Customers defend Woolworths staff after one shopper complains of abuse from employees following her children trashing the store. They were just “being cheeky”.

Woolworths customers have taken to Facebook to defend the actions of their staff after a recent attack from one mum, who claims an employee allegedly yelled at a pregnant mother whose two young children were “being cheeky”.

Melbourne woman, Nancy Iemma, 30, complained to the supermarket about the treatment her sister received at the Moonee Ponds store on Sunday, reported Daily Telegraph.

Ms Iemma said her two nieces, aged three and one-and-a-half, were “being cheeky as children usually are, running around picking up items and throwing them into the trolley or just picking up items and throwing them on the ground”.

“We both were aware and trying to pick up after them,” she posted to Woolworths’ Facebook page. “It was difficult as they were also running around being cheeky, as I said kids usually are, it’s their nature.”

Ms Iemma said an employee then confronted her sister, telling her, “Your kids are making so much mess and throwing things everywhere! You should clean up after them!”, leaving her sister “in shock”.

“Yes, they were being cheeky but to be approached like they was absolutely out of line,” she wrote. After her sister asked for the manager, she said another employee defended the first one, embarrassing her in front of another customer.

She said, “We then proceeded to the checkout and left the store in disgust. We have been shopping at Woolworths for a very long time, we are just doing our Sunday night shopping — how dare your employee make us feel so uncomfortable in the store?

“Kids are kids, they are going to be cheeky. We chose to spend money in your store, we did not appreciate the customer service to be that disgusting.”

In a statement, a Woolworths spokesman said the company “apologises for the unacceptable behaviour the customer received in our store”.

“We expect our staff members to provide the best experience for our customers by helping out and assisting with their grocery shop in any way possible,” he said.

“However, on some occasions we may not reach the high standards we set. We are currently reaching out to the affected customer to discuss her poor treatment and any requests she might have.”

However many loyal customers are disappointed with Woolworths for apologising. They have taken to Facebook to share their disbelief and saying Woolworths should be backing their staff and showing them support, not a mum with unruly children that should be taught better.

It is a crazy time of year for everyone. Please try to control your children, have respect for other shoppers and staff so we can all get through this silly season unscathed.

Maybe we could all do with these tips from How to DAD.

Who do you think was in the wrong? The mum or the staff?

Share your comments below.

Image via how to dad

  • I’ve just been attacked and abuse at by a Woolworths staff at newcastle then she grabs the green basket I was holding and stands there yelling abuse at me in front of other workers and also the owner of the store,it’s so wrong all they had to do was come up to me talk to me like a normal person instead of standing there letting your staff yelling at me in front of my daughter like that,is so wrong for them to have them treat people like the way they do at newcastle Woolworths I advise people not to shop there they are very rude and they are allowed to treat people the way they ?.


  • Children have been banned at least one wholesale outlet where some businesses buy their stock from for exactly that reason. Safety issues with stock scattered, damaged stock (including liquid spillage), other stock unwrapped so not saleable as new. There was complaints about the rules by some but others were very happy about them. Kids pushing trolleys into other people and stock were huge issues. I often see children mucking about in retail outlets. Sometimes they have stopped holding trolley or grabbed things off shelves while the Mum or Dad is getting stock off another one next to it. My kids get reprimanded on the spot. I heard one girl tell her Mum that she then cries or squeals to make her Mum embarrassed. I could think of ways of punishing her (not physically) but if I did it in public it may not be appreciated by those who don’t understand my motives


  • I think the mother and the sister were in the wrong. The moment you see your kids are misbehaving, you take care of them. It’s your job. You pick up after the mess they make, of course you do. You don’t need anyone to come and tell you that. You should know it by yourself.


  • The mum and her sister. How can 2 women not control 2 toddlers between them and have a 3rd one on the way???? Are they kidding me. There is a reason there are trolley with seats in them the children can sit in and they could have had a trolley each. Pathetic attention seekers looking for their 5 minutes of fame that backfired on them, Probably looking for free hand out too. it makes me sick. A third child to be brought into the world with no respect and no manners just what this world needs.


  • Think mum was totally in the wrong !


  • If that photo at the top reflects what the kds did, Woolworths staff were totally in the right. Sure, kids misbehave sometimes. And it’s your responsibility to remove them from situations where they’re out of control and really impacting badly on others.


  • Perhaps Nancy should have taken the kids outside Woolies and kept them occupied whilst the mum did her shopping in peace.


  • Mum was definitely in the wrong and the Woolworths manager was also in the wrong for not backing up the staff member. This Mum would have been the first to complain if anyone else’s child did these things. If your child behaved like this at home would you allow it? I don’t think so. Leave them at home next time or put them in a double trolley and keep control of your own children


  • These children are not being ckeeky they are badly behaving. The woolworths employee was definitely in the right here and the workers are the ones that have to clean up after this womans children.
    Show some respect and leave the kids at home next time you go out, they obviously get away with it and that’s why they continue to do it. It is NOT RIGHT to destroy other peoples property. The manger of Woolworths should of supported the staff and not this woman. It is disrespectful. If they do this in a supermarket what else do they do or at home.


  • The Woolworths staff need to be commended, if my son had done what her children did I would have not only been embarrassed I would have picked up the items & left the store. My son has ADHD & never carried on like that in a store as he was taught to respect other peoples things, yes he would try to grab things but was told that if he didn’t behave we would leave then he would have to stay in his room with no toys when we got home. Woolworths, you are so lucky to have such good employees.


  • I was reading through this on FB last night. Seriously? Parents need to take back responsibility for parenting and stop blaming everyone else. Companies, businesses, etc. are often trashed online and have their reputation and good work damaged by people that choose to go to social media first. So much of this was wrong. Children should not be allowed to throw things on the ground anywhere – it’s called good behaviour and respect for other people and their property. I support Woolies totally on this, and would so with any other business. Parents, take control of your children, watch what they’re doing, and call out this kind of behaviour.


  • She says children will be children yes but taught to respect, speak and act with manners and behave at all times, the females (aunty and mother) should be charged with public mischief, damaging of property, allowing children in their care to behave in a manner classified as dangerous to other persons. What if one of those thrown products hit another child or person and caused body damage, what if that child hit was their child.


  • I now have a 3 year old girl and a 6 year old boy and never ever have they ever taken one thing of the shelf and thrown it . Talk about LAZY parenting !!!! My kids don’t do that because I would have acted after the very first time and explained in a Firm voice NO we don’t do that and if they did it again I would have put them in the trolley so they were unable to reach . These two ladies are embarrassing themselves not Woolworths !!!! Shame on then for not teaching the girls to know that is NOT OK !!!


  • By looking at the photo,the children totally trashed the store.


  • I feel like I have a nervous breakdown every time I do the groceries with my 3 year old daughter. If she doesn’t sit in the trolley im constantly telling her to hold onto the trolley and not to touch things. With 2 adults there surely they could have put both the kids in the trolley and taken advantage of the “free fruit for kids” that woolies provide, or have 1 person put them in a pram to push around whilst the other loads the groceries.


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