'They Look The Same': JB Hi-Fi Mistakenly Bans Man With Down Syndrome From Store
An Australian man was denied entry into a JB Hi-Fi store because a security guard mistook him for a shoplifter who also has down syndrome.
Victoria Milne said she has never been more disgusted in her life. She claims her 21-year-old brother, James, was discriminated against because of his genetic disorder.
Milne said she was about to enter the JB Hi-Fi store in Brisbane with her brother and father on Monday when they were stopped by a security guard and the store manager, the Daily Mail reported.
The security guard showed them a photo of a person who was banned for shoplifting. When the father told the manager that James was not the man in the photo, he responded “They look the same.”
Milne took to Facebook to express her outrage.
In a lengthy and emotional post, Milne wrote:
“I have never been so disgusted and mad in my life. Today at JB HiFi Mt Ommaney, when my dad and my brother (who has Down's syndrome) entered the store the security guard immediately stepped in front of my brother and said that he wasn't allowed in the store.
My dad, confused, asked ‘Why not?’ and the security guard said that he had my brother's photo and he wasn't allowed in. My dad asked to see the manager and while he is being called, the security guard goes through his phone to find a photo of the young man that they think is my brother. When my dad and the manager are shown a photo of a white male who also had Down's syndrome, my dad says it's clearly not James, who has olive skin, and the manager replied ‘well they look the same.’
Despite the evidence that my brother had been mistaken for another young man, the manager still refused to let him in. By this stage James, the sweetest boy who is still in love with The Wiggles and Ben 10, was visibly upset at what was happening and my dad took him home.
Mum called up the manager of the store, demanding that he apologize to her son, to which he replied that ‘he would never, ever, ever get an apology’ from him and that he had ‘the right to stop anyone he pleased from entering the store.’
Please, if you are also disgusted by the discrimination shown to James, share this and take a stand against bullying and ignorance.”
The post has been shared more than 80,000 times with many users calling for a boycott of the JB Hi-Fi store. CEO Richard Murray said he contacted the family to apologize and said they will be conducting a review of their customer service policies.
“We would like to (apologize) unreservedly to James,” Murray told 9News. “We should have done better yesterday. We are going to make sure that we learn from this and do better in the future.
“I have sent a personal letter of apology to James and we are continuing to (endeavor) to contact the family to (apologize) directly.”
The Milne family said they will be seeking legal advice on whether they can take action against the store.