Wetherspoons apologises after disabled man forced to shout out debit card PIN in busy bar

Pablo Rees says he will now have to change his PIN

Pablo Rees says he will now have to change his PIN

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

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.”

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:08am Wed 7 May 14

goldie47 says...

lets hope this idiot(being polite)is NO longer employed by wetherspoons
lets hope this idiot(being polite)is NO longer employed by wetherspoons goldie47
  • Score: 14

11:43am Wed 7 May 14

Hate politics says...

"Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management.
"Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management. Hate politics
  • Score: 11

12:49pm Wed 7 May 14

Bolton Lad 85 says...

Why does he have to change his PIN unless you have his card the pin is useless. This is still safer than the old system with a signed card. Story about nothing.
Why does he have to change his PIN unless you have his card the pin is useless. This is still safer than the old system with a signed card. Story about nothing. Bolton Lad 85
  • Score: -28

4:15pm Wed 7 May 14

allan111111 says...

Hate politics wrote:
"Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management.
Its not the barmans fault the card reader is attatched to the bar
[quote][p][bold]Hate politics[/bold] wrote: "Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management.[/p][/quote]Its not the barmans fault the card reader is attatched to the bar allan111111
  • Score: 0

7:45pm Wed 7 May 14

chris25 says...

allan111111 wrote:
Hate politics wrote:
"Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management.
Its not the barmans fault the card reader is attatched to the bar
they also had a wireless one .
[quote][p][bold]allan111111[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hate politics[/bold] wrote: "Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management.[/p][/quote]Its not the barmans fault the card reader is attatched to the bar[/p][/quote]they also had a wireless one . chris25
  • Score: 13

7:48pm Wed 7 May 14

Hate politics says...

allan111111 wrote:
Hate politics wrote:
"Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management.
Its not the barmans fault the card reader is attatched to the bar
I suppose it would have been to much to use common sense and walk around the bar to speak to the man privately - again bad management!
[quote][p][bold]allan111111[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hate politics[/bold] wrote: "Our manager will be emphasising to staff" ....... The manager here looks about 15 and to call her unprofessional would be an under statement. The barmen was obviously taught the job wrong in the first place! not sure why whetherspoons finds it difficult to employ good management.[/p][/quote]Its not the barmans fault the card reader is attatched to the bar[/p][/quote]I suppose it would have been to much to use common sense and walk around the bar to speak to the man privately - again bad management! Hate politics
  • Score: 9

9:45pm Wed 7 May 14

Citizen Cane says...

with the stated condition, would it not be more comfortable to avoid finger manipulation? And does Mr Rees never get anything wrong? Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect everybody else to be infallible? I'm with Bolton Lad on this one.
with the stated condition, would it not be more comfortable to avoid finger manipulation? And does Mr Rees never get anything wrong? Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect everybody else to be infallible? I'm with Bolton Lad on this one. Citizen Cane
  • Score: 2

8:41am Thu 8 May 14

Ernagy2 says...

Crikey - reading some comments you'd believe that no one here has ever made a mistake - a simple one at that! Sacking seems rather harsh to me, a quite word I find often improves people's performance.

Management should have more wireless card readers and most card readers in supermarkets can be taken out of the holder and aren't that fixed to the table.
Crikey - reading some comments you'd believe that no one here has ever made a mistake - a simple one at that! Sacking seems rather harsh to me, a quite word I find often improves people's performance. Management should have more wireless card readers and most card readers in supermarkets can be taken out of the holder and aren't that fixed to the table. Ernagy2
  • Score: 3

4:48pm Thu 8 May 14

Jim271 says...

People used to say if you were out of work, There's always work in pubs or restaurants, now even that's not possible with them only employing East Europeans these days.

How can you justify allowing an immigrant into this country just to work in a bar?????
People used to say if you were out of work, There's always work in pubs or restaurants, now even that's not possible with them only employing East Europeans these days. How can you justify allowing an immigrant into this country just to work in a bar????? Jim271
  • Score: -1

10:17pm Thu 8 May 14

Citizen Cane says...

Jim271 wrote:
People used to say if you were out of work, There's always work in pubs or restaurants, now even that's not possible with them only employing East Europeans these days.

How can you justify allowing an immigrant into this country just to work in a bar?????
Easy - because a lazy Brit would prefer to sponge benefits and/or do crime and/or drugs instead...and the socialists encourage that sort of behaviour.

Vote UKIP and end this madness (actually they don't go far enough when you scratch beneath the surface)
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: People used to say if you were out of work, There's always work in pubs or restaurants, now even that's not possible with them only employing East Europeans these days. How can you justify allowing an immigrant into this country just to work in a bar?????[/p][/quote]Easy - because a lazy Brit would prefer to sponge benefits and/or do crime and/or drugs instead...and the socialists encourage that sort of behaviour. Vote UKIP and end this madness (actually they don't go far enough when you scratch beneath the surface) Citizen Cane
  • Score: -2

11:02pm Fri 9 May 14

Smeagol says...

Poor guy. I think if it was me, though, I'd have refused to give my PIN. Glad they've apologised and learned the error of their ways, but I rather think a refund is also in order, not just a free meal and drink.
Poor guy. I think if it was me, though, I'd have refused to give my PIN. Glad they've apologised and learned the error of their ways, but I rather think a refund is also in order, not just a free meal and drink. Smeagol
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree