A man from Canvey, Essex who suffers from autism and epilepsy was charged a £10 deposit and was informed that he would have to pay another £25 on the collection of a lightbulb that he’d ordered in the Knightswick Centre, Canvey.
The vulnerable man who’s in his 30s had ventured to the centre in pursuit of a new lightbulb without his carer, and a shop worker from Phone Experts approached him, offering him assistance.
The employee who made the transaction was already working his notice, and this happened to be his last day, so he had nothing to lose. The store refunded the £10 deposit, but the shop has been slammed as targeting him because of his condition.
It’s quite disgusting because the man was quite visibly autistic, and the shop saw this and took advantage of him, but it was only when he became visibly anxious and getting worked up that his mother knew something had occurred, and when a receipt for the £10 deposit was found she realised. A lightbulb only costs a couple of pounds, but the receipt was a scrap of paper from a duplicate book.
They went back to the shopping centre and her son identified which store it was, so they approached them and following some toing and froing the shop chose to refund the money and tear up the receipt.
This sort of behaviour is terrible, and it’s not the kind of store people want on Canvey. This man is visibly vulnerable and he’s been preyed upon, but manager Hussain Razi said that the employee was trying to help, but then acknowledged what he did was wrong.
Mr Hussain Razi said it was a mistake, and that the family are making it into a big issue, that it’s now been resolved and that the store has now returned the money.
They said that the employee who dealt with the man has been fired, but how could he have been fired if he was already working his noticed and it was his last day?
The shop said the worker was simply seeking to help the man, that he seemed like he was disabled in some way, and was only seeking to help. So, if he was really trying to help, why was he fired? Then he said that the worker quoted him between £10 to £35 for a light bulb but he wasn’t sure why because the shop didn’t even sell lightbulbs, well, I’d say that’s going above and beyond trying to help someone.
Obviously, this employee was never going to return this mans money, and the customer would have never seen him again because he was working out his notice, and clearly once he saw that this man was disabled he exploited him. Yet, the manager then backed the fired employee and turned it around on the victim, so how many other people have they ripped off?
The employee was already working his notice, he was obviously trying to make a swift tenner before leaving, then when the man came back for the lightbulb, the crafty employee would have been gone, but it makes you question why this particular employee had been given his notice anyhow.
Whether Mr Razi likes it or not, this employee was representing his store at the time, and therefore it’s the character of the store that’s apparently being undermined by this sad event because clearly it wasn’t a misunderstanding, and it was a pretty big problem.
Mr Razi clearly isn’t the brightest spark in the electrical circuit!