Jo-Ann Fabrics Refuses To Let Customer Use Bathroom, Even As She Suffers Diarrhea Right In Front Of Them

    “Monday, July 2, 2007
    Catherine W.

    Darrell Webb
    Jo-Ann Stores, Inc.
    5555 Darrow Road
    Hudson, OH 44236-4054

    Dear Mr. Webb,

    On Friday, June 29th at approximately 2:15 pm I was shopping in the Jo-Ann Fabrics store in Logansport, Indiana. While shopping, I suddenly experienced unexpected and intense diarrhea. I approached an employee and asked her if I could use the rest room. She said she was not allowed to let me use it. I discreetly explained my situation to her and she said I would have to speak to the assistant manager…”

I approached the assistant manager, Carla Cogswell, and again requested to use the facilities. She said no and I told her I was experiencing severe diarrhea as we spoke. She again said no and quoted a recent policy change regarding the rest room facilities not being up to code and that they were not allowed to let customers use the rest room. I told her I understood but that this was an extreme emergency. I again told her I was experiencing diarrhea as we spoke and she again refused saying she could lose her job if she let me use the rest room and that there was nothing she could do.

At this point I was becoming extremely frustrated and feared that the diarrhea was going to run down my legs and drip onto the store floor. I was in tears, desperate for some assistance with my embarrassing and humiliating situation. I told Carla that I could not control what was happening and that the diarrhea was happening right now and that I was afraid it would run down my legs and onto the floor and that I was not going to be the one to clean it up if that occurred. I was put in a situation where I could no longer be discreet and was begging to use the facilities and by this time two other store employees and some customers were listening to our conversation. The assistant manager was extremely insensitive and rude to my personal emergency and directed me to go to the Rural King store next door.

I had to walk to the Rural King and all the way to back to the corner farthest from Jo-Ann Fabrics with my pants stained, dripping and smelling badly and do my best to clean up. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this was the most embarrassing and humiliating experience of my life.

I understand that you have a policy that customers cannot use the rest rooms but is it also your policy to refuse to assist customers whom become ill in your stores? Is it your policy to put your employees in a situation where they may have to clean up a customer’s bodily fluids if they become ill in the store and are refused access to the rest room?

What happened to me was out of my control, I didn’t choose to get ill in the store and I certainly didn’t enjoy having to beg to use the facilities or having to walk through another public place in front of even more people to take care of my problem. If I had been allowed to use the rest room in Jo-Ann Fabrics the problem would not have been as bad, I could have cleaned up more easily and not have had such a mess and avoided the added humiliation of walking through a large department store to the back to find the rest rooms.

I will never shop in that Jo-Ann Fabrics store again. I was publicly humiliated in front of the staff and customers both at Jo-Ann Fabrics and in Rural King. Carla was rude and insensitive and was more concerned about her self than showing me even a shred of respect and human decency.

I hope that in the future, if any Jo-Ann Fabrics customers become ill in one of your stores and needs assistance that they receive better treatment than I did.

Catherine W.

Wow. That’s really disgusting. Almost as disgusting as this joint’s disregard for common decency and courtesy. Yeah, so your guest bathroom isn’t up to code, which you confirmed for us when we called you just now, but that’s no reason you can’t let her use the employee bathroom?

We would love to read the reply letter from Mr. Webb’s office. Don’t think there’s a form letter for that one.

(Photo: jeffooi)