Auckland Briscoes accused of misgendering trans customer, repeatedly calling her 'he'

  • 12/01/2024

An Auckland woman is "humiliated and deeply sad" after an incident at a Briscoes store where a staff member allegedly misgendered her. 

A spokesperson for the company described the matter as an "in-store incident" and said it offered an apology. 

Mary Haddock-Staniland popped into Briscoes in Botany to pick up a click-and-collect order last weekend. She said she approached an employee at the counter, who was unable to locate her order number. 

"He got a supervisor over and that's when he was referring to me as 'he'. 'He' wants to change this; 'he' wants to change that," Haddock-Staniland recounted to Stuff.  

"I actually thought he was talking to my husband at first because I showed him my licence and he was looking at the order, which was booked in my name.   

"He still continued referring to me as 'he'. At this point, there were about two or three other store employees involved in the dialogue and none of them stepped in to correct their colleague." 

Haddock-Staniland told Stuff she was "humiliated and deeply sad" and submitted a formal complaint earlier this week. 

In a statement to Newshub, a Briscoe Group spokesperson said the company was "clear with our team that good customer service is built on positive and respectful interactions with all people."

"For privacy reasons we don't comment specifically on customer interactions other than to say an apology has been given for an in-store incident. 

"Briscoe Group provides training on an extensive range of topics including customer service and product knowledge." 

The spokesperson added: "We have learning content in relation to diversity and inclusion within our training portfolio and which is available within our team members' learning pathways." 

Haddock-Staniland also addressed the incident in a public story on her Instagram. 

"Speaking up is never easy, even with my experience," she said. "But there's a difference between facing challenges and raising awareness about an issue. 

"Huge thanks for all the love and support I've received."