Starbucks Fail


I haven’t written anything for two months. I’m surprised that I was prompted to write by a FAIL… courtesy of Starbucks’ new Rewards program.

Here is how it was laid out, in an email earlier this week…

Dear Dan,

We have exciting news to share. This April, My Starbucks Rewards becomes Starbucks Rewards, a new program that reflects the #1 request we heard from members: more Stars awarded based on what you buy, no matter how often you visit.

I’m all for change and was thrilled to hear Starbucks had exciting news to share. I couldn’t wait to read the next paragraph…


You’ll earn 2 Stars for every $1 you spend on coffee, food, drinks, mugs–and more. As a Gold member, once you earn 125 Stars, you’ll be able to redeem them for anything on the menu.

So lets do some math…

Old Rewards program: 1 Star earned per drink, 12 Stars enables you to redeem for anything on the menu (within reason). My Grande Americano, cost $3.10. Therefore, after spending $37.20… I get a free reward. Nice.

New Rewards program: 2 Stars for every $1 spent. 125 Stars, or $62.50 spent, gets you a free reward.

Now, I’m no genius… so I’m going to need some help to understand why this is exciting news. If this is, as billed in the first paragraph, the #1 request Starbucks heard from their members, I can only assume the #2 request must have been to double the price of all their products.

Starbucks is supposed to be different… with this one step, they’ve revealed themselves to be no different than all the other corporations who lure customers in with loyalty programs only to turn that same program into something meaningless.

No wonder the name changed from My Starbucks Rewards to Starbucks Rewards. Removing ‘My’ makes it much more rewarding for Starbucks.

Shame on you Starbucks…


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