You have probably already seen my posts on both Facebook and Twitter regarding me feeling completely outraged and disappointed regarding the lack of Changing Places at my local ASDA Store Watford.
To enable me to write my Formal Complaint I wrote down a timeline of events and correspondence, I thought it maybe of some interest to share just to outline how long I have been asking for Changing Places at my local ASDA store.
This is just a shortened down version of the main points and is not including all the auto responses, Twitter and Facebook posts;
*I first approached ASDA on 7th June 2016 outlining the need for Changing Places. As I didn’t get a suitable response I then again wrote to my local store and the C.E.O at the time Andy Clarke.
*On the 23/06/2016 the ASDA Service team responded on behalf Of Andy Clarke stating they were looking at installing Changing Places in ALL stores, but it was something they could not do over night. I was assured they would contact the planning team to try and speed things up regarding getting a Changing Places Toilet in my local Watford store.
*On the 22/09/2017 I noticed my Local ASDA was undergoing a major refurbishment. A perfect time to install a Changing Places facility that they said they would given the opportunity. I wrote again to my Local store and to Asda online making sure a Changing Place was in the plans.
*On the 26/09/2017 My local store got back to me confirming that as part of the major refurbishment the toilets were getting a revamp, BUT NO CHANGING PLACES were to be installed.
*On the 09/10/2017 I sent Sean Clarke the then C.E.O of ASDA a formal complaint regarding the lack of Changing Places in the refurbishment plans and therefore not making any reasonable adjustments.
*10/10/2017 ASDA Executive Relations responded and confirmed they would now be putting a Changing Place Facility in the Watford store as part of the refurbishment.
*11/10/2017 This was plainly confirmed in another email from Executive Relations.
*25/04/2018 a whole 6 months after confirming a Changing Places would be installed I asked both my local store and the ASDA Service Team where was the Changing Places?
*26/04/2018 ASDA Service Team email me back to confirm they have spoken to the Store and said they were told the refurbishment of the toilets and Changing Rooms have all taken place and all is now open.
*26/04/2018 I ask again whether they truly mean a Changing Places with Bench and Hoist facilities.
*27/04/2018 ASDA Service Team confirm work has all stopped at the Watford Store and the Changing Places is there.
*27/04/2018 I call Customer services in store myself, speak to a lady who has been liaising with the ASDA Service team and she confirms a Changing Place is there. I ask her has she seen if a Bench and Hoist are in the room. She admits she has not looked in. I ask her to go and have a look behind the door and call me back as I do not want to take my son to an ASDA store thinking there is a Changing Place only to be found there is not. She hangs up but fails to call me back.
*30/04/2018 I go to the Watford ASDA store myself armed with my son’s radar key and open the door to find NO CHANGING PLACES.
*03/05/2018 A second Formal Complaint is sent.
The fact that ASDA has been aware of the Changing Places campaign and has indeed installed in a few other stores shows that they have anticipated the need for such equipment and facilities and have failed to make adjustments in anticipation of a disabled customers need within their service and within my local store. This is particularly true as they have just undergone a major refurbishment where the Toilets were revamped. This would have been the ultimate time to installed a much-needed Changing Place toilet.
With sharing on social media I have had so much support so thank you. I have had qutie a few comments regarding the pictue I took of the Standard Accessible Toilet which is there and how ASDA Doesn’t even seem to get that right. Comments like It is too small for their Power Wheelchair, The Flush is way too high and most distressing is that the Red Emergency Cord does not reach the floor. If ASDA can not get the basics right no wonder they are struggling to get their head around how Changing Places.
Some of you my recall a previous Blog Post in which I praised ASDA for “Doing The Right Thing”
Not only do I feel outraged and dissapointed for my family, I feel disappointed for all the local people who were so thankful that a Changing Places was coming to their local Supermarket. I am left feeling embarrassed and deeply sadden that what I said was happening, a sure thing, may not be happening at all.
Lesson learnt – “Do not believe what you are told unless you yourself physically see it.”