A deaf woman on TikTok shared her experience with a drive-thru coffee chain in Waco, Texas, after an employee allegedly printed “most difficult customer ever” on the receipt.
TikToker Ashley Vallejo (@ashley_deafvibe) recounted her interaction with Dutch Bros. Coffee to her social media followers earlier in the week.
“I am deaf, and I read lip and can talk a little bit, but my voice is not perfect,” she starts in the video. Vallejo explains she wanted to try Dutch Bros. Coffee for the first time, stating that “many of us [deaf people] struggle with that situation.”
According to the TikToker, ordering her drink proved to be a little awkward, especially since it was a new place she hadn’t been to. She shares in the video that she often gets “punished” with the wrong order in situations like these. This time, she says her drink receipt included a note from the Dutch Bros. Coffee employee calling Vallejo the “most difficult customer ever.”
“Have a lot of patience with people with disabilities,” she implores workers in the clip. “We are like you.”
“We try to order food and stuff like that like everyone else,” the TikToker continues. “Don’t punish us. Please have a lot of patience with us.”
Vallejo then shows a copy of the receipt detailing the note. “Ouch,” she says.
Vallejo’s TikTok has since reached viral status, with more than 29,000 views. Commenters called out the coffee chain company to “do better” and accused Dutch Bros. of discrimination. The majority of viewers, however, placed blame on the employee.
“Please do not attack the employee, this is to spread awareness to educate employee and upgrade your training for DA awareness,” Vallejo wrote in the comments section.
While it is unclear whether the employee was terminated, Dutch Bros. issued a statement calling the act “unacceptable.”
“The experience the customer had was deeply disappointing, unacceptable and against everything Dutch Bros stands for,” the company wrote in an email shared with KWTX. “We’ve addressed this incident internally and have connected with the customer. It’s our hope we can work with her and the deaf community to ensure we always provide an excellent experience and meet the exceedingly high bar we’ve set for ourselves.”
At the end of her video, Vallejo once again urged food workers to be patient with people with disabilities.
“God, you have no idea what it’s like being deaf,” she says. “Have patience.”
Update 10:50am CT, May 26: When reached for comment by the Daily Dot, Vallejo said this isn’t the first time she’s had a negative experience while trying to order via the drive-thru. She says she’s been both rejected and faced retaliation in the form of wrong orders.
She said a Dutch Bros. operator in Waco reached out to her after her video went viral, and they are slated to speak about her project she’s starting for the deaf community.
She said creating the post was her last resort after calling the location several times and posting a review on its local page. She says she’s on the recieving end of some hate mail now.
“The comments were overwhelming mostly positive but [there was] some negativity towards both of us,” she says, referring to herself and the worker.
She said she didn’t want “to spread damage towards this employee who has no training [regarding] the DA community.”
“So I made a second video to focus towards lack of patience and to spread awareness and not to let my feelings get the best of me and make positivity out of it,” she added.