Rob Rowen of St. Petersburg, Florida, is claiming that Starbucks banned him for life for speaking out against people parking in handicapped parking spots at his local Starbucks without having a handicapped sticker. Rowen said that his son-in-law has muscular dystrophy, and it’s frustrating (to say the least) to constantly have difficulty finding handicapped parking spots.
After spotting one such instance at his local Starbucks, he reported the findings to the store manager. Rowen told Bay News, the local news station, that she said, “’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.'"
Rowen then said that he received a letter from Starbucks’ corporate headquarters allegedly banning him from all Starbucks locations for life. Since then, Starbucks has lifted the ban.
“It is our goal to provide all customers with a warm and positive experience,” a Starbucks spokesperson told The Daily Meal. “We do understand Mr. Rowen’s concern and we have resolved the matter with him and he is welcome in any of our stores. We will work with him to improve the parking situation.”
Rowen confirmed that the issue had been resolved, although he still feels that Starbucks could do more for handicapped customers.
"One easy fix is to have signage that you can see when you order, letting a person know that they have their handicapped parking reserved for those who need it," Rowen told Bay News. "Finally, as a way of saying they are sorry, how about a latte one day for all their disabled customers? Talk is cheap, let's see some action from you, Starbucks, to show that you really care."