As one couple was shopping at Lidl store together with their teenage daughters, they were left gobsmacked when the cashier demanded to see their daughter’s ID before allowing them to purchase rhubarb gin they selected for themselves.
43-year-old Gary Sprake and 41-year-old Jackie Chandler were baffled as the cashier, whom they told that they “would never let their daughter sip alcohol,” called the store manager who then called the police on the couple.
Allegedly, Gary even told the staffs that he will buy the rhubarb and ginger gin liqueur on his own, away from his kids, but was once again refused by the employees who cited the ID policy.
The incident happened at Lidl in Waterlooville, Hampshire, while Gary and Jackie were shopping with their 11-year-old Rosa-May and 14-year-old Ella-May. According to the couple, they wanted to pick up the bottle of gin because they were going to a friend’s house party later that day.
“We were shocked when the cashier asked because we thought he was talking about us. But when we found out he meant our daughter, I thought, ‘He cannot be serious.’
“There is no way we would let her take a sip of alcohol, let alone buy a bottle,” Jackie said after the incident.
“Lidl should be ashamed of themselves. I wonder where the line on this policy is drawn. If I had a four-year-old, would I not be able to get a drink?
“And if I do go back to that store, which is unlikely, will I not be able to buy alcohol because they know I have a daughter? The whole thing is ridiculous,” Gary added saying how the staff made his family look like criminals in front of everyone.
During the argument, other customers were also affected by the delay, causing one customer to threaten the family to ‘arrest’ them if they didn’t move on.
“There was already a wait to get to the till so people weren’t happy. A couple of other shoppers were telling us to move on and one even offered to make a citizen’s arrest on us,” Jackie said.
“The police officer I spoke to couldn’t believe he’d been called out – we weren’t doing anything wrong. We joked because it must’ve been his easiest job of the day.”
As Jackie also explained, their daughters are now “worried as they feel like they did something wrong.” The mother is determined she would never go back because she feels “too embarrassed.”
As the incident went viral, Lidl’s spokesperson defended the company by saying:
“It is never our intention for a customer to be dissatisfied in any way, however we are committed to selling alcohol responsibly.
“Whilst these actions may appear over-cautious, we support our colleagues in using their own judgment to uphold our ‘Think 25’ policy and, where there is any element of doubt, making the right decision. Under no circumstances do we tolerate abusive behavior towards our colleagues.”
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