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Starbucks -- Long Lines, Poor Customer Service
Posted by on
I've drawn the line with Starbucks. I tried to purchase coffee at Starbucks, Chino Hills, California. Here is what I got: a fifteen minute wait and a rude barista. If you want a refill, they make you wait in the line all over again, rather than fitting it in during a logical pause in their routine -- even if you pre-paid for the refill the first time, you must wait 15 minutes in line again.

I'm not giving friends Starbucks gift cards anymore and I'm not spending high prices for long waits, and poor customer service at the counter.

It's so sad to see a formerly great American company fall so far, so fast.
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User Replies:
msnanny on 01/20/2011:
If they're busy they're busy. What would you like for them to do, turn people away so that you do not have to wait?
momsey on 01/20/2011:
You didn't explain how the barista was rude. That would add to your review.

It's absolutely your prerogative to stop going there if you don't like the wait.
Ponie on 01/20/2011:
Not getting a Starbucks gift certificate would be great with me. Just because I really like my coffee, I've been the recipient of these in the past. My problem? I'm not a frou-frou, coffee-flavored drink person. Real coffee, please. Because I don't like the bitter taste of Starbucks, I've used these cards for merchandise, bagels, muffins, etc. I also agree a refill shouldn't get 'cuts.'
Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
I would be upset if I was being waited on and someone cut in front of me so that they could get a refill. I don't care if it takes 2 seconds. I waited in line, so you have to wait in line too.
Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
A refill of what is my question. I rarely go to SBUX, but to my knowledge they make their drinks fresh and on the spot, so wouldn't a refill take just as long as regular order? What am I missing?

Ponie on 01/20/2011:
j/c, thanks. Last time I had coffee there was about 4 years ago when someone else bought me a 'Grande.' (Why can't they just call it 'large, like ordinary people?) That was what I'd question, also. Although the OP mentions 'coffee,' so it was probably already prepared. But--still--wait your turn.
Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
You could be right about the drip coffee...the ones here just put that stuff out in those big thermal canisters and you can just help yourself to refills. That makes more sense than what I was thinking..

I live in the Seattle area and you know how we are about our coffee, and our I make a point when I do go to ask for a large, just so I can see how many people look at me like I'm some sort of an alien or trash that doesn't belong there lol!
PepperElf on 01/20/2011:
Maybe it's me but... if the wait is already 15 minutes I'd be pretty pissed off if someone decided they should have the right to cut the line.

even if they wanted a refill, they're still cutting the line.

I would suggest that if you think you might want more... order a bigger size or order two?
Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
Once again an OP's point is totally missed on my3cents.

The line cutting even if it exists is totally irrelevant. The OP's complaint is it takes 15 minutes to get a prepaid refill. The solution is neither the OP’s concern nor responsibility to figure out. It's a SBUX planning/policy/execution problem. Either figure out how to expeditiously handle your prepaid refills or don’t sell them. It’s just that simple.
Obsfucation on 01/20/2011:
Seriously? You want to step in front of me to get your second cup of coffee while I am waiting for my first? If you'd ever seen me uncaffeinated you'd know that that move is not only rude, but very ill advised.
Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
How about a refill only line, open when there is x amount of people in the regular line?
PepperElf on 01/20/2011:
couple of reasons why not...

if they did open a second line it would be better to let the original line split off so that *everyone's* overall wait is shorter.

and when it's busy the person taking orders is usually not the person filling the drinks. so even a refill-only line would still end up cutting ahead of others in the drink-making queue.

plus, can you imagine how pissed off you'd make other customers if the refill-customer got the last cup of coffee? Wouldn't that be fun? Wait in line for your first cup of coffee, only to see someone cut in line for a refill (even if it's a refill only line), snag the last cup, making you wait even longer for a fresh pot to brew?

Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
"Once again an OP's point is totally missed on my3cents."

Not so fast, Lord...I missed nothing here about the actual complaint itself but that's why I asked refill for what? Why? Because @ the SBUX I go to once in a while, customers don't have to get back in line for refills on drip coffee (see above). To my knowledge, and I could be wrong but I doubt it, there are no free refills for the fancy coffee.

Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
You're so sensible Pep. Got an older, unattached brother by chance?
PepperElf on 01/20/2011:
Indeed JC - I've never seen an SB that offers free refills either.

and ript sorry, my only other sibling is my sister (married). :-)
Anonymous on 01/20/2011:
madconsumer on 01/20/2011:
wow, what a pain in the hind end!!

as a paying customer, seems they would squeze you in between other customers. there is no longer service in customer service!

very helpful.
momsey on 01/20/2011:
WHY would anyone be squeezed in between other customers? Pretty sure those other customers are paying as well!
trmn8r on 01/20/2011:
I'm getting a little tired of indirect accusations of missing the point. If you want to tell me I'm missing the point, do it directly so I'm not left wondering whom you are speaking to.
lee ann on 11/01/2013:
how about two lines one for the specialty coffees and another for us real coffee drinkers that would solve the main problem I just want a regular coffee and don't want to wait for them to take five minutes on the fancy coffee drinker I like mine black with room for cream how about trying this makes perfect sense to us real coffee drinkers
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Unnecessary Changes In Logo
Posted by on
Dear Mr. Howard Schultz, I have been going to Starbucks everyday and have enjoyed the coffee I order but, was disappointed to hear that because of your 40th Anniversary celebration that you are changing the logo of your company. I really can't understand why you would want to increase the cost of the changes to the logo including the products and uniforms that would need to be change at this cost factor as well. The logo is a symbol of your company and is so well recognized by so many people so why disrupt this well design logo you have to justify a Anniversary. I think you should leave the logo alone and instead have additional items (large viewing snap-on pens, fliers, a few cups etc. with the announcement of your 40th Anniversary instead. This would be far less costly for your company and would get the point across to your loyal customers. And you could keep the existing logo without the extra cost and loss of a great logo. It is your decision of course but I feel that I should at lease give you my view on this matter and hope you will balance out the need for this change. Thank you
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User Replies:
Skye on 01/10/2011:
They want a change, that's their right. Why is this upsetting you so much?
Anonymous on 01/10/2011:
Change is hard, but inevitable in life. Take comfort in the fact that Starbuck's can well afford the change.
Skye on 01/10/2011:
Very true ript. They are changing the logo, and not going out of business. Maybe after their 40th anniversay celebration, they will go back to the original logo the op loves so much.

I know change is hard for some people. The only constant in life is change.
Anonymous on 01/10/2011:
COFFEELUVER > This will be the fourth time since 1971 that Starbucks has changed its logo. Here are links to two *very* interesting articles about the change:

Here's another link to the top 100 global brands of 2010, more interesting reading. (You'll see Starbucks current brand ranked 97th, down from 90th):
Anonymous on 01/10/2011:
Oh who cares if the logo changes. I bet most of the people who drink their coffee don't even motice the logo. Or are like me, too tired to notice
Anonymous on 01/11/2011:
have you actually looked at the new logo? all they did was remove the words from the outside. All that's left is the woman in the middle. That's it.
it's still recognizable.
azspots on 01/11/2011:
Are you drinking the logo? No? Then why let something so silly upset you?
Inat on 01/11/2011:
who cares?
PepperElf on 01/11/2011:
az - indeed. it's just a logo.

the coffee will still be as expensive as it was the day before and will still taste the same.

does it really matter if they want to update their image?

or perhaps you'd prefer them to go back to the original logo? though having naked breasts on the cup might infuriate some (including some of the recent letter writers we've had here)...

but seriously, it's just coffee. overpriced coffee. so what's really that different?
Inat on 01/11/2011:
they could emblazon their stuff with a 24k gold leaf logo and it would still taste like what it is - over roasted, stale, swill
trmn8r on 01/11/2011:
I have to admit, I haven't a clue what a "large viewing snap-on pen" is.

I also don't see how any of the marketing bling the OP suggests would serve the same purpose at chaing the logo over the long term. Pens and fliers and cups will be in the landfill in a short time. A logo lasts for several years.
SBUX Partner on 12/01/2012:
We changed the logo design because we have come into the age of day were Starbucks is well known. We got rid of the words "Starbucks Coffee" so that we could be identified solely on the siren's eye (the two tailed mermaid). Other companies do this to. Ie. Nike
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Loud! Starbucks Does Not Get It.
Posted by on
Unbelievable. Usually when you ask to have the music level lowered so you can carry on a conversation it is at least mockingly attempted. This is unfortunately a regularly request because it is always to loud. Last night I was told I was the only one who complained, well one other guy she says. She went on to tell me the music was part of the atmosphere and she could not do any thing about it. Again unbelievable. And she did nothing. Others have at least from time to time lowered the volume while I or friends were there. Not her. I have asked others if it is just me or is the music to loud. The usual response is, what? Exactly.

Once when I asked one of the servers if she could turn the music down she said what twice. I raised my voice to an almost yelling volume and said exactly!
So you might say these folks just work here. So I tried to convey my take on the volume to there district manager, Kelly I believe was her name. Unfortunately she went on and on about this and that and had no desire to even attempt change.
Now here is an interesting little note. Once the district manager was having a meeting at the Benton store. Wow it was quiet. Once the meeting was over guess what, yep, they turned the music back up to the same horrible level. Guess they are the only one who need to communicate or do any thing productive while in a Starbucks store.
So now you are going to say why don't you contact Starbucks corporate and tell them your opinion of the noise level. Been there done that to. First responses from Arron the customer service representative was all of the why we can not do things. Not one, we will figure out a way to monitor the decibel level, figure a way to control each speaker for a balanced level, not one we will set up a standard operating procedure for managers to ensure the sound levels do not impede a conversation, or a level where you do not have to yell. No not one positive though or suggestion, not even a possible survey.
If any one a coffee shop closer to me I would go there and tell all my friends about it. I am even considering going to the Carls Junior across the way. No loud music there. The only thing, and I mean the only thing that puts me back through those doors is the friendships I have made there.
Oh and now they are considering alcohol. No wait I guess that might work. I guess you need loud music when you are drunk.
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raven2010 on 11/20/2010:
No offense....maybe you should find a local mom and pop coffee shop/ We have quit ea few here that are ALWAYS better than the giant that is Starbucks
rockfishing on 11/20/2010:
Starbuck's gave you their answer. Either go elsewhere or live with it.
Anonymous on 11/20/2010:
It seems to be a loud place. You should get your coffee and go to the library or someplace more conducive to conversation. My local Starbucks is pretty quiet - folks are probably shell-shocked from paying $5 for a cup of coffee.
Anonymous on 11/20/2010:
I have met and conversed with a lot of great people in a quiet, comfortable atmosphere at bookstore/coffeeshops.
Anonymous on 11/20/2010:
All of the Starbucks I've been to aren't loud inside. Sure they play music, but it's just background noise. One could easily be heard over it. I wonder if the OP is exaggerating about how loud the music actually is.
Anonymous on 11/20/2010:
Excellent point fufu. Other patrons might actually enjoy the music playing.
PepperElf on 11/20/2010:
since you know they turn it down for the DM... I would suggest seeing if you could contact that same person.

though I'd recommend asking at a different location.

mom that problem once at a store. they'd turned the teen section into a disco - so loud that even I (as a teen) disliked it. when mom complained she was told "that's how it's going to be" so she said she'd take her business elsewhere.

apparently mom wasn't the only one. ... eventually they killed the music altogether.
madconsumer on 11/20/2010:
there is no reason to have the music really loud. I have been in a few places that had loud music, and it was annoying.

they should lower the music!
Venice09 on 11/20/2010:
Unless there's a reason you can only have these friendships at Starbucks, why not just go someplace else? There is no way I would put up with music that loud. I wouldn't even ask them to turn it down. I just wouldn't give them my business anymore. You should look forward to your time with friends instead of worrying about how loud the music will be every time you go in.
Nohandle on 11/20/2010:
I've been to places when the background music was so loud I couldn't hear anyone else at the table. By that I don't mean a bar with a band. It's to be expected there. As far as I know there's nothing wrong with my hearing but I honestly cannot understand someone seated next to me if there is blaring noise in the background. Fact is, I can't hear someone on the telephone if their TV is full blast.
Cypbucks on 12/02/2010:
The baristas do not have speakers behind the hustle and bustle of the fridges, bars, registers, dishwashers, drive-through windows, brewers, and ovens. Sometimes they don't realize how loud it is until someone complains. I'm sorry if you have requested an adjustment multiple times with no result, but if it angers you so much, why force yourself to continually visit such a bothersome environment? Also, my reaction to customers requests is solely dependent on their demeanor. If they politely ask, I politely make sure they are satisified. If a customer confronts me or my partners with a snarky attitude or foul language, I continue with my business as usual.
coffe-guy Jay on 11/30/2012:
Too me it is the people whom are way too loud in their own conversations. If it wasn't for the Starbucks music, I would end up hearing the majority of loud peoples conversations...
Linda on 07/07/2013:
The music is way too loud and I frequent many different stores. Sitting in a Downey, CA location where the music is always blaring. Baristas here have an attitude more so than other stores I've been too and WILL NOT turn it down even a notch. You can't ask them to do anything outside of their little box. Why am I here? Because it is the only place I can find a table, few people come to this location. I have to use places like this as an office from time to time. SB needs to take a lesson from Coffee Bean. The music there is just background and the employees have far less attitude. If you don't like your job then get another one. Don't take it out on customers AND your tips are not an entitlement, they are a reward. And turn down the music! Why should I have to wear earplugs to hear myself think? I am a paying customer.
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Tall Mocha Frappuccino in a Grande Reusable Cup - What's the big deal?!
Posted by on
SUGAR LAND, TEXAS -- To Whom It May Concern,
Since the person whom I am writing this letter about is the manager, *****, at Hwy 59 & Grand Parkway on 19908 SW Freeway in Sugar Land, Texas I thought I would send this letter of complaint to the corporate office.

I visit this particular Starbuck’s weekly. When I go to the store I take my grande refillable insulated cup and ask for a tall drink – not a grande. Rather than the manager making the drink in my reusable cup, she makes it in a size tall disposable plastic cup- which defeats the purpose of my reusable cup. When she does this all the coffee flavoring is on the bottom. If anyone else in the store makes my drink they make it to a tall specification in my grande cup. I am not looking for a free larger size when I visit the store, but I would like to be able to order a tall drink and get one that tastes right and not watered down because the mocha syrup sticks to the disposable plastic cup. The interesting thing is that she ends up pouring the remainder of the drink down the sink. What a waste. To top it off she never offers me my receipt (which I know in the past would get me a tall, iced drink for $2 after 2 P.M. on the same day). I have to ask for it.

In the beginning the manager used to try to charge me for a grande when I ordered a tall and when she found out I was not going to pay for a larger drink she started measuring my drink order in a disposable plastic cup. To top it off, she is always abrupt and rude to me whenever I come into the store…and that is my main complaint.

I have been going to Starbucks for over 10 years now and I have never experienced someone as rude as her. Since my latest run in with the manager in August I have not been back to this particular Starbucks. I will not go back until something is done about this very rude and unprofessional manager.
I would appreciate it if you could talk to her about her lack of customer service skills and that she should treat each customer with dignity and grace.

Most Disappointed,
Jessica Strawn
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Skye on 09/23/2010:
Did you offer your reusable cup to her, so she could make your drink, before she started using one of Starbucks cups? According to the Starbucks website, you can an extra 10% off, when you bring your own, reusable cup to them for one of their beverages. Maybe she did not see your own reusable cup in time?
momsey on 09/23/2010:
Good review. I'm glad you sent a complaint to corporate.

Skye, it seems clear that the manager is well aware of the reusable cup that the OP has. Because she's asking for a smaller drink than the cup holds (a tall is smaller than a grande), the manager seems to think that she's trying to pull a fast one - pay for a tall, but get more than a tall because how are they going to make sure she doesn't get more than a tall in her grande cup???
Skye on 09/23/2010:
The good news is, there is a Starbucks on every corner, and the OP can visit any one of them, and stay away from this particular location.
FlShopper on 09/23/2010:
Another reason I've never been to Starbucks more than once. Ordering coffee shouldn't be complicated.
azspots on 09/23/2010: feelings exactly!
momsey on 09/23/2010:
Very true, Skye!
Ytropious on 09/23/2010:
Besides measuring out an exact portion of a "tall" with a tall cup to pour into your mug, what is her attitude problem you speak of? I would imagine it would be tough to eyeball where a tall stops in a grande cup, so she is just doing what a good manager does and exercises portion control. The lower level employees probably don't care about the bottom line and just eyeball where a tall should be in a grande cup, which is likely giving you slightly more than a tall on average. So OP, what exactly else is she doing wrong? I think a little bit of this you are taking personally. Having portion standards isn't really considered rude.
jktshff1 on 09/23/2010:
what happened to small medium and large?
werelucky on 09/24/2010:
I'm with the manager here. I've seen the same situation where someone started complaining because they always fill it to the top at some other Starbucks. They just can't win in these situations. The OP may not be trying to get free extra beverage but there are a lot of other people who try. I'm not sure about the complaint about pouring the extraa out. The stuff only cost Starbuck's a penny or two and they are not paying for it. The bring your own cup discount is 10 cents, not 10 percent. I'll keep my opinion about rudeness to myself.
Cypbucks on 12/02/2010:
As a manager of one of the highest grossing stores in my state, I would like to point out that rudeness is never a trait we support at Starbucks stores. Having said that, we do measure all of our drinks to a standard using the labeled cups. To ensure acurracy and portion control, proper standard would require the use of a plastic cup to measure the correct amount of milk and ice. If she made the drink correctly, it wouldn't have left any product behind. And though this guest is clearly not trying to get a freebie, we have a tremendous amount of customers who will do anything to beat the system.
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Motor Vehicle Officer/Referee in Drive-thru - 8/15/10
Posted by on
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- I just had a very disturbing visit in this drive-through. Upon my almost entry into the drive-through a car flies in off of Anderson Lane, almost runs into me and then cuts in front of me and pulls up to the drive-through menu to order. I decided it was not fair that I had to wait behind this person who would have caused an accident had I not allowed them to cut in front of me. So I pulled up to the drive-through window to be rudely greeted by ******. ****** immediately began lecturing me about cutting in front of the other car and that he had a camera and saw me do it. I explained to him that I indeed did get in front of the car that cut me off and almost caused an accident doing it. I further told him I did not appreciate the lecture when he did not see what happened before either of us got to the drive through menu.

What ****** did not see is that the car behind me jeopordized my safety to cut in front of me to the ordering menu at the drive-through. My comlaint is this, ****** had no business trying to referee a situtation he did not have the facts on and it was extremely unprofessional of him to jump to conclusions about the only part of the situation he saw and then lecture me about an incorrect conclusion. I even tried to explain to him what happened but he insisted on being rude, condescending and unprofessional. I could even see him telling his co-workers inside and laughing. He even had the nerve to yell at me as I was driving off "you're great, you're justified."

I am not exaggerating as to his full unprofessional way of handling this situation. I am absolutely astonished that any professional person would behave this way. It is 100% inappropriate and unacceptatble to be harassed at the drive-through by an employee. I am quite disturbed by his behavior and I would really appreciate some sort of confirmation that this incident is being taken seriously. I am sure no one at Starbucks would be proud of this sort of represenation.
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Skye on 08/15/2010:
Maybe the Starbucks employee was concerned for the safety of the other vehicle, because it was on their property, and they did not see this particular car cut you off in beginning as you stated. I don't know how rude they were to you, and they should not have been. This all could have been avoided, if you just let it go, instead of cutting them off to get to the window, all over coffee. I'm not saying that it was OK they cut you off first, but it was over and done with. There are 3 sides to every story, yours, the Starbucks employee and the truth, which lies somewhere in the middle.
biomajor on 08/15/2010:
Skye, I'd rate that Very Helpful if I could!!!
spiderman2 on 08/15/2010:
Two wrongs don't make a right.
Skye on 08/15/2010:
Spiderman, that's the phrase I was trying to remember! Thanks!
biomajor on 08/15/2010:
When I was a kid, my mother never saw my brother hit me, but she sure saw me hit him back every time! LOL
Anonymous on 08/16/2010:
why was my comment removed
goduke on 08/16/2010:
I think Skye pretty much nailed it. Great comment!
Anonymous on 08/16/2010:
Ya know I hear wonderful things these days about decaf. Great coffee taste without feeling a might jittery. Just a little food for thought.

Fufu487 on 08/16/2010:
People cut in at drive-through line-ups all the time. It frustrating, yes. But taking it that one step further is just childish, IMO.
goduke on 08/16/2010:
"Starbucks Rage"
shootingstar1284 on 08/16/2010:
I can't attest to the rudeness of the employee since I wasn't there, but if the incident happened on Starbucks property, it is indeed his business to ask that you not cut people off in the drive-through. I know where I work, if a child is standing up in a cart or a customer is doing something that is endangering themselves or others, the employee has every right to request that they correc the behavior.

Also, were you turning left, or right, into the drive through? It looks (at least from the street view on Google maps) that the entrance is on Anderson lane. If the other car was turning left into the entrance, then yes, they may have cut you off. I'm honestly surprised that you were able to then cut the other car off as it looks to be a fairly small lot.
Ytropious on 08/16/2010:
OP, I'm sorry, but you're being a hypocrite. You say you were offended by this other car cutting you off and jeopardizing your safety, so what do you do? You jeopardized your safety, AND the safety of the other car on purpose, all over coffee. You have no right to gripe about safety when you chose to retaliate in a juvenile and completely unsafe way.
Unga on 08/19/2010:
Yes you guys are right, now that I have calmed down I see that I should not have done that. I should have just parked and went in the store. I would have gotten it quicker anyway.

My main beef is that the SB employee had not right to lecture me about something he did not have all the facts on. I endangered no one as this woman did. She almost Tboned me, I was already in the parking lot with the front of my car in the drive-through when she barrelled in, looked me right in the eye and kept going up to the ordering menu. When she was stopped ordering at the menu, I safely went around her to the window.

I think the SB employee was trying to the right thing, but when you start out with a dirty look, a condescending tone and say "why did you not order at the menu, did you not see it, its that big huge box over there" and then begin harassing me about cutting in line when he didn't see how she almost caused an accident. She had a child in her car too.

And then this professional employee is yelling out at the drive-through window at me as I am driving off. I think everyone (myself included) handled this very wrong. I know if I was at work and handled a customer in this fashion I would have to take accountability for it and so should he.
Ytropious on 08/19/2010:
Again OP, you are painting the other woman as being unsafe, while everything you did was completely harmless. I don't think that is 100% the case. If the SB employee had to say something my guess is whatever you did sure didn't LOOK as safe as you claim it is. Even if the other woman is in the wrong, why did you cut her in DT line? You have to order at the box not the window. Would have just been easier to do things in the right order methinks.
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Terrible service from a Starbucks rude employee.
Posted by on
MIAMI -- This morning I went to a Starbucks store at Biscayne Blvd & 69 St. in Miami, FL. to buy a Chai Tea about 8:45 am, 01/02/2010

I am very displeased with my service at Starbucks this morning, I asked for a Chai Tea Latte but I got a regular Chai Tea "Tazo®" ($1,45 + tax). and I was charged for a tall Chai Tea Latte ($2,95 + tax), When I went to ask the employee about it, he answered With a rude manners, "I DO NOT HOW MUCH I CHARGED YOU" then he turned his face "with a bad attitude" to his friend he was talking to.

Biscayne & 69th St. (UCO)

6815 Biscayne Boulevard

Miami, FL 33138
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Anonymous on 01/02/2010:
okay we're missing a lot. So this employee just screamed at you for no reason? Doesn't seem right. Seems like we're missing a lot of information, like what YOU exactly said to the employee. For one, I can't believe the amount of people who go to Starbucks every daysand literally pee their money away on a 4 dollar cup of coffee. anyway, everyone makes mistakes. Especially a fast paced coffeshop like Starbucks. If you don;t like it, don't go there any more. I'm sure theres another Starbucks a few blocks down the road. I see Starbucks all over the place....they're literally on every corner.
PepperElf on 01/02/2010:
heck, my grocery store sells tazo... probably cheaper than buying it at Starbucks.
Class Advocate on 01/02/2010:
Rude or not, I'd overpay at that Starbucks if I needed coffee. Sorry.
Summer on 05/21/2011:
On May 20th 2011 around 9 p.m, My husband and I went to the Starbucks Shop at Grand Priare Mall in Peoria Il . When we walked in, there were three employess standing at the counter.One was looking at the register, the other two were conversing and for a full 4 minutes, they ignored us totally, never even looking up or excusing themselves or even asking anything. Another employee who was servicing the drive through ivedwindow finally came over and got out orders. If they were filling orders, It would have been understandable, but just ignoring customers is bad for business
Employee on 08/20/2013:
Then why not make your presence known by saying "excuse me can you help me please" or greeting them with a loud hello/how are you? If you did that already and they still did not notice you
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From a Starbucks Employee
Posted by on
MARYLAND -- I have worked as a Supervisor for the largest Starbucks in the US for over 3 years now. And I have found Starbucks to be a love hate relationship. As I am sure a lot of the regular consumers have too.

Everyday I come to work with a smile and try to meet the customers needs as best as I can. Some days my job is easier than others. But the other days I can´t wait to escape. I love seeing customers walking out the door with smiles on there face and drinks in there hand. But I can´t tell you how many times customers have come in and demanded refunds because the drink doesn't taste like it does at there neighborhood Starbucks.(I work on the busiest highway in the US) I assure them that my baristas have made the drink correctly but if they would like I personally would make it again. Most reply with "I drink these every day so I would know." I would love to say to them "I make over 300 of these a day I´m sure it´s made right!" Most agree others are rude and ignorant enough to insult me and my employees. Sure sometimes baristas make mistakes.

But as a consumer do you think that sometimes you are a little to critical. OK my latte isn´t 170degrees it´s 165 or o my god even 160degrees. Or I can´t believe you didn't put whip cream on a nonfat mocha my Starbucks knows to put it on anyway. But really take a second and put yourself in the shoes of the worker, when you have customers coming in complaining to you for 8 hrs straight most of the time about something you know you did correctly even the best associates are going to get a little frustrated.

I love working at Starbucks serving the average coffee drinker. And I love talking with my customers that come in every morning. But there is a select few out there that drink Starbucks daily and think that because of that they are the all knowing king or queen of Starbucks and they can critique every Starbucks with a fine tooth comb and should they find one imperfection are the first to cry foul.

Listen Starbucks is an one of a kind experience. Not one of those experiences is going to be the same but should you come into my store on a busy Sunday afternoon and I am on the BAR you will experience a once in a lifetime experience. I promise you that.
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Anonymous on 07/21/2008:
I wish they were closing more than just 88 locations in California.We have 4 Starbucks within a mile radius of my house.OVERKILL
yoke on 07/21/2008:
They are threatening to put another one in our town, it will be about a mile from another one.
Anonymous on 07/21/2008:
They put one right next to a GOOD place for coffee,I was worried they might see a loss in business once the new SB opened,but they haven't.You give people a good product,they will be back.I'm baffled as to why SB is so popular,is it because its a trendy place to go?Their coffee is nasty(IMO)
Anonymous on 07/21/2008:
No need for a Starbucks here, with my sadly lacking cooking skills, I can make nasty coffee all by myself.
Anonymous on 07/21/2008:
Steve you heard the old joke, how do you get to the library? Go to the first Starbucks and turn right, then the third Starbucks and turn right again, then to the second Starbucks and turn left. After driving 45 feet turn at the last Starbucks on the right and you're there.
madconsumer on 07/21/2008:
when gas is so high, a cup of 5 dollar coffe just aint going to become my main stay of daily living.
bargod on 07/21/2008:
But, where are people going to go in public to work on their screenplay? It's where all the cool people go. Hence I am not allowed in.
grandma005 on 07/21/2008:
A cup of five dollar coffee is insane. I will sell you a cup for two dollars and still get rich.
NikiBux on 09/15/2008:
A cup of coffee, our largest size, is $1.85. I would hardly say that is overpriced. The drinks that are more expensive are those that are more labor-intensive with more expensive ingredients. Frappuccino's, for example, are made with an base, then we have to add ice, and whatever syrup/shots of espresso/blah blah blah, and then blend, and pour, and add toppings. What you pay is for the labor I put into that drink.
Things like added shots or soy milk are what jack-up the prices to $4+. But for a cup of plain, regular coffee, I would never say $1.85 is too much for a 20oz cup.
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What can I get for you "Bro"?
Posted by on
HILLSBORO, OREGON -- I am a professional in the High Tech industry, and currently am employed by such a company.

At Approximately 1:30am on Thursday morning December 22nd, I left work and stopped at the nearby Starbucks . My job is only 3 minutes away from this location. I entered and approached the counter, and the associate behind the counter asked, "what can I get you bro?"

I cannot remember this young man's name but there were only two individuals working at that time, the aforementioned young man, and a young woman.

After ordering my beverage I was curious to know if this was an isolated event or if it was his usual method of greeting. The next gentleman in line was caucasian and some years older than myself. The Starbucks associate addressed him as "Sir".

I am an African-American male, and I have NEVER, and I would like to emphasize the word Never, been called "Bro" when greeted in a business environment.

I am also a frequent customer of Starbucks, though this was my first time at this location not having been in my current position for an extended length of time.

In this day and age the word "Bro" is NOT to be used or even considered in any proper greeting, and doing so is an invitation to an escalated action. Having patronized other Starbucks locations I assume this is not a company sanctioned form of salutation, and I would very much appreciate an apology, and because this is the closest 24 hour Starbucks to my place of employment, I would like to patronize that location on another occasion and I would like to know what action is going to be taken so that this offensive episode does not happen again. Had I been a journalist at one of our local papers I certainly would have taken this incident to pen, and written an article on the degradation of customer service. I'm not sure if his reference to the word "Bro" had anything to do with my ethnicity, but I must say, having experienced his greeting of other customers in a much more dignified manner the evidence is daunting.

In closing, I would not think proper business etiquette, where salutations are concerned, needs to be taught in the current business environment. Knowing what to say and to who is just as important as the product being sold as such interactions can make or break a sale.
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CobraCat77 on 12/25/2005:
Don't take it so seriously. I'm sure the guy just felt more of a connection to you and "bro" was how he expressed it. While it may not have been appropriate or professional, it's nothing to get bent out of shape about. Next time if it happens, just say "thank you sir" when he gives you your coffee. I'm sure he'll get the hint.
DebtorBasher on 12/25/2005:
I do agree that the young man was not professional with that greeting. However, if you felt it was improper or if you felt insulted, you should have told him right then and there that you would appreciate not being addressed that way and that it isn't a professional greeting. I'm sure you would have gotten your apology. Let me ask you this...if it were an African American man behind the counter, and he addressed you as "Bro", would you still feel the same way? If not, what would be the difference, and if so, then you should have him addressed and corrected in a mature way. It's no biggie, I've heard others being addressed the same way, I admit it doesn't sound good, but they may feel that this type of greeting would make their customer feel welcomed. I don't see there was any intentional insult, and you may do another person a favor along with the young man if you did address it...he problably has no clue that someone would get so highly insulted over a greeting that so many "bros" give to each other everyday in passing. The white customer may have felt insulted if he heard you being greeted as "Bro" and he as "Sir", because "Sir" is so generic and "Bro" is more personal. Ever think of it that way? What next...insulted because a white man asks for his coffee "Black"????? Build a bridge and get over it.
you r stupid on 12/25/2005:
Don't be so uptight!!! He probably called you BRO cause you were a male and not older like the white guy behind you. My husband has been called BRO before when we have gone out and he is not black, and he didn't get offended. Now if he would of said what up N____! Then I would of taken offense, I think it's offensive when anyone says it.
Anonymous on 12/25/2005:
I don't think he meant it to be offensive. Like Debtorbasher pointed out, if it bothered you that much, why didn't you say something to him right then & there? Wouldn't that have been easier than typing this complaint?
Ms.Consumer on 12/25/2005:
There is a lot of unconscious racism out there. I have been in situations where white women are addressed by titles (Ms/Mrs) then the person refers to me by first name. If the store/area isn't too crowded I'll mention it to the person. If it's too public, I may call the store later. GOod luck with your complaint.
miketech on 12/25/2005:
I'm 37 and white. I'm strange though. I would consider "bro" less of an insult than "sir". And in my opinion a lot of the younger "white" generation has embraced the "African-American" culture, music sports and such. From your post you sound like a professional who is proud of his accomplishments. Remember though you were dealing with a teenager at a Starbucks. I would hazard a guess that he would feel closer to someone who is a "bro" than a "sir". Sorry you were offended but somethings must be taken with the spirit of intent.
Ponie on 12/25/2005:
Oh, moonie--is this what you have to complain about on Christmas Eve? You may have been offended by the term 'bro', but can you explain another term you've tossed about quite freely? I refer to 'African-American.' Did your ancestors originate in a CONTINENT or a country, as mine did? My great-grandparents were born in Germany. We don't use the term 'European-Americans.' In fact, we just use the term 'American.' Some of us belong to social clubs composed of Americans whose ancestors were born in Germany. And we don't call it a 'German-American' club, we call it an 'American-German' club. We are Americans first. You complain about one term born in ebonics, but you cling to another. I'd also do a check on the terminology 'ethnicity.' P.S. If you're wondering why I'm on the computer on Christmas Day, it's because my 'kraut' relatives have stuffed me full of Sauerbraten, etc., sent me home, and I need some time to myself. Get a grip! Your high-tech profession doesn't impress anyone but you.
RVRBOATKNG on 12/25/2005:
I guess you should have shown your education card and work title before ordering your coffee. I have seen whites called bro as well as other terms and no big deal. Why is someone always looking for a racial slur in everything? It was just a hello. You sound like you were being sorted out for being black but do you think your work title makes you better than someone else? Lighten up and go enjoy one of Starbucks Christmas coffees.
crewboy on 12/25/2005: were in a friggin' coffee house! The atmosphere is not intended to be rigid and formal. The guy was selling you a cup of java, not trying to sell you on some multi million dollar business project. Please don't be one of those people that looks for ways to take offense everywhere you go.
guchiedad on 12/26/2005:
I think it is YOU who should apologize to all of US for making us read your stupid tirade. I'm not white either, and getting addressed like that doesn't insult me. I'm sick and tired of non-whites feeling oppressed and making excuses for racism in cases where it obviously has not shown itself. Perhaps in your superior "high-tech" education you should have taken some time out to socialize with a variety of people so that you could see the value in all people and be able to differentiate when someone is being friendly from insulting.
DebtorBasher on 12/26/2005:
Very well said, quchiedad!
Anonymous on 12/26/2005:
Thank you, SIR. Have a nice day, SIR. Feel better now?
DebtorBasher on 12/26/2005:
I have to disagree with the above message...telling someone to have a nice day is the same as telling them "have a nice day because you are too stupid looking to have a nice day unless someone tells you too"...some people may be offended by that statement...we have to be very careful in our choice of words in the workplace.....LOL
Mad Eye Moody on 12/27/2005:
My opinion, (and my opinion is often wrong but that never stops me from expressing it), is that you may have reacted differently if the kid behind the counter wasn't white. Maybe you're an approachable looking guy; maybe you've got a friendly smile and a voice that seems to create instant rapport with people...maybe the kid was reacting to that. I don't know if there were required psychology classes that you had to take to get your degree in IT, but you'd do very well to look up and study the dynamics of reciprocal behavior. We send thousands of unconscious messages to people everyday that we don't even know we're sending. You may have sent one to him, or vice versa, that neither of you were even aware of.
Mad Eye Moody on 12/27/2005:
And the rest of you - lay off the man's educational achievements. Why on earth would anyone be attacking him for that? I love you all, but please...if you feel the need to pick people apart in order to feel a few seconds of validation, try to home in on something valid. Silly Kids.
Mad Eye Moody on 12/27/2005:
Siffer - good point, by the way. I'm interested to know what the poster has to say regarding that, as well. Let's hope he responds.
Anonymous on 12/27/2005:
Blackmoon, you're ordering "a cup of joe" not closing on a mega million dollar deal! These days everyone uses that term. No lawsuit here homeboy!
holycrap on 03/06/2006:
at the local Vons grocery one of the meat clerks
asks customers " can I help you boss " its irritating but just respond, do you call everyone ( ) or am I just the lucky one.
you will get your point across.
Blacksheep34 on 11/09/2006:
Here in Texas(ft.worth,Colleyville store on hwy 26)They hold and give drinks to a local Neo-Nazi organization.So your not the only one feeling the Starsucks racism!!!
outlawwoman13 on 12/15/2006:
Followthisbeat on 12/31/2006:
I cannot believe people will really complain about ANYTHING. So if they call someone "Sir", they'd get "don't call me SIR! Do I look that old", OK, why don't we all just start referring to each other as "you", like "hey you!" of course I'm sure that would offend someone too! Get over it buddy!
Starlord on 05/09/2007:
I will only refer to a very funny routine that everyone can identify with. In one of the Rush Hour movies, Chris Tucker greets the bartender in the black club, "What's up, my n****?" He had forgotten he had told Jackie Chan just to do what he did, Jackie greets the bartender. "What's up, my n*******?" Everyone, regardless of ethnicity howled at that scene. It was human and funny, and no one got all offended and bent out of shape about it. I have an old friend who has called everyone 'Bro,' ever since I met him back in the early 80's. No one has ever gotten torqued about it, because he is just so doggone friendly and engaging. I love that saying, , build a bridge and get over it.
Anonymous on 09/26/2009:
"Bro" may or may not be racist, but you deserve the respect of being called "Sir" no matter what; part of the trend of having so many young people (who I believe are considerably more casual than those of the previous generation)in a customer-facing environment means that they treat everyone as a peer, and, in many cases, lack basic manners and social skills. No customer service person should ever address a patron as anything other than Sir or Ma'am unless otherwise directed.
Anonymous on 09/27/2009:
Alex, I disagree. If you work in a professional office place, then Sir and Ma'am are appropriate. If work in a coffee house of burger joint, casual is the norm.

I also agree that if blacks can call each other nigga so can I. I think it is stupid to have different rules for different races.

I have lived 38 years, and I have never heard an Oriental person scream racism for being called chink, or a Vietnamese for being called gook, or an Italian for being called daygo (sp), or Mexican for being called wet back. Why is that? Perhaps we have thicker skin and can laugh at ourselves.

Personally, if YOU can do it, so can I.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Smoke Free Yet Employees Smoking Pot
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
TUCKER, GEORGIA -- I find it quite interesting that most locations promote smoke free environments, yet allow associates to smoke pot on their breaks "25 feet away". I've witnessed this numerous occasions at one particular location and it is always the same couple people, behind the wing restaurant or in a cute silver car. You cannot tell me management is unaware unless they are one if them. Regardless a clear example of hypocrisy at its best. I can only assume random drug screening is not part of their employment. Disappointing as well as a turn off for this customer of 13+ years.
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Horrific Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- Everyday I order more than $10 worth of food for 10 years from this Starbucks. However, this new employee decides to skip my order for more than 10 minutes. The sad part is 4 white customers received their orders before I have, a foreign black man.

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