My 77 year old mother denied the ability to use Sam's Club restroom

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May 28, 2020
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I understand that COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives in one way or another however some things are inexcusable.

I took my 77-year-old mother to Sam’s Club due to your limit policy I can’t shop for her, my disabled brother, and myself. When we come around 9 the lines are too long and we cannot get what she needs because it’s gone. On Tuesday and Thursday, you don’t have what she needs, it’s out. So we decided to try to come early this morning.

This morning we arrived at Sam’s Club to get in line around 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. opening. People were going in and out getting there pickup/online orders. This was my mother's second time in a store since this pandemic began. All of a sudden, my mother had to go to the restroom. I asked one of the associates if my mother could use the restroom. She said she had to ask her manager. Well, she comes back about 5 minutes later and said her manager said no. I asked to speak to the store manager and she said he’s not in. Then I asked for her manager’s name. I asked for her last name she said that she didn’t know it.

I called customer service to report the issue and Lai # 101538730 stated that she would file a complaint against that store. Filing a complaint is not sufficient for me.

When the store opened, I asked to speak to Tonya. I asked her what was her last name? She very rudely asked why did I need her last name and continued to walk off. I explained the situation to her and I expressed how I felt and she stated that she could not let anyone in before 9. I told her that people were picking up their orders. They were coming in and out of the store. She stated that she had forklifts all over the store and I told her that they didn’t have any upfront near the restrooms and she said that they did. They didn’t we could clearly see that there were no forklifts up front. She also stated that I didn’t speak directly to her. I said no I spoke to her through her associate because she didn’t or wouldn’t come to the door.
I took my mom back to finish her shopping on Sunday since she didn’t finish on Saturday. The manager who was on duty Saturday exited the store behind us. After I placed the items in the car along with my mom, I returned the cart and the mobile cart to their proper places. As I was exiting the store from putting up the mobile cart, the manager on duty bumps into me with her body. That’s assault.

A manager called and apologized on Sunday after the incident and stated that they would review and discuss it on Monday.

I received a call from the Store Manager and the Market Manager but after speaking with the Market Manager I didn’t feel that this matter would be handled appropriately. So, I requested the video footage of the incident since we were at the front door during the incidents and there was a camera there. The request was not honored however I did put them on notice not to delete the video footage.

The Store Manager called and stated at my request he had issued a formal apology to my mom. And the issue had been handled according to Sam’s Club’s policies and procedures. What exactly does that mean?
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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Saying that an employee bumping into you is assault and demanding video footage has a good chance of pushing any concern you have to legal.

It sounds like you wanted to use the restroom before the store opened? It's not unsurprising that they said no and possible that those going to pickup had a clear shot but the pathway to the bathroom was not clear.


What resolution are you wanting from this?
 
Nov 22, 2019
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Saying that an employee bumping into you is assault and demanding video footage has a good chance of pushing any concern you have to legal.

It sounds like you wanted to use the restroom before the store opened? It's not unsurprising that they said no and possible that those going to pickup had a clear shot but the pathway to the bathroom was not clear.


What resolution are you wanting from this?
That's unfortunate but I agree, they appologized once and even if they don't mean it, I don't think that taking this further is worth time and effort. Employees there are working a lot now in additions to many requests from customers.
It is also policy. One mights argue with them because they can't use bathroom before it opened. But if an accident had happened, one mights as well argue with them for compensation.
Don't take this personally and if Sams club is too packed, you can always go to another store.
 
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May 28, 2020
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If I needed to use the restroom, I would have stated that I needed to use the restroom. Also, I also can hold it or go to a service station.

Secondly, it's assault if the employee is twice your size. You can use anything to try to intimidate someone including your body. Please know all the facts. This is a forum therefore every single detail can not be posted.
 
Feb 24, 2018
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I understand this was a frustrating experience for you. Sam's Club made a decision you disagree with, apparently in line with its store policies. Frankly, its employees should have stopped with this and not offered you an explanation. This post and your continued frustration is exactly why. When employees attempt to explain the reasoning behind their policies, it invites people to push back and try to poke holes in the logic and explain why their situation was different.

The policy- undoubtedly a corporate one- is a sound one. No customers in the store before opening, except in controlled areas, with controlled numbers, and with specified procedures, such as for online pick-up, because there is heavy machinery being operated. There's even a good chance this came after a dangerous incident with legal consequences. The Sam's Club employees were trying to be empathetic by explaining to you that they were not just being arbitrary, that there was a madness behind the method, but it backfired because it led to you saying, "But here an exception should have been made because..." But the employees are not in a position to make an exception due to the sound reasons underlying this policy. Perhaps it would have been better to simply say, "Our policy is to not let customers in before opening except for online pick-ups."

Now you are asking, "What does it mean that Sam's Club is acting in line with its policies and procedures?" Frankly, they are not going to continue to explain themselves and open themselves to more pushback. They do not owe anyone an explanation of their policies or their reasons. They don't need to explain why they don't provide their last names, nor do they need to provide them. It is not up to you whether they delete their video footage. With what authority did you "put them on notice" to do or not do anything?

It is understandable to share your frustration. Bearing in mind that you are not owed any further explanation as to the procedures that led to this and have no control over how they handle internal matters, is there a specific resolution you are seeking?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,021
22,975
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
If I needed to use the restroom, I would have stated that I needed to use the restroom. Also, I also can hold it or go to a service station.

Secondly, it's assault if the employee is twice your size. You can use anything to try to intimidate someone including your body. Please know all the facts. This is a forum therefore every single detail can not be posted.
Actually we ask for every single detail because what you think isn’t important might be information we need.

If you were assaulted by the Store Manager, you should have called the police.

There really isn’t much more that we can offer. You received an apology from the store. There is no reason they need to provide video - the store policy is that only people picking up orders were permitted in.

If you want to go further, here are our executive contacts for Sams Club- you can take it further with them.


You weren’t harmed or suffered any monetary loss so this isn’t a case we would advocate but we can provide you with contacts for you to go all the way up the Sams Club chain if you would like. The store was following corporate rules.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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The Store Manager called and stated at my request he had issued a formal apology to my mom. And the issue had been handled according to Sam’s Club’s policies and procedures. What exactly does that mean?
It means that the Sam's Club store considers this matter closed.

Even pre-COVID, if the store was not open to the public, the store was not obligated to allow you inside the store to use the bathroom. I'm not convinced that even if you took this to corporate you are going to get any additional satisfaction. They are also under no legal obligation to provide you with any video footage, short of a court order.

Perhaps the only recourse you have is not to shop there in the future.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,730
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San Francisco
While I understand your frustration ... from not being able to shop for the two of you by yourself to lack of items to waiting in lines to the final incident with the rest room, Sam's Club does not read posts on this forum. Yours is a complaint for Sam's Club and needs to be submitted directly to them. We're here to help people self-advocate their problems and issues that are fixable. Yours is a complaint about the way you were treated. I'm puzzled by your not going to another store to get the items you and your mother needed. Many stores set aside an "early morning senior access" hour to avoid inconvenience. My colleagues have given you many insights, file the complaint with the management of Sam's Club.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,021
22,975
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Sam’s does have Senior Citizen Hours:

7-9 am Tuesday and Thursday.

Special Shopping Hours

Starting this Thursday, March 26, Sam’s Club locations nationwide will offer early shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems. This includes our pharmacy and optical centers and will last until further notice.

 
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Jan 17, 2019
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According to the OP, he doesn’t find all he needs during the Senior hours on Tuesday and Thursday.
That's not the only problem with Senior hours. I attempted to use those hours to shop at my local Costco recently. I arrived at 7:45 AM, and there was already a line that stretched completely around the building. They were only allowing 30 people in the store at a time, and I was finally able to get into the store at around 11:15 AM. Fortunately I'm still able to stand for longer periods, but a great many other seniors aren't. I haven't been back since, and I won't renew my membership, since I'm unable to use it.