Evelyn Hill could not shop after Woolworths in Allenstown Plaza shut its doors due to a computer problem.
Evelyn Hill could not shop after Woolworths in Allenstown Plaza shut its doors due to a computer problem.

Woolies locks shoppers out



IT ANGERED customers, confused staff and caused sheer havoc for hundreds of people like Evelyn Hill in Rockhampton yesterday.

The main-frame computer crash at Allenstown Plaza's Woolworths not only stopped customers from entering the store, it also outraged many people who were waiting at checkouts.

For Mrs Hill it ruined her whole day.

She was supposed to be stocking groceries for a canteen. But because of the store closure she could not get in and had run out of time.

?"I've got to pick up my kids from school, I won't be able to do my shopping now,'' she said as she left the centre with an empty trolley.

The store was closed for about four-and-a-half hours after staff discovered the problem.

A spokesperson for the Woolworths store blamed the closure on an IT problem.

One customer, Sharon Wratten, said once the computers completely crashed, line-ups were at least seven people deep at each checkout.

"There were a lot of upset people,'' said the 29-year-old Rockhampton woman.

"People were getting really angry and were upset with the girls behind the checkout counter.''

The technical difficulties occurred around 10.45am and some customers were waiting in line for over 45 minutes, she said.

Eventually Woolworths had to shut its doors and ask people to leave without their groceries.

The store was particularly busy, too, because yesterday the majority of Centrelink aged pensioners were paid.

"There were pensioners everywhere,'' Mrs Wratten said.

"The people's trolleys were chockablock.''

Yet not every one was upset by the error.

Nathanael Newman credited the crash as giving him an easy day at work.

"It's a good break, we've got nothing to do,'' said the 14-year-old trolley-boy.

"I heard some people were getting stuff for free, because they didn't realise it had crashed at first.''

The supermarket was operating normally late yesterday afternoon.



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