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Old woman seeks Carrefour apology

[ 2011-10-24 10:45]     字号 [] [] []  
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An elderly customer who says she was falsely accused of stealing by staff members at Carrefour has threatened to sue if she does not receive a written apology.

Wang Yulan, 72, went to the store's Guanggu branch in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, to buy cereal on Oct 18. She picked up 20 packs of one brand and was given another four as promotional gifts from a supermarket saleswoman.

The saleswoman told Wang to explain to the cashier that she was entitled to the packs as gifts.

However, when she arrived at the checkout, the cashier insisted Wang pay for all 24 packs, which led to an argument. The saleswoman later denied she said the extra packs were free.

Huang Wei, a store supervisor, led Wang to an office and allegedly accused her of theft.

Huang also made her sign a form and pose for photos.

Wang, however, had surgery on her eyes and couldn’t clearly see what she had signed. She was later released but returned to the store the next day with her husband, Yan Fucun, to demand an explanation.

The couple said they saw a document in an office containing a list of thieves caught by the supermarket, and Wang's name was included.

On Saturday, the couple visited general manager Luo Ming and got back the form she signed back, which had a forged fingerprint beside Wang’s signature.

According to Wuhan's Changjiang Times, the supermarket launched a bonus scheme this month that offered employees money and paid vacation time if they capture a thief in the store.

Wang told China Daily on Sunday that she might resort to legal action if Carrefour continues to fail to admit her innocence.

Yan said the supermarket sent the couple three formal apology letters that admitted their mistake but it was still refusing to declare Wang's innocence.

Yi Shenghua, a lawyer at a law firm in Beijing, said Carrefour might have broken the law.

"If the forging action caused serious consequences, it may be considered a crime," Yi said.

Carrefour China apologized for the incident on its Sina micro blog on Friday, saying managers and staff members involved have visited Wang's home and apologized.

However, the online apology did not mention whether Wang was innocent or not.

Although Wang confirmed that Carrefour personnel did visit and apologize, she insisted that the retail giant should give her a written apology with a common seal on it, Beijing's Mirror Evening News reported.

Carrefour China said it would give Wang a formal written apology soon.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Old woman seeks Carrefour apology

About the broadcaster:

Old woman seeks Carrefour apology

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.