This is a bit of a follow on to my Advocacy Tips post.
One of the tips I gave in that post was to be persistent. The example I gave was one of my local supermarkets. My chair would only go through the wide aisle checkout and it was often closed when I visited. The staff would open it when I asked but they had a bad attitude towards doing so and made me uncomfortable. As a result I didn’t go there often and had actually decided I wouldn’t shop there again.
I had personally made something like six complaints to them, mostly verbally but I’d also written to head office at least twice. My sister had also been so infuriated the last time I had problems there that they got letters of complaint from both of us about that. And none of the responses I got were of any use. A lot of them actually seemed like they were designed to “shut me up”.
Yesterday, my sister sent me a text saying that they’d redone all the checkouts in there and they were all wide aisle ones now. My Dad took me up there for some shopping this evening. And I could have got my chair through any of the checkouts. I was tempted to try that but I didn’t. It was a really great sight. And once again, I have the same thing everyone else does in this town – a choice of where to shop (I won’t go there all the time because it’s further away but I will be able to go there again!).
I’d love to think that they’ve done this just because of my complaints but I’m not naive enough to do so – and I know I’m not the only person whose had those problems. But it’s a definite example of why complaining, campaigning and advocacy are so important. And what happens when your persistent – because it really can pay off.