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To think that this woman should have at least said sorry and offered to pay for broken item.

(81 Posts)
Fakebook Mon 12-Nov-12 13:45:57

Was in Tesco this morning and looking at their Tupperware because dd loses the lids in school almost everyday. Anyway suddenly there was a massive crash. I looked to the right and a little boy had thrown 3 ceramic bowls on the floor and they had all broken to smithereens. His mother exclaimed "oh noo" and stood and stared at the mess. A customer assistant came and began picking up the mess and then another came and began sweeping.

During this time, the woman didn't even say sorry and calmly carried on browsing with her son lingering behind her like nothing had happened.

AIBU to think she should have apologised profusely and then offered to pay for the bowls that her little angel had just broken? She didn't even tell him off! If my dd had done that I would have done a proper kneeling down, eye contact, stern voice telling off super nanny stylee!

Fakebook Mon 12-Nov-12 13:46:26

Title is supposed to say itemS.

BabylonPI Mon 12-Nov-12 13:48:38


I would have done the whole down on knees, eye contact thing too not that my 3yo would take a blind bit of notice of me

AnyaKnowIt Mon 12-Nov-12 13:50:02

She should have said sorry, but if you break something in a shop, the shop can not charge you the RRP only the manufactor price.

hazleweatherfieldgirldetective Mon 12-Nov-12 13:50:33

Should she have told off her child? Yes, absolutely.

Should she have apologised to the employee? Yes, absolutely.

Should she have offered to pay? Not much point, really. I used to be a manager in Tesco and broken stock is wasted off, all part of the inevitability of having things that can smash right where people can touch them. They would have told her not to pay anyway.

FeckOffCup Mon 12-Nov-12 13:50:42

Hmm accidents happen, my DD would have got a telling off for touching them but I probably wouldn't have offered to pay, it's not like tesco can't afford it, possibly would though if it was a small independent shop.

ObiWan Mon 12-Nov-12 13:51:50

If my very young child had broken something, I'd have apologised to the staff, and spoken to my child in the car/at home. I'm not a fan of show-piece discipline.

I wouldn't have offered to pay for them in Tesco, because it just doesn't seem to be their policy for things like that. They tend to write-off breakages.

MargeySimpson Mon 12-Nov-12 13:52:01

I think in big shops people seem to care less, because Mr. Tesco isn't sat behind the counter thinking about the profit that's been lost!

I used to work in WHSmiths and people used to bring back things that were not broken but said they we're because they didn't want them anymore, ie half a roll of xmas wrapping paper in feb that was 'too see-through'. The amount of wasted products is mind blowing (stuff people bring back or break in store). Pretty sure they have insurance for that kind of thing!

AmberLeaf Mon 12-Nov-12 13:52:38


DeWe Mon 12-Nov-12 13:53:35

Yes, I was going to say Tesco probably wouldn't take the money. Dd2 dropped a pint of cream once which smashed and spread everywhere. I said we needed cream so she picked up the biggest she could find... blush

They were very nice about it, wouldn't let me pay and politely told me I couldn't clear it up for them either. Apparently their policy/insurance/something else doesn't cope with customers cleaning their floors.

kige Mon 12-Nov-12 13:56:21


She should have told the child off and apologised to the staff. IMO, she should also have offered to pay for the broken items regardless of whether this was likely to be accepted or not.

I know that Tesco can afford it, but that does not make it morally right. Tesco can afford for me to go and shoplift my weekly shop but I don't do it! To me, it's the same as breaking something in a small store - because in both cases the items she allowed to get broken don't belong to her.

Hopeforever Mon 12-Nov-12 13:57:07

If you only looked over after you heard the crash, how do you know the little angel had thrown them on the floor not knocked them off?

Do you know the full medical history of the boy, does he have dyspraxia? Is the mum struggling with PND, perhaps her mum is really ill in hospital and she is trying really hard not to get stressed as her Cognitive Behavior Therapist has taught her to cope.

Personaly I have full sympathy for any parent taking a young child into Tescos as they will have so many judgmental eyes upon them.

HoneyDragon Mon 12-Nov-12 14:02:05

Why do any of those reasons prevent the adult saying sorry?

jeee Mon 12-Nov-12 14:05:25

I always offer to pay for breakages in Tescos, despite knowing damn well that they'll say no. I feel morally upright, but I'm not out of pocket.

Perhaps this woman knew that they wouldn't charge her, so didn't feel the need to go through the offering to pay charade?

socharlotte Mon 12-Nov-12 14:06:26

They6 can only make you pay if you broke the items on purpose (criminal damage) Accidental damage is just a business expense .Big items will be covered by their insurance.
And no , I doubt a supermarket would take the money for it.Bad cistomer relations and the admin effort it generated wouldn't be worth it.

OwlLady Mon 12-Nov-12 14:06:57

she should have apologised and told her son off but no, she doesn't have to pay and the shop will be more concerned about litigation from them!

kige Mon 12-Nov-12 14:07:21

Hope - even if any or all of your explanations apply to the woman in question, she should have felt sorry and if she did feel sorry, it is very unlikely that she would have continued to browse calmly - it is much more likely that she would have gone and paid for her shopping and left to calm down.

OwlLady Mon 12-Nov-12 14:08:23

I once accidentally pushed my trolley into a clothing display in tescos and the whole line of clothes, about 5 pegs along all in a row, just all came crashing to the ground and there was a heap of clothing on the floor and I blushed and walk away quickly blush obviously nothing was broken, it was just a big mess

Hopeforever Mon 12-Nov-12 14:09:26

Who knows what the mother was thinking or feeling, we only have the version in the OP.

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 12-Nov-12 14:10:06

Reprimand child: yes

Apologise to staff: yes

Offer to pay: no

Fakebook Mon 12-Nov-12 14:41:16

Ok, so I suppose I'm being unreasonable about the paying thing. Although, I still would have offered and felt very guilty.

I know it was the boy because they fell practically at his feet and his mother was too far from the shelf for it to be her.

(Knew the disability thing would come up) No, I don't know if he was suffering from asd/dyspraxia/ ADHD any other underlying condition. I'm sure if my child was ill I still would have been sorry for what happened. Having an illness doesn't give you a "pass go" from apologising and breaking everything in sight.

Fakebook Mon 12-Nov-12 14:42:52

What the mother appeared to be feeling was nothing. She carried on moseying along and didn't even take hold of her ds's hand to stop it happening again.

ZenNudist Mon 12-Nov-12 14:45:44

Yes to saying sorry. No to offering to pay. Shops don't always stack things as safely as they could. Plus supermarkets cost breakages into their pricing and overheads. Trust me tesco et al don't lose out over anything!

MrsWhoGivesaShit Mon 12-Nov-12 14:47:46

Hopeforever haha! there is always one!

saintlyjimjams Mon 12-Nov-12 14:49:24

Well I would have thanked the people cleaning but wouldn't have apologised profusely (who to? it's not their bowls) and I wouldn't have offered to pay as I learned 25 years ago during my Saturday job in Sainsbury's customers don't pay for breakages in big supermarkets. Obviously would be completely different if it was a small store.

And I'm not sure what's wrong with carrying on browsing either. What's she meant to do? Run out of the shop sobbing?

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