Home Australia Coles customer humiliated by degrading demand at the checkout

Coles customer humiliated by degrading demand at the checkout

by Elijah
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Tony Jones has a large hernia (pictured) in his stomach and was accused of shoplifting by a Coles employee on Saturday.

A cancer survivor was left mortified after he was forced to show his hernia to a “loud” Coles worker who accused him of shoplifting and hiding groceries under his shirt.

Tony Jones, 39, was left humiliated after staff at Kallangur Coles, north of Brisbane, called him on Saturday morning.

Mr Jones, who has a hernia the size of a melon on his right side, had gone to pay when he said the middle-aged worker shouted: “What’s wrong with what’s under your shirt?”

He explained that his large hernia was the result of a stoma bag following bowel cancer surgery.

“(The Coles employee) walks up to me, in a very accusatory tone, like she’s happy she’s caught me, loud enough for anyone at the self-checkout counter to know,” Mr Jones said.

“I was shocked but I wanted to get out of there, so I just lifted my shirt to show my stoma bag and hernia.

“I guess I could have argued, but I already hate my body, I hate the stoma and the hernia causes a lot of pain and I hate the way I look, so I just wanted to get out.”

Tony Jones has a large hernia (pictured) in his stomach and was accused of shoplifting by a Coles employee on Saturday.

Jones said the employee immediately apologized before stating that the store had experienced several thefts in the past.

“It was quick, but it really surprised me that they could take such an accusatory tone and sound so proud of themselves, like they were waiting to try to catch a thief,” he said. news.com.au.

Jones said the entire confrontation left him feeling “violated” and frustrated.

“Having my hernia and stoma bag on display for everyone watching was embarrassing and now I feel really weird,” he said.

“It feels really bad.”

The Coles branch manager has since apologized to Mr Jones and offered him a $100 gift voucher.

“I’m never going back to that store again, but $100 is two weeks of my food budget, so at least it makes a big difference,” she said.

Jones theorized that staff might be on higher alert for theft since the Kallangur store has not yet installed the company’s new anti-theft doors.

The doors, which have been adopted by Coles and Woolworths, open automatically for paying customers and prevent thieves from getting out.

Jones’ post quickly went viral, with hundreds of commenters outraged by the worker’s accusatory behavior.

“Hopefully you embarrassed her enough that she thinks twice before doing that to someone else,” one said.

“Was the apology as loud as the accusation?” asked another.

Mr. Jones claims that the employee shouted:

Mr. Jones claims the employee shouted, “What’s up with what’s under your shirt?” while he was trying to pay at the self-checkout

However, Mr Jones insists the woman should not be fired for the “mistake”.

“I don’t think the employee should be fired, yes, it bothered me and surprised me, but I don’t think making a mistake should get someone fired,” he said.

“Repeated mistakes, yes, but not if they are specific, but rather if they can be learned.”

A Coles spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia the manager had apologized profusely to Jones over the incident.

“Our goal is to provide helpful and courteous service to our customers every day and ensure everyone is treated with respect when shopping in our stores,” they said.

‘We are disappointed to hear of this customer’s experience and spoke directly to our customer yesterday and apologize for this incident.

“Coles is committed to creating an inclusive environment for our customers and team members and apologizes again that this did not happen on this occasion.”

Around 46,000 Australians live with stomas.

Jones shared her story online with a social media user, who claimed to work for a “stoma organisation”, urging the upset shopper to make sure Coles head office took her complaint seriously.

“There are so many places that can make having a bag a problem simply because they don’t understand it,” they said.

“I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new about this and that you’re familiar with what a nightmare airport security can be.”

‘We also had to defend a child who was recently banned from the local swimming pool.

“I feel for you and wish I had something more useful to add.”

Jones said she has been using a stoma bag (above) since undergoing surgery for bowel cancer.

Jones said she has been using a stoma bag (above) since undergoing surgery for bowel cancer.

Jones thanked the person for their advice, but believes he will “never accept” living with a stoma bag.

“It’s been several years and I still hate this, it probably doesn’t help that I had an indwelling catheter put in in December because the bowel removal surgery damaged the nerves around my bladder,” he said.

“I’ve been having some very low moments lately because my health doesn’t seem to be improving and this (incident) was a mental setback.”

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