I had what can only be described as one of the worst Starbucks experiences recently.   After watching 3 people move in circles behind the counter for an extraordinarily long time, I finally had a chance to place my order.  Nothing to complex:

  • Grande London Fog with non fat milk and sugar free syrup
  • Oatmeal with steamed non- fat milk instead of water..

See a trend, non-fat, no sugar, not too tough, but the the cashier completely botched my order.  She completely  neglected to write down correct instructions, so the barrista had no clue what to do.  As I watched her make my drink I stopped her twice;  once because she didn’t put syrup in at all and the second time because she was about to use the fully sweetened syrup.  When she snapped at me because the order wasn’t written that way, I have to admit I was perplexed since I  wasn’t the one who wrote it down.

I then watched as she proceeded to make my oatmeal with water.  When I  stopped her and asked her to make it properly she again yelled at me.  Ok, lets think about this…I go to Starbucks for the service and the experience, neither was obvious that day.

I decided to complain to customer relations at Starbucks, which in case you are curious is no easy project.  You have to really look to find the place to submit a note, they are much happier telling you how much they care, then actually showing it. And in response to my note I got the following reply:

Hello Lorraine,

I was very sorry to hear about your recent experience at the Indianapolis Starbucks store.  I appreciate you taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.  I will share your comments with the management team responsible for the store in order to address the issue properly.

In order to invite you back into our stores, I have arranged for a couple of beverage coupons to be sent to you. You should receive them soon.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at http://www.starbucks.com/customer/  or call 1-800-235-2883 to speak directly with a Customer Relations representative.

Katie B.
Customer Relations Representative
Starbucks Coffee Company

Given the generic nature of the response I am pretty sure it was computer generated and no real person , Katie B or otherwise is actually concerned I was annoyed.  And that annoyed me even more.   If you don’t care, don’t pretend you do.  And if you do care, make me feel that way.   If you are getting so many complaints about service, you can’t muster a more personal response, perhaps you have a bigger issue.

That being the case, they can keep their coupons, there is a Dunkin Donuts across the street. I think I will go there tommorrow.