Part of a Whole

My name is Nicolas Steenhout.
I speak, train, and consult about inclusion, accessibility and disability.

Listen to the A11y Rules Podcast.

Customer Service – Kudos to Countdown / Woolworths

I went to the grocery store last week and was annoyed that none of the open cashiers’ lanes were wide enough for my wheelchair. So I tweeted about it. Yesterday, someone from Countdown followed up by giving me a call!

I was impressed. I was not lodging a complaint. It happens occasionaly that they don’t have an open lane wide enough for a wheelchair. I usualy ask one of the staff and they open a lane up. No problem. This time, however, they were very busy, and there was no one to ask.

In any case, I sent a quick tweet. I said:

5 aisles open at grocery store. Not one wide enough for a wheelchair. #countdown #fail

I thought that was the end of it, but no!

Someone from Countdown phoned me yesterday, asking if I was tweeting under the name of vavroom. Puzzled, I said I was. She explained she was following up on my tweet, and wanted to know the details!

That is excellent use of social media as far as I’m concerned – a problem arises, a business follows up. Excellent!

She said she would speak to the store manager about it. I thought that was the end of that.

But no! In the afternoon, the store manager rang me to follow up. She explained that they do their best to always have at least one accessible aisle open. The person who open an aisle at the start of their shift remains on that till for the duration of the shift. This is for security reasons – if more than one person is handling the same cash drawer and there is a mistake, they won’t know who to speak to about it. Seems fair and logical to me. So when the person at the accessible aisle has to go on break, they close the till until they come back. The times where I have found that the aisle was not open are likely the times where staff was on break.

In the end, the manager said I just had to ask – which is what I usualy do :)

All is well that ends well. This was not a major issue, but it was brilliantly followed up by the company. Big brownie points.