Coop mistakenly offers 260 products for free

Coop mistakenly offers 260 products for free

While the old saying states that the best things in life are free, you don’t expect luxury watches and hairdryers to be part of the adage. That was exactly the case on January 1, when the website of the Swiss supermarket Coop offered 260 different products entirely for free.

Expensive watches and beauty products offered for free

Speaking to 20 Minuten, one of the users who noticed the glitch, Larissa, said that she had originally taken to the internet to buy a belated Christmas present when she found herself on the Coop website. When she placed her order for a Lego Technic set, “Instead of 150 francs, the price of the product was suddenly zero francs.”

A quick search around later, she concluded that “everything I clicked on was free - watches, beauty products, household items.” Among some of the pricier items that were listed for free was a Dyson Airwrap, retailing at 649 francs, and a 329-franc Michael Kors watch. After trying and failing to reach customer support - it was a public holiday after all - she eventually abandoned her purchases, although questioned later what would have happened if she had gone through with “buying” the items.

Coop confirms it was not a giveaway, but a glitch

It wasn’t long before Coop had to clarify that what happened was not the most generous sale in Swiss history, but was a tech glitch. Spokesperson Kevin Blättler told 20 Minuten that a “technical malfunction” meant that any product that was on discount, estimated to be around 260 products at the time, was marked as being completely free.

According to Blättler, “Customers were able to buy the incorrectly labelled items for around two and a half hours” before the error was discovered. Sadly, those hoping their free gifts and gadgets are already with the postal service are out of luck, as Coop will not be following through on the free orders.

“We will inform the affected customers as soon as possible and offer them the opportunity to order the products at the original promotional price,” Blättler concluded. For those questioning whether they can legally rescind their error-based offer, Christian Lenz, a lawyer from Lenz & Caduff, told the newspaper that while online orders are generally binding, "If the price deviates 'significantly' from the actual price, the seller has the right to challenge the contract due to an error."

Thumb image credit: Taljat David /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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