JUST like any other occupier of premises, a shopkeeper - and this includes the owner of a supermarket - is responsible for your safety when you are on their premises.
And a Clicks Store customer who almost lost her foot while shopping at their Kerk Street, Johannesburg, branch will get a pair ofshoes as compensation.
This is commensurate with the damage Gugu Mbatha suffered while shopping at the store two weeks ago.
Mbatha said her foot was almost shredded when the blades of the escalators grabbed her shoe.
"As it continued moving it was shredding the shoe and I called for help, but the security guard couldn't stop the escalators even after pressing the emergency stop button," said Mbatha.
She was able to break free when another customer untied her shoe.
Mbatha said when she complained, Clicks said they could not be held liable.
"I think they are liable. All I am asking for is for them to replace my shoes," she said.
She said after checking the blades of the escalators, she discovered that they were installed incorrectly.
"Puzzled and disturbed at the way the matter was handled, I went to an FNB branch across the road to check their escalators and to my surprise the Clicks escalators looked nothing like the FNB ones. The blades seemed to be in the opposite direction," she said.
She then complained to the Clicks manager and was told she was supposed to get off when the yellow line reached the bottom of the escalators, but there were no yellow lines, she said.
She said Clicks did not take her seriously.
"To them it was about the shoe and to me it is about customer safety.
"How many customers should lose their feet before Clicks does something about their escalators?" Mbatha asked.
Susann Caminada, an accountant director at Clicks, apologised profusely and agreed to replace the shredded shoes and also to repair the faulty escalators.
"We've asked the escalator repair company for a full incident report," said Caminada.
"We ask our customers to please follow normal escalator safety etiquette, such as keeping a steady grip on the handrail on entry and exit."
Caminada said Clicks was entertaining Mbatha's complaint as well as her claim for replacing the damaged shoes.
But she said they take exception to customers who are rude and abusive.
She said Mbatha's father had hurled unnecessary obscenities at their regional manager.
"Our regional manager has advised that the woman's father had used offensive language, which is regretful," said Caminada.
"We are thankful that the complainant was not hurt in the incident and we have offered our most sincere apologies to Mbatha and to her father too."