A DAD is fuming after being banned from Lidl for complaining about his box of eggs – which looked like they'd been chewed by a rat.
Matt Garside, 59, says he raised concerns with staff at the cut-price supermarket in Lancashire when he came across a box he thought had been gnawed on by rodents.
He admits he was "persistent" on the day, and laid a complaint when he didn't receive an apology for the ordeal.
And while Matt did later get an apology, it was quickly revoked when he was told he wasn't allowed to step foot in the Lidl store for half a year.
Matt said: "This made me angry. It was so simple, and they have just shot the messenger.
"But I just stuck to my guns, and in the end, I've been banned.
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"I don't know why they have dealt with this in this way. It's just beyond me."
Lidl told The Sun the dad had been banned for being abusive, and an investigation found no evidence of rats in store.
But, Matt denies he was abusive – he says he was merely "persistent", and didn't expect to be barred from his local shop.
Adding: "I have a calm exterior, but I'm absolutely seething mad that this has happened to me.
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"It's the big guy stepping on the little guy in a pretty disgusting way.
"When I got the email saying I was banned, I just thought, 'What's going on there?'
"They were making out that I was abusive to their staff. But I wasn't. I was just persistent."
The discovery and events that followed unfolded on July 7.
Matt says he was shopping at Lidl in Colne when he came across the box and told a member of staff.
He said: "Their response was a bit odd.
"They took the box off me, and they also didn't give an apology or anything.
"I was a bit shocked as they wanted to play it down immediately."
Matt says the supermarket manager then confronted him about his behaviour.
Adding: "He went on a bit of a tirade at me, saying that I had upset his member of staff.
I was just in disbelief that this manager was dismissing it.
"I immediately told him I hadn't, but he went on a mission of putting me down, saying I had upset this lady.
"He said, 'you called her blind'. But I hadn't. I just said, 'if you had checked, you would have seen them.'
"I said that I hadn't hurt anybody – it wasn't her fault.
"And just before that, I had even caught up with her, and said 'at least I deserve an apology'.
"But instead, she just exited left as fast as she could."
Matt says he was eventually ordered to leave the shop without his groceries.
He said: "I'm a bit of a stubborn person, so I continued, but I wasn't shouting or being abusive.
"Eventually, I got to one of the tills, and I started to video what was happening as well.
"I was just in disbelief that this manager was dismissing it.
"He didn't realise I had taken a picture and had a photo, and I said to him, 'why don't you look at the photo' but he said, 'no, I don't want to.'
"I continued until he came around and took everything out of my basket and said, 'I'm not going to serve you.'"
Inspections found no evidence of pest activity.
Matt says he then filed a complaint to Lidl customer service and eight weeks later received an apology regarding his experience.
But several weeks later, he received a new email informing him he had been barred from the shop.
He said: "So for my trouble of finding this box, I was banned from Lidl.
"It said if I turned up at their Lidl, I would be trespassing, and they would take action."
A Lidl spokeswoman told The Sun: "The decision to temporarily ban the customer was taken as a result of abusive behaviour towards store colleagues.
"As soon as the matter was raised with our store colleagues in July, it was immediately escalated to senior management with a full investigation subsequently being carried out.
"This included third party inspections which found no evidence of pest activity.
"We would like to further reassure customers that, as part of our standard due diligence, additional checks have been carried out since July and have also come back clear.
"Whilst we are always grateful to our customers for raising any concerns with us to address, we have a zero tolerance policy for abusive behaviour and therefore ask that any interactions with our store colleagues are carried out in a kind and respectful manner."
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Lidl recently came under fire by residents near a store that is currently under construction.
Many claimed their houses shake "like an earthquake" and fill with dust if they leave their windows or doors open.
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