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Author Topic: US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks  (Read 1230 times)

US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks
« on: May 03, 2016, 12:14:44 PM »
I wanna sue Pepsi for having more bubbles than necessary in their drinks.


https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-woman-sues-starbucks-5-mn-over-ice-230505485.html

US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks

AFP News
May 3, 2016

A Chicago woman is suing Starbucks for more than $5 million, claiming the coffee giant is underfilling its popular hand-blended iced coffee, tea and other drinks, making customers overpay for beverages.

In a lawsuit seeking a jury trial and class action status, alleging false advertising and consumer fraud, Stacy Pincus accuses the world's biggest coffee retailer of serving its customers "much less than advertised -- often nearly half as many fluid ounces."

"As a result of this practice, Starbucks's cold drinks contain significantly less product than advertised, by design and corporate practice and procedure," the suit filed last week says.

Starbucks baristas typically fill cold-drink plastic cups to the top black line printed on the cups and the rest with ice.

Pincus says that since April 2006, she and millions of other Starbucks customers have been defrauded because Venti cup customers get only 14 ounces (0.4 liters) of beverage -- the amount of liquid obtained when filling cups to the top line -- even though menus state a 24-ounce total.

"Starbucks includes these three black lines on its cold drink cups to ensure that its employees fill these cups with less fluid ounces than are advertised on Starbucks's menu for a given cold drink," the lawsuit says.

"In fact, Starbucks instructs its employees to provide its customers with fewer fluid ounces than advertised."

Pincus is also challenging Starbucks's pricing, saying it charges more for cold drinks than hot ones.

An average Grande Iced Coffee, advertised as a 16-ounce drink, costs $2.65, while a hot Grande Freshly Brewed Coffee costs $2.10.

"Essentially, Starbucks is not only underfilling its cold drinks compared to how they are advertised, but it is charging a premium price for them as well," the filing reads.

"Starbucks's cold drinks are underfilled to make more money and higher profits, to the detriment of consumers who are misled by Starbucks's intentionally misleading advertising practices."

Starbucks dismissed the lawsuit as "frivolous and without merit."

"Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage," the coffee giant said in a statement.

"If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it."

Starbucks, which boasts more than 23,000 stores worldwide, reported $19.2 billion in net revenue during fiscal 2015, a 16.5 percent increase from the previous year.

Beverages accounted for 73 percent of sales in the company's stores last year.

  • Kalendraf
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Re: US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2016, 02:15:54 PM »
As stupid as this lawsuit is, I will agree that many restaurants put way too much ice in their beverage containers.  The rationale behind doing so is that it will keep the drink colder for a longer period of time than is possible from just the insulation of the container.  However, most customers end up consuming the beverage significantly faster than the ice melts.  When you finish a beverage, if there is any ice remaining, that's a clear indication that they put too much ice into the container.

There are a few fastfood restaurants that are notorious for filling the cups almost entirely with ice before pouring any of the beverage into the cup.  Even on a hot day, that's enough ice to keep the cup cold for over an hour, but most customers will consume the meal and beverage within maybe 15 minutes from receiving their order.  Clearly, that's way kittening too much ice.

What's worse, is that while ice is relatively cheap, it's far from being free from an energy usage standpoint.  Refrigeration units take energy to produce the ice, whereas the energy needed to dispense a beverage into the cup is virtually nil since they typically use ither pressure or gravity fed systems.  Thus, every extra bit of ice contained in a cup instead of the desired beverage is using significantly more energy, and any ice left over is purely wasted energy.

So while this claim against Starbucks is frivalous, there is a real underlying issue here that needs to be addressed.

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Re: US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2016, 02:45:05 PM »
Ice is an ingredient in an "iced" drink, so you can't claim that you aren't getting what is advertised by removing an ingredient.  It doesn't make any sense.  The fact that Starbucks does have a line on the cup to make the ice added be uniform is a good control measure.  Starbucks is very good at making drinks to customer requests, she could have asked for ~10 ice cubes and they probably would have complied.

I don't go to Starbucks much.  I don't like when Starbucks veers into politics.  But, this gold digger is just trying to manufacture a pay day from a totally frivolous lawsuit.

  • belzebu
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Re: US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2016, 03:18:07 PM »
Many times I ask for my drink without ice and later I ask for a glass of ice, then I use as I want.

  • Kalendraf
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Re: US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2016, 03:46:34 PM »
Many times I ask for my drink without ice and later I ask for a glass of ice, then I use as I want.
That's a better option to consider.

However, from a drive-thru standpoint, it's easy to forget to request "no ice". Amidst the flurry of making/clarifying your order, giving them your money or credit card, getting back your change or card, getting the cups and getting them into the vehicle cup holders and finally getting the rest of your order, it  may not be obvious how much ice they've loaded into the cup until you've proceeded well off the premises.

From a few local fastfood chains, I've had several cases where I started drinking the soda on the way home, and emptying the drink portion in under 5 minutes of driving, at which point I opened the cup to discover it was still 90% filled with ice.  Seriously!?!?!  I'm fine with maybe 25% of the cup having ice, but more than 50% is way too much, and 90% is just idiotic.  Of course the next time I go there, I entirely forget about this, fail to request no ice, and end up repeating the entire episode again.  Blame me for not remembering, but ideally, I wouldn't have to keep track of which of the fastfood chains have overly liberal ice policies.  I'd also be ok with the clerks asking "Would you like ice with your drink?" instead of automatically assuming that every customer wants to turn their cup into an Antarctic glacier simulation.


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Re: US woman sues Starbucks for $5 mn over ice in cold drinks
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2016, 05:28:37 PM »
Sure.

I do that when I'm actually in the bar/restaurant, where usually the drink is also more expensive. I won't make a fuss about a cup of soda in a drive-thru :) , but some cocktails and stuff I want the most in my glass.