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Mum gets an apology after being branded a shoplifter at Aldi in Duncan Road, Gillingham

An upset mum was left embarrassed and humiliated after being branded a thief as she did her weekly shop in Aldi.

Felisa Sanchez was approaching the checkout at the store in Duncan Road, Gillingham, when she was stopped by two staff members who said she'd been caught on CCTV trying to steal goods.

Felisa Sanchez – humiliated after being branded a thief
Felisa Sanchez – humiliated after being branded a thief

The 43-year-old said the accusation was made in front of other customers as she was told to leave her groceries in a wire basket behind and leave the premises.

She was also told she was banned from the shop where she been a regular customer for several years.

The mum-of-one then returned with partner Chris Harris to complain to the manager.

When she got back to her home in nearby Marlborough Road she sent an email to the chief executive of the supermarket giant.

She initially received a letter of apology and a £5 voucher as a goodwill gesture to spend at any branch, which she describes as "an insult".

Aldi, Duncan Road, Gillingham
Aldi, Duncan Road, Gillingham

She said: "It really doesn't cut it. I have been using the shop for years and now I was being accused of shoplifting with no proof. I have never been in trouble before.

"I go there because it's cheap, but after that I won't be going back again."

The customer services department, which investigated the matter, subsequently tried to contact Ms Sanchez and has now offered her a £100 voucher and lifted the ban.

The store said it was very sorry and even offered a face-to-face apology.

Ms Sanchez received an email last Thursday saying: "The area manager has investigated this incident and we understand that an error was made by the store. I am very sorry for this and for any inconvenience this has caused.

Felisa Sanchez and partner Chris Harris
Felisa Sanchez and partner Chris Harris

"I can also confirm no ban is in place and we really hope you will continue shopping with us.

"Please be assured we take all incidents of this nature extremely seriously and we will take action to ensure this never happens again. The area manager will deal with this incident accordingly.

"We hope you will accept our sincere apology on behalf of the store, however, a face-to-face apology can also be arranged if you would find this more suitable to ensure your shopping experience in store is more comfortable going forward.

"We would like you to visit our store again, and therefore hope you will accept a £100 Aldi store voucher as a gesture of goodwill for any inconvenience caused."

Aldi supermarket
Aldi supermarket

Ms Sanchez said: "We normally spend about £20 a week, so we'll be stocking up the freezer.

"I'm pleased this has proved I was right all along and they had made a mistake.

"But I'm not sure I'll be shopping at that branch again.

"To call me a thief has had an impact on me."

A spokesperson for Aldi said: “We have apologised to Ms Sanchez for this misunderstanding and hope to see her at one of our stores in future.”

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