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Old 06-04-2012, 03:45 PM
53 posts, read 414,093 times
Reputation: 22


I work at a small retail store and i have had one customer that came in today with unbearable odor.

I have made up my mind that if he comes back, i am going to ask him to leave the store.

He not only stays in the store but meanders around spreading the smell.

This can be distracting to my other customers and can possible drive them away to potential competitors.

Will i get into any legal issues here? Business is in Houston Texas.

Last edited by vter; 06-04-2012 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:54 PM
Location: The Triad (NC)
30,209 posts, read 66,715,215 times
Reputation: 35671
You have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason that isn't protected by law.
Odor is not a protected class.

Diner Fight from GIANT (1956) - YouTube
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:55 AM
Location: Wartrace,TN
6,200 posts, read 9,702,447 times
Reputation: 12199
I don't see why you couldn't since you have the right to refuse service to people for not wearing shoes or a shirt.

I would approach the matter with a lot of discretion. I would not say anything to him in front of anyone else. I would ask him to step outside with you where you could politely explain the problem. He might not even be aware of his own odor problem and you could be doing him a favor by mentioning it to him.

I know what you mean about body odor driving customers away. I was at the county clerks office the other day and an older guy came in and you could smell him from 15 feet away. It was sort of a sick garlic smell; If I had been in a store instead of in line at the clerks office I would have left.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:21 AM
18,856 posts, read 57,365,396 times
Reputation: 33452
Be aware that some odors are from disease and those people would likely be protected under the ADA. Of course if you had customers who had extreme sensitivities to odors, they would be protected as well.

Oddly, some of the worst offending businesses are the health stores and related businesses. For some reason, management often becomes entranced by "le stench du-jour" and sprays it near the doors to entice customers. The pesticide aisles are another hot spot. I've been in stores where just getting near that aisle with the air fresheners and cleaning solutions made my eyes water and a headache start.

I would suggest that you, at a minimum, research online for similar situations.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:48 AM
Location: On The Road Full Time RVing
2,342 posts, read 3,043,971 times
Reputation: 2226
I feel the same way when a man ( but mostly women ) come in a store, or a restaurant
and smell like they took a bath in some of the worst cheap smelling perfumes.

Make a person feel like throwing up ! ! !

Body stink does not smell that bad ! ! !
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