NSW Falsely accused of being a thief and refused service at Aldi

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JJSavage

Member
30 April 2021
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0
6
Sorry about a long post. I am still seething.

I have been falsely accused of being a thief and refused service at Aldi.

I did my shopping, which was very quick, as the shop was about to close. When I got to the checkout, the cashier asked to check my bags. I had a small purse and a few paper carry-bags. The cashier looked in my paper bags and then started moving around items in one of them, which contained a few packages of cooked food I bought elsewhere. I asked the cashier not to touch anything inside my bag, since this is not allowed, as per the NSW Fair Trading Guidelines, and I didn’t want her touching packages with cooked food. She then asked to check my purse, to which I refused. The purse was a size not larger than a sheet of A4 paper and contained my continence aids. The NSW Fair Trading guidelines state that a retailer is only allowed to check small bags if the retailer is sure it contains store goods that haven’t been paid for. The cashier had no reason to believe I had such goods in my purse. I specifically carry this purse because I don’t want other people to see and especially touch my continence aids.

Another store employee (I presume she was a supervisor) was observing this. Then she said to me that she had footage of me stealing from the store. She said that in front of the cashier and another customer. I was absolutely shocked. I asked to show me the footage. She said she could not but continued to insist that I had been stealing from the store in the past. I could not believe my ears. She then proceeded to tell the cashier to cancel the transaction, removed my groceries from the cash register conveyor belt, and requested I leave the store. As the store was about to close, I had no other choice but to comply.

I am a person with disabilities, and grocery shopping is a big challenge for me. I manage to get to the shops once a week at the most, and even that is very difficult. On this occasion, I was refused service without a good reason and was falsely accused of being a thief in front of other people. When I got home, without my groceries, I was extremely upset, shocked, and humiliated. I was shaking, felt dizzy, and my blood pressure was so high I considered calling an ambulance. In addition, I’ve run out of food in the house and will not be able to go shopping again for at least a week.

I consider the behaviour of this Aldi employee abusive, bullying and discriminatory towards a person with disabilities.

What I want:
  • An official apology from Aldi, as well as a personal apology from the employee in question delivered to my face and in front of other Aldi employees.
  • My next transaction at an Aldi store (up to $50 and for groceries only) to be free to compensate me for the time, effort and expense of a wasted shopping trip, the humiliation and emotional distress of being falsely accused of theft in front of other people, and the fact I will have to rely on take-aways and deliveries to feed myself for the next week.
I would also like to see Aldi conducting proper training of its employees on how to correctly carry out bag checks, including NSW Fair Trading rules and regulations awareness.

I was going to send a letter of complaint to Aldi but can't even find any contact information for the company on their website.

If I am unable to lodge or settle the complaint with Aldi, what else can I do? Who can I complain to? Can I sue Aldi and the employee for defamation?

I can't simply let it go. As a person with disabilities, I have to stand up for myself and other vulnerable Australians.
 
Last edited:

Paul Cott

Well-Known Member
LawTap Verified
26 May 2014
305
95
789
Ballarat, Victoria
Hi JJ Savage, on your versions of events that is appalling treatment you have received. There are a lot of potential options and some legal options (such as discrimination) too. If you would like an apology and or compensation you can write to them - go onto their website (although I had a quick look and there does seem to be a lack of contact details there). But there must be some way to contact them - or you could write to the store, attention the store manager - Or a lawyer could write to them on your behalf.
 

JJSavage

Member
30 April 2021
4
0
6
Hi JJ Savage, on your versions of events that is appalling treatment you have received. There are a lot of potential options and some legal options (such as discrimination) too. If you would like an apology and or compensation you can write to them - go onto their website (although I had a quick look and there does seem to be a lack of contact details there). But there must be some way to contact them - or you could write to the store, attention the store manager - Or a lawyer could write to them on your behalf.
Thank you, Paul

After a long and exhausting search I found a feedback form on their website and sent them my complaint. I have received a reply today that they are investigating.

I think I have jumped the gun by posting my enquiry on this forum. I really wanted to know about my chances of successfully suing Aldi for slander (if I don't like their response). I've just had a look around, and it seems I should have posted this on the Defamation forum. Anyway, I will wait for the results of their investigation.
 

jacko999

Member
4 May 2021
4
0
1
you could be arrested, convicted and in jail before you get a response on here. Plenty of ads though