After a customer complained that she was turned away for wearing a tank top and distressed jeans when she went to pay her bill, the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has sought to address public criticism about its dress code policy.
The customer’s complaint, posted on social media last weekend, sparked a major discussion on APUA’s Facebook page with many people stating that the policy was irrational.
The state-owned entity issued a statement in the same forum, urging its security officers to use their discretion when enforcing the policy.
“Based on our investigation, the lady was turned away by the security guard on stipulations that were not outlined in the dress code policies,” APUA’s Public Relations Coordinator Sharifa George said. “We have taken it upon ourselves to insist that the guards follow stipulations outlined by APUA and no other.”
The APUA dress code was implemented in 2017 to address extreme cases of customers wearing revealing clothing while conducting business at its offices.
George told OBSERVER media there have been instances where customers have worn extremely short pants, see-through clothing that revealed their under garments and body parts, as well as being barefoot while conducting business, which have made the environment uncomfortable for staff and other patrons.
“We understand the comfort and the outside climate are to be taken into consideration when you are dressing, therefore those requirements and expectations have been taken into consideration when we drafted our dress code policy,” George said.
APUA reiterated that sleeveless tops and modest distressed jeans are not prohibited. However, if clothing are revealing, persons will be asked to cover up.
APUA said it apologizes to customers who have been affected as it strives to improve the quality of service and customer experience.