Sainsbury’s is investigating a claim that a young woman was sexually harassed by one of its delivery drivers.
On Wednesday evening, journalist Paula Akpan claimed on Twitter that her friend had recently been harassed by one of the retailer’s drivers at 10pm.
“Hi @sainsburys, my friend (a young woman living alone) recently had one of your drivers deliver her shopping,” she wrote.
“This driver then returned 2 hours later (at 10pm) with another crate he said he forgot but stated ‘the real reason I’m here is to check you out again’.”
In a subsequent tweet, Akpan alleged that after her friend complained, Sainsbury’s did not take the claim seriously.
“When she complained to you, all she got back was ‘sorry for the inconvenience, our drivers normally don’t do that’. Is this how you protect your customers?" she tweeted.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s replied via Twitter to ask for more information.
“Hey Paula, I'm very sorry for this incident. Can you DM me using the link below with a bit more info on the matter? I'll have a look into this. Kiril,” they wrote.
Akpan replied: “She did complain & got a shocking response from your team. I’ll speak to my friend before DMing you but I’m letting you know now that this will not be brushed off. It’s not an ‘inconvenience’ to be sexually harassed on your own doorstep IN A PANDEMIC.”
Hi @sainsburys, my friend (a young woman living alone) recently had one of your drivers deliver her shopping. This driver then returned 2 hours later (at 10pm) with another crate he said he forgot but stated “the real reason I’m here is to check you out again”
— Paula Akpan (@paulaakpan) January 20, 2021
Responding to The Independent’s request for comment, a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said that the allegation was being investigated.
Akpan’s tweet, meanwhile, has gone viral, with hundreds of people commenting on the claim and making similar allegations about other supermarket delivery drivers.
“I have long since been trying to get a journalist interested in the dynamics of home delivery as a vulnerable customer rather than also questioning how drivers are made vulnerable by companies and the public,” one person tweeted.
“That’s unacceptable and predatory behaviour,” tweeted another. “@sainsburys your employee abused customer data and returned at night time for his own personal advances? And all you have to say is ‘sorry for your inconvenience’.”
The Independent has contacted Akpan for further comment.