I wasn't allowed to use Costa toilets because I'd not bought coffee

I was told I couldn’t use the toilets in Costa because I hadn’t bought a coffee yet – it should be a human right

  • Amanda Baverstock told couldn’t use the toilet in Retail Park in Bournemouth
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A woman was left gobsmacked when she was refused access to a Costa Coffee’s toilet because she hadn’t purchased a drink there first. 

Amanda Baverstock wanted to make a pit stop at the Costa at the Mallard Road Retail Park, but was left disgruntled when the employee told her she had to buy a drink first if she wanted to access the toilet, the Bournemouth Echo reported. 

The incident, which took place on March 22, saw Amanda try to enter the toilets, before a barista told her the access code was printed on receipts. 

The shopper countered she would buy a drink after using the bathroom, but claimed the employee responded by giving her a blank stare. 

Amanda said that having access to a toilet is a ‘human right,’ adding she is a ‘lady-of-a-certain age’ who gets a bit ‘cross-legged’ when in need of the loo.  

Amanda Baverstock wanted to make a pit stop at the Costa at the Mallard Road Retail Park, but was left disgruntled when the employee told her she had to buy a drink first before she could access the loo

Amanda explained she was in a middle of running a few errands at the retail park when she was overtaken by a pressing need to relieve herself. 

She opted to make a pit stop at the nearby Costa on her way to the next shop.  

‘My thought process was like, “Fabulous, I’ll go to Costa, I’ll have a wee, grab a coffee and then walk across with my coffee into PC World to do what I needed to do”,’ she said.

Amanda headed for the toilets, but realised the door was locked and asked the barista for an access code. 

That’s when she was told that the code was printed on customers’ receipts, and that she needed to purchase a drink of snack before she could use the loo. 

Amanda countered that she would use the toilet first and buy the drink afterwards, but it did not fly with the Costa Coffee employee.  

‘He looked at me kind of a little bit blankly and, because I use humour to defend myself, I said: “What do you expect me to do – hold the coffee while I got to the toilet?’ she recalled. 

The employee replied that she could leave the drink on the counter while she used the loo, but Amanda was not a fan of the suggestion and refused to comply. 

Pictured: the Costa Coffee place where the incident occurred on March 22 at the Mallard Road Retail Park near Bournemouth 

She asked him why all customers should be barred from free access to the toilet to prevent the actions of a minority of the people who would abuse or damage the loo. 

Amanda eventually left the coffee chain and found an accessible toilet at a nearby Smyths toy store.

A spokeswoman for Costa told the Echo that the situation has been resolved with the customer, saying: ‘Costa Coffee believes in creating warm and welcoming environments in our stores, including offering customers access to toilets.

‘Our toilets, including those with locks on the door, are primarily for our paying customers, however, we do appreciate that there are times and situations whereby team members should use their discretion and make an exception for non-paying customers.

‘This is especially true with children and pregnant women.’

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