Many of us feel like we just can’t survive without our coffee fix; being banned from your regular coffee place would be torture for some. Florida resident Rob Rowen was recently banned from Starbucks for life for fighting with customers who were illegally parking in handicapped parking spots. According to Rowen, he would take pictures of customers who would do this and confront them in the story.
Store workers, however, found Rowen’s actions to be borderline harassment. Rowen reported one incident with a manager as follows, “She said to me, ‘You’re harassing my customers…I said, ‘I’m one of your customers. I’m a regular customer, and I’m trying to help you protect your other customers who might not be able to park anywhere else.'”
The issue ultimately culminated in Rowen receiving a letter from the company saying that he was banned from Starbucks for life. A spokeswoman for Starbucks, Laurel Haper, defended the decision, claiming, “We have asked [Rowen] to refrain from visiting the store. We expect all of our customers to treat each other and our partners (employees) respectfully. We have been speaking with the landlord to improve the parking situation.”
The story has a happy ending; after meeting with the Starbucks vice president, Rowen was able to get the ban lifted. For him, however, it is bittersweet, saying that “It’s not about me and Starbucks. The ban, I don’t care. … What I want them to do is take it seriously,” referring to the issue of respecting the rights of the handicapped customers.