing the car park for you, keeping an eye on the trolley theft situation and possibly helping out the odd Granny with her grocery bags. You paid them (maybe not much, but you did pay them) and you still prospered very well.

For a few years now you have insisted that we pay a gold coin donation for the special privilege of pushing the now bigger than ever family trolley around. Sure, we can get it back, it is kind of like a deposit.

But have you noticed how hot it happens to be in Australia? Have you any idea how hot a car is when sitting out in the car park for an hour in the summer? Do you know how quickly a small baby or child can die in such cars?

I suggest you do a little experiment with two or more small children, especially one that is under six months and one that is around 2 or 3 and $200 of groceries. It must also be over 30 degrees.

Step 1:  Pay for the supplies and push the trolley out to the car park holding firmly to the toddlers hand and pushing the trolley with only one hand.

Step 2. Unload the children into the hot car, because otherwise you are leaving them in a trolley in the middle of the road in the car park.

Step 3. Hurry to unpack the stuff into the car.

Step 4. You now lock your children into the hot car while you walk about 40 metres to return your trolley, of course when you get there, that is the slot for the "small" trolleys and yours will not fit. Walk back past your car to the other trolley bay, bugger, someone has now put an Aldi trolley there and yours will not fit again. Walk to the third one and finally recover your $2. Run back to the car to relieve upset dehydrated children.

Clearly this is not an ideal situation and quite a health risk to really small infants. Or the extremely sick little girl with cancer that I saw yesterday, who has finally prompted this post. Her mother was stressed when she couldn't get her token back, it wasn't the coin, but a token for her to reuse. We put her trolley into my trolley, I pushed the two trolleys back into the store as none of the bays would take our trolleys back. She watched all four children so we could leave the doors open, I was also concerned about leaving my kids when I couldn't see them. The sisterhood had a win in the car park.

So, once again the hot weather is here and my donations to Coles and Safeway start stacking up as I leave my trolley and coin behind. Coles, Safeway, if either of you would like to refund me my $50 trolley fund money, let me know.

Or perhaps you could bring back the trolley boy.

Kindest regards
Ms C Hewitt

P.S. Dont even consider telling me about the trolley for two kids, I saw it once, but have never seen it again, did you both just order one for the media release image?

P.P.S I know Aldi is the same, but they never pretend to offer service in the first place.



  1. OMG you said it! Bring back the trolley boys!Surely the big chains can throw a few dollars at hiring some students for some after-school work. Don't get me started on 'returning the trolleys' l've lost many dollars over the years. It's not the money that bothers me but they are constantly broken or you can't return them properly. Don't get me started on parking meters! LOL!

  2. Not sure of the politics behind it, but our local Woolies has recently reverted back. We are back to regular, no coin required type. yay! Maybe they pre-empted your post!

  3. We still have trolley boys, or rather men, at our coles, but it's a rarity to see them. Even without having to get your coin back, taking the trolley back by itself is a pain in the arse when you've got kids in the car. So usually I have to keep the kids in the trolley, unload them all at the trolley bay and then walk back with them.

    Sometimes a trolley guy will take it back for me which is a GODSEND, trolley boys should be employed fulltime.

    Our Kmart tried and failed with coin trolleys, but it seems to be working ok at ALDI

    One thing I do like is our Coles FINALLY has an actual variety of trolleys for different aged kids. But its only one of each type. For years we only ever had one trolley with a 5-point baby seat

  4. I never thought of this! We don't have coin trolleys over here (WA) but with the temperature reaching 39 in recent days I feel terrible putting the baby in the car after shopping and that's even when I can leave the windows down and doors open while I chuck a bag in the boot!

  5. Amen! This is a great post and I hope someone will actually listen! I am sure the whole coin idea was a great thing at the start, but really it simply is a pain.
    And what is the deal with the double trolleys? I saw one once... but since then it seems to have disappeared.

  6. we still have the trolly boys (aged 16/17 etc... no coins love it thats I.G.A Ritchies were the community benifits lol...

  7. Wow, how true, I never thought about the aldi part before and HEY YEAH!why should we pay for the privilege of navigating store with enough ease to purchase what we need, once the till has rung and you have left the store, well that's your problem.

  8. I didn't realize some of you were still lucky enough to have trolley boys, we may have to move. I would try IGA too, but there isn't a big one around here.

  9. yes we have the trolley boy as well in a local I.G.A which is great when have small littles , they even keep your frozen stuff if have other stuff to do in town if you live out of town!

  10. So totally agree! Our local shopping centre in their wisdom only supplied trolley bays to one half of the car park and its a struggle to get one of those parking bays at the best of time, never mind in the lead up to Christmas as the temperatures soar.

    Must admit, bub stays in the trolley until the boot is loaded, especially after the carjack in Northland this year. But it means they're out in the hot sun and you dont have the opportunity to cool the car down as you then need to push the trolley 5 lanes down to find a trolley bay.

    And WHY OH WHY do they not have pedestrian lanes? or ramps to get the trolleys over the concrete bits? Some drivers are SO scary in carparks, but you have no choice but to push trolleys on the "road"

  11. Where I am the supermarkets and any store that has trolley's ie. K-Mart, BigW have to HAVE the coin trolleys. It's one of the lovely by-laws from our local council.

  12. My sister owns an I.G.A at Mackay and they have packing boys that carry your shopping out to your car for you. We have no such luck were I live so we use Ausie Farmers Direct who diliver a fruit and veggie box and milk and cheese to the door. Then Glenn can pop out at night for anything elce we need that way I manage to get out of shopping with four little ones altogether.

  13. Clarey, I'm hearing you. I detest the whole supermarket experience. Maybe you should try ordering your groceries on-line. For a small fee, you could say goodbye to the dreaded trolleys, the carparks, the hot car, for good...

  14. How is it you can read my mind. Every Thursday this goes through my head: should I put the kids in the car while I take my trolley back, or should I take them with me and then carry tham both back. Oh dilemma. And I miss those trolly boys. Bring back the good old days!

  15. Oh I so hear you... and can I add in what a nightmare it is when you have baby twins? First if you are lucky enough to get the one and only twin trolley (because I there is only one and that lady really needs both those baby seats to keep her purse AND her milk safe) how you get both your babies to and from that trolley is a logistical nightmare....

    Yes I do feel your pain...

  16. yes, yes, yes I agree with you completely. I have the same problem with trolleys in our area.


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