The ArgusLewes Waitrose's free coffee puts woman in hospital (From The Argus)

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Lewes Waitrose's free coffee puts woman in hospital

The Argus: Waitrose in Lewes Waitrose in Lewes

A woman was taken to hospital after being given a coffee containing cleaning fluid at Waitrose in Lewes.

Waitrose confirmed the “unfortunate incident” occurred at its Lewes store earlier this month.

Paramedics attended the supermarket in Eastgate Street in the town centre and advised the woman to attend a specialist burns hospital after she drank the coffee which she received for free through Waitrose's membership card scheme.

The supermarket giant has apologised for the incident but would not confirm if the woman received compensation, claiming it was a private matter.

However, the woman's husband, who has not been named, said on an internet forum Waitrose had offered his wife £25.

He said his wife spent hours in Royal Sussex County Hospital's accident and emergency after the incident.

In the post, he said: “She had a coffee from the machine in Waitrose and maybe they hadn't rinsed the machine out so she ended up drinking a cup of coffee containing cleaning chemicals and then we both spent the morning in Brighton A&E.

“She's still in some discomfort but will probably be OK.”

A few days later he added: “Well five days later my wife is still unwell and we just received a letter of apology from Waitrose with a £25 voucher.

“Am I the only the only one who thinks that's not really compensatory for the injury and suffering, having to spend hours in A&E, missing a weekend away etc?”

A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "We are very sorry that there was an unfortunate incident in our Lewes branch on March 8 when a customer accidentally received some very diluted cleaning fluid in her hot drink.

“Our branch first aider immediately attended the customer and, as a precaution, called an ambulance.

“We have confirmed that the cleaning fluid does not have any long term impact on health, given the small quantities consumed, but we are very sorry for what would have been an unpleasant experience.

“We have taken action to ensure that this doesn't happen again and will be talking directly to the customer to apologise for this distressing experience.”

A South East Coast Ambulance spokeswoman said paramedics attended the store at 8.30am, adding: “We were called to a woman who suffered a reaction in her mouth after drinking coffee which was thought to contain a cleaning solution.

“An ambulance was sent and the patient was assessed and treated on scene before being advised to attend Queen Victoria Hospital for further advice and treatment.”

Comments (22)

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5:56am Wed 26 Mar 14

rogerthefish says...

Get well soon luv...
but remember the old adage "if its free, there's a reason"
Get well soon luv... but remember the old adage "if its free, there's a reason" rogerthefish
  • Score: 4

7:28am Wed 26 Mar 14

Juleyanne says...

Some idiot perhaps put cleaning fluid in a disposable cup and it somehow ended up being used for customers. Sounds like a accident but Waitrose will no doubt launch an investigation.
Some idiot perhaps put cleaning fluid in a disposable cup and it somehow ended up being used for customers. Sounds like a accident but Waitrose will no doubt launch an investigation. Juleyanne
  • Score: -5

8:24am Wed 26 Mar 14

Take it Personally says...

I thought Snobrose was perfect?

"However, the woman's husband said Waitrose had offered his wife £25." -I'd sue them for a lot more than that! After all they can certainly afford it.
I thought Snobrose was perfect? "However, the woman's husband said Waitrose had offered his wife £25." -I'd sue them for a lot more than that! After all they can certainly afford it. Take it Personally
  • Score: -10

9:48am Wed 26 Mar 14

tykemison says...

If this absolute contempt for the poor lady is not proof enough of how people (consumers to the supermarket)then I give up.A spokeswoman (how about a name for crying out loud) has not apologised, if you study the statement the only thing at that time concerning waitrose is to play down the significance of this incident (very diluted, small quantities, unpleasant EXPERIENCE), to try to belittle the poor ladys traumatic event, disgusting behaviour and to offer her £25 says all you need to know about how companies operate, shame on them.
If this absolute contempt for the poor lady is not proof enough of how people (consumers to the supermarket)then I give up.A spokeswoman (how about a name for crying out loud) has not apologised, if you study the statement the only thing at that time concerning waitrose is to play down the significance of this incident (very diluted, small quantities, unpleasant EXPERIENCE), to try to belittle the poor ladys traumatic event, disgusting behaviour and to offer her £25 says all you need to know about how companies operate, shame on them. tykemison
  • Score: 2

9:55am Wed 26 Mar 14

FC says...

Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee.

£25 is pretty generous.
Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee. £25 is pretty generous. FC
  • Score: 9

9:56am Wed 26 Mar 14

ModelCitizen says...

I was to!d she had to go to A&E twice as the first time Waitrose told them the wrong chemical! Waitrose should have taken this matter a bit more seriously. A mild apology and £25 is hardly sufficient compensation for two visits to A&E , a burnt throat and mouth, and the cancellation of a weekend away! Add to that the worry and ongoing nagging fear that the chemical may cause her throat issues in the future and the offer seems plain derisory. I'm with the previous poster, the injured party should get some decent compensation from the company. Does she need a new car perhaps? :-)
I was to!d she had to go to A&E twice as the first time Waitrose told them the wrong chemical! Waitrose should have taken this matter a bit more seriously. A mild apology and £25 is hardly sufficient compensation for two visits to A&E , a burnt throat and mouth, and the cancellation of a weekend away! Add to that the worry and ongoing nagging fear that the chemical may cause her throat issues in the future and the offer seems plain derisory. I'm with the previous poster, the injured party should get some decent compensation from the company. Does she need a new car perhaps? :-) ModelCitizen
  • Score: 7

9:58am Wed 26 Mar 14

ModelCitizen says...

FC wrote:
Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee.

£25 is pretty generous.
Two trips to A&E, a weekend away cancelled and a week with a dodgy throat? £25? How do you work that out?
[quote][p][bold]FC[/bold] wrote: Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee. £25 is pretty generous.[/p][/quote]Two trips to A&E, a weekend away cancelled and a week with a dodgy throat? £25? How do you work that out? ModelCitizen
  • Score: 9

10:10am Wed 26 Mar 14

tykemison says...

FC wrote:
Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee.

£25 is pretty generous.
No, no, no . compensation is awarded for a multitude of reasons and if I had something to eat or drink and the next thing I knew my mouth was on fire because some dimwit had not cleaned out the machine properly I would expect a sizeable amount of"comfort money"especially if it was a multi-million pound company.i would not expect an offer of £25 and a statement trying to cover their own backsides.
[quote][p][bold]FC[/bold] wrote: Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee. £25 is pretty generous.[/p][/quote]No, no, no . compensation is awarded for a multitude of reasons and if I had something to eat or drink and the next thing I knew my mouth was on fire because some dimwit had not cleaned out the machine properly I would expect a sizeable amount of"comfort money"especially if it was a multi-million pound company.i would not expect an offer of £25 and a statement trying to cover their own backsides. tykemison
  • Score: 4

10:11am Wed 26 Mar 14

FC says...

ModelCitizen wrote:
FC wrote:
Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee.

£25 is pretty generous.
Two trips to A&E, a weekend away cancelled and a week with a dodgy throat? £25? How do you work that out?
A&E: Free
Cancelled weekend: sh*t happens. Maybe compo for this, but nothing more.
A week with a "dodgy throat": What financial impact does that have unless she's a voice over artist?
[quote][p][bold]ModelCitizen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FC[/bold] wrote: Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee. £25 is pretty generous.[/p][/quote]Two trips to A&E, a weekend away cancelled and a week with a dodgy throat? £25? How do you work that out?[/p][/quote]A&E: Free Cancelled weekend: sh*t happens. Maybe compo for this, but nothing more. A week with a "dodgy throat": What financial impact does that have unless she's a voice over artist? FC
  • Score: 2

11:07am Wed 26 Mar 14

tykemison says...

Compensation does not only cover the financial impact of an event but also others breach of duty, waitrose obviously know this, hence, their disgraceful statement belittling the event.
Compensation does not only cover the financial impact of an event but also others breach of duty, waitrose obviously know this, hence, their disgraceful statement belittling the event. tykemison
  • Score: 3

12:36pm Wed 26 Mar 14

notaconspiracy says...

This poor woman should definitely be eligible for a free replacement coffee, by way of compensation.
This poor woman should definitely be eligible for a free replacement coffee, by way of compensation. notaconspiracy
  • Score: 11

12:39pm Wed 26 Mar 14

tykemison says...

notaconspiracy wrote:
This poor woman should definitely be eligible for a free replacement coffee, by way of compensation.
Only if the"spokeswoman"drin
ks some first!!
[quote][p][bold]notaconspiracy[/bold] wrote: This poor woman should definitely be eligible for a free replacement coffee, by way of compensation.[/p][/quote]Only if the"spokeswoman"drin ks some first!! tykemison
  • Score: 2

1:41pm Wed 26 Mar 14

JerryOnly says...

FC wrote:
Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee.

£25 is pretty generous.
Look everyone, I've found the Waitrose spokeswoman!
[quote][p][bold]FC[/bold] wrote: Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee. £25 is pretty generous.[/p][/quote]Look everyone, I've found the Waitrose spokeswoman! JerryOnly
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Wed 26 Mar 14

gheese77 says...

sue
sue gheese77
  • Score: -3

3:07pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Tedious Pedant says...

gheese77 wrote:
sue
Is she the spokeswoman?
[quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: sue[/p][/quote]Is she the spokeswoman? Tedious Pedant
  • Score: 5

3:47pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Telscombe Cliffy says...

Tedious Pedant wrote:
gheese77 wrote:
sue
Is she the spokeswoman?
Sue Idge
[quote][p][bold]Tedious Pedant[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: sue[/p][/quote]Is she the spokeswoman?[/p][/quote]Sue Idge Telscombe Cliffy
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Wed 26 Mar 14

sooq says...

As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!!
As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!! sooq
  • Score: 10

9:09pm Wed 26 Mar 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Waitrose are definitely going downhill. Their free drinks are often very poor quality in Eastbourne - they've always got something wrong with the machine or the staff - I'm sick and tired of them complaining about their bad working conditions. I've said goodbye to Waitrose.
Waitrose are definitely going downhill. Their free drinks are often very poor quality in Eastbourne - they've always got something wrong with the machine or the staff - I'm sick and tired of them complaining about their bad working conditions. I've said goodbye to Waitrose. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Stoney33 says...

sooq wrote:
As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!!
one accident and suddenly the idea of coffee is a ridiculous stunt? I suppose next time someone slips on a grape, the whole store will have to be closed?

It was an accident pure and simple, they said sorry, no ones died or been seriously injured, the people in this country needs to get over this 'poor me' culture - why does every little thing have to result in someone trying to squeeze money out of someone?
[quote][p][bold]sooq[/bold] wrote: As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!![/p][/quote]one accident and suddenly the idea of coffee is a ridiculous stunt? I suppose next time someone slips on a grape, the whole store will have to be closed? It was an accident pure and simple, they said sorry, no ones died or been seriously injured, the people in this country needs to get over this 'poor me' culture - why does every little thing have to result in someone trying to squeeze money out of someone? Stoney33
  • Score: -1

10:39pm Thu 27 Mar 14

inmegarden says...

Stoney33 wrote:
sooq wrote:
As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!!
one accident and suddenly the idea of coffee is a ridiculous stunt? I suppose next time someone slips on a grape, the whole store will have to be closed?

It was an accident pure and simple, they said sorry, no ones died or been seriously injured, the people in this country needs to get over this 'poor me' culture - why does every little thing have to result in someone trying to squeeze money out of someone?
I don't think you realise this is the Argus board.
If ridiculous issues have not been raised then one simply has no idea of the moronic nature of one's peers.
1/10!
See me later!
[quote][p][bold]Stoney33[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sooq[/bold] wrote: As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!![/p][/quote]one accident and suddenly the idea of coffee is a ridiculous stunt? I suppose next time someone slips on a grape, the whole store will have to be closed? It was an accident pure and simple, they said sorry, no ones died or been seriously injured, the people in this country needs to get over this 'poor me' culture - why does every little thing have to result in someone trying to squeeze money out of someone?[/p][/quote]I don't think you realise this is the Argus board. If ridiculous issues have not been raised then one simply has no idea of the moronic nature of one's peers. 1/10! See me later! inmegarden
  • Score: -1

10:00pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Levent says...

FC wrote:
Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee.

£25 is pretty generous.
What about the price of being poisoned and NEVER wanting to drink from
a machine again then BOZO? What about loss of earnings for being off work for even one single day?? I'm sure £25 would compensate you BOZO, but please don't judge others on YOUR worth..BOZO!!!
[quote][p][bold]FC[/bold] wrote: Compensation should only return you to the financial state you were in before/during the incident. That's what is was designed for, not for people to get thousands from a coffee. £25 is pretty generous.[/p][/quote]What about the price of being poisoned and NEVER wanting to drink from a machine again then BOZO? What about loss of earnings for being off work for even one single day?? I'm sure £25 would compensate you BOZO, but please don't judge others on YOUR worth..BOZO!!! Levent
  • Score: -1

1:43pm Sun 30 Mar 14

sooq says...

inmegarden wrote:
Stoney33 wrote:
sooq wrote:
As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!!
one accident and suddenly the idea of coffee is a ridiculous stunt? I suppose next time someone slips on a grape, the whole store will have to be closed?

It was an accident pure and simple, they said sorry, no ones died or been seriously injured, the people in this country needs to get over this 'poor me' culture - why does every little thing have to result in someone trying to squeeze money out of someone?
I don't think you realise this is the Argus board.
If ridiculous issues have not been raised then one simply has no idea of the moronic nature of one's peers.
1/10!
See me later!
Wow! A bit over the top my friend! Of course suggesting that slipping on grape should merit closing a whole store down is ridiculous, can't see how you can compare the two. Coffee shops serve coffee, they also provide seating so you can sit down and enjoy your hot drink, somebody serves the coffee to you and may possibly notice that the coffee doesn't look quite right. Also they coffee shops aren't inviting you to juggle a hot drink with a basket or trolley full of shopping!
It was an accident, but surely one due to negligence, more so that someone not spotting a rogue grape on the floor of the supermarket! Nobody died, thankfully but I would consider a burnt throat a pretty serious matter, and whilst I may have mentioned the paltry offer of compensation - It was not really the crux of my arguement. Still think free coffee in a supermarket without proper coffee drinking facilities is a silly idea, and it can't be doing a lot of good for the coffee shops who are trying to make a living either!
[quote][p][bold]inmegarden[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Stoney33[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sooq[/bold] wrote: As awful as it must have been for the poor woman involved, and no, I wouldn't have been fobbed off with a £25 voucher either, it just goes to show what a ridiculous idea this "free coffee stunt" is. I'm suprised nobody has been hurt earlier, boiling water, children running around, customers juggling cups of coffee whilst they're shopping - all a recipe for disaster! In my local store, I have witnessed members of staff being spoken to like dirt by customers demanding their free hot drink, tutting and tatting, barging in front of staff who are trying to change the milk the water, or whatever they have to change. People walking in grabbing a temporary card that gets you a free coffee if you don't have one of their loyaltly cards, are just sitting on the side for everyone to grab - they may as well say "abuse me" on the front. From what I've seen in my local branch the poor staff are under so much pressure because of this frankly ridiculous scheme, it's hardly suprising that the correct cleaning routines weren't followed on that fateful day in Lewes.....Let coffee shops serve coffee, and waitrose stick with what you're good at - selling groceries!!![/p][/quote]one accident and suddenly the idea of coffee is a ridiculous stunt? I suppose next time someone slips on a grape, the whole store will have to be closed? It was an accident pure and simple, they said sorry, no ones died or been seriously injured, the people in this country needs to get over this 'poor me' culture - why does every little thing have to result in someone trying to squeeze money out of someone?[/p][/quote]I don't think you realise this is the Argus board. If ridiculous issues have not been raised then one simply has no idea of the moronic nature of one's peers. 1/10! See me later![/p][/quote]Wow! A bit over the top my friend! Of course suggesting that slipping on grape should merit closing a whole store down is ridiculous, can't see how you can compare the two. Coffee shops serve coffee, they also provide seating so you can sit down and enjoy your hot drink, somebody serves the coffee to you and may possibly notice that the coffee doesn't look quite right. Also they coffee shops aren't inviting you to juggle a hot drink with a basket or trolley full of shopping! It was an accident, but surely one due to negligence, more so that someone not spotting a rogue grape on the floor of the supermarket! Nobody died, thankfully but I would consider a burnt throat a pretty serious matter, and whilst I may have mentioned the paltry offer of compensation - It was not really the crux of my arguement. Still think free coffee in a supermarket without proper coffee drinking facilities is a silly idea, and it can't be doing a lot of good for the coffee shops who are trying to make a living either! sooq
  • Score: 1

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