A popular baby goods store in Darwin is under fire after one of its employees sent a message with an offensive slur to a customer, sparking outrage and calls for a boycott.
The backlash came after a mum reached out to Little Rompers on the retailer's Facebook account about buying a pram on Sunday. An employee responded to the mum's simple query, telling her the pram was only available at a competitor's store, then signed off by calling the woman a "dumb c**t".
Little Rompers initially explained that the employee was "a bit of a rough diamond" and had typed in the message as a joke that was not intended to be sent – a move that further fuelled online anger.
"Wow. Darwins finest?! How Disgusting is this customer service..." reads a post by on angry local on the Little Rompers Facebook page. "Darwin is too small to treat people so POORLY and expect to keep doing well with community support. Buy online or from a store with better form!"
"What a joke for an 'apology'... more like sacked staff member and free pram to the mum," the woman continued, adding that she hoped the store's management will spend some time reflecting on the situation and investing in customer service training.
Other Facebook users were equally unimpressed with the retailer's response, arguing that more should be done to discipline the employee who made the slur.
"Holy... That's disgusting, it's like the business is defending the person in question," one woman commented.
"I hope the lady is ok. Pregnant and emotional like this would be pretty upsetting," reacted a second Facebook user.
"At first I thought, she must of been hacked, poor thing, small business etc but when she defended her, I was like seriously!!!! She should have lied her way out saying hacked hahaha. I don't usually share business complaints and certainly not small business, but this is inexcusable," another woman wrote.
Family run business responds to backlash
Little Rompers also replied to the post, explaining that the message was sent by one of its employees who they claim has "apologised and is mortified".
"Hello. This is embarrassing. This message was sent by one of our staff and we'd like to make it clear this is neither the language or the level of respect we expect from anyone representing Little Rompers," the company commented.
"While it has been a stressful time for business for a while now and this cannot help but to impact staff, there is no excuse for this behaviour.
"I would like to add the apology of our whole business and an assurance this will never happen again. Please don't let this one instance of poor judgment set your opinion on the entire business. Little Rompers is locally owned, family run and has been supporting families in Darwin for over 20 years.
"No one is perfect but in that time we have been pretty blip free and helped thousands of mothers and babies. Please accept our apology."
Retailer takes action
Following the outpouring of anger, Little Rompers posted a new statement on Facebook, offering another apology and informing customers that the staff member who made the slur had been fired.
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