Woolworths shopper calls out supermarket after getting a nasty surprise in dinner essential

Georgina Noack
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Woolworths will ‘look into’ claims by a customer that they were short-changed when they brought an essential dinnertime ingredient home in their grocery haul.
Woolworths will ‘look into’ claims by a customer that they were short-changed when they brought an essential dinnertime ingredient home in their grocery haul. Credit: bloomberg

A frustrated Woolworths customer did not mince their words when they took to social media to call out the supermarket and suggest they had been sneakily ripped off in their recent grocery shop.

The Victorian shopper took to X, formerly Twitter, after making an alarming discovery that their 1kg packet of beef mince was missing a key element: mince.

The shopper, who goes by Shepherd on the social media app, shared a picture of the unopened 1kg packet of mince — which they bought at the Delacombe Town Centre, southwest of Ballarat — sitting on top of their Thermomix to be weighed.

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The Thermomix scales weighed the tray of mince measured just 784g — 216g less than what the label promised was in the $11 tray.

“Woolworths, is there a different kind of kilogram that I don’t know about?” they wrote.

“Or is a 20 per cent gain on your behalf ‘within tolerance’?”

A member of Woolworths’ social media team replied to the picture saying they were “disappointed to see that your beef mince was a bit underweight”. They suggested Shepherd return the product or a receipt to the store for a refund or replacement.

But the customer said that would not be possible, as the mince was “needed for dinner last night” and that the supermarket in question was 35km away. Shepherd instead requested a credit be placed on their Everyday Rewards account.

“Also, when was the last time an AQS (Average Quantity System) Test/Audit was completed? And what were the results?” they added.

The AQS is a means of regulating the size and quantity of pre-packed goods sold by measure (i.e. by weight).

According to the National Measurement Institute, which regularly inspects pre-packaged goods to ensure they adhere to the AQS, the average net content in a sample “cannot be less than the stated quantity marked on the packages”, but allowance is made for “a small number of packages to exceed ‘tolerable deficiency’.”

As well as regular inspections by the NMI, it is understood Woolworths has its own checks and balances throughout production to ensure the supermarket’s own branded products are compliant.

The meat section at a Woolworths
Woolworths sells a variety of pre-packaged products that are reportedly checked to ensure they are compliant with average standards. Credit: Glenn Campbell /AAP

In response to questions put by 7NEWS.com.au, a Woolworths spokesperson said the supermarket would look to investigate the matter further.

“We’ve asked the customer for further information so we can look into the claim,” the spokesperson said.

“All of our pre-packed meat products are checked for their weight on scales that have been certified for trade use.

“If ever our customers are concerned about the weight of a product, we’d encourage them to return it to our store. This not only allows us to issue a refund, but also helps to ensure we have the product details we need to investigate further.”

It is understood that scales on home appliances are sometimes not as reliable as supermarket and industry scales, which are regularly calibrated.

The pre-packed mince that sparked this customer’s anger featured an “e” symbol on the label — which is common on many pre-packed supermarket products —which stands for “estimate” and allows for a certain amount of shortfall in weight.

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