Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Penn Station's Java Moon Cafe enforces regressive rule

What a way to start a Monday.

I stood in line for over five minutes at the new Java Moon Cafe in Penn Station, Baltimore this morning to get a cup of coffee.

When I handed over my plastic travel mug, the cashier shot me a look and said, 'We won't use your cup. We will only give you coffee in our own cups.'

After asking why not the cashier refused to give me an explanation.

"That seems like a waste," I said.

Then I left and went to get coffee at Dunkin Donuts instead. As I waited in line the manager from Java Moon walked by. I told her that if they were going to enforce such a ridiculous, regressive policy they should at least post a sign informing customers.

The manager just kept repeating "It's a company rule," when I asked her why the rule existed. Finally she motioned for me to step out of the line and she would whisper the reason for the rule.

I told her in front of the crowd that if the company was going to enforce such a rule it shouldn't be a secret and the public had a right to know the reasons behind the rule.

Finally she told me the rule was to prevent customers from using dirty travel mugs and then suing the company for putting their coffee in the dirty mugs. She was not amused when I asked her to smell my mug and tell me if it was dirty or not.

At first she countered that the company, Java Moon Cafe, is a franchise. I told her that I would write to the company to complain because a) the lawsuit excuse is ridiculous b) the policy is regressive when many other companies promote good environmental practices by giving customers who use their own cups a discount c) not using their cups saves the company money d) for MARC commuters who travel with coffee there's no place to put a cup, so you have to wedge it between the seats which only works with a hard travel mug and not a flimsy paper cup.

I will be writing to Java Moon to complain - you can do the same, click here. Let their Facebook friends know about the nonsensical policy by posting on their wall.

In the meantime I'm boycotting Java Moon. I'd also like to find out of the public has any input into who gets concessions at Penn Stations. If you have any information about this please let me know.

That's all for my Monday morning rant.


  1. I would be interested to know whether they were actually sued in the past for this. Obviously other companies have found ways to serve coffee in customers' containers and Java Moon needs to figure out how to do it too (maybe by putting up a disclaimer sign), but I'd say our hyper-litigious society is partly to blame here.

  2. Java moon has the most amazingly rude and inefficiebt staff at Liberty International,Newark,They r supposed to start serving at 5 am, they have along line of customers before that, bu sneer at you at 4 am if you ask them when they will start, then haave the cheek to serve you the worst coffee in the world with the worst service attitude, this coffee outlet needs to get out

  3. This morning I was blanky stared at when handing over my reuseable cup for iced coffee at the Penn Station Java Moon, but afer asking "is this ok?" the woman behind the counter reluctantly filled my cup. Maybe she was breaking their rules, or maybe they have changed their policy...