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Martin's story

A case study illustrating why we need to change the law

What you need to know

Martin's Story

Lack of respect when accessing retail services

Martin, who is in his eighties, was collecting his prescription from the high street pharmacy when he was approached by a female assistant in her early thirties who asked him for his name, age and address. Martin asked for an explanation and was informed “we are just testing your mental faculties”.

Full story

Martin, who is in his early eighties, regularly collected his prescription from a leading high street pharmacy. On one particular occasion as he went to collect his medication he was approached by a female shop assistant in her early thirties, who began asking him about his age, address, name, etc. Martin asked for an explanation in which the employee responded with a laugh 'we are just testing your mental faculties'. This response was met with laughs from other employees behind the counter and Martin was 'so embarrassed about the whole thing'. Martin was also aware that other customers in the shop could hear the exchange which added to the embarrassment.

When he returned home Martin phoned the chemist to ask for an explanation and to convey his anger about what he experienced. The pharmacist herself answered the phone. She apologized and said 'it was only a bit of fun and was surprised he took it this way'. Martin was then contacted by the assistant manageress and was given a telephone number in England to make a complaint. Martin persisted and eventually spoke to the manageress of the chemist where the incident took place and who agreed to meet with him. When they met, the manageress had temporarily lost her voice and consequently 'mimed' throughout the conversation.

Martin eventually received a letter of apology and a gift voucher for twenty pounds. However he was dissatisfied with this response and telephoned the number in England he had been given. He made a formal complaint and was told this would be investigated further. Martin has received no further contact or information from the pharmacy about this incident and he remains angry about being subject to such treatment: I feel like I've been treated like an absolute fool.
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