Rob Bell says that he had been followed around the ASDA supermarket, in the nearby town of Bodmin, and was ultimately escorted off the premises after staff refused to serve him the DVD, after initially refusing to sell it to his son, Aiden.
Mr Bell, who is the local youth rugby team coach, said his 15 year old son tried to purchase the World War Z DVD. World War Z focuses on an employee of the United Nations, Gerry Lane, who travels across the world to stop a pandemic of Zombies that is taking over. The film has a 15 rating, for intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images.
Mr Bell’s son Aiden had won an ASDA voucher in a competition and wanted to use it to purchase the film, as he was legally entitled to do. However, when the sales assistant was unsure if he was over the age of 15 and he was unable to produce a valid form of ID, the sale was refused, complying with the Video Recording Act of 1978 and ASDA’s own Challenge 25 policy.
After being refused the DVD, Aiden went to find his 46 year old father to get his parental consent and buy the film on his behalf. Mr Bell was refused the sale of the DVD as the staff member said that as they knew it would be for his son, they were unable to sell it to him. When Mr Bell questioned the member of staff further, asking why as a 46 year old father, who was giving his permission for either his son to buy it or for himself to buy it, was being refused. The response was simply that it is against the company policy.
Mr Bell then described himself as being followed around the ASDA store by members of management staff and was later intercepted at the checkout as he attempted to buy the DVD with several other items. He said
A manager appeared at the checkout and told me that as they knew I was attempting to buy the DVD for my son, they would not be serving me with this transaction.I became extremely annoyed. I was being grilled like a shoplifter in the middle of the store with other shoppers and staff looking on and when I lost my temper I was escorted from the store like a criminal.How dare they set themselves up above both the law of the land and parental responsibility and refuse to serve customers with an item that the law says they can buy, with the most ludicrously flimsy justification of a company policy that is both ill- conceived and arrogant?
ASDA said that its staff had followed it policy regarding the Challenge 25 scheme, which is also applied to the sale of alcohol as well, if there was a need to doubt a customers age. However, a spokeswoman has issued an apology
Where there is any element of doubt we support our colleagues to make the right decision. We’d never intentionally upset a customer and we’re sorry for any upset this has caused Mr Bell and his son.