Read the story, here is how it started... below is how it's ending. It was nice while it lasted but it was all simply a rouse to placate me in the long run. Shame on Futureshop for how this went. This is a long story but worth the read and lets you know how everyone drops the ball and really couldn't care less although head office and store staff all made it seem like they did.
In July 2002 I again tried to access what I needed at this particular Futureshop store. This is the nearest one to me. There were several problems with this store.
1) There is no automatic door.
2) There is one of those 'disabled gates' that does not have the gap filled in plus this particular gate has a lock on it that is kept locked.
3) There is an elevator at the entrance of the store but it is quite small and you must get someone to get it for you at times with a key.
4) Once upstairs, where all the computer soft/hardware is and anything to do with computers, you discover it is on a split level with stairs so you can't access that dept. unless you can walk those stairs.
5) Staff kept no change upstairs either for purchases paid with cash.
That last visit there it was one problem after another and I finally wrote Futureshop a lengthy letter. I received an email back from their head office and a phone call from the store manager. He in turn discussed with me at length over the phone the numerous problems I meet every time I need to purchase something from that store. He requested suggestions, which I gave him, and he immediately went to work on them and requested I meet with him. Below are the implementations they are making.
1) Since this is an old building it cannot be modified structurally. Plus there's the fact that a new Futureshop is being built down the street and open in a couple of years. So, to facilitate access to the lower level of the second floor where all the computer equipment is, he will or he will have staff take patrons on the freight elevator at the back of the store. Yes, I know it's a freight elevator but at times you have to live with what you have and in this instance, better the freight elevator and access than none.
2) The 'disabled gate' will have the gap filled in to prevent both mobility devices from getting caught in it and small childrens arms that are in strollers going through it.
3) The lock is removed from the gate as well.
4) Staff have all been talked to about helping wherever possible with disabled customers even if it means going and getting the product for them.
5) Staff on the second floor now carry change for cash purchases so disabled do not have to access the main floor again to go through the cash there.
6) A sign is going up at the front of the store telling disabled customers to see the customer service desk at the front and request the manager for assistance to the 2nd floor.
7) For the summer at least, the outside door will be held open since there is no automatic door.
Considering the circumstances of the buildings age and the lack of adjustments they can make this way Futureshop at Yonge & Gould Sts. are to be commended for all the efforts they are putting forth to make the store more accessible for the disabled. They even offered to change the poles and such at the main door but this isn't necessary, what they are doing is ample.
I'd like to take the time here to thank the store manager and the new general manager who has come on board with this project for all their efforts on our behalf. They have been a joy to work along with and eager to help. I'd also like to thank their head office for following up on this and even calling back to make sure things were taken care of.
Well, it's been over 2 years. Many times I have gone into that store and still problems exist. A few small measures were taken so when head office called me back once I was able to say things were beginning to happen. I should have told them to call back in 6 months and ask me. I have asked over and over again if they could please fill in that gap in the disabled gate and every single time I requested it I was told with a big smile, "yes, of course we will but...". There was always a "but". It was one reason or another. They couldn't get ahold of the place that made the gate was an excuse used a few times. Anyway, it never got done. The gate still needed to be opened by staff at times as well which was tiresome waiting and having to call for someone.
There was never any disabled button or even a lever type handle put on the front door thus making accessibility difficult to say the least. They told me to do this would be expensive and since they are building a new store down the street to move into it was an expense that would have to wait. But there was nothing done to help make opening either set (double doors) of doors any easier to open for the disabled.
They did put up a sign for disabled customers to ask to be taken upstairs. I saw it once. And once only and it was a handwritten note in black marker on regular 8x11 paper. It was a bad job. Especially since they had computers there I'm sure someone could have made one on that was easier to read and looked more professional. When I saw it I suggested to the mgr that they do one up on a computer, I even offered to do it for them. He said it would be done... however it doesn't exist. Matter of fact I don't think it does at all any more.
The freight elevator in the back of the store was hell to get to at times due to stock on the floors and in the isles. Hard to get around. Plus to use that elevator it always had to be cleaned out first. Boxes, etc.... and sorry, but it was dirty and I really didn't like using it. I've had to resort to using freight elevators in some places and none were like this one.
Whatever new store that was being built and opened in 2004 has never come to light, the store is still in the old building and I don't see any construction for a new one going on anywhere in the area. Btw, before anyone thinks I've been talking to several different people about these problems over the years, I haven't. It's had the same mgrs, asst. mgrs, and such. Matter of fact I even warned them well over a year ago that the write up here was going to go from good to bad if things weren't changed as they kept promising they would be.
The lock had reappeared on the disabled gate. I was told it was to stop people from leaving the store without paying for their purchases. If this is the case then maybe a security guard at the door would be called for. Besides, the gate is directly across from 2 cashiers. And the gate opens out into the isle in front of the cashiers. Time to figure out another avenue other than locking your customers out!
It has been one thing after the other and being put off about this, that and the other. Excuses, etc. Well...... the final straw came some months back in February 2004 and I'm still waiting to see if it changes but nope, it hasn't yet. I went past the store mid August 2004 and discovered the same situation.
This was a horrid winter here in Toronto. Far too much snow and the weather was bitter cold as well. I saw an advertisement on the tv about a cd that was available at Futureshop. I saw this commercial a few times and don't remember seeing "at participating stores" tagged on it anywhere.
One day there was a break in the weather and the sidewalks were 1/2 ways cleaned so I decided to go to Futureshop to purchase this cd. I actually wanted 2 of them. The nearest Futureshop is about a 25 minute scooter ride and in the bitter cold my scooter runs slower and when you are on a scooter you feel the cold more as well due to no muscle movement like one would make when walking.
Anyway, I decide to take my chances with the weather and go to this Futureshop store to purchase the cd's. By the time I get there I'm frozen to the bone but I make it only to discover I can't get in the store at all!!!!!! Check out the pictures below here. They are not very good however I had to snap them from way outside the store while trying not to be seen.
Nice huh? How do you like that Welcome sign? You can see the disabled gate there with it's "out of order" notice on it!! How is a disabled gate out of order for 6 months? And I'm not sure how long prior to me discovering this that it was like that. Personally I'd like to know how one of these gates ever is 'out of order'. It simply swings...
By looking at that gate one can see why it is 'out of order'. Because it has a coke machine and some other large thing parked in front of it is why!!!
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Here I am, out in the bitter cold and I can't get in the store. Not only is my only way in blocked so they can sell coke but due to these large machines in the line of view, no one in the damn store could see me to come help me in by opening the doors! There I was.... outside... two doors that are not disabled accessible with a 6 foot space between them between me and warmth and my purchase.
Finally some nice man came along on the street and saw I needed help and held the door for me then I still had to wait for someone inside the store to discover there was someone out there that still needed help. When a staff person came and let me in I had one hell of a time to maneuver in there. What you can't see in those pictures is to the other side of those machines blocking the entry are the cash's!!! So there is a single isle filled with people ringing out their purchases. Of course some didn't want to move.. others scowled.. what a joy that was to try to squeeze through and into the store where there was only a bit more space.
Then, to add insult to injury, I finally get inside the store, well not too far inside but as far as I could get due to stock piled in the isles, and I look over to the 'customer service' desk about 6 or more feet from me and low and behold there is a sign on the glass wall there. A white paper, written in black marker (sound familiar?), that says "THIS STORE DOES NOT SELL CD'S ANY MORE". That did it, I was furious. Too angry to even speak to the manager. I turned around and with the help of a customer made my way out of that store vowing to never enter it again and to put this story online where it belongs.
Obviously I'm finally getting it where it belongs. On the "Shame" pages. I went past the store a couple of weeks ago while on my way to the bookstore and decided to peek in and see if anything had changed. Nope. Still looks exactly the same. The disabled door is still "out of order" and there is still machines piled up in the doorway blocking everything.
Good going Futureshop....... I didn't realize that one could make so much money off of selling Coke to people. More than what your disabled customers would purchase.
Thanks Futureshop....... thanks for nothing.
FINAL UPDATE: So.. finally after telling us they were moving to a better place for several years they actually did move! They moved up the street to Yonge/Dundas Square. The store has been there for maybe 6 or 7 years now however I have yet to learn how to access it because on the Yonge St. entrance there is only a revolving door! Quite possibly I'm suppose to go into this strange doorway over on Dundas? Damned if I know and damned if I'll every waste another minute trying to figure it out. I think they are the worst for saying "screw you" to their disabled customers.