Modern Dystopia

Woolworths Bullshit!

If you’re not aware of this already, Woolworths have stopped accepting credit/debit cards (such as Visa and Mastercard debit cards) for credit transactions at their EFTPOS terminals. Instead you will be required to make a Cheque or Savings choice, and hence, with most banks, incur a fee yourself for the privilege. The theory is that they don’t want to cop the fees from credit transactions, but they’re quite happy for you to use a CREDIT card.

I heard about this a little while back, and listened to a Woolworths spokesperson make some very conflicting statements.

1) They claimed that use of Debit cards was becoming an unmanageable cost due to their rising prevalence in transactions and the fact that they get charged a percentage fee by the bank for credit card transactions.

2) They said it would only impact a VERY SMALL number of consumers as less than 1% of their customer base actually use this method.

So which is it? If it’s only 1% then how do the other 99% pay?

I am sure actual credit card usage (as opposed to debit cards using the credit option) is much higher than 1%, but they aren’t stopping you using them. Imagine the furore if they stopped accepting credit cards! or if they did (as they have a right to) charge a small fee for credit transactions.

They’d be publicly shamed on every current affairs show in the country, and every reputable media outlet too! Instead, they’re shafting the little man. The lower income people who are probably trying very hard to AVOID credit cards as the evil trap that they are.

My bank makes a POINT of promoting these debit cards as a way to avoid fees. The fees to use them as EFTPOS are quite high, whereas credit transactions are fee free. Using the credit option allows them to recoup a small amount in fees from the retailer, in the same way every other credit transaction does. Those costs are BUILT IN to the costs at the supermarket. We’re not inventing a new expense for Woolworths.

Now… I’m having a rant, but I’ll mention another thing. I’m not sure if or how this applies, but doesn’t Australian law say that you cant artificially limit payment options in this way? Didn’t Ebay have to do an about face when they tried to limit the options for making payment?

I’m looking forward to leaving a few hundred dollars of groceries on the checkout when they refuse to allow a credit transaction.

Don’t boycott them. Make a public statement, in teh store, so the managers have to explain to their bosses what’s happening at the checkout.

Fill your trolley, and then refuse to pay by any means other than credit! If they wont accept your payment, walk out and go to Coles, or IGA.

It’s my shopping night tomorrow. I’ll be putting them through the wringer.

You can write to Woolworths here:


  1. Sue Denyhm

    Love your idea to leave a fully loaded trolley at the checkouts when they refuse to allow the credit option with a debit credit card

  2. Samantha

    You are a freaking idiot.

    People overdraw these “debit” cards and get them solely for the overdraw facility because they cannot get approval for a credit card due to their rating.

    It’s Woolworths taking a corporate responsible approach. But I guess you cannot see it for what it is and are going to punish the staff with your lame outburts and protests when they are just abiding by a company decision they have no control over. Shame on you.

  3. Kirsty

    Aaah… Samantha – I am one of those people who uses the ‘debit’ facility on my Visa for the exact reason mentioned above – that is does not incur a fee, whereas to use the ‘savings’ docks me one of my limited allowed transactions on my account each month. And as far as I am aware my bank does not permit me to overdraw, and I never have been able to. So ease off hey? Get YOUR facts straight.


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