Posted on 4 Comments

Dear Starbucks, we have an issue…

Recently, Starbucks introduced its iPhone app which allows you to associate a Starbucks gift card with the phone and a credit card with the application. When I make a purchase from Starbucks, I simply show them the QR Code (bar code) on the phone and I’m done. Plus I get bonuses like a free drink after so many uses. I can also put more money on the application with a couple of taps of the screen. Almost too easy. And I get annoyed. That’s right ANNOYED!

See, your wonderful application has made it easier than ever for me to spend money at Starbucks. I calculate my expenditure at Starbucks since installing the iPhone app has quadrupled. Where do I get annoyed? It’s your employees. You’ve made it incredibly easy, and almost fun, to make purchases at Starbucks and your employees kill it when I try to hand them my phone and they utter, "I’m sorry. I’m not allowed to touch your phone." Well yes they are. Because I have given them permission and I speak those words, "I give you permission to take my phone." In short, that means I assume liability. If they drop my phone in a sink of soapy water, it’s my fault.

Watching a barista do acrobatics out the drive through window to stretch a scanner beyond the length of its cord because they won’t take my phone in their hand is absurd. To tell me I have to come inside to use the application is counter productive. But, since this seems to be such an issue, I now avoid your drive through which means sometimes I avoid your business altogether. That’s right. You created an application that dramatically increased my business with you. But you are quickly creating an employee culture that is driving me away.

Dear Starbucks, I ask you to do something simple. Tell your staff that if I give them permission to take my phone, they can. And if you really need to cover your ass, just put a sign by the register and at the drive through window that reads "Starbucks cannot be held liable for damage to your phone if you hand it to our employees" then have your employees ask, "Do I have permission to hold your phone?" Thanks!

Update: If I accidentally leave my phone on the counter, does this policy mean that management won’t touch it? Or do they pick it up and put it in a lost and found?

Posted on Leave a comment

Starbucks is Starbucks unless its in a store

Twitter hurts the blog posting from time to time. Six days ago I spoke to an employee of Starbucks that seemed to be in the know regarding store closures. She informed me that no Knoxville Starbucks would be closing and that the closest closure was rumored to be Chattanooga. I Twittered the information instead of posting to Reality Me so the people following me on Twitter gained the knowledge but I did not create any record to be found by the search engines or referenced by papers and bloggers. I enjoy publishing information that others find useful. Carly Harrington tells us of closures much closer to Knoxville than Chattanooga.

I predicted that the Starbucks inside of Target at Turkey Creek would close since there is a Starbucks store in the same parking lot. I learned that none of the Starbucks inside of grocery stores or other stores will be closing. These Starbucks are owned by the store chain and not by Starbucks. The name only is licensed to the store. I wonder if the quality is different or if the store can water down or take shortcuts that an actual Starbucks cannot.

The Seattle Times has does an excellent job by providing a Google Map of rumored closings.

Posted on 8 Comments

Starbucks, please improve your gift card

I’m staring at that container of contaminated coffee grounds trying to calculate the odds that it contains cyanide or razor blades or spit or roach eggs or something equally as horrible. I could easily join Futurama’s Fry’s 100 cup coffee zen state right now. That would be awesome! But, really, that is not an option. The right thing to do is returned the damaged container to the store.

Starbucks needs to improve their gift card. Right now, you can add money to the gift card which is cool. But others need to be able to add money to the gift card! How much cooler it would be to have a "Gimme Coffee" button on a site instead of a Paypal button! So Starbucks, if you are listening, please change your gift card so that people from the Internet can put more money on my gift card. Thanks!

Update: My wife put this idea into my head and email the suggestion to Starbucks.