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AIBU to want to make a complaint?

(28 Posts)
TinkerbellTwinkletoes Mon 10-Mar-14 15:22:53

I went out shopping this morning to a homeware (wholesale type) shop. I am a full time wheelchair user and had my carer with me. We wandered around for a while and I then said I wanted to use the toilet. There are two toilets, 1 male and 1 female. Both are large and are fitted with pull cord alarms and pull down safety bars. I am able to go to the toilet myself so my carer waited outside.

After I'd used the toilet I pulled the bar down to enable me to stand to pull my trousers up, and the whole thing pulled out of the wall onto the floor. I am unable to stand on my own, and if it wasn't for the fact that my wheelchair was in front of me I would have landed on the floor. As it was I ended up hand sprawled across the chair and half off it.

I leant over and pulled the alarm cord which then came away from the ceiling and ended up on the floor. Luckily it still rang though. I could hear the alarm going off through the door and my carer asked if I could open the door as they couldn't get in (I'd locked it). The room wasn't too big so I was able to manoeuvre to the door to open it.

When I did there was a member of staff there who proceeded to talk with me whilst the toilet door was wide open into the entrance/exit. It wasn't until I asked if I could shut the door as my trousers were still around my legs that she realised. She just kept saying 'we've had it ages and it has never happened before'.

I was really shaken (still am really), as even if you have a medical condition meaning you can't walk you still don't expect to fall. I am sore and tender now.

The staff member obviously spoke to the manager as she came and found me and apologised and got me a drink.

AIBU in wanting to write to them to tell them what happened? confused The screws holding the bar on the wall (which is supposed to be able to take body weight) were really short, and it was a plaster board wall too. My carer took pics so I can send them photo's of the rail and screws so they can see. God forbid something like this happen to someone else, the outcome could have been a lot more serious.

TinkerbellTwinkletoes Mon 10-Mar-14 15:24:13

*half sprawled not hand

Petal02 Mon 10-Mar-14 15:24:35

I'm so sorry this happened. You MUST complain.

LettertoHermioneGranger Mon 10-Mar-14 15:30:35

How awful, I'm so sorry. Absolutely write to them! Do include the pictures and point out that the way it is built is not secure, it would be horrible if they just had whoever installed it come back and reattach it and risk this happening again - it was never secure and they need to be aware of this, they may honestly have not understood and just went by the word of some unscrupulous builder who cut corners.

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Mar-14 15:32:02

Absolutely you should report this. The shop has a duty of care to its customers and clearly it failed to provide this.

In turn, the company should be reporting the accident to the HSE so I would ensure this happens too.

Sorry to hear this happened to you and hope you feel less shaken soon.


JeanSeberg Mon 10-Mar-14 15:33:44

they may honestly have not understood and just went by the word of some unscrupulous builder who cut corners

That's not good enough. They should have risk assessments in place to check this equipment on a regular basis. Clearly those checks aren't taking place and it would lead me to wonder what other aspects of H&S they are ignoring, hence the need to ensure they report the incident to the HSE.

mistlethrush Mon 10-Mar-14 15:34:50

Its also dangerous having doors that can't be opened from the outside if there is a problem.

GreenPetal94 Mon 10-Mar-14 15:35:09

yes do write in with the photos. I hope your bruises heal quickly.

TheListingAttic Mon 10-Mar-14 15:38:46

That sounds pretty crappy - I'd complain. Hope you're doing okay.

StrawberryGashes Mon 10-Mar-14 15:39:46

Definitely complain, both about the room falling apart and the member of staff not respecting your privacy.

NoodleOodle Mon 10-Mar-14 15:41:06

YANBU complain!

What a terrible thing to happen to you. I hope you feel better soon, and haven't had too much of a fright/physical injury/embarrassing situation.

ArsePaste Mon 10-Mar-14 15:43:09

Complain, complain, complain, COMPLAIN! You could have been really hurt, you poor thing!

CrohnicallyFarting Mon 10-Mar-14 16:03:46

While you're at it, if the toilet is designed to be disabled friendly, shouldn't it have the type of lock that is able to be opened from the outside? You were able to manoeuvre to the door to open it, but someone else might not be able to.

OneLittleLady Mon 10-Mar-14 16:29:40

you absolutely should complain. I don't use a wheelchair but have limited mobility, use walking sticks and have to use the disabled toilets. If it happened to me, I would complain without hesitation. You may have not come out of it too badly but that's not to say someone else might not get seriously hurt. Complain and loudly. It should never have happened and they are responsible for it.

soverylucky Mon 10-Mar-14 16:31:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsCosmopilite Mon 10-Mar-14 16:39:22

I'm sorry to hear that this happened. Most definitely complain. The toilet should be safe to use, and the emergency cord secure.

I don't have mobility problems, but several of my close friends do. I would be fuming on their behalf.

When you complain, make sure you include the photos - of the stupidly fitted safety bars and the alarm cord. If you have any photos of your bruises, include those too.

Seasonsgreetings Mon 10-Mar-14 16:54:29

Tinkerbell what an awful experience. The only question js why do you think you might be bu? I'd write your letter, and soon.

jumblebee Mon 10-Mar-14 17:09:51

Absolutely write and complain! Imagine if there was a baby changing unit that was also fitted incorrectly and fell, a young child could be seriously injured, you'd definitely complain then and this is just as important!

TinkerbellTwinkletoes Mon 10-Mar-14 18:11:30

seasons I don't want to seem like I'm complaining over nothing as nothing's broken just very sore

ohtowinthelottery Mon 10-Mar-14 18:16:28

Definitely raise a formal complaint. If that had happened to an elderly lady she could have easily broken a bone in the fall. Not everyone using that facility will have a wheelchair to break their fall.
So glad you were not hurt - well apart from your pride.

SinkyMalinks Mon 10-Mar-14 19:13:24

I don't think I've ever thought a post in aibu was less unreasonable! That sounds dreadful- I'm so sorry you had to go through it. Don't think of it was complaining about individuals, the toilet was totally unfit for purpose and it's only luck that someone (you?) wasn't more seriously hurt. The store/company need to know just how bad to ensure it never happens again.

BoiledPiss Mon 10-Mar-14 19:20:18

We have just fitted a new accessible toilet in our restaurant and the fittings used are absolutely standard. The entire suite is supplied including fittings and a diagram for the exact layout of everything, down to the most minute detail.

This is a disgrace that this has been allowed to happen and I am sorry you were hurt and humiliated by the open door too OP.

As everyone has said, you absolutely must write a letter and I hope you feel better soon.

Nocomet Mon 10-Mar-14 19:36:23

Please complain. My DM is, there is no polite way of putting it, a very large lady.

She has very bad arthritis and either uses crutches or a wheelchair.

Apart from the obvious risk of hurting herself, she would be mortified at people having to try and lift her. She absolutely hates being a nuisance.

Hand rails must be strong enough and companies must check them.

Hope you feel better really soon, OP

MatryoshkaDoll Mon 10-Mar-14 19:40:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

springtimedaffodils Mon 10-Mar-14 19:43:05

That's awful, I'm really sorry, what a horrible experience flowers

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