Hi Mr T,
I understand what you say but:
The online and high street shop are very much the same company with the same boss.
The person I was discussing the matter with in the store had nothing to 'cover himself' for. He had no commission to lose etc.
So why did he employ such tactics? My guess - that is what he was trained to do.
By the way, if you knew me, you would understand that being bolshy is impossible. I am a timid frog. Even your profile picture scares me.