A MUM of two has received an apology from Tesco after an internet blog she wrote about being mistakenly accused of shoplifting went viral.
More than 60,000 people have read Nancy Atkinson-Turner’s account of how she was ‘utterly humiliated’ when a security guard at Tesco Extra, in Havant, frogmarched her to the back of the store after claiming he saw her put a bottle of shampoo in her handbag.
She says her seven-year-old daughter Mili and five-year-old son Olli were in tears, believing their mother was a criminal because of the ordeal on July 19.
Miss Atkinson-Turner, 29, who blogs under the pseudonym Not Now Nancy, put a link to the blog on her Twitter site and, in less than 24 hours, 50,000 people had read it.
‘It was great to begin with but really I’m overwhelmed by it,’ said Miss Atkinson-Turner, of Manor Road, Hayling Island.
‘I never in a million years imagined so many people would read it.’
She had just bought a weekly shop when she left the checkout and was stopped by a security guard who took her and the children to a room at the back of the store where three other members of staff were waiting.
They said she had been caught on CCTV sniffing a bottle of shampoo and putting it in her bag.
They only let her go when she emptied the contents of the bag on to the table and the bottle was nowhere to be seen.
Miss Atkinson-Turner says the object they saw her put in her bag was her mobile phone.
She said: ‘I was utterly humiliated and I’m still not 100 per cent happy with Tesco.
‘What I’ve said is that since the blog went live I’m happy with how they’ve dealt with it but I’m not happy it’s taken this for them to respond. I’m certainly not going to walk in their store again.
‘Ever since my daughter keeps telling our family and friends that I’m a shoplifter.’
Tesco has sent Miss Atkinson-Turner a voucher for £30 but she says all she really wants is for staff to be trained to treat customers with respect – even suspected shoplifters until they are proven guilty.
A spokeswoman for Tesco said: ‘As a big retailer, combating shoplifting is a huge part of ensuring we can keep our prices down for customers.
‘Making challenges is never easy and will always be carried out in private, but sometimes we do get it wrong.
‘We understand how uncomfortable this must have been for Nancy, who has accepted our full apology.
‘We have also written directly to her daughter to reassure her.’