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Mother told to leave leading department store by shop worker as her toddler would not stop crying


Picture posed. Deposit Photos

Picture posed. Deposit Photos

Picture posed. Deposit Photos

A mother was ordered to leave a leading departmen store by a member of staff because her toddler was having a tantrum.

Lindsay Robinson was asked to exit John Lewis after the shop worker said complaints had been received from other customers.

The 36-year-old, a graphic designer specialising in wedding stationery, was shopping in Manchester city centre when 16-month-old Heidi had a temper fit.

She said her daughter had become "loud and vocal" and she was "trying to do my best to calm her down" when she was told to leave.

Mrs Robinson, of Prestwich, Greater Manchester, said: "He said to me 'I'm afraid we've had a complaint, you will have to leave'. I was shocked.

"I dropped a key ring and rucksack for Heidi that I was about to buy, and this staff member escorted us out of the store. I said to my friend, who was shopping with me, 'did that really happen'?"

She made a formal complaint to John Lewis, which said it did not believe the staff member "escorted" her from the store, but apologised for her being "asked to leave" and said they could have been more "sympathetic".

Mrs Robinson said: "I called customer services and someone did call me back. They apologised and said the member of staff's behaviour was out of order. They said they would send a £20 voucher as an apology. I don't think I will be going back to that store.

"I am not interested in any voucher or money. My point is that when shops see a mother trying to deal with a child having a tantrum they should cut them a bit of slack. I was made to feel like a rubbish mum.

"It was very embarrassing. Everyone was looking at me. It is a shame because I am a loyal customer. When I got married, we had a wedding list of presents from there."

The incident happened at the Trafford Centre branch at midday on Saturday while the store was busy with customers shopping for Mother's Day presents.

Mrs Robinson added: "Heidi has only just learned to walk, so I use a harness for her as she is a bit unsteady on her feet.

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"I was carrying her and she started to lose the plot. I was trying to put the harness back on and Heidi was loud and vocal. I was trying to do my best to calm her down, and get her harness on so she didn't crawl off.

"Then I was asked to leave. I felt quite upset. When I complained, customer services said they knew exactly who was involved and that he worked on menswear."

Mrs Robinson - who was shopping with her friend, solicitor Paula Mansfield, who is Heidi's godmother - added: "The only way I would have felt better was if I had got an apology from the member of staff responsible."

In a statement, John Lewis said: "We are very sorry that Mrs Robinson was upset after visiting our shop. One of our department managers spoke to her on Saturday to apologise and to explain this clearly shouldn't have happened.

"Our head of branch has also written to formally apologise to the customer and arranged for a delivery of flowers.

"We are still investigating this incident with the partner concerned but at this stage believe he didn’t escort Mrs Robinson out of the store, but he did ask her to leave in response to other customers’ complaints.

"We are speaking to him about what happened and how we could have been more sympathetic to Mrs Robinson and her daughter."

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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