Coffee fanatics hold their morning (or afternoon) cup o’ Joe in high esteem. Whenever they need a quick pick-me-up at the aesthetically pleasing and mainstream coffee franchise known as Starbucks, they’re hoping to be in and out in minutes.
Many on-the-go patrons opt for the drive-thru, but others seem to have time to run inside and then dash back to their parked vehicles. Unfortunately, some patrons at a Starbucks in Florida have been illegally parking in handicap spots to grab their favorite beverage in record time.
This really irked one loyal patron. Rob Rowen decided to take matters into his own hands.
Rowen’s son-in-law has muscular dystrophy and uses a power wheelchair to get around. Rowen was tired of seeing able-bodied patrons take up handicap spots for the sheer sake of convenience.
He began telling illegally parked patrons to move. “I threatened to embarrass him by telling everybody he was parked illegally,” said Rowen, referring to one particular gentleman he had confronted.
Patrons did not respond positively to being scolded. One woman threatened to call the police and say Rowen was harassing her.
But after calling the police, the woman was the one who was served justice. She received a ticket for her illegal parking job.
Other patrons complained about Rowen’s tactics, prompting Starbucks to take action against him. He was kicked out of the South Dale Mabry, Tampa, location by the manager.
A few days later he received a letter in the mail, which he hoped was an apology. Instead, it was a letter banning him from Starbucks for life.
Starbucks said they made this decision in order to protect other patrons and employees. In a statement, they claimed Rowen had been “confrontational” and that they expect all patrons to act respectfully toward one another and Starbucks employees.
Rowen was disappointed by Starbucks’ actions, as he had been a faithful customer. However, perhaps Rowen’s commitment to his cause will serve as a reminder to all that a quick coffee fix is not worth inconveniencing those who are disabled.
Florida law took Rowen’s side, enforcing the appropriate fines for those who violated the handicapped parking accessibility. After the story was posted online, Starbucks lifted Rowen’s ban — but not before Rowan was able to bring more awareness to this issue that is so close to his heart. (For more from the author of “Starbucks Facing Major Backlash Over Absurd Reason They Banned This Man for Life” please click HERE)