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Philadelphia Starbucks Fires Employee For Allegedly Mocking Customer's Stutter

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) -- Another Philadelphia-area Starbucks is under fire, but this time for allegedly mocking a customer who has a stutter. Starbucks says the employee has been fired for the reported incident.

According to Tan Lekwijit, his friend Sam had visited the store at 34th and Walnut Streets on June 27 where he was mocked for his stutter.

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"My friend Sam who is a stutterer stuttered on his name when ordering a coffee at Starbucks. The barista said, "Okay, S-s-s-sam.' When he received his coffee, he was shocked to see that his name on the cup was written as "SSSAM", which was disrespectful," Lekwijit wrote in his Facebook post.

In an effort to have the issue addressed, Sam reportedly reached out to Starbucks Customer Service and received a standard email along with $5 gift card as an apology.

"Clearly, Starbucks missed the point. It was about how you treat people with speech impairments, not how you write names," Lekwijit continued.

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Lekwijit had shared this story on social media and to Starbucks' official Facebook page, but he said the company had deleted that post.

(Updates: Starbucks has commented on this post and reached out to Sam) Starbucks has deleted my post from their page,...

Posted by Tan Lekwijit on Sunday, July 1, 2018

Starbucks responded to Eyewitness News saying, "There is no tolerance for this type of behavior. We've taken immediate corrective action and have apologized to the customer. We want our stores to serve as a welcoming place for everyone who visits and strive to ensure our partners provide a positive experience."

The coffee chain says the behavior did not reflect the experience customers should have and the employee is no longer with Starbucks.

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This is the second time in a matter of months that a Philadelphia-based Starbucks has come under fire for customer relations.

In April, a Starbucks in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse neighborhood made nationwide headlines when two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend.

That incident prompted protests and a closing of 8,000 Starbucks in order for employees to undergo anti-bias training.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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