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Discrimination? -Carers UK Forum

Discrimination?

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TJ (my wife, whom I care for) has just returned home in floods of tears.

She had been on a rare trip out (without me) with her two lads and stopped on the way home at our local Co-op to buy a bottle for me and a few cans for her father, because it's Father's Day. Because of her disabilities she can't carry anything and so she asked D (16yo) to carry the cans to the counter.
He was then asked for his ID by a staff member. TJ said 'they're not for him, I'm paying for it, he's my son and he's helping me do my shopping.'
But they wouldn't serve them until he produced ID.
We have shopped there for over 10 years and they know us. A few of the staff even ask how TJ is when I go in. They know her, they know she's disabled. The manager was called was she was unwilling to help. TJ said 'what if I had a toddler with me and let him carry it.' 'Oh, that would be different,' they said.
Happy Father's Day? Not for me. Not for TJ either, as she is now too upset and stressed to go and visit her father and says what's the point in me ever going out again.

Is this discrimination by the Co-op against a disabled person? Any advice and comments welcome.
I'm not entirely sure because of the crackdown (which doesn't work) on underage drinking and adults buying drink for underage teenagers.
But a family out shopping at a supermarket can fill their trolley and not get turned away because a teenager is pushing the trolley.
Considering that they know TJ and they were shopping as a family, then I would complain to the Co-op head office.
I would say it was discrimination. Doesn't say much for the Co-op's disability friendly pledge.
Sounds like another case of over-zealous political correctness.

How annoying and upsetting.

Melly1
Sounds like a jobsworth situation to me - and the effect is discrimination even if the intent isn't.
two years ago this happened in Tesco with my husband. The weather was really hot, beautiful,it as a weekend,and I fancied a glass of cider with my evening meal. My daughter(19) and her boyfriend(18), went with my husband to Tesco to get a bottle. I was left at home, caring for my elder son's needs.
My husband is registered blind(and was at that time 52 years old),they refused to serve him because they did not believe he would keep it for himself. My daughter and her boyfriend both produced photo ID to prove their ages,and the shop assistant said,"well you MIGHT have someone outside the shop that you are going to give this to!!!!!" I wrote to Tesco and complained, but they said they had the right to servie who they wished.
Well, I have the right to shop where I wish and I do not go there any more.
Like you, this was a local shop, and most of the staff know our family.
Thank you all for your replies.

Now I feel able to compose a strong letter to head office and will send a copy to the local branches too.
I shall be going to the store one last time tomorrow just to get the names of the assistant and the manager.
TJ has calmed down somewhat but still feels she was humiliated in front of the other customers.
Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword because on the one hand, yes, your son was helping a disabled person but on the other hand, he was still too young to purchase the product he was carrying.

The store is also entitled to refuse to serve you if they believe that the alcohol may be for consumption by a minor after all, it's their name on the licence to sell the alcohol - and they've no way of knowing if you are from trading standards or not.

As far as I can tell from reading info provided by trading standards, which can be found here http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advi ... sfsum1.cfm the co-op haven't done anything wrong.

I can understand very well just how frustrating this can be, having been refused a lottery ticket, cigarettes and more recently a lighter because I look younger than 26.
I understand your point, Summer and I've read up on the laws involving underage and alcohol.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/200 ... nd-alcohol
Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword because on the one hand, yes, your son was helping a disabled person but on the other hand, he was still too young to purchase the product he was carrying.
Of course he is too young to buy it, but he wasn't going to buy it. He wasn't even being served, only standing by his mother when he was asked for ID.
The store is also entitled to refuse to serve you if they believe that the alcohol may be for consumption by a minor ...
I know they are entitled to refuse to serve, I too have worked many years in the licensed trade. And as LazyD says, we are entitled not to shop there any more.
As far as I can tell ... the co-op haven't done anything wrong.
Quite agree, but they have embarrassed and humiliated (and lost) a regular customer.
... having been refused ... because I look younger than 26.
Lucky you Image Image Image
Thank you for playing the Devils Advocate, much appreciated.

But I have a couple of other scenarios inspired by Myrtle mentioned in her post about family shopping.
1. If a disabled person is shopping with a child (under 18) and the child is pushing the trolley, are they allowed to purchase alcohol?
2. If a disabled person orders shopping online and an under 18 yo child or carer receives the delivery are they allowed to accept it if it contains alcohol?
3. Is a disabled person allowed to buy alcohol if assisted by a child or carer aged under 18yo?

I couldn't find an answer.
The point is that they had no reason to assume that your son was going to consume alcohol: TJ had made it absolutely clear what it was going to be used for, and was supervising the purchase because she could not physically manage it herself - which she explained.

That is what makes it discriminatory. Your son wasn't buying the alcohol, TJ was - your son was in effect only the tool TJ was using to overcome her disability.