I'm posting this only because I think people in general could learn a little more patience and kindness. Children, whether autistic or not should be treated kindly and their opinions shouldn't just be dismissed as insignificant. Clarks have replied and apologized saying they expect their staff to be friendly and it will be "passed on to the store manager." They said all the things I expected to hear but I still feel disappointed and unsure as to whether I want to shop there again.
When I work it out I have spent a small fortune in this shop over the years and gotten very little back. They're almost the only shop not to offer a rewards card or at least a loyalty card...they pretty much rely on being the only foot measuring service around and then charge massive prices especially for children's shoes.
Hi, I went into your store in gracechurch centre Sutton Coldfield on Tuesday afternoon with my son.
The lady who measured his feet seemed new as she got help from someone else. Unfortunately for Logan he is very big for his age (6) so as he was measuring as a 2.5 H+ there were not many "kids" styles available for him.
Your assistant brought out about four pairs, only one which he liked as they were from the younger children's range.
The other pairs were not age appropriate as they were either slip on, laced or with a pointed toe. When I said that to your assistant she reacted as though personally offended.
I reminded her that he is just 6 and in year one so pointed shoes are not appropriate for him.
She tried to reiterate that they are very limited in his size and that they would fit.
I said no and she was visibly annoyed.
By this point my son was getting very upset and refusing to cooperate. She showed him a pair of shoes and said "look they're like the other pair you liked." The only similarity was that they were a) black and b) shoes.
She had absolutely no compassion towards the fact that he was getting very upset and agitated.
He eventually hid from her behind a stool saying he wanted to leave.
I asked her to write down the details of what was available online and his size as we weren't buying any today.
She said "but if he'd just try these on they should fit him.?"
I said there is no point forcing him into shoes he doesn't like, to which she replied. "I don't remember getting a choice when I was younger!"
I was and still am outraged. I've been shopping at Clark's with my children for nearly 8 years, goodness knows how much I've spent and now I feel like I never want to return.
My son is autistic, not something I told the staff because I didn't think it was important. No child should be made to feel they're being naughty and no parent should feel like they should force their child into shoes they hate "just because they fit" especially when they cost £40+!
I imagine this is simply a training issue for you but it will have a massive detrimental effect for us as Logan normally loves getting new shoes and having his feet measured and now is scared he will be forced into shoes that hurt him (more psychologically than physically I think.)
This is just one person I understand not the whole company but I don't think they realise the deep impact they have had on my son and how much they knocked his confidence. None of their apologies were actually to him.