Deaf Woman Refused Service At Dunkin Donuts (Video)

| by Jonathan Constante
Jessica SanzilloJessica Sanzillo

A Massachusetts woman says she is outraged after a Dunkin' Donuts employee refused her service (video below).

Jessica Sanzillo visited her local Dunkin’ Donuts in September, WFXT reported. She was with her three children at the time.

"I rely on coffee a lot!" Sanzillo told WFXT through an interpreter.

Sanzillo is deaf. She said she usually orders her coffee at a Framingham Dunkin’ Donuts through a texting app. Sanzillo would write her order onto her phone and hand it over to the employee at the drive-thru window.

Sanzillo said she was refused service because she didn’t use the speaker. She was told she would not be served her coffee unless she came inside the Dunkin’ Donuts.

"There were three other workers there that know me, that see me every day,” Sanzillo explained. “When the server refused to serve me my drink, none of the three people came over and told him that it wasn't okay, that she's a routine customer, she's deaf. They didn't say anything. They just stood back and watched.”

Sanzillo said this isn’t the first time she’s encountered this problem.

"It happens enough,” she said. “Not every day. But... too often.”

The mother-of-three said she was mocked at another location. She said she wants to see improved training at all businesses and restaurants when it comes to dealing with deaf people.

Sanzillo added that because there is a prestigious school for the deaf in Framingham, a customer service standard should be set for the entire state of Massachusetts.

"They should expect different types of people that come into their store and they should try to work with them," Sanzillo said.

Sanzillo hopes her story will make a difference.

"We just want you to know that we're just like you-we're no different,” she added. “We just communicate with our hands. And, be patient.”

Sanzillo and several other customers visited the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru and ordered like a deaf person would, WSB-TV reported. They hoped to send a message.

"As a parent of a deaf child, I would never want William to be excluded from anything, and so thinking of him wanting to get a cup of coffee later in life and being told he couldn't go through the drive-through like everybody else really upset me,” one parent told the news station.

The franchise owner of the Dunkin’ Donuts issued the following statement:

At Dunkin' Donuts, providing a friendly and welcoming restaurant environment for all of our guests is a top priority. We are aware of the guest complaint regarding the franchised Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant ... in Framingham. We have been informed that upon learning of the customer complaint, the restaurant’s franchisee who owns and operates this restaurant spoke with the guest to apologize for the experience and to try to resolve the matter. Additionally, the franchisee informs us he has terminated the crew member involved in the incident. Franchisees are required by their franchise agreement to comply with all applicable laws.

Sources: WFXT, WSB-TV / Photo credit: WFXT via YouTube

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