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to think a 'company policy' should not have exceptions on a whim?

(21 Posts)
sixlostmonkeys Tue 31-May-11 17:58:40

I just called in Morrisons for a few things (as usual) and on the way out went to buy a lottery ticket (as usual). I had my ds with me (as usual)
The assistant asked for my DS's I.D. I asked why? She said because he looks 16. I frowned and said I didn't know what he or his age had to do with anything (although from reading this board I knew what was happening) but he is actually 14. She told me I couldn't have a ticket. I told her I was buying the ticket and I am indeed old enough (by a few decades)
Company policy means she can't sell me a ticket - she then gave me an 'attitude face' and told me to "go to customer services if I wanted.

I went to see the manager who said Yes, it's company policy but on this occasion she would let me buy a ticket. I said "It's either company policy or it's not, what's so different about 'this occasion'?

So, wibu in expecting a policy to either be adhered to or not?

Just out of interest, does anyone know what the story is behind these policies? Are they just company policies or law of the land now? Does anyone work for such a company and know whether they believe such a policy actually would deter the underage from consuming alcohol or gambling, or do they simply have the policy to avoid getting into trouble by spot checkers?

Imo it is a policy that just couldn't do what it would claim to do ie protect the underage. Anyone who wishes to purchase items for the underage can do so very simply - even my ds reeled of a dozen ways around this.
It just seems a pointless and annoying policy. aibu? have I missed something?

Tortington Tue 31-May-11 18:00:10

who buys lottery tickets for underage kids for fucks sake.

alcohol and fags - i can kinda see - but lottery

pjmama Tue 31-May-11 18:02:04

I think it's pretty pointless too. If you WERE buying lottery/alcohol/cigarettes/whatever for someone underage, surely you'd just get them to wait outside out of sight. Bloody stupid policy, ineffective and serves only to piss off genuine customers IMO.

allhailtheaubergine Tue 31-May-11 18:03:03

What? They didn't want to sell YOU a lottery ticket because you were accompanied by your 14 year old son?

PLEASE tell me that's not what they meant.

So... if I ever move back to UK I won't be able to buy booze, fags or lottery with my preschoolers in tow? Surely not.

emsyj Tue 31-May-11 18:04:22

It is a pointless and annoying policy. However, Morrisson's regularly ID me so I love them. Especially the lovely checkout assistant who asked me how old I was when buying wine last Christmas and when I said '31', responded 'oooooh you don't look it, you're laaaaaahvely'!

sixlostmonkeys Tue 31-May-11 18:06:42

sorry allhail - that is what I meant. and yes, you could be refused booze, cigs and lottery if you ahve your children with you.

I actually came away feeling.... what's the word?..indignant? Since when was the grocer able to over-ride my parenting?

Witchofthenorth Tue 31-May-11 18:07:55

YANBU, it's ridiculous that you can't go shopping with your kids in case the staff think that you are buying for them!

TrillianAstra Tue 31-May-11 18:08:56

"Since when was the grocer able to over-ride my parenting?"

Well technically shops don't have to sell you anything if they don't want to.

BelleDameSansMerci Tue 31-May-11 18:10:04

That's laughable... Does that mean that I can't buy a bottle of wine when my 3 year old is with me? For heaven's sake!

SardineQueen Tue 31-May-11 18:12:42

That is just silly.

sixlostmonkeys Tue 31-May-11 18:13:46

Trillianastra - it was that reason that stopped me making an issue of it (but if I hadn't have needed the food in my bags I would have insisted they refunded me - just to make a point grin )

But you still feel like the grocer is saying his judgement is better than mine, and (in his shop anyway) can publicly over-ride me. ... does that make sense?

WhoAteMySnickers Tue 31-May-11 18:16:17

It's a pointless policy. Even if you were buying a lottery ticket for an under 16, they wouldn't be able to claim the prize money if they win. Ridiculous!

saffy85 Tue 31-May-11 18:16:27

What the actual fuck? Tbh I should be shocked but I'm not.

I work in retail and while I've felt a total tit refusing a sale on certain grounds (liquer chocolates to someone who was probably 18+ but had no I.D for example) I do sometimes wonder what some shops were thinking when they enforce their rules.

I've bought lottery tickets, bottles of alcopop wine and even shock horror, fags, with my toddler in tow plenty of times and I'm usually I'D'd (so yoofful innit) but DD never has in all her 3 years on this planet. confused Ofcourse no one should be drinking/smoking/gambling underage, but surely it's alot worse for a 4 year old to be chugging the Lambrini than a 14 year old?

TrillianAstra Tue 31-May-11 18:17:16

There are huge financial penalties for selling age-restricted goods to underage people, or to those who you suspect might be supplying them to underage people, and these do get tested.

They were being unnecessarily (in your opinion, and in most of ours) overcautious, but maybe they'd rather be overcautious and piss off a few customers than run the risk of the punishment if they were caught being not-quite-cautious-enough one time.

magicmelons Tue 31-May-11 18:18:14


I let my dd who is 6 pick the numbers, she likes doing this, i got to the till handed it to the woman and she refused to sell it to me as my dd had filled out the ticket hmm. I was encouraging gambling apparently.

Its ridiculous. Alcohol fair enough and cigerettes too but surely they can't collect the prize if the are under 16 anyway confused.

sixlostmonkeys Tue 31-May-11 18:40:06

>>>maybe they'd rather be overcautious and piss off a few customers than run the risk of the punishment if they were caught being not-quite-cautious-enough one time.<<<<

I totally agree that this will be the case. The bit that I am still questioning (in my head) is the part of it where they suspect someone is buying for an underage person.
I accept that these stores adopt the policy to cover them from a law that is above them, and so maybe my issue lies with the origin of this law. It just seems pointless to ask the staff to judge an adult in such a way. An adult who wishes to buy for the underage will do so anyway (just leave the underage outside), therefor the law/policy can not succeed in this respect. It can succeed if they simply refuse the person who is buying who appears to be underage themselves.

I can't help but wonder what guidelines the staff are given. How is a person judged? Unless they actually hear the child say" Mummy if I give you my pocket money would you buy me a bottle of Jack Daniels please?" then surely there is no way to judge?

twoistwiceasfun Tue 31-May-11 18:51:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ratspeaker Tue 31-May-11 18:53:25

Very weird considering anyone under 16 couldn't claim the prize if they won the lottery anyway
Its not like booze or fags where you could possibly give them to an underage person to use
I'd email Morrisons HQ for clarification

toffeepud Tue 31-May-11 19:18:17

I think if there is a law against selling something to someone under a certain age, and the staff can justify reasonably suspecting you are purchasing it for someone under age they can refuse. However in this case I don't think they can reasonably justify it and would doubt they would even try to defend their actions. Me being me total nutter a bit cross angry I would write a stinky letter asking for the staff member to be trained on her customer service skills and a refresher on policy to go with your apology and nice £10 voucher grin

Rant over

TrillianAstra Tue 31-May-11 19:19:14

Mummy if I give you my pocket money would you buy me a bottle of Jack Daniels please? grin

cat64 Tue 31-May-11 19:51:19

Message withdrawn

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