Shopping online can make life a lot easier, especially if you are a busy mum and not always able to get to the store on time, so it’s hardly surprising that a Sydney woman was shopping online for her baby formula. What is surprising is the alleged reason her account was suspended.
Chinese-Australian woman Sarah Kong placed an order for four cans of milk powder from retailer Woolworths on New Year’s Eve, but never received her order even though she had a confirmation email.
Things get lost in the post, couriers get confused — sure, these things happen. But what happened next is where the story gets truly troubling.
Daily Mail Australia shared a screenshot of Kong’s Facebook message to Woolworths posted on Jan. 3 (which has since been deleted) and it details her horrible experience. When Kong called customer services, they revealed that her account had been “blocked and order cancelled because [her] order only contained baby formula. That is why [she] did not receive [her] delivery.”
Kong believes this may be because of her surname — alluding to the alleged scandal whereby Australian baby formula was being bought in bulk and sold online to Chinese buyers.
Speaking about her experience with Daily Mail Australia, Kong said, “I don’t support what these customers are doing, but there’s certain things you shouldn’t make money from and baby formula is one of them.”
“I was born and raised here so to be blocked from ordering food for my 6-month-old daughter purely because of my [Chinese] surname is not something I want to think has happened,” she continued. “It’s quite difficult to prove the reason behind the cancellation but I’m getting a sense there might be a bit of stereotype (sic) happening.”
“I’ve lived the Australian life so it’s not something you’d expect to happen. It’s not nice to be discriminated and this is discrimination — I don’t want to use this word but it is what it is,” Kong concluded.
According to the publication, Kong claims to not have received a response from the company.
There is no denying that there is currently a shortage of the baby formula, but should Kong’s purchase have been cancelled because her order consisted only of formula? Woolworths may have lost a customer in Kong, but is it down to poor customer service or is there really something more sinister behind the decision?