Have had this idea lately which I stated putting into practice that I would complain to any company (especially large corporations) if I notice any covid-19 practices that could be discriminatory in nature.
It might not change much if I just do it just on my own, but imagine the administrative burden of 100s of complaints to deal with?
Here you go, my last (failed) visit to a pub followed by an e-mail complaint:
"Hi, I would like to enquiry with regards to my failed visit to one of your pubs – xxxx in xxxx earlier today. On arrival we were informed that we would not be served until we were to download an application and order through the application. Could you advise how the policy of not serving customers who for various reasons are unable to download or use the app is compatible with Equality Act 2010 please? In your response please explain the following: 1. How would you expect for example a visually impaired clients to use your app and how would you justify refusal of service to such customer based on inability to use your application due to their disability? 2. Why would you discriminate against people who are unable to afford or use latest technology compatible with your application? How do you justify refusal of service to such customers? 3. How do you expect people with mental impairments or unable to read or write to be using your application? Could you justify refusal of service to such customers please? In my view the above scenarios demonstrate that policy adopted by your business of refusing service to clients who do not use your application can be in certain circumstances an act of disability discrimination and in direct breach of Equality Act 2010. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you. Kind Regards,"
Response form the manager (there has been a couple of e-mails in between essentially them trying to get my number to call me instead of a written response which I declined):
Dear xxxx, Thank you for your response to my earlier email, naturally I would of liked to have spoken to you personally however I totally understand and below hopefully answers your questions. Point 1, If a guest has visual impairment they only need to say, and we would happily take there details and input for Track and Trace and we would manually take their order. We offer this to all guests. Point 2, We live in a world of technology and certainly every major manufacture of phones and technology, our app is able to work on there devices. We accept that sometime our guests don't have a device that is capable to download our app or they don't have a device at all, we would then suggest that communication is made clear to our team and again we would manually complete the Track and Trace and manually take the order. Every customer is important to us and we will provide the best appropriate service to them whether that's via the App, or table service. I really did want to speak to you personally, however my response to you is the action I and my team would take. We need to act in line with Covid Secure Guidelines as directed by the British Government. Should you wish to talk to me personally then please do not hesitate to contacting me. Kind Regards xxxx xxxxx General Manager
And my response to their e-mail
Dear Mr xxxx, Thank you for your response, unfortunately I do find it defensive rather than understanding and offering solutions. I would like to point out to you that the procedures you have explained in your e-mail were clearly not followed as we were advised that using ‘the app’ was ‘THE ONLY’ way to order and there was no visible signage in place advising of ‘manual’ way to order that you explained in your e-mail, you must understand and respect peoples’ right to privacy and acknowledge the fact that requirement to disclose ones health condition or whether they possess an expensive device or not is an unjustified intrusion into ones privacy and also violation of one’s dignity. Furthermore, with respect to the ‘Covid Secure Guidelines as directed by the British Government’ statement in your e-mail I would like to point out that Guidelines are not law and in any way can justify potentially breaching of Equality Act 2010 or be perceived superior to existing law which the Equality Act 2010 is regardless of circumstances. I would like to draw your attention to section 20 – ‘Duty to make adjustments’ of the above act, and ask you for further feedback with regards whether or not you’re prepared to amend your procedures and practices to avoid putting groups of people at disadvantage, the obvious and reasonable steps would be to retrain staff and amend signage to clearly explain both options to order upfront rather than requiring person to disclose and explain their situation first. To aid your understanding of legislation surrounding issues discussed in this e-mail I have provided link to a copy of the Equality Act 2010 and would like to draw your attention to the following sections: 112 (Aiding contraventions), 119 (Remedies), 29 (Provision of services), 20 (Duty to make adjustments), 19 (Indirect discrimination). https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents NOTE: We do not seek any remedies from yourself or your business with respect to our experience and simply act in the interest of groups of society unable to stand for themselves and confront injustice practices as they occur. We would however like you to respond to us in an e-mail with regards to your duties under section 20 of the Equality Act 2010. Kind Regards,
I'll keep you up to date should I receive any further replies.