A woman was forced to wet herself at Specsavers and walk out in tears after three workers refused to let her use the toilet.
Michelle Bayley, who has an overactive bladder, had an operation just two days before the visit to the branch in Longton, Stoke.
She even offered to clean the lavatory herself to help the store abide by Covid measures, StokeonTrent Live reports.
But they said store rules meant she was not allowed – and when she said she would have to use a bin instead, they told her to leave – and in trying to explain her situation, she urinated on herself.
Now Specsavers has apologised after the woman went public and said she was left feeling humiliated.
“I lost all my dignity inside there,” the 43-year-old from Meir in Stoke said.
“It was disgusting what they did to me.
“I know that Covid is here, but I have a disability. I am in their shop with their staff.
“I am going to go in a room and the optician is going to get close to my face by looking at my eyes. What is the difference between me going in that shop and going to the toilet?
“It could have been cleaned after. I would have done that myself because everywhere I go, I carry all my toiletries in a bag with me for emergencies.
“I do sanitise everything before and after.
“They are a healthcare provider and should be allowing people to use their toilet. Every disability isn’t visible.
“I am worried about going places in case this happens again. I am only young and I have got this problem.
“It isn’t against the law to use a toilet as long as you are clean and sanitised after.”
Her condition means that she has little to no control over her bladder.
She had been for an operation on it two days before at Stafford’s County Hospital.
Ms Bayley has suffered with the condition for more than 10 years and says she has put a complaint in with the head office.
She said: “When I went in I asked if I could use the toilet, and (the woman) said no.
“I told her I have got a medical condition and I had my card to show her.
“Since I have had this operation my stomach now swells up, and I am getting severe pain. I can’t control my bladder at all, which is why I needed to use the toilet. I was frightened of wetting myself.
“The woman walked off so I followed her towards where the toilets are, as I have used them in the past. She went upstairs and came back down and said: ‘I have spoken to my manager and she said no’.
“I started to cry because the pain was bad, and then she started crying and went upstairs.
“I picked up a bin and I was going to do it there in the cubicle area because I was struggling.
“This lady then came down and shouted out my name. I popped my head around the corner and said please let me use the toilet or I will have to do it in this. She snatched the bin off me and asked me to leave. I tried to explain to her and while doing so I wet myself.
“I had to go all the way to the car cold, and I was crying. They made me feel like I was a criminal because I asked to go to the toilet.”
The team at Specsavers say they followed up with Michelle three times after the incident and even sent out a letter of apology.
A spokesperson for Specsavers said: “We took the decision at the start of the pandemic to close the staff toilets in the interests of safety in line with our ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
“The customer was advised that there is a public toilet very close by and that we would hold her appointment to enable her to take advantage of the facility.
“We are extremely sorry that she found this unacceptable and have sent her our sincere apologies.”