Earlier today I visited the local Dobbies garden centre in Lisburn together with my friend, her daughter, and my three youngest children. It had been my friends idea but I was looking for some seeds for winter salads and possibly a few tools for our allotment. While we were there we decided to have lunch with the children in the shop restaurant. My children decided on the obligatory chicken nuggets and chips. As I ordered at the hot food counter I noticed that juice was advertised as part of the childrens meals. When I enquired about the juice I was told it was Capri Sun fruit juice drink. I pointed out that this was not juice but a highly sugared drink that contains a very small amount of actual juice while the childrens meals clearly specified juice. I asked to speak to the manager and when she again assured me that fruit juice drink was in fact juice, I tried to explain to her that there were clear distinctions between fruit juice and fruit juice drink, that these differences were clearly defined and that the area of labelling, mislabelling and false advertising were governed by both European and domestic legislation. I pointed out to her that advertising of the childrens meal was clearly misleading under current consumer legislation. It was obvious that the lady did not comprehend this.
Following this I returned to the hot food counter to order there childrens meals (with glasses of water). This took a while as they had run out of baked beans and needed to reheat a new batch.
I have suffered from problems with low blood pressure for many years, usually I am fine, on occasions when I stand for long times, especially when it is hot or when I am a bit dehydrated I get dizzy and very occasionally I faint. This was one of the occasions. Fainting is embarrassing at the best of times, I was on the ground, eventually I was helped to a sofa, there I sat for a while with my head between my knees, then lay down with my feet higher than my head, an ambulance was called they checked me out, I drank several glasses of water and came round again. Finally my children got their kids meals, I ate something, had some strong coffee, paid and left. At this point I realised that my friend and my 10 year old oldest daughter appeared extremely mortified and quite upset. They told me that following my fainting the manager I had had the earlier argument about Capri Sun juice drink not being juice had approached them to tell them about my fainting (I believe my very upset 5 year old who had been beside me had led her to them). The lady the proceeded to advise that I had caused a scene over Capri Sun and that she was of the belief that I was looking for a free lunch! While the thought of driving ten miles one way for a bowl of soup and some chicken nuggets and chips is frankly ridiculous, I find the experience of fainting in public places distressing enough without being further offended by being accused of begging. My ten year old is mortified and has announced she will never go anywhere with me again in case someone says something similar. I cant but help wondering if the lady had made the same suggestion if I did not have a foreign accent. I phoned Lisburn Council about the juice mislabelling but am still furious about that manager. Any suggestions?
I know they do a 100% fruit juice range but this was not it. It was the sugar watery stuff and I looked later in passing in their cabinet they had that stuff, various ribenas and milk shakey drinks. I really don't care bout the juice. Had they advertised kid's drink it would not have been an issue. I was already pissed off by the whole marketing spin of the place. However the manager's remark was out of order.
Sabine, you were a brave woman going to Dobbies with a load of kids, I wouldn't put myself through it!!
One of the best bits of advice I have ever had is ..."Pick your battles", I would give this one a miss. It sounds like it was an upsetting experience for one of your children. I would put it down to experience and never shop in the place again x