Frequently Asked Questions

Olive

Need more help? Speak to Olive, the Countdown Virtual Assistant

Our hard-working Customer Care team is experiencing a high volume of calls and emails at the moment so please use Olive, our virtual assistant.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

Rapid Antigen Tests available at Countdown Pharmacies around the country this week and a growing number of our stores. We will be selling them in more stores as supply becomes available. 

At the moment we have not placed limits on Rapid Antigen Tests.

The Rapid Antigen Tests in our stores are one option available to people who want them. Free Rapid Antigen Tests are also being made available by the Ministry of Health at a variety of locations and can be found at:https://requestrats.covid19.health.nz/

People can also still head to their local testing centre or GP for a free Rapid Antigen Test if they are symptomatic or a household contact of someone with COVID-19.

RATs will be available online where there is stock and you can check here - if there are no RATs displaying then the tests are not currently in stock in this area.

Store information

A small number of stores are on shorter hours due to some team having to isolate. If you’d like to check the opening hours of your local store, please check here.

The country is now operating under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework - The Traffic Lights. Whether you’re at Red, Orange or Green, we’ve got plenty of health and safety measures in place to help keep our team and customers safe. 

Customers are required to wear a mask when they are shopping in our stores. For more information on mask wearing, visit: https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/keep-up-healthy-habits/wear-a-face-mask/.

There is no longer a requirement to scan in or for a business to display a QR code poster as the Ministry of Health is no longer contract tracing individual cases. But we completely understand you may like to continue tracking your own movements, which you can do by entering visits into the COVID-19 tracer app. There is helpful information about this here: https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/keep-up-healthy-habits/keep-track-of-where-youve-been/.

We have a priority assistance service for older or vulnerable New Zealanders to help them stay at home. For more information about this service, visit: https://shop.countdown.co.nz/shop/content/priority-assistance

Our team is working hard to help all of our customers as quickly as possible. Please continue to treat our team with kindness and empathy, we’re all doing our best to help during this very busy time. We really appreciate you patience.

Alternatively, talk to our good friend Olive, who may be able to help answer any questions you might have.

Online shopping

Demand for our service is really high right now. If our website isn't showing any available slots, please try back again the following day. Our Customer Care team don’t have access to any other time slots.

We are asking anyone who can shop in-store to do so to help free up online shopping slots for other people who can’t get to supermarkets.

We’re currently giving Delivery Saver customers access to priority online shopping slots. These are exclusive to our priority customers and not available to the general public so will ensure you have access to more delivery slots.

Please note that while deliveries are contactless, drivers will not enter lifts or businesses. Instead they will leave your order in a reception area. You will receive a text message when the order is on its way.

Yes. Under all levels of the new COVID-19 framework, customers are able to BYO bags for their online order pickup. Customers using this service will need to use the opt-in button available when they are completing their online order.

The total value of your order is authorised by the banks when you place your order. This will show up in your bank statement as a pending payment

Your final payment is only taken on the day your order gets delivered. so that out of stock items can be removed from the total and you are only charged for what is delivered to you. 

It can take up to 7 days for the bank to update your statement to show the final amount, but you will only be charged for the amount of what was delivered. 

If after 7 days the amount in your bank statement does not reflect your invoice, then please get in touch with our team who will work to resolve this with you.

Unfortunately, supply chain issues mean your online order might not be provided to you in full. 

Please make sure you tick ‘Allow Substitutes’ for future orders so we can try and get you something else.

Unfortunately, orders paid for by gift card or Onecard voucher can’t be cancelled online yet and will also need to be handled by our Customer Care team.

Please note that the funds held for your cancelled order will be automatically released, but may take up to 7 working days to show in your bank account or credit card, depending on bank processing times.

Unfortunately, due to the high level of demand we are seeing for our online shopping service, we aren’t able to change your order after it has been placed. Our customer care team are also unable to make these changes at this time.

If you are able to, we’d recommend picking up anything you have missed in store.

Please note that while deliveries are contactless, drivers will not enter lifts or businesses. Instead they will leave your order in a reception area. You will receive a text message when the order is on its way.

Shopping in our stores

To make sure everyone has space to shop safely in our stores, we’ll be monitoring the number of people in our stores at any one time at all Traffic Light levels. Where possible, please only send one person per family to do the shopping and, if you’re feeling unwell, please stay home.

We have a range of physical distancing measures in place in our stores to keep our team and customers safe. These measures include limiting the number of customers to make sure everyone has room to move around our stores safely, having plenty of hand sanitiser available, and making sure the COVID-19 Tracer App QR codes are clearly visible. 

We’d encourage customers to use contactless payment options where they can and keep up good hygiene practices by washing their hands regularly and using the hand sanitiser available in our stores.

As mandated by the government, all customers will need to wear a mask or face covering in our stores. We also strongly recommend that customers continue to check in using the COVID app.

Our team will gladly pack our customers’ bags at all Traffic Light Levels, under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Our bulk food sections are open. From time to time, and depending on team availability due to having to isolate, we may temporarily close some counters in our stores including deli counters. You are still able to BYO containers.

Yes. As mandated by the government, all customers will need to wear a mask when they are shopping in our stores. For more information on mask wearing, visit: https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/keep-up-healthy-habits/wear-a-face-mask/.

The vast majority of our customers are already wearing a mask in our stores, which is great! We know that a few people might forget theirs, so our team will have some on hand if needed.  

The government has made face masks mandatory and we hope that all New Zealanders will understand the importance of this. 

All our stores will have signage to let customers know that masks are a condition of entry to our stores and we’ll have greeters at the entrance to help remind people to wear their mask and to scan in. We’ll also have some masks available for customers who might forget their own. 

If there’s a legitimate reason someone isn’t able to wear a mask, such as a medical condition, just politely let our team know. 

Masks are a condition of entry to our stores and for anyone who forgets, we will offer them a mask. We understand that for some customers, wearing a mask isn't possible due to health reasons. We'd ask those customers to either get a member of their bubble to shop for them or, if this isn't possible, let our team know and ensure they are socially distancing themselves from any other customers and our team.

Wearing a mask or face covering can significantly reduce the risk of people who have COVID-19 spreading the virus to others, so we’d ask all New Zealanders to play their part and mask up.

We’d recommend using cards and paywave where possible, but we will have dedicated checkouts accepting cash payments if needed.

We have recently made it a requirement that all roles across our business are to be performed by fully vaccinated team. 

 

For the most part, our pharmacies are operating as normal. However, a small number have had to slightly adjust their hours due to staffing impacts. We’d recommend calling ahead to check if the trading hours of your local store’s pharmacy has changed. 

 

If any of our team test positive for COVID-19, they’ll do the right thing by staying home and following all Ministry of Health guidelines around isolating and testing.

Supermarkets haven’t been listed as locations of interest for customers since November 2021. This is due to the significant number of measures we have in place to keep our team and customers safe including masks and physical distancing.

As Omicron spreads in Aotearoa, we expect to see increased levels of our team off work. So we can keep providing Kiwis with food and other essentials, we’ll look to temporarily close certain departments (deli, bakery and seafood counters) and move team to support critical areas like checkouts or online shopping, or into other stores.

Product limits

We know it’s frustrating when you can’t get the usual food for family p​ets. There are ongoing global challenges with sea freight​,​ which has led to some shipment delays here in New Zealand. ​​It's likely that we'll continue to​ experience​ ups and downs with the supply of​ pet ​food, especially in some brands, but w​e’re working closely with our suppliers and supply chain partners to mitigate ​these​ impacts as best we can​. ​

Stock levels

No, there is plenty of food in Aotearoa. However, as Omicron case numbers increase within our own store, supply chain and online shopping teams and in those of our suppliers, manufacturers and growers, there’s fewer people available to work, which will impact how much product we can get onto our shelves at any one time and will also see us prioritise getting certain products into our stores.

Currently, most products are pretty well-stocked right across the country but as we prioritise key lines and essentials, customers may not see their favourite brands or products from time to time.

We’d also encourage our online shoppers to allow for substitute options to help make sure we can complete their order as best as possible.

 

Physical distancing

Physical distancing is a term used by the Ministry of Health to describe less contact between you and other people.

The advice from the Ministry is that this will help prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19. The more space there is between you and others, the harder it is for a virus to spread.

The safety of our team and our customers is our main priority.

We’re supporting the Government’s recommendations to encourage physical distancing by using tools in our stores to help people create space between themselves and others, and our team. These include markings on floors, using the shopping trolley as a tool - supported by good hygiene practices.

The safety of our team and our customers is our main priority and we have a number of measures in place to help prevent the spread of the virus. These include:

  • Maintaining our comprehensive food quality and hygiene standards across the store
  • A detailed cleaning programme in our stores every day, supported by increased cleaning across high traffic areas.
  • Signs in stores to encourage good hygiene and care for each other
    • asking those who are self isolating to not enter the store.
    • sharing guidance on common hygiene and physical distancing.
    • advising to use the size of a trolley as a distance guide between each other
  • Floor marking distance guides at checkouts.
  • Limiting the number of customers in our stores.
  • Recommending customers use Paywave where possible.

Health and safety

We have wipes at the entry and hand sanitiser at the exits of our stores nationwide for our customers and team to use.

We’re also reinforcing our good hygiene measures as well sharing Ministry of Health guidelines with our team. We’ve increased our regular store cleaning as a precautionary measure.

Yes - under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, customers can BYO their containers at any Traffic Light level.

The safety and health of our team is our priority. Across our business we have taken the opportunity to review our processes and are reinforcing our normal hygiene measures, sharing Ministry of Health guidelines on prevention and regularly communicating with our team across multiple channels about how to stay safe and healthy.

We have also put a range of measures in place that are designed to keep both our team and our customers safe and healthy. These include encouraging customers shopping in our stores to use their trolley as a distance guide and to follow new floor markings at checkouts. We’ve also got perspex screens in place at checkouts, service counters and pharmacies. We’ll also be putting up posters across the store to provide our customers and teams with helpful tips to minimise contact with others.

Other recommendations include using Paywave where possible and maintaining strict hand-washing routines prior to coming into our stores.
We’re following the government’s requirements around self-isolation for any of our team members who are returning to New Zealand from overseas travel or have been asked to self isolate.

The health and safety of our customers and team is our utmost priority. We’re continuing to reinforce our good hygiene measures as well sharing Ministry of Health guidelines with our team.

Supporting our team

The safety, health and well-being of our team is our greatest priority. As our business is an essential service and our stores will be open each day, it’s really important that we look after them.

We are very grateful to our team members and suppliers who are working tirelessly to do the best job possible. Please continue to respect and support our team members, particularly if a product isn’t available or the checkout queues are longer than normal.

 

Priority Assistance service

We do have a priority assistance scheme that allows customers to apply for the scheme and if successful, they will be offered additional online shopping slots that are available for pick up or delivery which are not available to the general public to ensure that they are able to place an order.

For more information, or to apply for this service, visit: https://shop.countdown.co.nz/shop/content/priority-assistance



If you’ve previously been approved for our Priority Assistance service then this is automatically still available for you. You need to sign in to your Online Shopping account to see the priority time slots.

Our online delivery and pick up service is understandably seeing a lot of traffic at the moment.

If our website isn't showing any available slots, this is because the service is full. Please keep checking back.

Unfortunately, our Customer Care team aren't able to arrange delivery slot bookings over the phone.