A woman canceled an order she placed for coffee mugs after she found out the seller had autism. The customer demanded a full refund after she spent time reading his personal Facebook account.
According to a post shared on Reddit, the woman placed an order for four glitter-base coffee mugs that said, “addicted to pot.” After placing the order, the woman went onto Facebook to find out more about the seller.
On Facebook, she learned the seller had autism. Based upon her findings, she reached out to the seller and demanded a refund. Not only did the woman requested a refund, but she also called the seller a “retard.”
The woman started the exchange by writing, “I need to cancel the order I placed yesterday morning. I no longer wish to purchase the mugs.”
Seeing the message, the seller responded, “Hi! Since this was a custom order and I’ve already started working on it, I’m not able to cancel it for you. I’ve already applied the glitter to the mugs and wouldn’t be able to use them for another order.”
Not happy with the response from the seller, the woman responded, “No, that’s unacceptable. I no longer want to purchase from someone like you and have decided to go with a crafter who’s more capable of doing them correctly. I expect you to refund me immediately or I’ll be opening a case with PayPal.
Shocked by the woman’s response, the seller attempted to quell her fears about their capability. According to the seller, they have made more than 300 sales and have a 5-star review.
The seller wrote, “I’m very much capable of making your items. If you check the main page of my shop, you’ll find that I’ve had more than 300 sales and a 5-star rating. I’ve never sent out anything if I thought it wouldn’t be exactly what the customer wanted. I’m not sure why you would think I wouldn’t be able to make these items.”
Then the customer responded by disclosing she had crept the seller’s business Facebook page. Through the page, she located the seller’s personal profile. From the seller’s profile, the customer learned he had autism.
She wrote, “I found your business page on Facebook and saw your profile. There were several posts on it about “autism awareness.” I thought at first that it was in support of someone you know who is autistic, but I eventually came to realize that you’re the one with autism. My neighbor’s son has that, and after observing his behaviors, I do not believe anyone with the disease would be able to make these mugs properly.”
After the seller received the message, they attempted to explain more about autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder varies from person to person. Characteristics of autism include rigid thinking, repetitive behavior, difficulty with socializing, sensory processing issues, and communication issues. The disorder can profoundly impair or minimally impact people.
The seller wrote, “Autism is a spectrum disorder. Each person with autism is different and has a different level of functioning. I’m very high functioning and am more than capable of making the items in my shops.”
Sadly, the customer did not believe the seller. She responded by saying, “You’re all the same level of retard. Cancel the damn order.”
Despite the woman’s demands, customers typically cannot request refunds for custom orders. Certain circumstances may make it reasonable to request a return such as the product arrives broken or not as described. However, requesting a refund due to the stereotypical belief that people with autism are “retarded” is not a valid reason.
Most individuals with ASD do not have cognitive disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 31% of children diagnosed with autism have intellectual disabilities. Additionally, most individuals with autism can speak or communicate.
Because the seller is considered “high functioning,” their autism would not impact their ability to create or work. In the case of the seller, they had 300 satisfied customers and a 5-star rating. Sadly, the discrimination the seller faced is not uncommon to people on the autism spectrum. Individuals with autism are often called the r-word as an insult. Using the r-world to describe someone’s cognitive ability is never justified.
The seller did not say if they decided to refund the customer. Hopefully, they were able to walk away without the customer filing a bogus complaint with PayPal.