CHRISTMAS may be just around the corner but festive cheer was lacking at Marks & Spencer’s in Mell Square as big-hearted charity worker Joseph Sullivan found to his cost.
The 18-year-old Solihull College student had volunteered to bag pack at the store in aid of the Prince’s Trust.
However he didn’t bargain for the Scrooge-like response from bosses when his mobile phone was stolen from the staffroom.
Joe’s irate mum Vikki Riches says her son was told by staff to leave his bag and valuables, including his money and phone, in the staff room.
Joe busily worked at the high street giant for three hours, but during that time his Christmas cheer was dented when someone pinched his phone, which had been a present for his 18th birthday.
“It’s disgusting. He was told everything would be safe in there,” Vikki said.
And she claims that Marks and Spencer’s initially admitted responsibility, “but they have gone back on their word and are refusing to pay for it,” she added.
“I am truly disappointed that a multi-millon pound company refuses to compensate someone for a phone stolen on their property, doing charity work.
“I will not be using Marks and Spencer’s again.”
An M&S spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear that the pupil’s phone has gone missing whilst packing bags at our Solihull store.
“All Solihull College pupils are advised not to bring phones or valuables when packing bags at the store, and all M&S employees and visitors to the store are advised that if they wish to leave belongings unattended it is done so at their own risk.”
Solihull police said they were no longer investigating the theft.
A police spokesman said: “Anyone could have had access to the room, it was insecure and there was no CCTV.”
It all adds up to a bitter experience for one big-hearted youngster.