Investigation into cyber-bullying at Tesco store

| November 22, 2013

tesco_logoby Alan Jacques

alan@limerickpost.ie

TESCO have launched a full investigation into Limerick staff members
at its Arthur’s Quay store  over allegations that they were secretly
filming, photographing and posting mocking comments about customers on
their private facebook pages for the past year.

It was brought to the attention of the Limerick Post this week that
staff members at the city centre supermarket were involved in
harassing and cyber-bullying customers.

Staff members had posted images of unsuspecting shoppers on the social
media site with comments such as “fruitcake”, “more crazies in Tesco”,
“some smelly customers need to get a wash” and “whats the deal with
all the trannys in Limerick”.

It was claimed that defamatory comments were posted on facebook by
managers, security personnel and staff members of the Arthur’s Quay
Tesco store. The remarks have since been removed as the supermarket
chain launched an investigation into the matter this week.

One upset Tesco customer, who wished to remain anonymous, commented:
“It was very shocking what the staff members were doing. For a full
year, they were taking pictures of people in the store and posting
them on facebook mocking them because of their appearance and ill
health. It’s an enticement to hatred. These staff members are
discriminating and cyber-bullying customers of the gay community,
people in poor health and non nationals.”

The customer went on to claim that one transgender person was
constantly targeted by a staff member for harassment.

“I know this person. He is transgender and also suffers from mental
health issues. Every time he enters Tesco in Arthur’s Quay, the staff
member, follows him around the shop with other staff members and takes
pictures of him and then posts them online to facebook mocking him and
other transgender people who enter the store,” a Tesco shopper alleged.

“It got to the stage where the staff member stopped him and forced him
to say stuff on camera for a sick laugh. This transgender person was
clearly distressed and was forced into making the recording unaware of
its purpose. You can clearly hear the staff member on the video
telling the transgender person: ‘now say it again’.

When asked to remove the video from his facebook page by one woman,
the staff member retorted: “F*** off my page if you don’t want to see
my material plain and simple.”

A statement issued by Tesco said, “We are shocked by the facebook
commentary. Treating our customers with respect and offering them the
best possible service is one of the fundamental values of Tesco and we
apologise for any offence that may have been caused by the employees
in question.

“The comments made, on a private facebook page, are not representative
of the views of either Tesco or our 15,000 staff. They are totally
unacceptable and are not in line with our values or our social media
policy. Any breach of customer trust will not be tolerated and a full
investigation is underway”, the statement concluded.

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