'It's a basic human right': Woman baffled after being refused entry to a lavatory
A WOMAN has been left baffled after she was refused entry to a toilet in a coffee shop unless she purchased an item beforehand.
Amanda Harris was in need of the toilet whilst out shopping on Wednesday, March 22, when she decided to go into the Costa Coffee in Mallard Road Retail Park.
However, she was shocked to be refused by a worker at the branch unless she bought something beforehand, so she could be given a code for the door.
Ms Harris said: “I was heading to PC World but I needed a wee and I'll be totally honest, I'm a lady of a certain age and sometimes we get a little bit cross-legged and desperate.
“My thought process was like, fabulous, I'll go to Costa, I’ll have a wee, grab a coffee and then walk across with my coffee into PC World to do what I needed to do.
“I went in and both toilet doors appeared to be locked and I couldn't work out whether somebody was in them.
Read more: Passenger removed as Ryanair flight from Lanzarote lands in Portugal
“There was a man stood by and he told me you need a code on the bottom of the receipt.”
Ms Harris said she told the worker she would buy a coffee after using the toilet but this again was refused.
“He looked at me kind of a little bit blankly and, because I use humour to defend myself, I said what do you expect me to do – hold the coffee while I got to the toilet?” she aadded.
“He said I could leave it on the counter but I’m not leaving it while I got to the toilet.”
She described going to the toilet as a “basic human right” and questioned why a small number of incidents with people abusing the facilities should be to the detriment of the majority.
A spokeswoman for Costa said the situation has been resolved with the customer, adding: “Costa Coffee believes in creating warm and welcoming environments in our stores, including offering customers access to toilets.
“Our toilets, including those with locks on the door, are primarily for our paying customers, however, we do appreciate that there are times and situations whereby team members should use their discretion and make an exception for non-paying customers.
“This is especially true with children and pregnant women.”
Ms Harris was able to use the toilet in the nearby Smyths toy store.