So It’s Not My Fault?

12 October 2010

Summer is just around the corner here and I decided to treat myself to some new clothing – most of my summer stuff is getting pretty tatty and since my accident I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. 

So off I trotted limped to Myers – a big department store in the centre of Sydney. I don’t really enjoy shopping for clothes – even when I’m just looking for something very basic, I’m always disappointed.  But this time was a bit different.  I found two items which seemed ideal and carried them off to the changing rooms.

First problem:  the changing room didn’t have a seat or bench and as I still have a problem dressing and undressing while standing, I had to lean against the wall and hang onto the door handle with one hand while I removed my shoes and trousers.  Then the same procedure to put on the new clothes.

Second problem:  both items were too large.  I’ve no idea what size I am at the moment so just had to guess.  I really wanted both of them, particularly the cotton skirt as it had a border exactly the same colour as a summer top I’ve nearly finished knitting.  But I couldn’t face dressing, finding smaller sizes then repeating this whole process.  I was tired and just wanted to go home.

So I took the two items back to the assistant and told her the problem – that changing in their cubicles was just too difficult for me (and presumably for loads of other people with disabilities or suffering from just plain old age) and I asked why there were no seats.  She was quite polite but told me that all the seats had been removed.  She didn’t give a reason.  I left the shop.

But I then wrote to Myers and today I got a phone call from a Sydney store manager, who was charming and very apologetic.  Apparently, half the cubicles have chairs and half don’t.  She said her assistant should have told me this or, better still, found a chair for me.  And she should then have volunteered to find smaller sizes for me. 

I must admit I was a bit taken aback as I was expecting to be told that the chairs had been removed “to improve our service to our customers” or  “our customers prefer it” or some such marketing speak.  But what I got was a woman who took full responsibility for the obviously under-trained member of staff.  She’s given me her direct line number and offered to help me shop in the future or to find a member of her staff who’ll help me.   

So apparently their lack of customer service in this instance isn’t my fault – it’s theirs and they admit it.  Now doesn’t that make a change.

AND I’ll be taking them up on their offer of help.



  1. Sally, my experience (when shopping with Narelle) of the big shops in Sydney, end even places like KMart, is they have excellent changing facilities for less-abled people. There is usually at least one bigger cubicle, for instance, for people who need help getting their clothes on and off, as well as cubicles with seats, as you say. Sometimes you have to ask, but I think you were unlucky with the staff member you encountered.

  2. Enjoy your next shopping trip and utilize their assistance. -p

  3. Personal shopper! It’s worth complaining…

    I think M-H is right about big stores; what the problem often is is randomness and lack of thought in who is put where.

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