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Disabled woman's anger at McDonald's refusal of service

Thursday 8 Oct 2009 6:25 a.m.

The Blenheim McDonald's manager refused to serve the lady at the drive-thru due to health and safety reasons

The Blenheim McDonald's manager refused to serve the lady at the drive-thru due to health and safety reasons

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A 69-year-old disabled woman is demanding an apology after she says staff at a McDonald's fast food restaurant in Blenheim refused to serve her.

Margaret Todd said she could not manoeuvre her mobility scooter through the front doors so went to the drive-in, where she had been served before.

"I asked the boy if he would serve me and he refused because he said it was a drive-through," Ms Todd said.

"Me being me I rode up to the window and asked the boss why he wouldn't serve me.

"He said it was health and safety reasons and I said what sort of health reasons and he said he didn't know."

After a while she said he agreed to serve her if she waited away from the window.

"I went back to pay by eftpos and he said `we don't do eftpos' and shut the window.

"I was so annoyed I just sat there and let the cars build up behind me."

Ms Todd eventually rode off but said she was seething with anger at such rudeness and was demanding an apology from staff.

She said her treatment did not live up to the logo on the McDonald's website which boasts: "At the end of the day it's about you".

"I am very angry and want an apology, I feel they are victimising me because I am on a mobility scooter.

"I didn't ask to be on this scooter but it is the only way I can get about because I suffer from arthritis and gout very badly."

McDonald's owner Jenny McAuslin said there were always two sides to every story but she was sorry about the incident.

"I am certainly very sorry if Margaret is upset and feels it wasn't handled well and it does concern me.

"However, while apologising for that, I want to make the point that the health and safety issue is really important.

"She is not in a car and therefore not allowed to be served at the vehicle drive-through."

Mrs McAuslin, who has owned the restaurant since 1995, said she always wanted people to have a good experience at McDonald's and if things were not right they should let her know.

"I would love Margaret to come and see me and have a chat over coffee or breakfast to show her that we really do care what happens to our customers."

When told about the invitation, Ms Todd said she would be happy to meet Mrs McAuslin and have breakfast with her to discuss the issue - provided she could get in through the front door.

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