ASDA has banned a mum from its Milton store after claiming she was verbally abusive to a member of staff who questioned why her autistic son was unmasked.
However, the Dundee mum says she was ‘gobsmacked’ at staff behaviour towards them both, claiming her son was left fearing he would be “sent to jail”.
The mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, visited the Milton store on Friday morning and upon entering claims she was questioned.
After explaining her son was exempt from wearing a mask, she claimed the male member of staff continued to follow the pair around the store.
She said: “The staff member continued to question us over what his exemption was and by this point my son was getting quite upset.
“I decided we would just grab a few bits that we needed and my son took his coat off and was trying to cover his face with it as he was so scared.
“I explained to him that he didn’t need to do that but he was just so upset over how the staff member had spoken to us.
“He has sensory issues and we have tried to get him to wear a mask as he knows the dangers of the virus, however it was far too overwhelming for him.
“He also has an exemption lanyard, however the clip on the back irritates his neck so he can’t wear that either.”
After heading to the checkout she then asked to speak to the manager on duty and, to her surprise, discovered the manager was the same staff member who had stopped her at the store front.
The mum claims she was then questioned once again and had to ask the manager to step away from her multiple times as he was not adhering to social distancing measures.
As she tried to leave the store she was then approached by a security guard and the manager who then advised her she was banned from that store.
Gobsmacked over treatment
“I totally understand and appreciate that these workers need to do their job and I am actually glad that they are making sure everyone who can wear a mask does so.
“However, after the first time of me saying my son was exempt that should have been the end of the story,” she said.
“My son is very aware of what was going on and is now absolutely terrified to go home as he thinks that the police are going to look for him there and put him in jail.
“He was absolutely petrified and I am gobsmacked at the way we were treated. It was heart-breaking as a parent.
“My son has these difficulties and it took us a long time to build him up to go into shops in the first place but now we are in a position that is worse than before. I don’t know when or if I will be able to get him to go back into another supermarket.”
A spokesman for Asda said the ban was only in place for the Asda Milton store.
They added: “The customer was allowed to enter our Dundee Milton store with her son not wearing a face-covering as we understand that he is medically exempt.
“However, we do not tolerate verbal abuse towards our colleagues either in store or over the phone and although banning a customer is always a last resort we feel that it is necessary in this instance.”