After finishing grocery shopping in our local Walmart, my husband and I decided to take our four-year-old son, Mac, for a haircut at the salon inside WalMart.
My son is Autistic and has a lot of trouble communicating verbally. His speech consists mainly of "noises" in various patterns depending on the emotion he is trying to convey.
He loves riding in the carts with the added bench at WalMart and was rather displeased when we removed him so that we could enter the salon. He sat on the floor in the entry way, reading the new book we had just purchased and was making a repetetive whining noise. He was not combative or flailing around, simply sitting with his book, expressing his displeasure.
I entered the salon to see if they had any appointments available, but found no one. I walked further into the back of the salon and saw a young girl sitting at one of the stations watching television. I asked if she had any appointments open and she made a grunting noise and stood up, rather reluctantly.
As she walked with me towards the front of the salon, I informed her that I would like to have my son's hair cut. She looked down at him and asked if he would be "making that noise" the whole time she was cutting his hair. I replied "I'm not sure, he could.." wiht a shrug, as I didn't see why this would be an impediment to having one's hair trimmed.
"Ha. No." she said and turned around and began to walk away.
"Excuse me??" I asked and she turned and said "I'm not cutting his hair if he's going to be doing that." she replied.
"I'm sorry, my son has Autism and that is the only way he can communicate. We'll take our business elsewhere then." And i turned to leave the shop. On my way out the door however, I decided that this wasn't right. My son shouldn't be discriminated against and refused service simply because he's verbally challenged.
I went back into the store and asked the WalMart greeter to see if I could speak with the store manager. She paged a "CSM" who came over and listened to the story. The CSM informed me that WalMart has no technical jurisdiction over the salon and its employees but there was an 800 number posted inside the salon for these situations.
The CSM walked back into the salon with me to retrieve the phone number. I saw a pen on the counter and picked it up and then Cassandra, the "stylist" started saying "Please dont take our things, don't be rippin' up our papers.." (Which I was not doing...) The CSM handed me a small piece of notepaper and I was trying to copy down the number but Cassandra was continuing to rant and rave at me. At this point, I began to get angry.
"Will you please just shut up so I can write down this number? And move out of the way so I can see the sign please??", for she was standing blocking the number on the wall, preventing me from copying it down.
On and on she continued ro rant about how it wasnt her responsibility if I "couldn't control my child" etc., etc. (My son, at this point, was in the automated rides in the WalMart entrance, happy as could be.)
"Will you just shut up!" I said, loudly, but not yelling. As I was still trying to see the phone number to write it down, she started flailing her arms about and telling me to just leave her store. I looked at her incredulously and continued in my quest to retrieve this phone number.
"Security! I need security! Terroristic threats! Security!!!" She started bellowing.
"What?!?!" I looked around amazed that she could even do such a thing. However, her movement afforded me the opportunity to complete the phone number for the corporate office.
I took my paper, replaced the pen on the counter where I had found it and left the store.
The following morning, calls were placed to the WalMart store manager, the in-store salon manager and the salon's corporate offices.
As of yet, nothing has been done.
I'm not sure what action I'm going to take or what legal options are out there for me to persue. If anyone has any information, please contact me.
Fort Worth, Texas
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Wal-mart