A few weeks ago myself and my wife decided we wanted to get a new big TV for Christmas, and we thought the best place to get this was Costco as the majority of their TV’s come with a five year warranty.
After spending about half an hour with a customer service advisor looking at various different TVs and trying them out we decided to go for Sony Bravia.
We were very excited as the picture quality is good, the price was reasonable and we wanted to buy it because it came with a five year warranty.
Because I’m in a wheelchair, we decided we were going to use their home delivery service and so we took a picture of the television we wanted and we went home to order it. When we went onto the Costco website we quickly established that the TV we wanted was not available online and so I called the store. The person I spoke to advised us that the TV we wanted was only available in-store and not available online. I explained the situation to them and that we needed a home delivery because my wife can’t carry the TV by herself, and because of lockdown we can not have friends or family around and the chances of the TV being sold out by the time lockdown ended was extremely high as it was a good deal.
The customer service person was very nice and said that we could hire a van for an hours charge from Costco, put it in the back of the van and take it home. The problem with this is that I can not drive the van because I need hand controls and that my wife wouldn’t be able to get the TV out by herself because the TV is too big and we wouldn’t be able to install it by ourselves as it is too big and being disabled I can not lift it.
If you order the TV online, Costco offer a service where they can come round and install the television for you. It just happens that this particular TV is not available online and only available in-store.
So the question I’m asking is, because this TV is not available to me because I am in a wheelchair and my wife can’t lift it by herself, does this discriminate against disabled customers. If I was fully mobile I would have snapped it up there and then, had it in the back of the car and taken it home. The fact that I’m in a wheelchair means I can not do this and need extra assistance especially during lockdown.
This is not the first time that in issue of disability discrimination has come up regarding Costco. A few months ago I wrote an article about how one of their staff who was handing out food samples decided to interrogate me as to why I was on a mobility scooter. Training was given to the staff member and they dealt with it compassionately.
It seems more and more that with places like Costco are ignoring the needs of disabled people especially during lockdown or expecting us to rely on other people to come and help us do stuff when staff could easily just put items in the back of the van, take it to the house and install it for us.
No person in this country should be restricted to what they can buy in a shop, lockdown or no lockdown. If a person wants to buy a TV they should be able to have that TV and be able to get assistance from the store to have a large item installed whether it’s being on sold online or in the store.
The good news is we did manage to get the TV however instead of getting it from Costco we had to order it from John Lewis which was a bit more expensive, but we managed to get it delivered and installed.