Countdown's latest promotion "Domino Stars" - which features a collectable set of 50 Disney Pixar characters - has caused a frenzy around the country, with reports of pushing, swearing and underhand tactics by desperate parents wanting to get their hands on the full set for their children.
Part of the nationwide promotion involves "swap days", where shoppers are invited to visit a Countdown store at a certain time to trade the pieces. There were swap meets at stores across the country on Sunday, with another round next Sunday.
Christine Beukes wrote on the Countdown Facebook page that she had so far collected 167 pieces and spent "well over $3340" in an attempt to collect all 50.
"Needless to say I still needed 4 pieces so I went down to the Countdown in Botany yesterday to swap as advertised. Great was my disappointment when I saw a huge group of people outside under a little roof [while] rain was pouring down."
Ms Beukes went on to say that she did not exchange anything and "was shocked by the way we were chased away at 11am by an employee of the store".
"I do realise they have a business to run but could they please rearrange the way they allow us to exchange our pieces. I felt humiliated and quite frankly doubt if I should get myself into anything like that again."
She has not given up yet though.
"Maybe my business to you is not important but I am sure there will be more people like me who might feel the same way. I will attempt again this Sunday to exchange my pieces but I do not have much hope as the hour allocated falls into my church time and only gives me an overlap of 15 minutes, which was definitely not going to allow me any time to exchange ..."
Other posts on the company's Facebook page complained of stores running out of the dominoes.
Others are bidding on the pieces on Trade Me, with one full set given the "Buy Now" price of $85.
It was reported yesterday that a 5-year-old girl was pushed at Mornington Countdown in Dunedin by adults attending the Sunday morning swap.
A woman said her son was pushed so hard his glasses were nearly knocked off, while in Mosgiel "a woman selected 10 dominoes from another person and when asked which dominoes she had to swap she replied 'none' and ran out of the store", Fairfax reported.
Countdown head of promotions, planning and production Sally Copland said yesterday that the company was "disappointed" to hear that a few customers were not getting into the spirit of the swap meet events.
"The swap meets are a great way for our customers and their children to positively interact with both our store team, and other customers, to swap and collect any dominoes they need to complete their sets."
She said that all stores throughout New Zealand held dominoes swap meets last weekend and would be holding them again this weekend.
"The swap meets have had a higher-than-expected attendance, so we are planning to have stores run an extended time this Sunday so that everyone can do their trading. Stores are being briefed to expect larger crowds."