50 signatures reached
To: Asda CEO
Asda fines disabled customers
Asda must STOP - FINES on disabled customers.
Asda must STOP - DISCRIMINATING wheel chair bound customers.
Why is this important?
Once a month, I take my blind amputee brother to Asda supermarket in Perth. During our last visit to the store, we were appalled at our treatment following the use of a disabled parking space. I discovered a fine which had been imposed on the grounds that my brother (who has lived in a care home for many years and cannot drive for obvious reasons) does not have a blue badge to display. Why should a genuinely disabled person be fined in an Asda car park for not displaying a blue badge?
Blue Badge Scotland clearly state on their website:
"The Blue Badge scheme is for drivers or passengers with severe mobility problems. The scheme provides a range of on-street parking concessions enabling Blue Badge holders to park closer to where they need to go. The scheme does not apply to off-street car parking, for example in privately operated car parks at supermarkets or airports."
I immediately contested this fine with the store management and was shocked to discover that Asda have no power to waive these fines under any circumstances. This is because Asda allow a private company - Smart Parking - to run many of their car parks across the country. This company exploits the blue badge system under their "contract" agreement and employ their own staff to cowardly affix parking fines to windshields without care or consideration for who could be using this space. By allowing such a company to run their parking areas, Asda are complicit in this greedy money making exercise.
Following my formal complaint, I had a call from an Asda corporate employee who claims to be among the highest echelons of customer service representatives. This individual showed no understanding or compassion whatsoever, responding to my issue with cold bureaucracy. This employee showed (as with any other member of Asda management that i have discussed this issue with) utter incompetence in understanding the difference between criminal law and contract law. I have been persistently shamed as having “broken the law”, which is absolutely not the case. Perhaps the most shocking revelation during this call is that Asda have confirmed they DO NOT provide their own spaces for disabled people who do not have (perhaps have forgotten or never had the need for) a blue badge. Their best suggestion was that I use the drop off point at the front door. This shows an incredible lack of understanding as they expect me to leave my blind, wheelchair bound brother unattended while I find a regular space. My brother is effectively barred from Asda as there are no suitable spaces to allow safe access to their stores. This amounts to discrimination against disabled customers, as confirmed in my correspondence with Citizens Advice Scotland. They have suggested that there is a strong argument here for the discrimination against the disabled and they have notified trading standards with regards to this issue.
I am grateful to have guidance and support of local mps and msps on this matter in addition to a local newspaper that intends to run our story. PLEASE SIGN this petition to help prevent other people from suffering this discrimination, humiliation and indignity while visiting their local Asda store.
N.B. Tesco have confirmed that they do not treat their disabled customers in this way and are equally shocked by the conduct of Asda.
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