A Canadian father is calling a Lego store’s customer policy “age discrimination,” and asking the store’s manager to apologize for detaining his 11-year-old son while he shopped at the store alone.
Doug Dunlop’s son, Tadhg, has an extensive Lego collection. Dunlop said his son has spent thousands of his hard-earned dollars from shoveling snow and babysitting to buy Lego toys, CBC News reported.
On April 26, Dunlop was bicycling with his son. He dropped him off at the Chinook Centre Lego Store in Calgary and they agreed to meet later at the mall for lunch.
When Dunlop entered the store, he found his son detained by security and thought the boy might have knocked over a display or gotten in some trouble. He was then told the company has a policy that does not allow children under the age of 12 to shop alone in the store.
“I was, of course, shocked,” the father told CBC News. “Why would you detain a good customer? It’s bad business.”
Tadhg had walked into the store with $200 and was looking to add to his collection. When he was asked his age, he told the store manager he was 11 and a half years old and the manager called security.
The boy said he had been asked his age on several occasions while shopping at the Lego store. He said that usually employees would just joke that he would soon be old enough to work there.
Dunlop posted a letter to Lego on a blog, explaining the situation and demanding an apology. He claimed the store manager, Sydney Lowe, questioned his parenting abilities and demanded that the manager apologize to him and his son.
The lengthy letter lists four bullet points on what the upset father wants from the company as a form of restitution:
1. Sydney Lowe will deliver to me a personal, believable and full apology for questioning my right to be a parent. I am raising my children to be strong, independent and good citizens. He has no right to disparage me as a parent in light of the fact that my son was by his own admission doing nothing wrong.
2. Sydney Lowe will also deliver an apology to my son. My son is a dedicated Lego customer and does not deserve to be treated as anything but a responsible young Lego enthusiast, and certainly not a criminal, which, by calling a security guard and detaining him, certainly implies.
3. The Security Guard at Chinook Centre will be found and will also deliver an apology to me for questioning my parenting, lying and detaining my child for no reason.
4. If this policy is actual policy, then it will be posted on the door of the Lego store in Chinook Centre so that responsible children can see the contempt in which the Lego Store holds them. (especially the manager)
Dunlop said his family will never shop at the Calgary Lego store again.
“My son loves Lego. It’s his favorite store,” Dunlop said. “This policy doesn’t make sense; it’s arbitrary age discrimination where they decided that children under 12 are inconvenient.”
Dunlop noted being 11 years old is not a crime.
Lego brand relations manager Amanda Santoro issued the following statement to CBC News:
“As a toy company, our utmost concern is for children’s safety, and as such we have a policy in place regarding unaccompanied minors. As this customer was under the age of 12 and alone, we followed our protocol and stand by our policy.”
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