Today I was refused entry in my local coop because I had my assistance dog with me — Scope | Disability forum
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Today I was refused entry in my local coop because I had my assistance dog with me

cesterr Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Today it was a first for me. I have a lovely dog called Diego that I have trained for my assistance. He is a beautiful Hungarian Vizsla and has a very nice and friendly personality. I usually take him with me to supermarkets and I have never had a problem: in fact staff are even more helpful when Diego is with me. 
Today I was out and decided to do some shopping at my local Coop. I went in and two other customers smiled and offered help. I was picking some vegetables when I heard some voices from the shop assistants telling me that dogs are not allowed in the shop. I answered that this doesn’t apply to Diego as he is an assistance dog. Few seconds later the shop manager arrived and asked me to leave. She said that Diego is too big for an assistance dog and that he was a heath and safety risk because he was close to the food.I tried to reply but my speech is impaired and I was unable to. The shop manager treated me with such contempt that I felt humiliated and left. What do you think I should have done? Also what should I do now?


  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 33,204 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2022
    Wow, I would get straight on to head office either by telephone or email maybe quote the text below

    Assistance/Guide dog owners have important rights under the 2010 Equality Act (EA). This law allows people with disabilities to have the same rights as everyone else to use the services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants.

    Getting something done

    Whether or not you have physical evidence of denied entry, you do have the right to seek redress. You can seek advice on making a complaint to a service provider because of the way you have been treated by calling the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 and asking to be connected to the Legal Rights Service or alternatively you can call Access Mediation Services and enquire about disability mediation on 01905 330055.

    Options may involve redress through a legal representative, or the more commonly chosen option of mediation.

  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry you were treated like this - i hope your okay 
    I would deffernatly follow Sandy's advice.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,465 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2022
    Welcome to the community @cesterr :) Thank you for joining!

    I'm also really sorry to hear that you had that experience. I imagine I would've felt quite humiliated too, and probably would have left as well. 

    As Sandy_123 has said, you could look into making a complaint. 

    Could you also check with the store what their policy is on assistance dogs, perhaps by calling or emailing them? This could give you some proof that Diego should have been allowed in with you. 

    How are you feeling today, now that you've had some time to process what happened? 
    National Campaigns Officer, she/her

    Join our call for an equal future.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger

    You really need to take this further it is not acceptable 

    I worked in retail management for over 30 years and with a company the size of coop all staff should be trained and aware of disability rights and encouraged to make the shopping experience as good as possible 

    As it was a manager that asked you to leave makes it even worse I would normally say complain to the manager but you need to go higher as advised by others 
  • Steve_in_The_City
    Steve_in_The_City Scope Member Posts: 497 Pioneering
    I think you were treated appallingly, never mind what the law says - we all have a duty to be as kind, helpful and as considerate to other people as we can be. Having had a speech defect in the past I know how difficult it is to verbalise, communicate and stand up for yourself, so I think by leaving you did the sensible thing. But I hope you will keep on complaining and receive some proper compensation. Also, I hope the manager and staff will be reprimanded so that at a future date you can go in the store and shop (should you want to).


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