Lidl Digital International — falsely accused of damaging stock item for gain
Visited Lidl's Port Talbot store to purchase a long reach hedge trimmer. Found only one was left on display, which had been opened, parts removed and put back incorrectly, and the packing box was torn right across the top.
Not wanting that item in case damaged or parts missing, took to the checkout and showed the operator the torn box, and inquired if any more were in stock. Not being sure, he called a manageress on his system. When she arrived, I showed her the damage and inquired if any more were in stock, and she replied that there weren't. As I needed the item, I inquired if I could have a small discount due to the damage on the box, and because it had been opened etc. She refused this insisting that the item was new, and it was up to me whether I wanted to buy it or not.
She subsequently then stated, a number of times in front of customers and staff member that she had seen me rip the box in any case (suggesting I did it to get a reduced price).
Appalled at this totally false allegation, I later made a complaint to Lidl Customer Services (CS), and was told it would be looked into, and dealt with within 14 days. After 14 days had heard nothing, phoned CS again, who apologised, saying that the as regional manager had tried to contact me but didn't have my phone number. CS persuaded me to give them additional time to deal with the complaint, and I agreed to another seven days. I provided my phone number to enable the regional manager to get in touch with me.
Over a week later, again still not heard anything, and phoned CS again, who again apologised. They said they would contact the regional office to ask them to phone me the following day to discuss the outcome/progress of my complaint. At the end of the following day, again still not heard anything, so am instigating a legal action against the manageress for defamation and stress caused. I initially advised CS that I would be satisfied, as a resolve, to receive a written and verbal apology from the manageress.
I only know the first name (Nicola) of the manageress, from her ID tag, and ideally will need her surname for my claim to be delivered. However, CS will not disclose her surname to me. The claim can still be delivered, but easier if the recipient's full name is known.
After the initial encounter in the store with the manageress, I did later purchase the item with the torn box etc, as I needed the garden tool, and also to use in evidence, in case the matter went to court.
Two points come to mind in this case...
I showed a check-out staff member the torn box etc before the manageress was called
If the manageress seen me tear the box, as claimed, it must have been before I took it to the checkout, and so why didn't she approach me about it then, ie. on seeing a customer deliberately damaging a store item. Also, why she didn't alert store security. The answers will come to light in court.