Customer tells store ‘say sorry’

Tony Brown with the sports bag he was carrying when he was wrongly accused of shoplifting by staff at Tesco, Holbeach.
Tony Brown with the sports bag he was carrying when he was wrongly accused of shoplifting by staff at Tesco, Holbeach.

An angry shopper is demanding an apology from supermarket giant Tesco after being accused of shoplifting at its store in Holbeach.

Tony Bown (53), of Whaplode St Catherine, claims he was “embarrassed and humiliated” by two staff members who suspected him of trying to steal goods from the store in Boston Road South.

Despite several letters and emails since the incident on May 23, Mr Bown is yet to receive an official apology.

He said: “I was having a quick look round the store just to pass time until my wife arrived from work so we could do the shopping together.

“I had a sports bag with me and when my wife didn’t arrive at the expected time, I came out of the store to telephone her and find out how long she might be.

“That’s when two of the store’s managerial staff pounced on me and one of them said, quite specifically and categorically, ‘You have been seen to place items in your bag and you have now left the store without paying for them.’

“The thing that particularly riled me was the manner in which it was done and the words used which were haughty, pompous, aggressive and dismissive when I tried to explain to them that there was nothing in my bag.”

The staff members involved checked his bag, which was empty, but they turned down Mr Bown’s request to discuss the matter in private.

He said: “They were totally dismissive of everything I was saying, even though they were clearly in the wrong, and steadfastly refused to talk to me in the store office, doing it all in the main entrance instead.

“I was totally embarrassed and humiliated in front of other customers for no reason and I now want a public apology from Tesco and apologies from the staff concerned as individuals.

“No apologies have been forthcoming and because of Tesco’s attitude, I’ll take this as far as I can.”

The Free Press asked Tesco for a comment but none had been received at the time of going to press.