st ali coffee roaster


Melbourne coffee roastery St Ali, has come under fire online over its promotion of two free rapid antigen tests with purchases of coffee or merchandise over AUS $159.99. The offer was sent through text message to special VIP customers.

In the text, it said: “We’ve been fortunate to secure a limited number of Rapid Antigen Tests for our staff, families and friends. As a special VIP customer, we’d like to extend these to you too.”

St Ali sent out the offer message just a day after an announcement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), claiming they have “significant concerns” regarding the prices and availability of rapid antigen tests, after receiving more than 1,800 reports of price gouging, from the public.

Any test costing more than $30, even with supply constraints, is almost certainly too expensive and would seem to be taking advantage of the current circumstances.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims

The offer message created online backlash on Twitter and Reddit, which St Ali responded to with a follow-up apology text message:

We recently procured some Rapid Antigen Tests for our staff and their family. we had some surplus supply, so we sent a text message to some of our subscribers offering two free Rapid Antigen Tests with a minimum order value. We believed this was a way of supporting our customers who purchased from us regularly, but the message has been lost. We can see in hindsight it was inappropriate. We are very sorry.

Other products offered on the website like contactless thermometers, hand sanitisers and pulse oximeters were taken down as well. The company also said that it will donate any other tests it receives, to Father Bob ( a South Melbourne Charity).

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