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asked to breastfeed in the toilets on train!!

(207 Posts)
Channicholls Wed 26-Jun-13 13:30:08

i was on a northern rail train yesterday with my 3 month old daughter. she required feeding. I was sat behind my pram and no one could see what I was doing.

When the ticket collector came to check tickets he asked if I could do what I was doing in the toilets. I responded by saying 'what breastfeeding' and he said yes. I told him I was fine where I was and didn't move and he left it. during the whole exchange he had his hand up and was making faces as though what I was doing was perverse.

I was really embarrassed and left feeling extremely uncomfortable and with everyone in the carriage watching me.

I called Northern rail today to make a complaint and was told by them that there was nothing they could do and its down to personal preference of conductors.

what are my next steps? I feel like I was treated badly and that this shouldn't be allowed by such a large company (or anyone for that matter).

zanuda Sat 27-Jul-13 19:46:52

Got from the newsletter, hope, some of you will enjoy the poem: blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/07082013embarrassed-to-breastfeed-in-public-watch-this/

LoopyLooplaHoop Fri 12-Jul-13 09:34:46

Oh come on, it's a crap apology, desperately trying to wheedle his way out of a media shit storm.

My issues with it:

1. He conducted an investigation without speaking to you. Idiot.
2. Including such shit 'justification' from the conductor shows that the company don't value the equality act.
3. Trying to flatter Mumsnet, in the vain hope that they'll change their mids. Suck.
4. Training was clearly insufficient. Just admit it.
5. Terribly poor grammar
6. "Genuine gesture of goodwill" bollocks.
7. "Do I believe that we have a problem in Northern Rail concerning this subject?" What is the purpose of this stupid rhetorical question? Again, idiot.

Oscalito Fri 12-Jul-13 09:11:08

I think it's a good result and not a bad apology, although it took them a while to get there - especially considering you could have done nothing, or been intimidated by the ignorant conductor.

Instead a lot of people have been re-educated, there's been media coverage and once again the message has been driven home that women have the right to breastfeed wherever they want. I hope you take advantage of the three months free train travel too. Well done.

I also agree that the conductor shouldn't lose his job - he just hasn't been trained properly and hopefully NR will now be looking into that to avoid a shitstorm like this in future!

DuelingFanjo Thu 11-Jul-13 14:09:08

I am a member of the Brestapo [Grin] and i think the apology is ok actually... however there is one issue I wouldn't be happy with and that's the fact that they deny that whoever you spoke to in Northern rail told you "that there was nothing they could do and its down to personal preference of conductors".

If this is what they said then it's utter rubbish and they really need to address that.

becscertainstar Thu 11-Jul-13 13:50:33

I don't like the apology. So the conductor was protecting the OP from leering teens... by telling her to go and breastfeed in the toilet. It sounds like justification to me.

I wouldn't want the conductor to lose his job as it's clearly his training that's at fault - it's a scenario that should have been covered when he learned how to do his job.

piprabbit Thu 11-Jul-13 13:43:21

Not only is it unacceptable to mums to be asked to feed their baby in the toilet - it is also unacceptable to the rest of the passengers as the toilet would be occupied for a lengthy period of time.

Stupid, stupid company.

JumpingJacks Thu 11-Jul-13 13:42:26

I agree, your dd is gorgeous and very unphased by it all!

ThingummyBob Thu 11-Jul-13 13:33:45

Channi your dd is so cute grin

Am disgusted by some of those comments on the mail site. Shows what ignorant dickheads they are.

Well done on standing your ground thanks

TanglednotTamed Thu 11-Jul-13 13:32:50

Love the idea of inviting Pete on to MN for a webchat. So much so that I am going to report my own post in order to suggest it.

JumpingJacks Thu 11-Jul-13 13:23:49

Channicholls - You did brilliantly on BBC breakfast! Well done on being brave enough to take it that far. smile

K8Middleton Thu 11-Jul-13 13:20:15

Oh and the investigation, where he doesn't actually speak to the customer involved? What a joke.

No wonder Northern Rail has so many customer complaints.

Bringbring Thu 11-Jul-13 13:00:11

Poor apology. The conductor was not some knight in shining order he was an ignorant twat.

It's endemic arse covering from northern rail, from top to bottom.

Northern FAIL

K8Middleton Thu 11-Jul-13 12:54:12

That "apology" is poor. Firstly the idea that breast feeding should need privacy. It doesn't because there is nothing that is shameful or needs to be hidden.

Secondly the bollox about complaints being in writing and then the complete hash of The Equality Act. Would they require a complaint in writing from someone with a condition that means they have difficulty writing due to disability or because they are foreign? It's all rubbish customer service.

Amazing that reply manages to show ignorance of three of the protected characteristics covered by the Act. There are only 7 (iirc) so that's pretty impressive to fail so many.

All employees should have equality and diversity training because even if they don't deal with the public they deal with people as colleagues or business contacts.

As for the general complaint handling, well, it was pretty shit. Rule #1 is always check you have the right person! I've had junior staff who are better at handling complaints.

Hope you get a proper apology op and that the rail company gives some proper training to all their staff. Showy's experience is what they should be aiming for as a gold standard.

Chocibuttons Thu 11-Jul-13 12:28:15

Wow only just found this thread, well done!!! This sort of thing makes my blood boil. Still think we need a conclusion. What change have Northern Rail implemented? Have have the staff in question been dealt with?

MostlyCake Thu 11-Jul-13 10:12:54

Ignore the DM comments! I always imagine trolls like that sitting sadly in their string vests and pants, alone in cold little rooms with no friends, no life and with their computer monitor flecked with spittle.

Good on you for pushing this!!

HomeHelpMeGawd Thu 11-Jul-13 08:29:40

Channi, I thought you would want to watch this brilliant, wonderful poem, which is going viral right now.

www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/05/hollie-mcnish-breastfeeding_n_3552062.html

Would be great if Pete watched it too!

Channicholls Wed 10-Jul-13 21:28:56

Hi guys, yes that was me on the breakfast show, think it went quite well considering I was terrified lol

Mate, it's the mail. Unfortunately some of their readers are stuck in the century before last!! Or are just stupid. You did get some great comments though.

Have to say my personal favourite was that MNers should wear a badge in case people accidentally sit next to us - we may infect them with notbeinganarseholeitis grin

Well done you for publicising this, Northern conductors are so hit and miss. Some are fantastic (the one when I was pregnant and fainted who looked after me until my friend met me, then kept an eye on me whenever he was on my train) but unfortunately an equal number are awful - complaining about DD being too noisy on a train (she was 3 months old) or saying I'm not allowed on a train with DD in her pushchair.

Quilty Wed 10-Jul-13 09:08:22

Was this the story on Breaskfast news today? Sounded like the same situation, if so well done!! thanks

Channicholls Mon 08-Jul-13 14:30:38

also Pete myers told my aunt that they do not record telephone conversations when he responded to her email about the customer service team.

Channicholls Mon 08-Jul-13 14:28:28

daily mail published the story, some of the comments are horrible!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2356952/Breastfeeding-mother-humiliated-train-conductor-told-to-toilet-feed-daughter.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

MummyOfSunbeam Sun 30-Jun-13 12:15:59

I agree with the others who aren't quite satisfied w the 'apology' - I do hope they sort their training out fast though.

Witt Sat 29-Jun-13 17:58:14

I don't like the apology. There is something cold about it that comes across as "I'm only apologising because I have to" and "we are only allowing breastfeeding because we are legally obliged"

I actually like the apology and would be happy with that. he said a briefing is going out to staff which is what this is really about IMO. I expect the conductor has learnt his lesson and hopefully the cr person too. so job done in my book and well done op for raising it.

wafflingworrier Sat 29-Jun-13 11:27:21

i used to work in a company that recorded all telephone conversations and it was a right bugger to find them BUT it was company policy to find the recordings as SOON as a complaint was raised. i would imagine their policy is similar and they have either listened to the conversation and are now covering their backs, or have lost the recording. in which case it's THEIR fault. you can by law ask for a copy of the recorded conversation.i would do so, just because their "apology" is so crap.

im sorry you are having to go through this. well done for complaining and for refusing to go into the toilet.

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