...to name and shame somewhere for being disablist?(69 Posts)
Went to a hospital appointment yesterday lunchtime. Came out hungry and decided that, since there was a chain nearby that had food I could safely eat (I'm coeliac) I would pop round and grab something before hopping on a bus home.
I got there and found this. Which is a bummer when you're in a wheelchair and your kerb climber won't quite extend to that height of step. I signalled a member of staff and asked whether they had any ramps they could put down - central London, this didn't seem unreasonable. She went and got the branch manager who confirmed they had no ramps but he would escalate to head office.
I asked how that got me my lunch now, and told him a reasonable adjustment under the act would be to offer to take my order and money from the street and bring me my food and my change while I waited. He wouldn't, just kept repeating he'd talk to head office.
Utterly humiliating, for starters, but also just so bloody unfair. Just because I'm in a wheelchair doesn't mean I have less right to buy myself lunch.
So congratulations Wasabi Holborn on discriminating against the disabled. And I hope this can serve as a PSA to other disabled MNers to avoid the place if they happen to be in that area in the future.
Wow, that's totally not on. I wouldn't have a go at the staff there though - if they don't have ramps (which they bloody should) then they can't do much at that moment and wouldn't be able to take your money to spend it like that while they're working (we have the same policy where I work about taking people's card/money for them if they move away from the payment area and have to go back to it.) I would take it up with the head of the office for sure!
Fucks me off that there isn't some sort of law or something for this yet instead of wishy washy council guidelines. It's obvious stuff!
They've obviously fairly recently (by that I mean within the last 10-20 years at most) put in new glass fronting but yet no one thought 'can everyone get inside the restaurant'. Amazing how oblivious people are....
Are you going to follow up with an email or call to head office to check it has been passed on? Facebook or Twitter page maybe?
You are right to object to the lack of disabled access. I am not sure the staff are obliged to serve you on the street though. Raising to head office was a reasonable suggestion, as you don't need Wasabi right at that moment.
I don't know why they couldn't just serve you there if you were happy with them doing that. Really unhelpful
Actually, I did need them. There was nowhere else local that I knew for certain had something reliably gluten-free - as a chain it's long been my go-to for safe food when I'm out. Pret and other places regularly have nothing I can eat that is free from gluten, so my options were seriously limited.
As for serving me on the street, that would qualify as a reasonable accommodation to ensure that I could access what they were selling in the absence of physically being able to get into the shop, and they are obliged to try under law. If the branch manager can't take that kind of initiative when I offer it as a solution, he's clearly not that fussed about discriminating against the disabled.
I have already posted on their FB page, but have had no response. So a report to the local building control department seems to be the next step, since this is a very recent fit out that should have included provision for wheelchair access.
Might be to do with their insurance? I don't know. It's fair enough to ask them for the reason.
Hmm, OP, I think the exact nature of what constitutes a 'reasonable adjustment' would be for a court to decide, not you. They should definitely be required to install a ramp. I am just not sure they are required to serve you off their premises. This could affect their insurance. It could have meant leaving a till or bar unsupervised. I don't know. You may have to take legal action to find out.
And could you not have asked them to push you up the step? I would have thought that was doable. Forgive my ignorance if not.
YANBU. That is very frustrating and totally not acceptable.
Trifle I did. The answer to everything was "I'm sorry. I'll be sure to report it to head office". Which is probably why I'm so pissed off, tbh. This isn't the first time I've been unable to enter a shop. It's the first time a company has refused to serve me at the door as a means of allowing my custom, though.
YANBU, that's jobsworthy. I'm sure he could have come up with a solution that worked for you.
You're within your rights to complain that they wouldn't help you in, certainly.
I have a 95kg powered wheelchair, a Quickie Tango. It can manage a step of 10cm with a built in kerb riser. Anything higher is not an option, whether they could push me or not.
Staffing levels were more than adequate to permit them to serve me at the door, and the food is explicitly packaged for take-out, so no insurance implications for any similar food businesses - certainly nothing in the insurance my own coffee shop has that would prevent us serving someone at the door if they needed that, and that's a standard policy.
I can't see a court in England disagreeing with this being a reasonable adjustment, given staffing level, product type and willingness of the disabled person to be served in this way. It's not like I asked them to excavate a ramp while I waited
Utterly ridiculous that they wouldn't serve you at the door, they should have been falling over themselves to help you as the lack of a ramp was crap enough. As you say, a branch manager didn't have enough power/initiative to sort this, that's terrible! They should be the ones feeling humiliated, not you.
Im not sure if it worries you or not OP but you have just outed yourself by saying you have posted on facebook
That is shocking, I don't understand why they wouldn't serve you at the door?!
Definitely take it further, and keep going up the chain if still no resolution. Another wheelchair user member on here successfully got a Thorntons shop to install a doorbell and fold away ramp (I'm sure that was the outcome) when she couldn't access the shop due to the step. It took a while and a lot of complaining but she was successful in the end.
We had an issue in work of someone forgetting to pay and we offered to take their money to the payment area (think drive thru). When we brought the change back the accused us of stealing from them and having given us a £20 note, not a £10 (which they did) so now we cannot use a persons money for them unless they are present (if someone is in a wheelchair and the tills are too high we can help in that situation since the person is right at the till. We also have a policy of not taking people's cards out of their sight due to allegations of card cloning (has happened in big chains in America but not here but still we get the policy too). They could have maybe offered to bring the card reader to you if it was portable though?
Just trying to help understand why they wouldn't serve you at the door. But like I said, shouldn't have been a problem in the first place as there should have been ramps.
Toblerone good point, thanks. I don't believe I've written anything under this user name I'd not want people to know IRL, but I'll name change for the future, ta
It's really disgraceful and I'm sorry but not surprised.
The only way I can go shopping is by borrowing a mobility scooter from Shopmobiilty in my local town. There are quite a few shops without ramps and even a 3 inch step is too high for a mobility scooter so they don't get my custom.
I e-mailed a well known bookstore once about how their placement of book-piled tables at the entrance to their store stopped me from entering. Their reply: 'shop online'. My reply: 'No thanks, I like to browse in a bookshop before buying like able bodied people do so I will shop and spend my money where I can gain access to the store.' Their loss.
The other nightmare thing which will be getting worse is navigating round the end of aisles where, with the run up to Christmas, boxes and goods are being piled up at the corners making navigation impossible. I used to be embarrassed if I hit one of the piles causing a bit of a collapse but quite honestly now just feel these shop owners should realise the problems they cause by doing this so to hell with it.
Twitter usually good for this sort of thing. How hard would it be for them to keep a folding ramp somewhere?
I think if they couldn't for any reason serve you out of the shop they could of explained why, if there wasn't a reason then it's very poor service.
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