ugh. I know why I keep going back - and so do you - it’s the damn drive through. it’s one of the few places I can go and not drag a kid out of the car.
This is what I heard from the customer service representative for Starbucks today. He was just the kind of sweet talkin’ man that I believed him. Really. (Of course, I also believed Jesus came from a Virgin and my Dad didn’t know how to change the toilet paper so I may not be the best judge of character.)
Here’s how things played out:
A few days ago, I ordered my usual non-fat/sugar free blahblahblah. I was informed this is now a “skinny” latte. “Oh, skinny?” I giggle. Because really? Skinny Latte? Isn’t that a bit presumptuous? So I reapeat, “Fine, skinny, yes. That’s what I’d like.” It gets rung up at 4.15. “Yesterday it was 3.70” I tell the barista. “It’s promotional.”
Meanwhile I get my coffee and move on because I am easily distracted by very tiny people.
A few days later I go in and order a skinny latte, feeling all proud of myself for knowing the lingo. “4.15” the voice in the speaker says. I stall, in the drive through, scouring the menu for what I ordered. “Latte: 3.10. Syrup, (lists all syrups including Cinnamon Dolce, my fave) additional 35 cents.” Now, I happen to be good at math. Or rather, at least pretty decent at third grade math. So I add that up, give it some tax… “Shouldn’t that be about 3.65?” I ask. There is some static on the line. “Please pull forward, Ma’am.” So I do.
I go ‘round and ‘round explaining the whole thing: Latte and Syrup: 3.70 (she rings it in and tells me I was 5 cents off in my calculation. I figure that’s pretty great since taxes change almost by the minute). Cinnamon Dolce Latte: 4.15. She rings in a Skinny Vanilla Latte: 4.15. But a Nonfat Sugarfree Vanilla latte (same drink for those following along at home): 3.70.
Obviously, there’s been a major oversight.
The gal is lovely and nice and says, “hu, I never noticed that” and give me my drink with a nice pat on the back. Off I go.
Same thing different starbucks the next day. At this point I’m just going to make my case and see if I actually have a case to make.
So I call up Starbucks because, honestly, forty cents difference for the exact same drink depending on the words you use is a pretty tricky way to run a business. And no, I haven’t read Their Book but I do know they pride themselves on finding a way to get people to pay four bucks for a cup of coffee whilst the nation complains about 3.00 per gallon gas prices. And yes, I’ve done the math on how much coffee costs per gallon and it’s considerably more than three bucks.
The customer service rep is nothing but nice and listens to my math babble. He admits it sounds like there’s an error and apologizes. (I’m sure he does this a million times a day for things that are not his fault. If that man is not married, he needs to be. He is The Perfect Husband and I hardly know him. But hearing, “You’re right, I’m sorry” can’t be a bad start.) He offers me a $25 gift card for my trouble to help make up the cost of the drinks.
Babe? I’ve spent a hellofalot of money at Starbucks. In fact, I dare-say my children will be going to (gasp) public school because of it.
I’m not proud, I’m just saying.
I, again, ask how long it’ll take to “fix the error” and get a nice, “If it takes too long, just call us back.”
Meanwhile, I’m expecting a starbucks card in the mail that could easily be spent in a week’s time. The kicker? I don’t really like their skinny lattes. In fact, here’s the ingenuity of Starbucks, I don’t really like their coffee. But for some reason, I go. Often.
And like a meth addict, making my own at home doesn’t seem to cure me from the need of walking in to a Starbucks to see the pretty things I can’t afford.
Pretty things I won’t be able to purchase because I pay 4.15 for a 3.70 drink. And, frankly, who’s fault is that?
(Answer for those of you just waking up from reading this whole post: Mine)
ugh. I know why I keep going back - and so do you - it’s the damn drive through. it’s one of the few places I can go and not drag a kid out of the car.
I have safely avoided Starbucks in my town, unless I need a New York Times. Hysterical post, and since I have been seriously considering calling my local gas station over the new price of Dr. Pepper that only one location seems to be charging… I understand!
There’s this drive-through Caribou Coffee by my house that I go to a couple of times a week and every time I go I order the exact same thing. I never know what they’re going charge. It’s always one of three prices. I never question it though, I just handover the money. And then as I’m driving away I think “I paid how much for this? I don’t even like this stuff that much!” Meth addict indeed.
I’ve given up figuring out their prices. I got a gift card and set it up with auto reload. I just pretend I don’t know what I’m spending there anymore. I go in, I order, I give them the little card, I leave. And, whenever my balance gets below $10… it just automatically bumps back up by $20 from my credit card.
Isn’t that scary?
I’ve only had a few Starbucks coffees in my time, but do you know what they *are* good for? Free bags of used coffee grounds for your garden! Who can argue with free?
You are amazing for figuring this out. The free coffee and tea at my office have finally broken me of my SBucks addiction, though it was all I could do not to go in this morning when I discovered the one near my office is finally open…
I don’t get it. I don’t drink coffee of any kind. I don’t drink hot drinks of any kind. So starbucks is a mystery to me.
In fact, we are JUST NOW getting one in our town. I know. How backwoods can you be to just now be getting a starbucks. Apparently Stillwater, Oklahoma backwoods.
I almost lost my mind there over cinnamon vs. cinnamon dolce lattes. I thought that if I could get a cinn. latte for the cost of latte and syrup, then the cinnamon dolce no whip should cost the same as the cinn. latte, because it’s latte and syrup still, right? And the latte and syrup was $0.50 or so less than the dolce. Some of the baristas got it right away, and rang it in my way, but most of them just argued with me in that non-confrontational voice. Now I drink caramel macchiatos. Good for you for calling them and giving them hell!
Mrs. Flinger you are a genious! I have been gong lately and ordering the new “skinny Latte” and never noticing I am paying more for the same farking drink I always ordered. F them at Starbucks.
I get the same exact drink every time I go there and am charged a different price every time. Kinda makes me want to call and see if I can get a gift card *blushes*
SERIOUSLY? That seems low-down dirty and sneaky to me. Look at YOU Mrs Flinger girl detective!!!
I am such a penny pincher when it comes to coffee that I always mentally add up what my drink should cost and then also add the 10% for tax so I am ready to fight the fight when I get up there and they tell me otherwise. I have found that if you don’t fall victim to ordering their featured drinks and just spell out what you want you indeed do save money.
My favorite is when I am ordering milk for my kid, 1.10 for a kid’s milk, but if I ask for it slightly warmed (yes I know I shouldn’t be warming my 18 month olds milk) it is suddenly a steamer and they charge 1.80. I fight it every time and usually win, because really how hard is it to pour 8 ounces of milk out of one of your warmed canisters into a cup rather than having to grab cold milk out of your fridge. So annoying.
But I too keep going back. I am an addict.
I’m not a coffee drinker. I’m a devout follower in the church of Diet Dr. Pepper. And very rarily do I find myself inside a Starbuck’s.
One rarity was about 2 weeks ago and I got the White Mocha. Seriously I think that while I sat in that store, I was being secretly brainwashed and actually given some sort of secret narcotic concotion because ever since then I find myself wanting another one!! I’ll drive by and I can literally hear myself say…
“It’s just a quick stop…It’s just a quick little pick me up…It’s just a nice little thing that you deserve…It’s just a wonderful way to warm up on a cold day…”
It’s just liquid cocaine in a cup and it can’t be refused!!!
OK in case I haven’t told you yet today. You freaking Crack. Me. Up.
I’ve had a ‘skinny latte!’
I didn’t notice the price difference, but Starbucks is something I barely get once a month or so!
Please, let us know if you actually get the gift card in the mail! It may encourage the rest of us to step forward when we find out that some companies are just bad at math.
The price for a iced dunkin donuts coffee changes everyday in a similar “huh” fashion. I might just make a call today….free stuff…maybe?!?
Wow, that is crazy. They are charging you 40 cents more because skinny sounds better than non-fat. I wouldn’t have caught that but I seldom go to Starbucks. I prefer the local coffee shops or Its a Grind.
Dude, I could go for a venti mocha frappachino right now.
Anybody have $25?
Love ya Flinger!
I’m one of the other few who have never had Starbucks. In fact, they just opened the first one up in Target a couple of months ago and I have yet to give into the inviting coffee smell every time I walk into Target. Of course most of the reason why I haven’t gone is because I’m scared I’d mess up the entire ordering process and end up looking like a complete dork.
Oh wait, I am a complete dork!
Gee, that might be why I’ve noticed the sudden pinch in my wallet lately. It might also explain why my starbucks card ran out sooner than it normally does, cause I was being over charged! The “Skinny” lattes/mochas whatever taste NASTY imho, so i get all the ‘sugar free’ stuff but whole milk tastes MUCH better.
Ha…you lost me at the “non-fat/sugar free blahblahblah” I just don’t know the whole coffee lingo thing…I just wish they could make coffee taste as good as it looks because I keep getting gift cards from my hubby’s work! But since they can’t find a way to make it taste yummy you can have the gift card/s that has been collecting dust on our computer desk for the last year the next time I see you! I think it will buy you a skinny and a half or two non-fat blahblahblah things…
Yesterday, I stopped in to our neighborhood Starbucks to help burn off some of the $50 gift card I got for xmas, and ordered my nonfat, sugar-free vanilla, DECAF latte. And I was summarily told that it’s now a SKINNY LATTE.
Oh the power that barista had for just one minute.
And they DID THE SAME THING! Charged me more for the New Fancy Name Drink than for the old, cumbersome name drink. WTF?
Also agree about the coffee. I can’t stand their coffee (I think they over-roast/burn their beans), but I lurves me some of their espresso drinks.
I don’t normally go there so much anymore—just too much money. But I got about $100 in gift cards, so their gain, I suppose!
I am SO glad I kicked my Starbucks habit. Now I can afford more vodka!
Thanks for hopping over to my blog!
Tall, non-fat, sugar-free vanilla caramel macchiato. My old stand by. Sigh.
Before the breastfeeding and dairy allergy (for the kid).
So it was my understanding that you ordered “skinny” on the East Coast and “non-fat” here on the West Coast. Are they trying to change over the lingo?? NOOOOO!!! I will resist the East Coastization at all costs!!!
Non-fat all the way!
And um, drive-thru Starbucks?? My closest one is 40 miles away. Ah, the luxuries of suburbia.
I’m so glad I just need a tall drip and nothing more. This way, my kid can still go to college. (BTW, you rock for rockin the Weekend Blog Hoppers badge!)
Girl go to coffeegiant.com and buy yourself a keurig coffee machine. Yes, it costs 99.95. A case of 25 K cups is 10.39 and makes yep, 25 cups of coffee. They have flavors, regular, decaf, tea, hot chocolate, yes it is my favorite appliance. Buy a pricey kick ass coffee travel mug, some flavored creamer and it is all paid for in what 2 months of skipping starbucks? Makes a cup in seconds, we LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
I live in the middle of nowhere, and there is no Starbucks. It makes me very, very sad. As a coffee lover, I get Starbucks every time I am somewhere that has one. I’m here weekend bloghopping!
Dude, I am totally going to Starbucks today and playing this game!!! I’ll keep you posted.
I say call up again, get a different rep, same speal, and getcha another $25. I wonder how many you could get before they notice?
We FINALLY got a Starbucks nearby. Its about an 8 minute drive, but its got a drive thru. I have been exactly one time since its opening 3 months ago. Turns out all this time I was bitching about not having a starbucks near by, was just bitchin. I recently found I am not all that in love with Starbucks like I thought I would be if we had one in driving distance. Honestly, I’d rather sit home with my Folgers Breakfast blend and save the money.
This makes me glad I’m not addicted to Starbucks.
Did you know I have never been inside a Starbucks? Actually until 12 months ago I had never even seen a Starbucks.
Oh…Veronica…Wow….That could be a good thing…or it could be a bad thing. (?)
Way to go Flinger! 25.00 Hit them up again in a month and just make sure you have a different representative. You just might have a new method of supporting the caffeine habit!
Starbucks is total CRACK. And we all think Amy Winehouse is bad….. It’s INSANE! I currently have an on/off relationship with their chai tea lattes. I’m officially back OFF the wagon right now!
Oh well as long as they aren’t TRYING to over-charge you, it’s ok, RIGHT??
Why does coffee always taste so so so so much better if made by someone with an apron and a nosering and a superior attitude that it does when made in one’s own kitchen?
Momminitoops! - blog hoppin’!
ARGHHH. Starbucks, it’s a hate-hate relationship. I hate that I buy their coffee that I pretty much hate. The location I go to located inside of a Barnes and Noble, makes for some great people watching, which in turn breeds creativity in me for some reason. I usually end up buying a coffee so I have something to do while I’m blogging.
from the weekend bloghoppers
And this is why I’m happy there’s a Tim Horton’s readily available, and the nearest Starbucks is on the college campus, where they can convince 18 year old girls looking for a buzz so they can stay up all night for the first time in their young adult live to pay outrageous prices for swill. Even so, I would just get a regular coffee, it’s cheap and quick—-and my husband will take his black.
But, when our income tax refund comes, we’re getting a good coffee pot—-the one my sister and her husband got us for Christmas is a cheap piece of garbage that started to smoke the first time a little bit of water got down around the switch. It’s a coffee pot—-shouldn’t there be some thing that keeps that from happening? I mean, liquids in the area where the switch is places is normal, right? :-|
Dammit. This post made me calculate how much I spend on my recently acquired coffee drinking.
It made me consider re-activating in Mormonism.
Thank God I don’t drink. I would be homeless.
Huh, I’m glad I found your blog today…I order a skinny latte every time I go to Starbucks. You know what? I’m one of those people who just hands over whatever amount they tell me to. I’ve probably spent a good percentage of college fund contributions on lattes and don’t even know it.
I don’t really like Starbucks coffee all that much, but anytime I drive by one I want to get something! (I never do, ‘cause I can’t stand the thought of paying over $3 for something that doesn’t last very long.) I think it’s something about the cup and the straw, at least for the iced whatevers.
And good for you for calling and complaining about it! That is just so wrong that they raise the price for something that is easier to say.
Oh, that sucks! I’ve probably been overpaying, too, for my “skinny” mocha.
I’m going to do the math next time, and give Starbucks a call if they have been overcharging me. They’re welcome to give me a gift card in return for overcharging me all those times. I’m there at least 2-3 times a week.
What an irritating experience!
I’m a coffee addict so I relate to the need for a latte. Peet’s is great - they are based in the Bay Area but have a few stores in Seattle (there was a store in Fremont when I lived there).
Starbucks sucks. If they weren’t conveniently located right inside the door of my grocery store I would never go there. What does that say about me? I have strong convictions but I’m too much of a lazy pansy ass to stand up for them.
Enjoy your $25.00 card, but yourself something purty!
I’m behind here, but I know that Tim Horton’s (for us Canadians) often charges differently if you order a Mocha-no-whip as compared to a half-coffee-half-hot-chocolate.
I don’t think they’re supposed to, but some of the workers are too dumb to realize this. For that reason, I always order the half and half thing. It saves me 50 cents.
People keep giving me Starbucks’ cards because I like their coffee. But…the closest Starbucks to me, and the one between my home and my workplace, has no drive-thru.
I have never liked coffee. People try to recruit me for the cult but I always run away. Because if I did find a coffee product I liked, I would start going to Starbucks and probably spending $5 on a $3 drink. So I’ll just stick with my Big Gulps. Even if no one every gives me a 7-11 gift card.
I think that they just put crack in those drinks. It is kind of like McDonald’s Diet Coke. There is something in there that makes me keep going back.
Enjoy blowing through that gift card. The skinny thing is weird and confusing and strangely dishonest. You go gurl!
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