Man with Diabetes “Humiliated” by Aldi Security After Drinking a Soda to Prevent Low Blood Sugar

Aldi has received some criticism after an altercation between a customer and a security staff member over the consumption of a fizzy drink.

Simon Ryan was shopping at an Aldi store in the Peel Centre at Whitebirk, Blackburn, when he began feeling unwell. Simon has type one diabetes and believed that his symptoms were caused by his blood sugar dropping. He knew he had to do something right away to prevent a life-threatening emergency.

Photo: Adobe Stock/phubadee

“I rang my partner, and she told me to get a can of sugary pop and drink it, put it in my basket, carry on to the till, and come home,” recalls Simon. “I placed my basket down and began to drink this can of Red Thunder and then put it in my basket once I’d finished.”

Simon, of course, had every intention of paying for the drink when he reached the register, along with his other groceries. However, before he had the chance, he was approached by a security guard who, he says, began shouting at him, “What have you done with that can?!”

Photo: Adobe Stock/saktanong chaipunya/EyeEm

“I told her it was in my basket, but she said it was not store policy to consume drinks or food in store,” says Simon. “I then tried to explain that I am diabetic and I could feel a hypo coming on and my sugars were low, and would she rather me have a fit on the floor.”

He says the security guard did not appear to care about his health condition. She proceeded to follow him around the store until he reached the checkout area.

“I felt like I had to rush, as I was humiliated and embarrassed. I’ve never experienced this before after shopping here since it opened,” says Simon. “The staff is usually lovely there, and this is my first encounter ever, even with security, I shop there weekly, but now feel I don’t want to go back.”

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

Photo: Adobe Stock/bodnarphoto

Simon’s mother, Dominique Ryan, also had something to say about Aldi’s treatment of her son. “He rang me so embarrassed when he left the store, I was absolutely furious,” she says. “I could understand if he’d walked out the shop without paying, but he’d placed the can in his basket with every intention of paying. The security [staff] need to learn how to assist people.”

Critics believe the man’s health should have been of greater importance to the staff member than the fact that he hadn’t yet paid for the drink. But regardless of the store’s policy and whether or not Simon was in the right, the situation certainly could have been handled with more grace and understanding.

Photo: Adobe Stock/terovesalainen

However, a spokesperson from Aldi says CCTV footage shows that the security guard did not shout or follow Simon around the store, although footage does show their paths crossing a couple of times.

This is the second time in two weeks that Aldi’s security staff has been accused of poor customer service and a lack of etiquette. The week before this incident, another shopper claims a security guard in another store swore at him over an issue with his face mask exemption.

The Aldi spokesperson stated, “We apologise to Mr. Ryan for his experience at our Whitebirk Drive Store and have spoken to colleagues regarding this incident.”

We hope this incident can serve as a lesson to treat one another with kindness and understanding. You never know what another person is going through.

Support Research

Fund Diabetes research and care at The Diabetes Site for free!

Whizzco