Accessibility of www.whsmithplc.co.uk
www.whsmithplc.co.uk has been designed to meet the W3C level one Web Content Accessibility guidelines and also meets many of the level two guidelines.
- All images include descriptive tags
- Hyperlinks are as descriptive as possible
- It is possible to read each page on the site without its associated style sheet
- Font size can be changed by clicking on 'View' and 'Text Size' in your browser
Accessibility of WHSmith stores
WHSmith aim to meet our customers' needs and make shopping with us a pleasant experience. We know the needs of our customers vary from person to person and aim to provide reasonable access to our goods and services.
The WHSmith Board has declared the Policy as follows, “In terms of customer care, the Board welcomes the high standards set by Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. It is committed to continuing with the work that has taken place since 1995 to improve access to our stores for all customers. The Board aims to complete any necessary structural alterations before the legislative deadline of 1 October 2004”.
In 1995 WHSmith set up an internal Focus Group to consider how the Disability Discrimination legislation relates to employment and access issues. This Group comprised representatives from WHSmith’s Human Resource, Property, Risk Management and Corporate Affairs departments. The Group’s output has directed the Company’s approach to meet the needs of the retail industry legislation and best practice. WHSmith has also established best practice with the Disability Task Group of the British Retail Consortium and the Disability Rights Commission.
Our organisation has over of 750 sites across the UK. Communication across the business of employment and customer service policies and procedures is of the utmost importance. We ensure all managers are aware of the DDA requirements. A full guideline is available on our Intranet for store managers to ensure a consistent approach is taken.
The service from employees to our disabled customers has a major influence on maintaining customer satisfaction. Training is given to our employees. It includes recent developments and how to meet the needs of our customers. In addition our Customer Service Team are given guidance in how to respond to queries from people with disabilities.
Since 1998 we have worked closely with a number of professional auditors to develop a thorough accessibility audit process for our stores. Our property surveyors have been trained by the auditors to carry out audits in our stores. Audits have now been completed in all our stores. This has allowed us to prioritise remedial action to improve access. To date in excess of £2 million has been spent in this area. This work has included installing automatic doors; customer lifts and the improving store entrances.
Unfortunately, not all work can be carried out immediately, so we have established a programme of improvements to address access issues in the coming years.
To advise our customers of the access provisions at each store we have subscribed to www.directenquiries.com
This is a web based register of goods and services providers and gives details of all our stores. This register allows any customer to search by category of provider and location. They can determine ease of access before arriving at the premises. Customers can submit feedback to let us know how we are doing and what we may be able to do better. All feedback is recorded, a response is prepared and the appropriate action taken.
WH Smith also provides an on-line and telephone ordering service to all our customers. Products purchased can be delivered to the customers’ home or delivered to their local store where it may be collected by the customer or someone else on their behalf.
The address of this web based service is www.whsmith.co.uk the telephone ordering service is available at 0870 444 6 444.
We are a major High Street retailer with many different locations and some stores may not fulfil all the access needs of some customers. In some stores influences outside our control, such as planning controls or the requirements of landlords may prevent us taking the action we would wish. However, we believe we have taken a reasonable and pragmatic approach to compliance.
If you have any feedback you wish to send us or any suggestions as to how we may improve the service we offer please contact:
Customer Services, Greenbridge Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 3LD
Phone: 0870 444 6 444