Wetherspoons apologises after disabled man forced to shout out debit card PIN in busy bar (From This Is Lancashire)
Wetherspoons apologises after disabled man forced to shout out debit card PIN in busy bar
WHEELCHAIR-bound Pablo Rees was left embarrassed and upset after a barman forced him to read out his debit card PIN number — because he could not reach the payment machine.
Mr Rees, who was visiting Bolton for a friend’s funeral, had gone to The Spinning Mule, in Nelson Square, for breakfast as he said Wetherspoons pubs are “normally very accessible”.
But when he came to pay, he was told the card machine was fixed to the bar and he would have to read out his identification number.
The 48-year-old, who has arthrogryposis, which restricts the movement in his wrists and ankles, said: “I felt very embarrassed, very annoyed, and very upset.
“It was a pretty awful experience, to be honest.
“I had to literally tell the barman my PIN.
“He read it back to me out loud so other people could hear. Now I will have to change my PIN.” Former Farnworth resident Mr Rees, who now lives in Scarborough, helped to set up Bolton Active Disability Group for Everyone (BADGE).
He added: “I’m a regular visitor to different Wetherspoons around the UK.
“They are normally very accessible, and the food is reasonable.
“This is the first time I have come across this problem.”
A spokesman for the pub said: “We apologise wholeheartedly to the gentleman.
“Put simply, this should not have happened.
“The pub has three machines which are irremovable, and one that is wireless and can be taken to a customer at the table if necessary.
“Our manager will be emphasising to staff exactly what should, or should not be, done in these situations.”
Wetherspoons has offered Mr Rees a free meal and a drink to apologise.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission said it could not comment on individual cases.
It added: “The Equality Act 2010 states that it is unlawful for a service provider to discriminate against a disabled person. This includes failure to make reasonable adjustments.
“Where a physical feature, provision, or practice puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage, the service provider has a duty to take reasonable steps to alter, remove, or avoid that disadvantage.”
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