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Major alcohol retailer's online underage customer loophole

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 22 November, 2012 - 11:28 AM
Alcohol drinks spirits bottles

The Neil Mitchell program has become aware of a safeguard lacking on a major alcohol retailer’s online store, making liquor potentially available to minors.

Program producer Sam Drummond purchased a bottle of spirits on Dan Murphy’s website during ‘Click Frenzy’ when he became aware of the ease of accessibility of the retailer’s products to those who are underage.

"I've gone through to the checkout, I've entered my address, I've entered my visa debit card details and then all I had to do after then was click a little box which said I acknowledge I'm over 18 and put my birth date," he said.


The age verification system used on Dan Murphy's website.

"It is on its way to my home and I'm assured it will be put outside the back of my house because I won't be home at the time they deliver the goods."

Sam Drummond said he did not have to be at home to sign for the bottle when it was delivered, and that the option of his order being left with a neighbour was also available to him.


Delivery options available to customers on Dan Murphy's website.

Sam Drummond said while those who are under 18 are not able to take out their own credit card, debit cards offered by the major credit card companies which can be used for online shopping were available to minors.

Geoff Munro, Policy Director at the Australian Drug Foundation, said Dan Murphy’s home-delivery procedures could cost them their liquor licence.

"I think Sam's story is very disturbing because when online ordering was introduced some years ago, we spoke to the director of liquor licensing who assured us that alcohol ordered online would never be left unattended at the house and would never be delivered to underage people," he said.

"Clearly there's a loophole here where young people can have alcohol delivered to their home.

"Alcohol should not be left unattended when people order it. It should be always delivered to an adult and their age should be verified."

Mr Munro said his main concern was with the Woolworths-owned alcohol retailer was the delivery aspect, with age verification required once the product had made its way to the purchaser.

Sam Drummond said he also found an online cigarette retailer which enabled him to buy four cartons of cigarettes. The site simply asked for the purchaser’s birth date to be entered.

LISTEN: Producer Sam Drummond and Australian Drug Foundation Policy Director, Geoff Munro, speak with Neil Mitchell:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • I can buy as much alcohol as i like on scoopon, and i could 5 or 15 or 25 years of age they wouldn't have a clue..How safe is that !!!

    Alex Tuesday 22 January, 2013 - 11:41 AM
  • i shop online with Woolworths. i have to be here, or someone over 18, with ID if needed to accept alcohol deliveries from them. same with tobacco products.

    dingo Thursday 22 November, 2012 - 11:39 AM

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