A DISABLED woman on a mobility scooter says she was unjustly denied service when she tried to order in the drive-thru lane of her local McDonald’s.
Paula Spiller, 46, of Oswaldtwistle, who has arthritis, fibromyalgia and ME which require her to use crutches or her scooter, went to the Accrington branch of the fast food outlet in Hyndburn Road on Wednesday.
Intending to buy McNuggets with a milkshake, Ms Spiller queued up to access the drive-thru window on her scooter but instead found that staff refused to serve her despite company policy stating that she was perfectly entitled to do so.
Restaurants bosses have now apologised.
She said: “I tried to go through the drive-thru but it was just ‘no we’re not serving you’.
McDonald’s website outlining company policy on mobility scooters
“They said because my mobility scooter didn’t have a registration plate they couldn’t serve me.
“I told them to look at my phone where I had the McDonald’s website saying scooters were allowed on the screen but someone just came out and said ‘no we can’t serve you’.
“I showed them the website and they still didn’t serve me.”
Ms Spiller says that this is the second time that staff at the branch have refused to serve her.
She said: “It’s not the first time this has happened, after the first lockdown they refused to serve me then.
“I’d just been able to go through before but after that, with lockdown, it’s been ‘no’.”
The Accrington branch drive-thru
The McDonald’s website states that Ms Spiller should have been allowed to use the lane provided her scooter was ‘roadworthy’ and as such can access the drive-thru safely.
Ms Spiller has confirmed that her scooter is a class three roadworthy vehicle that has to be insured and serviced like a car.
Some of these vehicles can reach speeds of 18mph.
As such Ms Spiller, according to the company’s own rules, had every right to use her scooter to access the drive-thru.
She said: “They said they would need the business manager’s permission to serve me, but they weren’t there so I wasn’t able to speak to them.
“I just wanted a strawberry milkshake and some chicken nuggets.”
The company has apologised for Ms Spiller’s treatment.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “We apologise to this customer for the error while using our drive-thru.
“For everyone’s safety, our restaurant team were checking that mobility scooters were permitted in the drive-thru lane, and due to its road-going nature, in this case it was.
“We offered the customer the click and collect service as the team felt this was the safest option at the time.
“We apologise for this and hope to welcome her back in the near future.”