M&S sorry after staff misinterpreted buyer and ‘didn’t believe she was disabled’
M&S has apologized to a buyer after he allegedly misinterpreted her and did not believe she was disabled.
The high-end clothing and food retailer left the woman feeling ‘upset and embarrassed’ over the incident in which she was prevented from using the disabled toilet.
Tay Beales, 22, was out shopping with his girlfriend Freya when the incident happened around 2pm on May 17.
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The couple, who are about to move into a new home together, were enjoying their day looking for household items.
However, their trip was ruined when Tay, who has epilepsy, went to use the disabled toilet – but was refused entry by a staff member who said she was ‘not disabled’, Devon Live reporting.
Tay said: “Freya went into the women’s toilet and the M&S woman was standing in front of the disabled toilet. So I opened the handle and she said, ‘No, no, no, you’re not going there -inside. not disabled.’
“I told her that I am disabled, that I have epilepsy, a sign on the door even said that ‘not all disabilities are visible’. Then she told me ‘no, you have to go “and drove me into men as cattle.
“I didn’t know I was going to men’s at the time. I walked in there and there was a man peeing.
“I felt uneasy so I came out and went to the women’s bathroom.
“That member of staff then saw me again and said ‘no you have to go see the disabled’ and again he chased me out of the women’s toilets like cattle. At the time it wasn’t that I was angry; I felt upset and embarrassed.
“I was trying not to cry. When I tried to explain what happened I was choked up.” Speaking to Devon Live, Tay’s girlfriend Freya said she was using the restroom when the incident happened, but claims to have grabbed a customer. chatting with the staff member when she came out.
Freya said: “I could hear the customer talking to the employee and the customer said ‘I can’t believe you let a man in the toilet’
The staff member then said ‘She’s not a man and I didn’t know where to put her, she said she was disabled but she isn’t’.
The customer started asking if she thought Tay was male or female, and then I jumped in.”
In utter disbelief, Freya and Tay went to speak to another member of staff to complain.
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Tay said: “We went to speak to a manager who apologised. It was only after I told the manager we were going to make a formal complaint that they took my details. I don’t think the manager took the incident seriously.”
Following the incident, an M&S spokesperson told Devon Live: “We have a zero tolerance approach to discrimination within M&S and we are always working to ensure our stores are welcoming. for everyone.
“We are truly sorry that Tay’s experience did not meet the high standards of customer service we set for ourselves, and for the upset this has caused. We spoke with Tay today to apologize directly and she accepted a gesture of apology.”