APCO Wodonga declines to serve people speaking on their mobile phones

SWITCHED ON: APCO Wodonga barista Darci D’Helin-Lawrie says when customers cannot get off their mobile phones long enough to be served in the store it shows a total lack of respect for the staff. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

SWITCHED ON: APCO Wodonga barista Darci D’Helin-Lawrie says when customers cannot get off their mobile phones long enough to be served in the store it shows a total lack of respect for the staff. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

A MAN on his mobile taps his head on the EFTPOS machine on the counter.

Modern transaction-tango complete; his phone conversation doesn’t even skip a beat.

The latest advertisement from ANZ is connecting with a tech-savvy and ever-increasingly phone-dependent society, stating on mobile phone payments “you'll be taking it for granted in no time”.  

HEAD TAP: The ANZ advertisement is connecting with an increasingly phone-dependent society, saying on mobile payments “you'll be taking it for granted in no time”.

HEAD TAP: The ANZ advertisement is connecting with an increasingly phone-dependent society, saying on mobile payments “you'll be taking it for granted in no time”.

Wodonga businesswoman Julie Dawson takes issue with the advertisement in light of the growing number of people expecting service while speaking on their mobile phones.

The co-manager of APCO Wodonga said in line with company policy the service station refused to serve customers speaking on their phones.

She said they had put signs in the West Wodonga store recently after staff got rising backlash from customers about the policy.

The signs state: “We respectfully wish to advise you we will not serve you if you are talking on your mobile phone. Thank you for your understanding.”

ANZ Mobile Payments - Head Tap

“Some of our staff were being abused after asking customers to please get off their phones,” Mrs Dawson said.

“Some of the language was not appropriate; we needed to put up the signs.”

APCO Wodonga barista Darci D’Helin-Lawrie said some customers were plain rude when being asked to switch off.

“If people can’t get off their phone long enough to be served it shows no respect at all,” she said.

Mrs Dawson said people were increasingly connected to their mobile phones, 24-7.

She said though it didn’t happen every day, customers often enough expected to be served while carrying on with their private conversations in the store.

“It shows a total lack of respect for our staff,” she said.

“People can’t live without their phones anymore.

“People won’t be able to hold a (face-to-face) conversation any more.”

ANZ with Apple Pay

The owner of Wodonga fine dining establishment Miss Amelie David Kapay said they had no mobile phone policy and diners generally respected the environment.

“Some people do speak on the phone but they get up and go outside,” he said.

“They generally make their way to the foyer or out on the platform.

“It’s a nice environment and people understand there’s a certain etiquette; it’s polite to get up and go somewhere quiet.

“Also on the flip side, it’s about privacy on their behalf.” 

David Kapay

David Kapay

Kapay said social media – largely accessed through people’s mobile phones – was an important marketing tool.

“Everything’s on your phone now; social skills are going down the toilet,” he said.

“But I love people sharing pictures of our dishes – I endorse it.

“The more the merrier; I ask people to hashtag us and to check-in to the restaurant.

“Ninety-nine times out of 100 it’s all positive press so I say ‘go for it’.”

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