Lancashire woman boycotts Costa Coffee after staff refuse poppy-selling mum free drinks

A Lancashire woman has boycotted Costa Coffee after staff refused to give her poppy-selling mum a free hot drink.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:08 pm
Costa Coffee has since offered Lisa's mum a free coffee and cake

Lisa McKavett, from Burnley, took to Facebook to express her 'disgust' at the coffee chain after staff asked her mum to pay for her cup of tea.

The 76-year-old had been selling poppies outside Tesco in Finsley Gate, Burnley on Thursday (November 7) when she visited the supermarket's Costa to warm up.

But when the pensioner casually asked for a 'complimentary refreshment', her request was met with puzzlement.

Lisa launched a scathing attack on Costa and urged people to boycott the coffee chain. Facebook. Pic: Facebook

After a barista explained that she would have to pay for her drink, the shocked pensioner protested.

She told staff that rival supermarkets Asda and Sainsbury's had provided Poppy sellers with "as much free tea and coffee as they wanted".

Staff explained that Costa is not affiliated with Tesco, and told her they were unaware of any policy to provide free drinks to Poppy sellers.

But the pensioner's daughter, Lisa McKavett, became enraged when her mum returned home upset after having to pay for her drink.

Lisa's mum had been fundraising for the Poppy Appeal outside the Tesco Superstore in Centenary Way, Burnley. Pic: Google Street View

"She was told in no uncertain terms, 'no', they would definitely have to pay", said Lisa.

"The people in the queue were astonished, and offered to buy them drinks.

"But this isn't the issue, it's the principle!

"They had been stood in the cold and draughty doorways for the British Legion and for all those who have fallen in wars for us", continued Lisa.

"Seriously ashamed at this and won't use Costa again.

"I think people of Costa need educating as to what the poppy represents. Instead of focusing on lining their pockets."

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But the post has since been deleted from Facebook after provoking an unexpected backlash.

After taking to Facebook to vent her 'disgust' with Costa Coffee, one user described her complaint as "entitled".

What our reader's say

"I am a member of the Royal British Legion and indeed assist with the Poppy Appeal as a collector. However, this lady's actions are well out of order and her rant against Costa directly besmirches the reputation of the Royal British Legion," said one reader.

Another said: "It's great that this lady's mum is selling poppies for such a good cause, but I don't see why that means you can just wander into shops and demand free stuff."

"If I was selling poppies and walked in to BUY a coffee and was offered one free of charge then I would see that as a nice gesture but I wouldn't go in expecting one.

"Some people are so entitled," added another reader.

"If I was selling poppies outside a coffee shop or cafe, I would appreciate the offer of a free cup of tea or coffee from the establishment concerned.

"However, I would never dream of going in there and ASKING for a free drink! That is just completely inappropriate," said another reader.

A spokesman for Costa Coffee said: "Costa Coffee fully supports the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal and has welcomed collection boxes and poppies within our stores.

"We were sorry to hear about the fundraisers' experience and we are hoping to speak to them directly.

"We are grateful for their work fundraising for the charity and hope to welcome them into a store for a free coffee and cake soon."