How a Guy Got Banned From All Starbucks

Rob Rowen says he received a letter banning him for life
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2015 3:28 PM CDT

A Florida man says Starbucks banned him from all locations—at least for a while—after he complained to customers who parked in the handicapped spots, Bay News 9 reports. Rob Rowen says he got miffed when customers used the spaces without so much as a limp, let alone a handicapped plate or sticker, at a Starbucks on South Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. "I saw someone park, and it was obvious they weren't handicapped," he says. "And so I said to him, 'You're parked in the one handicapped space, and you need to move your car.'" He even snapped photos of violations and confronted the offending customers inside, but the manager took the customers' side and accused him of harassment, Rowen says.

The manager finally banned Rowen altogether, and a subsequent letter from Starbucks barred him from all locations, WTSP reports. "I regret to inform you you've been expelled from Starbucks," says Rowen, reading the letter. Going by Rob "Starbucks Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" Rowen, he wrote on his Facebook page today that he talked to "a Senior [Starbucks] VP from Austin" who "said the right things" and lifted the ban. Why does Rowen care so much? "My son-in-law has muscular dystrophy and is in a power wheelchair," he explains. "I've seen so many times, the issue of him trying to find a parking space." For its part, Starbucks issued a statement that it's working "to improve the parking situation" at the Tampa location, and aims "to provide a warm, friendly and positive experience for all of our customers." (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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