Kwik Kopy apologises after WorldPride customer denied service

Kwik Kopy apologises (2)
Kwik Kopy CEO says the incident goes against the company’s culture, and code of conduct. (Source: Supplied)

Kwik Kopy has found itself in the headlines after it’s longest serving franchisee refused on the basis of religious beliefs to print flyers for an official WorldPride roller derby event.

Sydney CBD franchisee Wing Khong wrote an email to the potential client refusing to take on the print job, The Daily Telegraph reported.

“We are into our 40th year of business and it has always been our aim to provide a consistent level of service and reliability. Leo, I am unable to print this job for you.

“I am a Christian and my faith requires me to obey what the Bible teaches. I hope you understand,” he said.

Kwik Kopy CEO Sonia Shwabsky swiftly issued an apology to the distressed customer.

Kwik Kopy Pride action crisis management

“The customer sent a message at 3.30pm on Wednesday and we got on to it straight away. Immediately we saw it, I reached out directly,” she told Franchise Executives.

“The customer was upset and surprised she would have to experience such treatment, she was in shock,” Shwabsky said.

“This is not acceptable,. It goes against our code of conduct, we embrace diversity in our business and we encourage it. This was quite distressing for many people in the office and throughout the network.

“We have a sizeable LGBTQI community within the Kwik Kopy network and this was a sensitive issue. I needed to handle it directly.”

Shwabsky offered the client, Leonie Bunch, complimentary printing and delivery.

“We got signage to her in time for the event. She had a genuinely good experience.”

Communicating with the network

In response to a media enquiry Shwabsky issued a statement reinforcing the company’s diversity and apologising for the incident.

“We are genuinely sorry for the recent experience Leonie had at one of our centres. This is by no means reflective of Kwik Kopy Australia’s values and code of conduct, of which every franchisee is versed.”

She told Franchise Executives she prepared the head office team, and franchisees, for the media coverage.

“On Thursday I had a call with all the team, updated them, showed them the media release, and prepared for when the media would cover it. I sent an email out to the whole network at 6.30 Friday morning.”

In her communication to franchisees Shwabsky said “I deeply regret this situation arising under my watch”. She said she is in communication directly with Wing to resolve the situation.

Shwabsky said Wing’s refusal to serve the customer is a contravention of Kwik Kopy’s franchise agreement.

“The denial to find a way to serve this customer is not aligned with our Code of Ethics or the policies that are agreed to in our Franchise Agreement.”

She said franchisees will receive updated training on their obligations under the franchise agreement and the Anti-Discrimination Act. 

“As we are all employers, it is also our duty of care to ensure our team members’ mental and physical well-being, so they feel safe and supported in the workplace,” she wrote.

Sourcing an alternative solution

“With respect to individual beliefs, KK needs to ensure any customer can walk into a centre to have their requested service met and a positive customer experience provided. A staff member should always be on hand to carry out a service if there is a conflict with an employee’s individual beliefs that contradict the company’s.”

Shwabsky told Franchise Executives if this is not possible, the franchisee must find a neighbouring centre to fulfil the brief.