An Australian supermarket boss has given one of his customers the bird after it was claimed the man tried to return almost 5000 rolls of toilet paper and 150 bottles of hand sanitiser which he couldn't sell online.

John-Paul Drake, an executive with South Australian supermarket chain Drakes, said he refused to give the man a refund.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, Drake said recent panic buying of toilet paper had been "absolutely ridiculous" with the company selling eight months' worth in four days at one point.

But one customer's behaviour was worse than the others.

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"I had my first customer yesterday who said he wanted to get a refund on 150 packets of 32-pack toilet paper and 150 units of one-litre sanitiser."

In 150 packs of 32-roll toilet paper there would be 4800 individual rolls.

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Drake said the man had come into the store to get his money back after website eBay refused to allow him to sell the items online.

In the video, Drake then showed his middle finger and said that was his reply to the customer's request.

"I told him that, that is the sort of person who is causing the problem in the whole country."

John-Paul Drake's blunt reply to a hoarder who wanted a refund. Photo / YouTube
John-Paul Drake's blunt reply to a hoarder who wanted a refund. Photo / YouTube

In a later LinkedIn post, Drake said the customer hadn't bought the loo roll and hand sanitiser in one trip, but claimed that he had run a sophisticated operation that saw up to 20 people visit several Drakes stores buying a pack in each one.

Panic buying and hoarding overwhelmed Australian supermarkets from early March as people began stocking up on staples like toilet rolls, pasta and rice.

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Some customers were filmed brawling in the aisles to try to get their hands on scarce supplies, while others were reselling the same items for astronomical prices online.

New Zealand has also seen panic buying, prompting a response from major supermarket companies urging Kiwis to "Shop Normally".

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website