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Shopper 'threatened with book shop banning order' after argument

A Blackburn man says he only wanted to know the name of the manager so he could complain. <i>(Image: Nq)</i>
A Blackburn man says he only wanted to know the name of the manager so he could complain. (Image: Nq)

A Blackburn man who claims he was threatened with a banning order from Waterstones has said he won’t be returning to the store.

Abdul Shakoor, 58, from Blackburn, say the row began when he visited the shop in the Mall Blackburn on Thursday, November 16, to browse, and noticed it didn't stock what he described as "academic books".

He went to complain and asked for the manager's name to lodge his annoyance which escalated into an argument.

A day later, Mr Shakoor said he received a message from customer services saying he could be banned due to his conduct.

The store, which opened in August, is located in the former WH Smith unit, and is the only dedicated book shop in the town centre.

Mr Shakoor said: “They have opened a store in Blackburn and they have failed to have academic books, law books and accountancy books.

“I want to continue my learning, and I wanted to inform them that I wanted to raise this issue with the manager, but they wouldn’t give me her name.”

The row soon escalated.

The following day, Mr Shakoor said he got call from a customer service team.

He said they warned him that if he came to the store and asked the same questions, they "won’t hesitate to call security and issue an banning notice".

He claims he was also told if he "continued to call customers support they would block his number".

Lancashire Telegraph:
Lancashire Telegraph:

Mr Shakoor returned to the store on Thursday, November 30, after "customer services said he could".

He said: “When I went in I was told by staff, ‘Not you again?’

“Eventually the manager came out and said 'don’t speak to my staff like that. You can browse'.

“Then she walked away.  I left and said I won’t be coming back.”

He added: “They are trying to silence me over the issue.

“If I said I wanted the name and address of the manager then that would be a different issue. I just wanted the name of the manager.

“This is part of my basic human rights to be furnished with the manager’s name."


Different companies have different policies on lodging complaints and speaking to a senior member of staff, there is no law on this.


“I am not going to go there again. Why are I should I go there?

“I have been to Preston and Manchester and never had any issues. I have never been banned from any other store.

“I have not committed any criminal offences and I am a law-abiding citizen.”

Waterstones has been contacted for comment.