People Are Pissed About Starbucks’ New Rewards Program

       I remember a joke from a stand-up comedian lamenting how Americans get entitled to something quickly, even if they didn’t have it before.  His example was a guy who sat next to him on a plane when the stewardess announced they had FREE wi-fi available on the flight (which was new at the time.)  The guy logs in, starts working, and when the wi-fi freezes for a second, blurts out “Are you kidding me?”    So in other words, he was already complaining about losing something he didn’t have 5 minutes ago.
      So in a similar vein, we have a bunch of people whining on Twitter about how Starbucks award program has changed.  When they started it out, you could earn points just by going to a Starbucks, without even buying something.  Originally I’m sure SB thought that if they just got people in the store, they would buy stuff.  Unfortunately, they underestimated Americans resolve in taking advantage of systems to get things for free, and they undoubtedly had people walking in and out of the store (or sitting there taking up tables without buying anything) and there was not much of an increase in sales, just an increase in free coffee being given out.
      So now they change it to a more logical system (you get points if you actually BUY something!) and everyone complains.  I especially love the last one, where they complain that they have to spend $62 to get a free coffee worth $4.00.   That’s an award of about 6% of what you spent.   I have news for you, at CVS you only get 2% on their Extra Bucks reward program, and probably the most generous program is Target’s Red Card which gives you a 5% discount.   So take your free coffee every 2 weeks and quit your whining!

    The only thing people love more than Starbucks coffee is free Starbucks coffee. And there are typically two ways to get free coffee: steal it (which is frowned upon), or earn it viaStarbucks Rewards, an app/card which, umm, rewards loyal customers with free drinks and food. But the Starbucks Rewards program changed in a huge way, and angry loyalists are taking to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction.

   It used to work like this: you’d be rewarded with a star every time you visited your local shop. It didn’t matter how much money you spent per visit, they only gave you credit for visiting — so in that way, Starbucks was like your mom. She just wanted to see you. Why don’t you visit her as much anymore?

Each visit was worth one star. After 12 visits/stars, you’d get a free reward (coffee! Food!), and after 30 visits/stars, you’d get Gold status. That meant you could get free refills in the store. That was the only real perk. But Americans seemingly spend more time at Starbucks than they do in their own homes (or visiting their mothers), so that’s a valuable reward!

    As of today, things have changed. You’re awarded two stars for every $1 spent. It takes300 stars to hit that fancy Gold level, though if you use the app/card to make a purchase between now and May 2nd, you’ll be Gold for a year. And it takes 125 stars — as in, you must spend $62.50 — to get a free coffee or food item. Instead of rewarding you for visiting frequently, Starbucks’ new program incentivizes customers based on how much money you spend. And people on Twitter are not happy. Here’s what folks had to say.

One guy wants a scapegoat

2 thoughts on “People Are Pissed About Starbucks’ New Rewards Program

  1. Last fall I downloed the 7-Eleven App that gives you a free coffee after 7 purchased. (Or is it the seventh is Free?)
    They also will even scan your phone for refills that are $1.25 for a very large. The First purchse of that size is $1.95 so I figure I am saving money either way, over Starbucks… and their coffee doesn’t suck. Far from trendy, but decent.

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