A SHOPPER hit with a baton and squirted with chemical spray by police after protesting about a faulty TV in a Tesco store has been given a replacement model by the supermarket giant.
Eric Rawlinson was bundled to the ground and marched out of the Extra store, in Ocotal Way, after staging a four-hour protest over being refused a straight exchange on his Samsung set.
He was initially only offered a repair service, but since the incident earlier this month, during which an officer discharged pava spray into his eyes, he has been given another model.
“I’m very happy and I’m glad I staged the protest, even though I’m still in agony two weeks on with pain in my joints,” said the 40-year-old.
“It attracted a lot of publicity and maybe other customers will feel they can stand up for their rights rather than back down.
“There have been hundreds of comments on the internet from people all over the world who support what I did. It’s just a shame it went as far as it did before Tesco backed down.”
The father-of-two, who was made redundant in November and has medical problems preventing him from working, was arrested for breach of the peace but no further action was taken. His 43in set, which had a faulty on-off switch, has been replaced with a Samsung 51in plasma 3D model.
Tesco had said its policy was only to offer a refund or exchange in the first 28 days after purchase. After that time, electrical goods are taken away for repair with customers only being entitled to replacements or money back if an item cannot be fixed. Mr Rawlinson’s TV was 10 months old but he claimed consumer law gave him the right to an exchange.
The former building design manager, of Abbey Meads , said: “The store manager phoned me on Thursday evening and said he had been sent an email from head office saying I could have a full refund or an exchange, and I picked the TV up on Sunday.
“I think that now they should review their returns policy as far as consumer law is concerned.”
A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We were unable to repair the TV and so in line with our policy we have offered Mr Rawlinson a full exchange or refund. We’re pleased this matter is now resolved.”
Police confirmed that they had received a complaint from Mr Rawlinson that the officers had used excessive force in his arrest and ejection from the store.
A spokesman said: “Wiltshire Police has received a complaint from a member of the public and this is being looked into.”