Countdown not dishing out refunds over 'free range' eggs just yet

RNZ

Consumers who purchased eggs from Countdown believing they were free-range should be entitled to a refund since it has been proven they were actually caged eggs, Consumer NZ says.

Countdown customers who bought Palace Poultry eggs labelled as free range are owed a refund, Consumer NZ says.

Some of the supermarket's customers have been calling out for a refund via social media after allegations the egg supplier has been selling caged eggs as free range.

But Countdown says any refunds will have to wait until after it has concluded an investigation into the claims Palace Poultry has been misleading consumers. The Serious Fraud Office is also investigating.

A Newsroom investigation uncovered information that questions the validity of Poultry Palace's "free range" claims. The ...
NEWSROOM.CO.NZ

A Newsroom investigation uncovered information that questions the validity of Poultry Palace's "free range" claims. The Serious Fraud Office is investigating.

In the meantime, Countdown has pulled all Palace Poultry products from its shelves.

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Countdown removes Palace Poultry 'free range' eggs likely laid by caged hens
Palace Poultry deny all allegations, say they bought and sold eggs in 'good faith'

Consumer NZ head of research Jessica Wilson said consumers had the right to a refund if they had been misled.

Consumer NZ says it doesn't matter if the allegations turn out to be false. At the moment, Countdown can't categorically ...
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Consumer NZ says it doesn't matter if the allegations turn out to be false. At the moment, Countdown can't categorically say the eggs it sold its customers were free range.

If the supermarket could not vouch for the product it sold, it owed consumers their money back immediately, she said.

"At the moment, the situation is they can't categorically say customers bought free range eggs."

Wilson said retailers had a responsibility to their customers, which meant they should have their own chain of custody in place to make sure the products they were selling were genuine.

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Countdown spokesman James Walker said a few people had been asking about refunds on the supermarket's Facebook page.

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While the supermarket was willing to make things right with customers if the allegations were proved correct, Countdown wouldn't be providing refunds ahead of the conclusion of the investigation.

"The first thing to keep in mind at this point in time is these are still allegations."

Walker said Countdown would give its supplier a fair deal and allow the investigation to run its course.

However, if Palace Poultry was selling the supermarket caged eggs, labelled as free range, the supermarket had also been misled.

"We had a contract to buy free range eggs and we paid free range egg price," he said.

 - Stuff

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