A man heading to Thailand to see his girlfriend and children for the first time in nearly two years has been left unable to fly after Boots lost his Covid-19 testing kit.
Nick Baggs, 54, used the high-street chemist’s “fit to fly” PCR test on November 29, and was told to wait up to 48 hours for the result.
But that deadline came and went with no response from Boots. On the morning of his flight – last Thursday – he still hadn't heard back, despite trying to contact them, reports Bristol Live.
He travelled to the airport in hope, but his efforts to board the plane were in vain.
“I had no choice as I had to go to the airport either way and my flight was leaving at that point,” said Nick, from Bristol.
“There was no way I could have got my PCR test but I thought the only way was to ring them up and see if they had my results ready.”
Nick said it was only when there were just 90 minutes left before check-in closed that he was told by Boots that his test had been lost.
Despite pleading with them that he hadn’t seen his children for almost two years and wanted to be with his family over the Christmas holidays, Boots told him the best they could do was offer a refund of the £79 test kit.
“I was absolutely fuming,” Nick said. “I tried to ring up to look for a complaints department to speak to someone who could help and give me a bit of empathy about the situation.
“When I had spoken to a member of staff, they said to me that they would pass on my message and get someone to call back.
“Usually they said it takes them 72 hours for a response but also that it might take longer if they’re busy. That’s when I decided to not ring them anymore because it was a waste of time.”
Nick, who had used a Boots store in central Bristol for his test, hopes to rebook his flight but fears it could be difficult because there are a number of hoops to jump through – such as booking a hotel – before you can apply for a pass to travel to the country.
“Because of the lockdown, I was not able to see my girlfriend and kids since January last year,” he said.
“So for this to happen, it feels like a rug has been pulled out from underneath us. It really hurt.
“This trip was about spending time with my family but I had to tell them over the phone that I’m not going to be there. They were so upset and so angry at Boots. They made me make my kids cry.”
A spokesperson for the chemist said: "At Boots we offer a range of fit to fly Covid-19 tests and the vast majority of them are processed normally within our recommended timeframes.
“Unfortunately, in the case of Nicholas Baggs, his test went missing in transit to the laboratory – a very rare occurrence.
“We offer our wholehearted apology to Mr Baggs for the disruption this has caused to his travel plans and have offered a full refund for the price of his test.”
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