Pregnant woman refused access to store toilet
Woman refused access to store's toiletTINA LAW
A pregnant woman is fuming after being refused the use of a toilet at an antique store.
Christchurch interior designer Jacki Breuer, who is seven months' pregnant, visited Foragers in the inner city on Friday and while there needed to go to the toilet.
She asked the shop assistant if she could use a toilet and was told: "Ah, no".
"I pointed out I am heavily pregnant and she again said: 'No, it is company policy'."
Breuer said her treatment was disgusting.
"There are very few people on the planet who would refuse a pregnant woman the use of a bathroom.
"If that is how they treat their customers, it is a pretty poor reflection on them.
It was surprising they were so small and mean-minded and extended no goodwill to their customers. She said the discomfort was so great, she cried all the way home.
"Being pregnant is not much fun when you are busting.
"I got stuck in the one-way system and roadworks. It was horrible.
"It was very unpleasant and upsetting."
She wrote an email to the company to complain, suggesting the policy be reviewed and saying she would never set foot in the store again.
In reply, co-owner Jane Finch said she saw no reason to change the policy.
"I am comfortable with the decision you have made."
Finch said she used to let customers use the business's personal toilet at the back of the premises, but decided to stop this for three reasons, including the theft of stock.
There were also issues with the cleanliness of the toilet and health and safety concerns with people walking through an area used as a workshop, Finch said.
"It is the function of the Christchurch City Council to provide public toilets."
She said she contacted the council earlier this year to ask what public toilets were available within the four avenues so Foragers could direct customers to them. The council told Finch that the only public toilets available in the city centre were in the Botanic Garden and in Hagley Park.
Breuer said the security concern was absurd.
"I am hardly going to tuck a table under my top when I am seven months' pregnant.
"Clearly, I needed to use the toilet and was not there to steal from them."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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