TikToker claims she was refused service for being deaf: 'At my breaking point'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

A TikTok user has tearfully claimed she was refused service at a Dunkin' Donuts location in California because she was deaf and unable to lipread due to the servers wearing masks.

Shannon Heroux took to the app in tears after the coffee chain turned her away as she was unable to hear them. 

A TikTok user Shannon Heroux
A TikTok user has tearfully claimed she was refused service for being deaf in a heartbreaking video. Photo: TikTok/shannon_heroux

In the video, which has since reached almost nine million views, she said, "As you guys can probably tell, I'm emotional. A little while ago I got refused service at a Dunkin' Donuts 'cause I'm deaf.

"I didn't know how to process it. I was confused. I couldn't hear anything. I wear a cochlear implant but I was not wearing it at that time. I've never been refused service before. It hurts really bad 'Dunkin Donuts is my favourite place to go."


Shannon explained that she called an employee over to her and asked her to lower her mask so she could lipread. The female employee instead went to find her manager.

While she went to get her manager, Shannon, who's an Uber driver, received a job and asked if she could order her drink as she had to get going.

"The manager comes over and I could just tell by his body language, his face he was going off and kept doing this [hand gestures], and I kept saying 'I can't hear you. I can't hear you. I need to lip read', he refused to write anything down," she recalled.

She added that the pair were standing six feet apart from each other with a sheet of plexiglass between them. 

"What more do you want from us?" she questioned, adding how difficult the pandemic has been on people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

"I could sense and feel from him that he didn't believe me," she tearfully added. "He didn't believe me. He didn't believe I was deaf because I speak so well. It's a blessing and a curse."

In a second video, she continued, saying she's at her "breaking point in this pandemic".

"I shouldn't have to go through this," she began. "No deaf person should have to go through this. I've been discriminated against this entire pandemic. And it's about time someone does something. Target, Costco, the grocery store, Walmart, now Dunkin'. I've had enough. We do the right thing and you guys don't care. You kick me out for wanting to get a peach passionfruit tea."

Shannon said she wanted a proper apology from Dunkin' Donuts, sharing in another update that she had contacted corporate who will be following up with her. 

Viewers slammed the coffee shop, calling for them to make a public apology.

"I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Discrimination everywhere is getting out of hand... good for you for calling them out. [Dunkin'] fix this!" one user wrote.

"[Dunkin'] your staff could've easily used pen/paper if they didn't feel comfortable pulling down their masks despite 6 [feet] of space AND plexiglass," another added.

"I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. I feel your pain. My father wears a cochlear implant. Many people aren't familiar with it or aware," a third shared.

"This hurts so much to see," someone else wrote.

Many others said they would stop going to Dunkin' Donuts in support of Shannon. 

One former Dunkin' Donuts employee even commented, "They are supposed to have pen and paper on hand for situations like this, it was in our training. You deserve better."

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