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Fall in Tesco, WWYD?

(22 Posts)
IvaNighSpare Thu 03-Nov-16 11:57:12

Hello everyone, just putting this out there…
On Saturday afternoon, in my local Tesco store, I caught my foot on something slippery in the self-checkout aisle, fell over and banged my head on the floor. It was obviously very embarrassing, and I felt quite sick and dizzy for a few minutes. I managed to get myself up (nobody helped me, more about that in a minute) and left the store about ten minutes later, after paying for my goods. The following day I started to feel sore and bruised, my neck, shoulder, wrist and knee were quite uncomfortable and my head was becomingly increasingly painful where it had made impact with the floor. The head pain got worse to the extent that I ended up attending A&E (consequently losing a half day of work) on Monday to get myself checked out. My son plays rugby and we get concussion awareness drummed into us regularly. The hospital sent me off with the usual “if it gets worse, call us”. It hasn’t got worse but I am still sore and still suffering intermittent headaches in the same area and dizzy spells.
Now here’s the issue…
When the incident occurred, a young Tesco employee was on duty just a couple of yards from the area where it happened and would have undoubtedly heard me fall. They didn’t come to my aid immediately and did not offer to help me up. When they eventually sauntered over they asked if I was OK, and I said something along the lines of “I don’t know really, I banged my head”. I explained that I had lost my footing on a slippery surface, the assistant made a cursory inspection of the nearby area, but not where I said that my foot had slipped and said that they could not see an obvious cause of the fall. It was not wet outside, I am not prone to random falls, and something underfoot definitely reduced the friction between shoe and floor. To be honest, the assistant seemed clueless and embarrassed and half-heartedly asked if I wanted to sit down. I was confused, feeling a little sick and dizzy, incredibly embarrassed and had friends waiting outside the store for me so just wanted to leave as soon as possible. So I paid for my items and left.
On reflection the next day it occurred to me that the proper procedure for accidents had clearly not been followed. My condition had not been checked properly by a first aider and no record was taken of the incident. So I emailed Tesco with a complaint, explaining that I was very unsatisfied with the way that I had been treated that day.
I received a reply from them asking me to return to the store and speak to the Duty Manager, so that they could log the incident “as when a customer has sustained an injury within any of our stores we need to follow a specific procedure, and we have to ensure it is logged properly”.
I did just that yesterday. At first there was some confusion as the Duty Manager claimed to already have “phoned in” my accident. I was perplexed by this as no personal details of mine were taken, and the only information they might have had was the email sent to head office. So I asked to see the Incident Record. It turns out the manager thought I was another individual who had suffered a fall that same day. To their credit, the manager was highly apologetic and, frankly, quite mortified at the lack of care and aftercare I had received. They agreed that the employee had not followed the specified procedure for accidents in-store, and said that they would consult the CCTV to check the incident and verify the assistant on duty at the time. Luckily I had made a mental note of when this occurred, as even then I was suspicious that things had not been dealt with properly, however I was more intent on leaving.
Details were taken retrospectively in the incident log, and copy was provided at my request. I was told that I would be contacted imminently by the “Injury Helpline” to “resolve the matter”. I was told to expect a call either last night or this morning. It is now halfway through the day and I have heard nothing as yet.
Some folks have suggested that I look into taking legal action against Tesco but I am hesitant about that. Firstly, there was no evidence found, or even pursued despite my insistence that I slipped on something which caused my fall (I did not see a slip hazard but the floor was definitely slippery, it was next to a patisserie stand so could have been spillage or drips from that.) Secondly, I was not seriously injured, just bruises and soreness so the fall does not appear to have had a serious impact on my wellbeing.
A big concern I have is that the floor was not properly inspected, and the incident brushed off. For all I know, someone else could have experienced a similar misfortune, perhaps a frail pensioner, and the outcome could have been far worse. In my initial email I highlighted this a serious lack of training.
So, now I am expecting the call. As I have said, I don’t think that this is a case for litigation, although if I feel that my csase is not taken seriously I may reconsider, but I don’t think it would be out of order for Tesco to offer me some kind of “goodwill gesture” for the pain and embarrassment caused to me, especially as the have been incredibly remiss in their treatment of me following my fall and the Duty Manager has admitted this.
So, I’m just asking for your opinions, what would you do? Does anyone have any similar experiences?

mouldycheesefan Thu 03-Nov-16 12:03:13

I would do nothing. You fell over. An assistant offered for you to sit down you declined. You in reflection considered that more should have been done such as logging the details in an accident book. That has now happened.

Hope you feel better soon. 🌺

Murphysgirl Thu 03-Nov-16 12:05:50

As you say it is clearly a training issue with an inexperienced member of staff. If it had happened to me I would be happy if they could confirm what steps they had taken to ensure that all staff are aware of the correct accident procedure. A box of chocolates and some nice flowers would also placate me further. Hope you feel less bruised soon. flowers

CrotchetQuaverMinim Thu 03-Nov-16 12:11:40

the minute you say that it wouldn't be out of order for them to offer you a 'goodwill' gesture, despite you saying that your main priority is to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else, you lose the moral high ground. Yes, it might have been nice if they made that gesture, but they didn't, so that bit of the story is closed. Whether you decide to pursue it for the sake for making sure it doesn't happen again is a separate issue. I don't see how suing is likely to make sure it doesn't happen again; if you really lost money etc from not going to work or needing to pay for treatment or destroyed reputation from embarrassment or something, that would be different, but it doesn't sound like you did. So I personally don't think suing would be the right course of action - we don't want to turn into a litigious society like the US.

I think it woudl be better to pursue it from the point of view of feeling brushed off, and that they should take it seriously - what do you want to happen now? Better training for staff? More discipline for staff that don't follow the training to make sure that they would in the future? Better procedures? More health and safety rules to make sure that the floor isn't dirty - more cleaning? Relocating areas of the store that are likely to create spills? etc. And be clear on that, and continue writing letters until you are satisfied that they have done what would be necessary to stop it happening again.

And then feel happy that you've done what's right. You might be disappointed that they didn't give you any compensation, but you can live with that. You can still accept that it shouldn't have happened, or that they didn't treat you they way you'd have liked to, and it's a shame. But those are both separate points.

NotWithoutMyMerkin Thu 03-Nov-16 12:14:53

What mouldy said

CotswoldStrife Thu 03-Nov-16 12:19:57

So the assistant did offer limited help but you refused it and left the store?

ChuckGravestones Thu 03-Nov-16 12:20:24

I'd make sure it was in the accident book. A goodwill gesture? How will that help to train the staff member in H&S procedures?

And I hate Tesco.

HopefulHamster Thu 03-Nov-16 12:25:21

I fell over in a Home Bargains while holding my baby. I hurt my knees, baby was fine. Staff came over but they forgot to put in the accident book. There was something transparent spilled on the floor.

I followed it up because it had shaken me up and afterwards it didn't seem they had followed procedure. However I had no permanent damage (and no reason to sue them) so I stated I was fine in the email I sent off.

They apologised that they hadn't don't a few things right. A part of me did wonder if they might offer a goodwill gesture but actually I wonder if they might see that as accepting liability for something and that's why they didn't.

Anyway that wasn't why I had followed it up so I moved on.

Sounds like you had a nasty accident but if you are okay now that is the main thing.

WeAreEternal Thu 03-Nov-16 12:26:56

I also agree with Mouldy and other PP.
You've complained they will look into it, leave it at that.

Ginslinger Thu 03-Nov-16 12:30:00

I agree with Mouldy -
it's being dealt with

Queenbean Thu 03-Nov-16 12:32:13

I fell over in a supermarket once. The assistant came and told me I could help myself to one piece of pic n mix to cheer myself up.

I chose my piece careful (nice heavy bit of fudge) and left.

I think you should leave this too.

Bravas Thu 03-Nov-16 12:35:34

I got free frozen Bird's Eye peas and a lovely free tea towel that they wrapped them in from Sainsburys when I fell over nothing in their store and badly sprained my ankle. I even got a follow up phone call a few days later, their procedures were exemplary, especially as I made sure they knew it was completely my own fault.

It sounds like they need to tweak their procedures a bit, but I would doubt you will get more than an apology.

WordGetsAround Thu 03-Nov-16 12:36:08

Agree with others - and if you'd gone to A&E straight away you wouldn't have missed work time - you chose that.

MackerelOfFact Thu 03-Nov-16 13:05:28

How can you 'half-heartedly' offer someone a seat? Either it's offered or it isn't, surely. I don't think you can really cite that as an example of them getting things wrong.

As for the 'Injury Helpline' not calling you back this morning, you posted this at 11.57 and presumably started writing it some time before that, so I think it's a bit unfair to start inferring that was another failure on their part.

I hope you feel better soon and get the outcome you want. I suspect the member of staff will get into a fair bit of trouble (which is what 're-training' usually is!) but will learn her lesson for next time.

mouldycheesefan Thu 03-Nov-16 13:31:40

The member of staff offered you a seat, you declined and left. Had you taken the seat perhaps the staff member would then have got the first aider or the manager or the accident book. They didn't really get the chance to do that because you left. They cannot physically detain you in the store.

I think you want compensation. That's why you subsequently rang the store.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Thu 03-Nov-16 13:38:08

How much are you after?

IvaNighSpare Thu 03-Nov-16 16:42:38

Oh dear, I didn’t realise that my post made me sound as mercenary as I clearly do! For the record, I had been standing around for several minutes complaining of feeling dazed whilst the shop assistant paced around looking confused and uncomfortable. They had ample opportunity to seek assistance or to take my details. I got to the stage where I genuinely felt that they were waiting for me to leave. As for the offer to sit down, this came definitely as an afterthought when fellow customers started asking if I was OK. There were no chairs in proximity , it was a pretty busy self-checkout area in a Metro store, and I could see that there was nowhere to sit unless I fancied plonking myself down on one of the checkout terminals. It was a pretty humiliating experience, the insinuation was that the accident was entirely my fault, and when the assistant looked around where I was standing and said to a passing customer “there’s nothing there” I decided I wanted to go. Maybe that was a mistake.
I just think how I would have behaved were the tables turned and someone fell in an area I was responsible for. I would certainly apologise profusely and offer a token of goodwill of some sort, possibly flowers and choccies as was suggested elsewhere. I don’t want money, and definitely not the hassle I would have to go through to try and claim it. I feel that I was treated prettily shabbily and it galls me. On principle I think that should be addressed And by the way, still no call back from Tesco.
I dunno, maybe I’m being naïve or my expectations are too high.

CrotchetQuaverMinim Thu 03-Nov-16 18:41:44

I don't think you can force nice behaviour out of people. Yes, it would be nice if they apologised or gave you chocolates, but it's not an obligation. They might choose to do it as it would make you more likely to come back and shop there again, and give them a good name. Or because someone genuinely felt badly that they had been neglectful in some way, perhaps. But it's not something than can be expected or demanded, I don't think. They weren't nice, too bad for you. You think badly of them and don't go back, and you tell others about it who don't go back, too bad fro Tesco.

That's totally separate from preventing it happening again. If you really think there is something that they should have done to prevent it, and didn't - focus on that. Or something that would change if they'd followed different procedures and that they should update their policies - make a case for that.

But that they didn't make you feel less embarrassed etc, that's not really something you can force. That's up to them, and whatever consequences arise from it. You'll remember how you felt, and you might be nice to someone who is in that position in the future. And hopefully a lot of people would be too. But you can't really complain about them not being nice or offering some sort of goodwill gift in the hopes that it will force them to.

You could of course give them feedback, and tell them that by not being nicer to you, they've lost your business. Nothing wrong with that.

Arfarfanarf Thu 03-Nov-16 18:46:17

I would ask them to make changes to how they deal with such things.

Many years ago I tripped on a really weird bit of flooring in a shop - originally it had been two shops, then knocked into one but for some reason the floor at the join was uneven. They'd just put the flooring over it hmm

I went over on it, bust my ankle. I was on crutches for a couple of weeks.

I wrote to them, told them it was dangerous and to bloody sort it out.

They put that black and yellow hazard tape along it. hmm not great but something.

Be clear on what it is you want. Training for staff would be my request. It is unacceptable that they just stood there.

AmberNectarine Thu 03-Nov-16 19:07:45

Not quite the same but many years ago I was in TK Maxx and felt a sudden, very sharp pain in the sole of my foot. On inspection, the pin from the back of a security tag had been on the floor and I had stepped on it - it had pierced the sole of my shoe (ballet flats) and gone right into my foot.

I didn't really know what to do and am a bit squeamish about that sort of thing, so my boyfriend pulled it out, at which point blood started gouting out. At this point a crowd had gathered and a staff member ambled over. She offered to get me a plaster from the first aid kit, which I accepted and then disappeared for 15m. When she eventually returned she said no one could find it.

At this point we left and I patched it up myself, but the foot was swollen and sore for a few days.

When I wrote to head office suggesting a first aid kit always be on hand I got a generic 'sorry you had a bad experience, here's a £25 gift card' reply, but no assurance any action would be taken re. first aid training/available kit.

I couldn't be arsed doing any more about it, but I did think it was a bit crap! Accidents happen - that's life, but you should be able to scare up a plaster!

Cakedoesntjudge Thu 03-Nov-16 19:11:01

I'm sorry you had a nasty fall - completely understand how embarrassing that is and I hope you're feeling better soon flowers

I do think it was dealt with badly. I work in retail and I'm not a first aider so I'm not allowed to do anything more than offer a seat (you can't see immediate seating in our store either but we can obtain it quickly) and fetch a first aider. 9/10 people refuse to let me do that but I still would have offered much faster than that particular employee did.

However, two things I thought.

Firstly, and I don't think this is really an excuse, but given the time of year, if the employee was new they would probably have no idea or experience in how to deal with it. Not helpful for you and not an excuse for the store as they should but probably don't have adequate training in place, but is it possible the employee just hadn't been trained and was flustered?

Secondly, we have it drummed into us over and over that we are categorically not allowed to provide any goodwill gestures in the instance of an accident. This is because that can be then used as us accepting fault in any future litigation. Sounds a bit cold and mercenary but lots of people set things up and do it on purpose so stores have had to develop procedures to protect themselves against that.

Still think it should have been logged and you should have had much better treatment though IMO.

With regards to looking at seeking a possible legal route, I'm a bit biased with this! I have every sympathy and understanding for customers/colleagues who seek compensation if they're injured enough to miss long periods of work or similar. But I have less time for people who do it when they haven't experienced financial loss/significant injury as, and I don't know if all companies are the same, our stores colleague bonus is cut for every claim made. It doesn't 'teach a lesson' to those at the top as people often hope it will, it just means that individuals already on a low wage lose out. Managers' bonuses don't tend to be affected by any claims.

Though, to be fair, I only think that way because I'm a colleague, so as I said, I'm biased grin

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Mon 07-Nov-16 18:15:12

Oh, and remember.... it was self service

Self service staff are not able to just leave their station unattended. They have to remain in line of sight of the tills

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