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Refusing to do business with a customer

Old 01-22-14, 04:56 PM
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Refusing to do business with a customer

Spinning the cake discussion off from the state-by-state same sex marriage thread ...

If I own a business, should I be able to refuse to do business with a customer for no reason?


Is there a difference between the following scenarios?

Scenario A:

"Will you bake me a cake?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"Because I don't want to."

Scenario B:

"Will you bake me a cake?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"Because you're a minority/gay/handicapped/etc."
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Old 01-22-14, 04:58 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

You can do whatever you want, but you won't be shielded from criticism or repercussion for doing it.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:01 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Just to shake things up, I'm going to say that all business should be forced to make cakes for gay weddings, even if their normal business isn't baking, and that all businesses should be forced to refuse service to black people. Discuss.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:04 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
You can do whatever you want, but you won't be shielded from criticism or repercussion for doing it.
It's not freedom of speech IMO if you have to fear consequences.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:05 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

I don't think businesses should be able to refuse service unless service involves criminal activity in some way or the risk of danger/financial loss to the business owner. Also if the scope of work requested is unreasonable for the business to complete. Things like that. I don't think you should be able to refuse service if you don't like the persons skin color, gender, or who they are dating. Things like that.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:11 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
I don't think businesses should be able to refuse service unless service involves criminal activity in some way or the risk of danger/financial loss to the business owner. Also if the scope of work requested is unreasonable for the business to complete. Things like that. I don't think you should be able to refuse service if you don't like the persons skin color, gender, or who they are dating. Things like that.
Suppose I own a restaurant. Normally, I'm open until 10pm. It's 9:30 and business tonight has been slow. I'm decide to tell my staff to clean up and head home early for the night. As I'm about to flip the sign in my front door from "Open" to "Closed," I see two people approaching my restaurant.

Should I be allowed to tell them "sorry, we're closing early tonight" or should I have to reverse my decision and serve the customers?
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Old 01-22-14, 05:14 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
Suppose I own a restaurant. Normally, I'm open until 10pm. It's 9:30 and business tonight has been slow. I'm decide to tell my staff to clean up and head home early for the night. As I'm about to flip the sign in my front door from "Open" to "Closed," I see two people approaching my restaurant.

Should I be allowed to tell them "sorry, we're closing early tonight" or should I have to reverse my decision and serve the customers?
You can do what you want, but I find that around 9:45 is when I really start to get a hankering for some gay cake.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:15 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
Suppose I own a restaurant. Normally, I'm open until 10pm. It's 9:30 and business tonight has been slow. I'm decide to tell my staff to clean up and head home early for the night. As I'm about to flip the sign in my front door from "Open" to "Closed," I see two people approaching my restaurant.

Should I be allowed to tell them "sorry, we're closing early tonight" or should I have to reverse my decision and serve the customers?
If I pull into an empty parking lot at a half-hour before closing, there is a certain expectation that I will not be served. That's a little different than not serving me because god hates ****.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:17 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

You shouldn't have to serve everybody (for example, if someone is abusive to your staff or doesn't pay their bills or is just annoying), but states and the federal government get to pass laws saying you can't refuse to serve people for specific reasons, such as color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I'm pretty much ok with that.

Your closing early example isn't singling out a group (unless a state wants to make late eaters a protected class I guess), so it's not a problem (except from a customer service perspective), but if a state wanted to pass a law saying all businesses must be open their posted hours or give XX hours of notification prior to closing, then I guess they'd have to stay open or face the consequences. I don't know if that law would be upheld, but a state (or probably even a city) could pass it and see.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:26 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
Suppose I own a restaurant. Normally, I'm open until 10pm. It's 9:30 and business tonight has been slow. I'm decide to tell my staff to clean up and head home early for the night. As I'm about to flip the sign in my front door from "Open" to "Closed," I see two people approaching my restaurant.

Should I be allowed to tell them "sorry, we're closing early tonight" or should I have to reverse my decision and serve the customers?
The reality is that everyone has things in their heads that they don't always admit. In a situation where they have a choice, making a choice like that is probably fine once in a while. But if they let a group of white people in at the close of business and then bar the group of black people behind them, that's an obvious problem. But if they don't let anyone in at close of business, that's fine.

In their head maybe it's because they are black or gay but as long as you're consistent then I don't see a problem. We can't prove what's in someone's head. They just have to live with being bigoted, racist assholes.

In the cake scenario, if a gay couple comes in and orders a cake to be delivered on a certain day, a homophobic baker could easily say they were busy on that day. But if a heterosexual couple comes up and asks for the same day and it's fine, or one of the homosexual couple calls in the order and it's fine, then they got caught in their lie and have to face the consequences of that. And again if the exact same thing happened to a black heterosexual couple, no one would be siding with the business.

I do freelance photography. Sometimes people ask me to do jobs on certain days I am capable of doing but I just don't want to. That's what the bakers should have done here. But they had to be the homophobic assholes that they are and make a big deal out of it. So they get their consequences to deal with.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:28 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Ginwen View Post
Your closing early example isn't singling out a group (unless a state wants to make late eaters a protected class I guess), so it's not a problem (except from a customer service perspective), but if a state wanted to pass a law saying all businesses must be open their posted hours or give XX hours of notification prior to closing, then I guess they'd have to stay open or face the consequences. I don't know if that law would be upheld, but a state (or probably even a city) could pass it and see.
to add a wrinkle to my hypothetical ...

the couple that came to my restaurant were an interracial gay couple with handicapped tags. I tell them no, they walk away and go back to their car. Immediately after they leave, a "regular" comes up. My staff loves this guy and he always tips big, so then I change my mind about closing up early and let him in. The interracial gay crippled couple sees that I let in another customer after telling them that I wouldn't serve them and perceives that I was discriminatory. Should I face legal repercussions?
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Old 01-22-14, 05:33 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Nausicaa View Post
I don't think businesses should be able to refuse service unless service involves criminal activity in some way or the risk of danger/financial loss to the business owner.
Do you think a bakery should have to make a cake with a frosted horse having sex with a chicken, if a customer requests one?
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Old 01-22-14, 05:38 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Th0r S1mpson View Post
Do you think a bakery should have to make a cake with a frosted horse having sex with a chicken, if a customer requests one?
If you wanted that, wouldn't you know where to get it? I mean, erotic cakes are a thing, you know.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:39 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
Should I face legal repercussions?
Yes. You made somebody's pussy hurt. Doesn't matter if that is what you intended. You hurt vagina brain. You must now prove that you did not intend to hurt vagina brain. You must now suffer.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:40 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Th0r S1mpson View Post
Do you think a bakery should have to make a cake with a frosted horse having sex with a chicken, if a customer requests one?
I think I saw that on Ace of Cakes. It also played a recording of the chicken screaming, "Oh my gosh!"
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Old 01-22-14, 05:49 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Lt Ripley View Post
Yes. You made somebody's pussy hurt. Doesn't matter if that is what you intended. You hurt vagina brain. You must now prove that you did not intend to hurt vagina brain. You must now suffer.


vagina brain.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:51 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Lt Ripley View Post
Yes. You made somebody's pussy hurt. Doesn't matter if that is what you intended. You hurt vagina brain. You must now prove that you did not intend to hurt vagina brain. You must now suffer.
Right, because all discrimination is because someone has sand in their vag.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:59 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
Right, because all discrimination is because someone has sand in their vag.
Pussies are now offended by "good bye". Pussies can kiss my hairy ass.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:59 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
I do freelance photography. Sometimes people ask me to do jobs on certain days I am capable of doing but I just don't want to. That's what the bakers should have done here. But they had to be the homophobic assholes that they are and make a big deal out of it. So they get their consequences to deal with.
I realize this isn't likely, but suppose a gay couple comes up to you and asks you to do a job on a certain day that you are capable of doing, but just don't want to. A straight couple does the same thing and you turn them down, too. Another straight couple asks, you refuse again, and they offer twice as much money as any other single job you've done and change your mind.

You've refused business with a gay couple on a certain date and accepted business with a straight couple on that same date. I think there's nothing wrong with that and I don't think there should be any legal repercussions. But if you told the gay couple no and specifically mentioned their sexual orientation as the reason you said no, that's not the same thing.

Now, maybe that allows actual bigots to get away with discrimination if they're creative about it, but is that really a major problem?
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Old 01-22-14, 06:00 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Yeah, you get 'im, Jason.
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Old 01-22-14, 06:02 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
I realize this isn't likely, but suppose a gay couple comes up to you and asks you to do a job on a certain day that you are capable of doing, but just don't want to. A straight couple does the same thing and you turn them down, too. Another straight couple asks, you refuse again, and they offer twice as much money as any other single job you've done.

You've refused business with a gay couple on a certain date and accepted business with a straight couple on that same date. I think there's nothing wrong with that and I don't think there should be any legal repercussions. But if you told the gay couple no and specifically mentioned their sexual orientation as the reason you said no, that's not the same thing.

Now, maybe that allows actual bigots to get away with discrimination if they're creative about it, but is that really a major problem?

No different than me finding a reason not to rent to someone. I don't care if people are gay or anything else, so long as they can pay, but a lot of landlords do seem to care. There is always a reason not to rent to someone. But sometimes it is a thought crime.
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Old 01-22-14, 06:27 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

This doesn't have anything to do with anything, but this thread brings to mind a great episode of the TV show Seventh Heaven.

The white minister and a black minister go to a diner with their sons. The diner owner does not throw the black people out of the restaurant, he just never brings them any food. When confronted, he says he has the right to refuse service to anyone he chooses, and he refuses to serve black people.

Rather than boycotting the diner and bringing its owner's policy into the public light (figuring the the free hand of the market would drive him out of business) they bring the entire congregation of the black church to patronize the business ("we'll force you to take money from people you hate"). Incredible!!
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Old 01-22-14, 06:28 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Awesome
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Old 01-22-14, 06:35 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
Originally Posted by Lt Ripley View Post
You hurt vagina brain.
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Old 01-22-14, 06:41 PM
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Re: Refusing to do business with a customer

Originally Posted by Lt Ripley View Post
Pussies are now offended by "good bye". Pussies can kiss my hairy ass.
That was just troll bait. no one seriously believes that.
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