Disability, Fashion, Lifestyle

Are Sports Direct discriminating against disabled customers?

Following a recent visit to one of their stores in Leicester, I purchased two tops.

Like many Sports Direct stores I have visited there is no disabled changing facilities so I had to take the tops home to try them on.

But the sports store is making it difficult to take things home to try on because of their returns policy.

Sports Direct staff explain they will only give you a credit note or an exchange if you are unhappy with your purchase and will not give you a monetary refund, not that this policy can be found on their website.

This policy which is explained to you at the till, makes it extremely difficult for disabled customers to shop at Sports Direct.

It means all disabled customers have to buy the items, knowing they might not fit and then the policy won’t lets you get your money back if we need to return the item.

This is forcing disabled customers who do not challenge this policy to purchase something else they may not want or need in the store, which seems completely unfair to anyone with a disability.

There is a way round this but it is extremely complicated and long winded.

When you speak to the cashier they usually do not know the policies, as they are zero contract employees and usually work there part-time, so when a disabled customer comes up to them and say can I bring it back for a monetary refund they decline your request straight away.

But, if you ask to speak to the manager which I’ve done almost every time I’ve been to Sports Direct the manager will write a note on the receipt to say that I’m allowed a monetary refund as I am unable to try the clothing on in store.

What makes this more complicated is I returned the tops to a different store for a refund and was turned away.

Sports Direct said the note on the receipt could have been written by anyone and they did not recognise the employee number, yet all it would’ve taken was a phone call just to confirm and process the refund.

This means, that if as a customer I want to buy some clothes from Sports Direct and they do not fit, I have to return them to the original store and avoids the other 700 stores in the UK, which seems absolutely ridiculous. But their online policy regarding in store purchases says: “Please return your purchases to either the store you purchased from or your local store.” I am guessing this just excludes disabled customers.

Sports Direct need to do a number of things here. They either need to provide disabled changing rooms at every store or update their policy for the disabled customers as soon as possible and offer better staff training so that every time a disabled customer visit their stores they do not have to speak to the manager in case they need to return a shirt.

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