Lidl bosses are investigating after a mum was taken into a back room and given a telling off over a negative social media post about one of its stores..
Ana Palmer recorded the conversation as a member of staff spoke to her about putting complaints on Facebook rather than calling customer service.
After an employee searched her bags, she had written a message in a local community group, asking if anyone else had similar experiences..
But next time she visited the store, Ana was confronted and told she had failed to follow correct procedures with her criticisms, according to our sister title Plymouth Live.
In her Facebook post, Ana had said: “Evening, my shopping bags were searched in Lidl this evening. I have NEVER in my whole life ever stolen anything!
“”I had a wonderful mum that had taught me a really nice thing in life which was “If you can’t afford it, save for it but if you really want it there & then, ask for it but never ever help yourself to someone else’s things!”
“I didn’t feel insulted by the fact that our bags were searched but just a little bit uncomfortable! The sales adviser told me that she had to do that because they’ve ‘had a lot of mystery shoppers coming in recently’. Anyone else experienced this in Lidl recently?”
When she returned to the Tavistock store this week she says she was taken into a back room and told not to complain about the shop on social media.
Ana recorded the conversation and shared it with Plymouth Live. The member of staff can be heard saying: “First of all, are you aware we’ve got a customer service number to contact for any issues you might have in store?”
Ana responded: “Sorry?”
He continued: “Are you aware we’ve got a customer service number to contact for any issues you might have in store?”
Ana replied: “Yeah possibly.”
“Lovely,” he said. “So what I’m going to speak to you about is that you chose to use social media to complain about an individual, one of our members of staff..
“You failed to contact a member of staff about an issue you had. We’ve got it all documented and passed on to our HR department. So what I’m here to do today is to make sure you’re aware we have ways of dealing with issues. What you failed to do was mention to a member of staff or anyone about the issue.”
Anna replied: “You can’t tell me what I failed to do or what I have and have not done. What I post on Facebook is my choice, and I suffer the consequences. I’ve already sent an email.”
The worker responded: “Perfect, lovely, that’s fantastic. So what I’m saying to you is that I would ask you not to directly put abuse about a young woman on the shop floor who you upset by doing that.”
Ana hit back: “My post is not directed at her. There’s no mention of your member of staff, I can show you my post. It’s asking if other customers experienced the same things. My post is not directed at anyone there’s no name.”
He then said: “You’ve posted something that has incited comments against an individual. What I’m telling you, what I’m asking you to do is to not open abuse to staff who are working through this pandemic…
“What I’m speaking to you about is that there are means and ways of speaking to members of staff. I’m informing you, I’ve never said you’ve done anything other than what you can and can’t do. You can call members of staff if you have any issues.”
Speaking about the exchange, Ana said: “I felt absolutely dreadful. I drove home, I was shaking, I spoke to my daughter (about it).
“I want her to learn from this rather than hiding what I’m feeling. It wasn’t right and if anything like this happens to you, you need to email that company and find out why these things happen.”
“Every now and then when I have something that is unclear to me I like to go on our parish page to ask for advice.
“So I posted asking for advice as I haven’t experienced like this, I didn’t give any details of the lady who served me, I referred to her as ‘she’ rather than a description or a name. Most people were very supportive but there were certain individuals commenting in an negative way.
“I wanted to take it further, not to cause harm to the lady at her work but just to gain clarity as to why our bags were searched. I emailed Lidl and they haven’t got back to me.”
A spokesperson for Lidl said: “We were very sorry to hear of this incident and would like to sincerely apologise for any distress caused.
“We can confirm that this is currently being investigated by our regional management team, and that our customer services team are in direct communication with the customer, who will inform them of the outcome.”
Ana previously made headlines after posting on Facebook that she was looking for the “hot male” she flirted with while shopping at the same Lidl store.
She and the stranger exchanged glances and a few words after they both bought rice cookers at the branch in Devon.