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Oct 23, 2008 10:10 AM

Starbucks- I just don't get it

I usually go to the Starbucks near my school or office once a day. They can never make anything I order correctly. I usually order a sugar-free soy cinnamon dolce latte with no whip. They just don't get it- sometimes I get whole milk, sometimes regular syrup, sometimes just a cinnamon latte. Even if I order a plain cup of coffee I get the wrong size or the wrong blend.

Does this happen to anyone else? Or is it just a curse?!

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  1. Maybe you should stop going to Starbucks ;)

    1. I have to agree with tonicart. They always get my order right. I'm not sure why yours is always wrong, your drink is not that difficult. Maybe you should talk to the manager.

      1. When I order a plain cup of coffee, at one of the more than 50 Starbucks locations I have gone to across the USA, the cashier grabs a cup in front of me and turns around to one of three pots of brewed coffee to pour it. If you see them doing something incorrectly, you are standing there watching them do it. Tell them it is the wrong size cup or wrong pot they are taking from.

        Also, they write down your special ordered beverage on the cup. They repeat it back to you before you pay. This is uniform in all locations.

        The person who has made the beverage is stating what they made out loud while placing it on the counter. If you hear it stated in correctly, you don't even bother grabbing it and ask if that was what was written on the cup. If there has been a mistake made it will be corrected

        This all said, if you constantly are having problems, daily, then write a letter, speak to the manager, TELL THEM. Your story is not the norm.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Cathy

          I've been going once a day (to one of the few near me) for a while now.

          I noticed that sometimes when I correct the barista calling out the drink, I get a nasty look or they tell me I didn't clearly express what I want. I tried writing down what I want on a post-it and just handing it to them, but it doesn't work either.

          Whenever I spoke to the manager or called to complain they just offered me a free drink.

          A few times I noticed the barista making my drink in the steamer labeled "whole milk" when I asked for soy. They always claimed it was soy milk in the wrong steamer container... but how can I know for sure?

          Granted they have a system- and it works well sometimes- but maybe it's the few lazy employees who don't pay attention who always end up helping me.

          1. re: cheesecake17

            Most Starbucks locations are company-owned. If the manager doesn't resolve the problem to your satisfaction and if you are getting attitude from the staff, go over their heads. Call the district manager or email them...many locations have the DM's business card at the bar.

            I'll bet there's also a way to email top or central management via the Starbucks website, although I've never had to do that myself.

            If there's a poorly-run starbucks, their management should know about it, especially as they're closing some locations, they should put that one on the list or can the store manager if this is a widespread problem.

            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

              I'm definitely going to ask for the DM's card next time I have a problem.

              In the past, I usually called up customer service.. but I'm not sure exactly how my complaints were passed on and to whom.

              But for now, I'm still stuck at SBUX the days I'm on campus- the school cafeteria "brews" instnant!

              1. re: cheesecake17

                "on campus" hmmm I wonder if it's not a company-owned starbucks. that might make a difference. I didn't realize you'd already called customer service. Perhaps they're slipping regionally.

                Here in the Boston area they are generally managed very well.

                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                  It's a company owned store. it's about 10 feet outside the campus gates, but everyone just refers to it as 'on campus.'

                  I've been to a few Starbucks' last time I was in Boston- they truly did seem run better than the ones in NYC. But, in Hampton, NH (40 min) outside Boston- there was no Starbucks!

                2. re: cheesecake17

                  Yeah. It doesn't sound like a company owned store. Is it a full sit down location/stand alone store or inside of someplace else?

                  I'm sorry it hasn't been right for you. I do understand the need for a good cup of coffee. Daily.

              2. re: cheesecake17

                I don't understand why you keep going back. Why should they get it right if you reward their mess ups with your continued business. However, Starbucks has some policy that they will remake your coffee, if you are not satisfied, at no charge to you. They even took out an ad in the NYT declaring this to all.

                Personally, I'd find a locally-owned coffee shop to give my hard-earned dollars.

                1. re: lynnlato

                  I've been avoiding Starbucks when I'm at work because there are many good coffee shops around. But at school my choices are the cafeteria, Starbucks, or a bagel store that serves burnt coffee. There's a Dunkin Donuts a few blocks away, but I personally don't like their coffee.

                  My school also has a 'we brew Starbucks coffee' stand, but the line is always forever since they have one women taking orders and making the drinks. They also don't have a full menu of drinks.

                  I guess I'm lucky I only have one more semester :)

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    Yikes! Persevere cheesecake! Sounds like slim pickin's. :-)

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      It's pretty bad. I only have till the end of May! After that I'll be working in Manhattan every day... with plenty of coffee shops to choose from.

                      But, the good thing about Starbucks near campus is that I can buy one cup of something and sit for a few hours and study. My only other option is the library, and last time I tried to sneak a cup in, I got caught when it tipped over in my bag and started leaving a trail of coffee behind me.

            2. How long have you been going once a day?

              1. I think it might just be your local Starbucks. The service at the one I go to every day is great. It gets really crowded during certain hours, but they manage to move the line along quickly, and the employees know me by my regular order and start making it as soon as I walk in the door.