Shock at coffee shop treat­ment of deaf man

Claims he was told he shouldn’t be order­ing drinks

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Amita Joshi amita.joshi@trin­i­tymir­

A DEAF and par­tially blind man was left hu­mil­i­ated af­ter a worker at Costa coffee in Uxbridge al­legedly said “if he’s deaf, he shouldn’t be order­ing drinks”.

San­deep Bhin­der, from Uxbridge, vis­ited the High Street in De­cem­ber where he or­dered drinks by writ­ing his or­der on a piece of pa­per.

How­ever, af­ter be­ing mis­tak­enly charged for six drinks, rather than three, his sis­ter Sim­ran asked the staff for a re­fund.

She said: “When I asked if we were al­lowed a re­fund, the man re­fused – and there was no man­ager in on the day.

“He was very con­fronta­tional and in­tim­i­dat­ing and when I asked if there was a com­plaints pro­ce­dure, he acted as if I was in­vis­i­ble.”

San­deep and Sim­ran, along with San­deep’s wife and their mum left the branch, but Sim­ran re­turned a few days later.

“There was an act­ing man­ager there this time who was sweet, but not help­ful,” she said.

“When she called the man over in ques­tion, he said ‘well if he’s deaf, he shouldn’t be order­ing drinks’. She didn’t do much about it and was just a by­stander watch­ing.”

The fam­ily told the Gazette they were ap­palled by the re­marks.

“I think it’s out­ra­geous, there was such a lack of un­der­stand­ing and my brother de­serves to or­der his own drinks,” added Ms Bhin­der.

“It has left his con­fi­dence shat­tered and now he won’t go out with­out his wife or me present.”

Costa’s head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Kerry Parkin, said: “Costa take all mat­ters re­lat­ing to cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence very se­ri­ously.

“We have launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into this mat­ter and would like to as­sure cus­tomers that this is an iso­lated in­ci­dent and does not re­flect our high stan­dards of cus­tomer ser­vice.

“Costa is un­able to com­ment fur­ther at this stage un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been fully com­pleted.”

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