A Starbucks customer in Chicago is suing Starbucks for reportedly serving her too much ice and not enough coffee in a cold beverage.
Stacy Pincus has accused the coffee giant of “deceiving” customers with its ice to coffee ratio and her lawsuit seeks class-action status.
“A Starbucks customer who orders a Venti cold drink receives only 14 fluid ounces of that drink – just over half the advertised amount, and just over half the amount for which they are paying,” cites the 29-page-long complaint filed by the customer.
“In the iced coffee example, a Starbucks customer who orders and pays for a Venti iced coffee, expecting to receive 24 fluid ounces of iced coffee based on Starbucks’ advertisement and marketing, will instead receive only about 14 fluid ounces of iced coffee.”
Starbucks’ cold drinks are available in four different sizes: tall (12oz), grande (16oz), venti (24oz) and trenta (30oz). Hot beverages are only served in the first three sizes.
“In essence, Starbucks is advertising the size of its cold drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they purchase a cold drink – and deceiving its customers in the process,” states the lawsuit.
Pincus’s complaint also takes issue with the company’s pricing system, which includes higher prices for cold drinks. Since hot drinks do not include ice and cost less, she argues, Starbucks is making more money off of customers buying iced drinks.
A spokesperson for Starbucks said the lawsuit is “without merit”.
“Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any ‘iced’ beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it,” spokesperson Jamie Riley told CNN.
Starbucks customers who desire less ice in their beverages have also been known to ask for “light” ice when placing their orders.
The lawsuit filed by Pincus will apply to any customer who has purchased an iced beverage in the last decade. According to the complaint, the claims could exceed $5m.