Reclusive Heron shopper told ‘get a life’ by abusive worker on only trip outside

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A man whose once-a-day visit to Heron is his only contact with the outside world now says he’s been put off returning there for life after a member of staff told him to “f*** off”.

Simon Shimells, 49, who has been unwell for two years, was largely-housebound, even before lockdown, and his only interaction with others was visiting a Heron Frozen Foods in Hull.

But after shopping there one day last week, he says is now put off from returning for life following an argument with a staff member who he claims hurled swear words at him.

The store told Hull Live it was investigating Simon’s allegations.

Simon, a photographer, was on his daily trip to the branch last Monday when the alleged incident happened.

He said: "One of their freezers was making a horrendous loud high pitched whistling and whirring noise. It was really loud by the tills and was giving me a thumping headache.

"As I was waiting to pay I calmly and politely raised this with a member of staff who looked like a manager.

"He said there was nothing they could do as the freezer was working perfectly. I said, ‘No, it isn't working perfectly because they aren't supposed to be giving customers a headache'.

“I paid for my food and as I was doing so one of their other managers came up to me at the till to reiterate that there was nothing wrong with it because it's been checked by an engineer.

"She just started yelling at me and repeating that it had been checked by an engineer and was working perfectly."

Once outside the shop, Simon started "having a laugh" with other shoppers about the ridiculousness of the situation, when he said the staff member, who had by now had come outside for a smoke, launched a volley of abuse at him.

He said: "This other manager, who had been yelling at me at the tills, came outside to the front of the shop, lit up a fag and started taunting me and yelling at me to 'Fuck off, go and get a life!'.

"I was stood there with Heron bags full of food I've just bought from their shop, she's in their uniform, and she's yelling at me to "f*** off and go get a life" just because I raised an issue."

He added: "This banshee stood there yelling and screaming at me repeatedly to 'F off, go get a life'. She was cackling and saying, 'I don't f*** ing care, you f*** off'’.”

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He said another staff member then came out and ushered her inside while apologising to Simon.

He has now received an email after complaining to Heron's head office, saying they are taking his complaint "very seriously".

The company has confirmed that the freezer was faulty, and it was repaired the next day.

However, Simon said he will never set foot in the store again.

"I don't feel safe. They obviously don't care about the wellbeing of their staff, or their customers," he said.

"I have been locked down at home through illness and then Covid for over two years. This was my only social interaction, and I looked forward to that two-minute chat at the tills. Some days that's the only person I speak to.

"I went there every day for the past two-and-a-half years. But I will never set foot in that shop again."

A spokesman for Heron said: "We’re aware of the allegations and we are investigating.”

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