A St. Petersburg, FL man has been banned from Starbucks for life and the reason will leave you scratching your head. According to Opposing Views, Rob Rowen received a letter from the notable coffee distributor stating that he’d been “disrupting business and threatening customers.”
It has been reported that his alleged “disruption” led to the company’s abrupt decision to “expel” him from the establishment. So, what did he do? According to Bay News 9, he began addressing people who were illegally parked in spaces reserved for handicapped drivers. However, Rowen argues that his actions were justifiable. “My son-in-law has muscular dystrophy and is in a power wheelchair,” Rowen said. “I’ve seen so many times, the issue of him trying to find a parking space.”
When he saw one driver that was illegally parked, he admitted that he confronted one man and asked him to move his vehicle. “I threatened to embarrass him by telling everybody he was parked illegally,” Rowen said. “I saw someone park and it was obvious they weren’t handicapped,” Rowen said.
“There was no handicapped-parking sticker, it wasn’t a handicapped plate. And so I said to him you’re parked in the one handicapped space and you need to move your car.”
Rowen stated that his actions led to the manager’s request for him to leave. Although he personally felt his actions were justificable and initially expected to receive a letter of apology for being asked to leave the premises, surprisingly he received something else – a letter of expulsion, reports WTSP. “I regret to inform you you’ve been expelled from Starbucks,” the letter states.
Rowen’s complaints about the letter have caught the attention of local news outlets, and Starbucks has released a message regarding the controversial decision. Based on the nature of the statement, Starbucks is actually defending its decision to ban Rowen. However, Starbucks has stated that they are making a gratuitous effort to resolve the parking issues where the establishment is located.
“We understand Mr. Rowen’s concerns and have been speaking with him about this. Unfortunately, he became confrontational toward other customers, and we have asked him 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 company’s decision has sparked quite a debate because many readers feel they are upholding those who have blatantly disregarded the law. However, others feel it was not Rowen’s place to address illegally parked drivers.
Do you feel Rowen was wrong for confronting illegally parked drivers? Should his actions be considered a form of harassment? Share your thoughts.
[Image via Wikipedia]