A woman who fell in a salon was mocked as an ‘ogre’ and a ‘fat b****’ by staff.
The owner of Cook Hair says he is “embarrassed and ashamed” after a WhatsApp chat between staff was leaked online.
CCTV footage at the salon captured the moment a woman, said to be a regular customer, fell shortly after arriving, reports Hull Live.
Staff then helped her to her feet.
But a WhatsApp chat involving staff and the business’ owner, Alistair Cook, was leaked online and showed staff mocking the lady and making offensive comments about her weight.
The WhatsApp chat was entitled “earthquake,” and accompanied by the subject name “When Bond Street shook” – a reference to the salon’s location in the centre of Hull
Mr Cook said he “profusely apologised” to the lady involved, who he said was a regular client at the business.
Screenshots of the conversations and the video has since been shared by more than 1,000 people on Facebook , with over 1,000 comments.
One person in the chat commented: “Lifting her nearly killed us off.”
Another said: “Just keep her sweet with a vanilla slice.”
A third person involved said: “She’ll be trying to claim the fat b****.”
Mr Cook said: “First of all, I profusely apologise to the lady involved. She is a very well-liked client and that has not come across at all.
“We are sincerely sorry. We handled the situation when the incident happened very professionally, but the video got dragged into the group chat and what happened next does not look good.
“As the owner and spokesman for the business, we are ashamed and completely and utterly devastated by this, and want to first and foremost send our apologies for such childish behaviour.
“The girls are devastated by it, they did not think their comments would get dragged up as much as it has been.
“The lady in question has been a client for years – this is not something I would ever want to see happen. It should not happen.
“I am massively saddened and embarrassed by what has happened. I would do anything I could possibly do to apologise to the lady. I will be writing to her myself to apologise.”
The WhatsApp chat and video of the lady’s fall was posted on Facebook on Saturday morning, where it received hundreds of shares in just a matter of hours.
Cook Hair was at the time of the incident based in Bond Street.
Since then however, the company has returned to its original home in Carr Lane.
Mr Cook said there was a valuable lesson to be learned from what had happened, and warned others to be careful what is said in online chats.
He said: “The lesson to be learned here is, all the people out there that have got business chat groups, be careful, there may be someone who will grass you up.
“I had someone this morning come in who said they were a teacher, and had a group chat in which they slag off the parents of pupils, the head teacher and everyone.
“However, this is not about that – it is about the client and the behaviour by the girls in the chat.
“What happened was totally wrong, and we have been scarred by this.”