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London Tesco Refuses Blind Woman’s Guide Dog

October 17, 2014

This is not the first time Tesco have done something like this, readers.

A blind student was left in tears when she was refused service in a Tesco supermarket – for bringing her guide dog inside.

Maya Makri, a student at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, was buying groceries at the supermarket in Belsize Road near Swiss Cottage on Monday.

But when she approached the checkout with her friend and her dog, a cashier shouted “pets are not allowed”.

Despite the obvious high-viz guide-dog jacket worn by the black Labrador, named Jemma, Ms Makri said staff would not acknowledge the animal was not a pet.

The other two cashiers apparently joined in and said there were “no exceptions”, before being told she could stay for the time being but could not return to the store in future.

Ms Makri, 39, said: “I pointed out that this was no pet, but a guide dog. This should have been immediately obvious from the dog’s high-viz harness and fluorescent guide dog label on the lead.

She added: “I repeatedly said that I was registered blind and that this was a trained assistance dog, to no avail.

 “Various customers tried to back me up, but we were shouted down. I burst into tears outside the store in sheer frustration.

“A woman followed me all the way to South Hampstead station, just to say how terribly upset she was about what she had just witnessed and that this had to be challenged.”

Ms Makri, who previously worked as a conference interpreter and at the University of Leeds, said it was the latest in a series of difficulties she has faced since moving to the capital to study 10 years ago.

She also struggled to join her local gym and has been refused access to restaurants because of the dog.

Ms Makri, of Queen’s Park, said Jemma, who has been in her care for six years, helps her become an “active member of society” and has been a lifeline since moving to London.

She added: “I went up to Leeds to do some teaching at the university yesterday and I truly dreaded coming back to London. This is not what I expected from our metropolis.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “This clearly should never have happened and we will contact Ms Makri directly to apologise. We do allow guide dogs in stores and have reminded colleagues of that. We also offer customers with guide dogs help with their shopping, if they would like assistance.”

Last year a report released by charity Guide Dogs found people with guide dogs were increasingly being refused access to shops, transport, cafes and other venues. The charity said they were receiving more complaints from blind people struggling to access venues.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. The Infamous Culex permalink
    October 17, 2014 1:26 am

    Is it discriminatory to blog against the apparent policy by Tesco only to employ staff with the least intelligence?

    • October 17, 2014 1:32 am

      If you don’t like there some thing to change it then

  2. Andrew permalink
    October 17, 2014 1:30 am

    This is totally out of order. This woman should be helped at the shops not made to feel a second class . Tesco should give these staff a good talking too. This lady did not ask to be blind. Show sum compassion for her. Guild dogs are the best trained dogs around. Sum of tesco staff are bloody thick any way. Will not shop there again.

  3. October 17, 2014 6:07 am

    i usually find this kind of thing happens in lots of asian /indian/pakistani shops too they do not seem to understand the law to them a dog is a dirty animal

  4. October 17, 2014 8:07 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  5. October 17, 2014 5:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  6. philipburdekin permalink
    October 17, 2014 10:46 pm

    A total disgrace, was the cashier being vindictive or is she so daft that she doesn’t know company policy.

  7. Sister Marika Rebicsek permalink
    October 20, 2014 6:42 pm

    I’ve had several problems with my Hearing Dog for Deaf People being refused access at various places, thankfully this has got less and less over the years. I recommend this lady contact her Access Officer at Guide Dogs (Hearing Dogs has a brilliant one – he does all the complaints on my behalf). It highlights that staff work at stores and with members of the public with NO disability/deaf awareness training. Tesco should be ashamed of themselves and give her a big gift card and a welcome back because should she take them to court she can wipe the floor with them. Best stores for access is Waitrose, and suprisingly, Aldi (we are made very very welcome in the two stores in the Southend area) and my Hearing Dog absolutely LOVES Waitrose. I have also taught short taster courses at Tesco in Essex and Kent and educate staff about all Assistance Dogs. I have also just made a complaint to Hearing Dogs about attitude at one place where I stayed on holiday in Scotland and VisitScotland were not impressed either!

    • The Infamous Culex permalink
      September 14, 2015 9:57 pm

      ” I have also taught short taster courses at Tesco in Essex and Kent”

      Did they find the dogs tasty?

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