Author Topic: Radar key ettiquette  (Read 11103 times)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Radar key ettiquette
« on: February 20, 2014, 01:14:50 PM »
When a shop, cafe etc, fits an NKS lock to its accessible toilet, are the facilities still reserved for the use of patrons only, or can any Radar key holder pop in to use them, even though they may not be an actual customer?

Also, if you're aware that an NKS lock in a business premises is broken, but the business owner isn't in any rush to have it fixed, can the operators of the scheme help to exert any pressure, or is it just a matter of persisting with the business owner until they attend to the matter?

As ever, thanks in advance for any replies >thumbsup<

seegee

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 06:21:36 PM »
"The National Key Scheme (NKS) offers disabled people independent access to locked public toilets around the country. Toilets fitted with National Key Scheme (NKS) locks can now be found in shopping centres, pubs, cafés, department stores, bus and train stations and many other locations in most parts of the country."
That sounds as if the owner has accepted by having that lock fitted that people will use the facilities & they must know that not all of them will be customers. 

I have used standard (non-disabled) toilets in pubs before now without getting a drink; sometimes without even asking the staff if it's OK.  If I have asked a pub for permission, nobody has ever said "no, the toilets are only for customers".  Obviously the owners would like it if everyone who entered the building bought something, but if staff are pleasant & welcoming it's more likely people will come back another time & spend money. :-) 

Do they all appear in the guide book too?  If they do, owners must expect non-customers to use them sometimes. >confusedgif<

seegee

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 06:25:13 PM »
Oh, I frequently go into department stores solely to use the toilets - nobody cares if you're a customer or not.  Again, that's unlocked loos for non-disabled, but there's no difference to the business - I'm not buying anything, just using their facilities. :-)

Mabelcat

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 09:25:27 PM »
Oh, I frequently go into department stores solely to use the toilets - nobody cares if you're a customer or not.  Again, that's unlocked loos for non-disabled, but there's no difference to the business - I'm not buying anything, just using their facilities. :-)

I do that as the loos are often more salubrious than public ones.  It's fine except when you decide to have a look round on the way out end up buying something you really don't need. 

AndMac

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 11:15:02 PM »
I always respect signs that say 'Toilets for Patrons Only', though that has sometimes caused crossed legs and a bit of muttering.

 Our local Sports Club recently installed a NKS loo and I had a go at putting it on the map of accessible loos, no idea if I succeeded. This building is tucked away off the beaten track a bit. I'm not sure how useful it would be to the general population.

 Whilst I can use the ladies in that building, the floor in those loos is like an ice rink, so I do prefer the accessible facilities.
"I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things".

Dorothy Parker

seegee

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 10:45:06 AM »
Even in places that have signs saying toilets are patrons-only, staff will often let others use them if you ask nicely; the signs are meant to stop people from barging through the café in a rush without asking (that upsets customers). 
Not many staff will refuse someone who seems to be in need & is polite (that upsets customers too, as refusal is often seen as rude ;-)).

ditchdwellers

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2014, 12:38:13 PM »
The trouble is, you are assuming that all people wanting to use the toilets are nice, polite people who will leave the loo in a decent condition.
When I had my shop, I was often asked by people if they could use the staff loo, and if I said no they would get quite aggressive and rude.  I used to let regulars with small children use the loo, but random strangers who had just got off the coach down the road and would barge in demanding to use your toilet - a long queue of them- no way!

Sorry, but I would disagree with using toilets if you are not a patron.  Having been on the receiving end of the general public and their complete disregard for what I consider to be basic manners, I think that the least you can do is buy a drink if you want to use the facilities in a cafe etc.

seegee

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2014, 01:44:15 PM »
I did say if you ask nicely, not if you barge in & definitely not in a large group unless at least most of you are going to buy something. 
If you get urgency, so have to ask in cafés, pubs, shops fairly often then buying a drink every time would be very expensive (as well as making you want to go again soon because of the extra fluid).  >erm<
I suppose the answer to that would be for businesses to ask for a small amount from non-customers... free if you buy something afterwards, 10p if you don't maybe? 

I have heard staff claiming there is no toilet on the premises at all, presumably they didn't like the look of the person asking (or maybe they are expected to nip off to the nearest supermarket if they need a pee themselves during the afternoon?).

About using pub toilets without asking - I've done that in pubs where I am sometimes a customer (so I'm known) and in a pub when I'm with a group of people, most of whom have bought drinks.  Anywhere else, I ask - politely. :-)


I don't think I've asked to use the staff toilet - that's a whole new thread by itself; where to ask for loos if in places that don't sell food or drinks/ don't have customer seating (my local chippy probably has a staff loo but there's no customer loo as they don't sell stuff to eat/ drink on the premises)...

Mabelcat

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2014, 02:38:38 PM »
When I used to run I would sometimes be taken short and would have to go into a pub or cafe but would always ask.  People were always very obliging and would often give me a drink of water as well.  If they had a charity collection box I would make a donation. 


seegee

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 02:42:51 PM »
About customers leaving toilets in decent condition - can anyone really tell at a glance whether someone will do that?  Surely most business-owners aren't daft enough to believe that they can tell whether someone will respect their property by simple appearance? 
Some customers look OK, come in & buy a drink but make a mess in the toilets; drop wet paper-towels on the floor or try to flush them blocking the drain for example.

ditchdwellers

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2014, 03:35:21 PM »
No, you can't tell by looking at someone,  which is why many business owners are reluctant to let all and sundry use their facilities.

seegee

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 04:08:01 PM »
Patrons only doesn't really solve that, does it? 
Customers are as likely as anyone else to mess up the toilet/ leave paper all over the floor/ block the pan with pads though you provide a bin/ put make-up marks on the sink.  The fact they bought a drink for £1.50 doesn't make up for that, or for complaints from later customers.
On a busy day you're not likely to know exactly who has been in the toilet as you are busy serving other customers, so you can't even deny service to whoever made the mess on future occasions (which you'd have a right to do of course).

The only way to avoid things getting messed up is not to allow anyone to use them, including customers.  If you're running a café or a pub that might lose you custom though. 
Keeping them locked so customers have to ask would seem unwelcoming to customers, kind of like children having to ask teacher for permission to go to the loo.

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 05:11:50 PM »
I think the waters have been muddied (no pun intended) by the fact that a lot more places have to have an accessible toilet by law than used to and this means there are places where disabled people in a wheelchair physically could not get to the toilet now have disabled people asking to use their accessible toilet. It is much easier for a shop owner to say no to someone who looks able bodied that to say No to someone in a wheelchair or using crutches and this brings ideas of morality and what is fair into the equation.

Each person whether staff or toilet user has to decide for themselves how to present themselves and what they want people to think of them. Using Ditchdweller's example I would agree with no automatic entitlement to using a staff toilet, but I would also assume that most people including Ditchdweller would be okay about helping someone in obvious need, eg a wheelchair user, parent with a child, or someone who has had an accident in their trousers and needs to sort them self out.

Manners and ettiquette have already been mentioned so there is not much for me to add there except for me if I regularly ended up using a particular shop or pubs toilet I would make sure to buy something from time to time and of course thank the staff every time.

When it comes to toilets with radar keys that are listed on maps or in guidebooks I think the owners and staff need to accept people who are not customers will use the toilet and if the staff or owner does not want this situation to continue they need to get the toilet removed from the listing.

One of my pet hates is able bodied men using disabled toilets, I know as a group they are not all dirty feckless disgusting creatures but some are and this itself is enough reason to have sympathy for anyone who does not want to share the toilet facilities with men of unknown toilet habits  >yikes<

seegee

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 06:29:44 PM »
Some women are dirty feckless disgusting creatures too, if the state of some women's public toilets (and "ladies" toilets in some pubs) are anything to judge by.  Make-up smears on the sink, wet paper towels everywhere, splashes on the seat & the floor, **** in the pan... yuk. >feeling-sick<  Suddenly decide I can wait a while longer, not that desperate. >erm<

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Radar key ettiquette
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 10:35:37 PM »
Seegee,

Good point but outside my experience because I never did the going out to pubs and clubs stuff when I was younger because of problems getting about and also the fact cigarette smoke triggered TN. Up until I met Mr Sunshine I was a bit of an Emily Dickinson, and he isn't into going out on a night.

gawd I sound boring now.

Working in the call centre with mainly men meant I saw how they left the disabled toilet and also heard horror stories about the mens toilets eg poo in the sink.