Dear Starbucks, This Is A Tall

As someone who never gets enough sleep, my morning coffee is very important to me. I prefer to brew my coffee at home, using Starbucks ground coffee (1/2 regular, 1/2 decaf, so I can drink several cups without getting jittery), adding a scant tablespoon of half-and-half, and drinking out of one of my favorite mugs. 

dear starbucks
I may take my coffee ritual to the extreme, but it’s one of life’s simple pleasures, and a good cup of coffee can make me feel empowered to face the challenges of the day ahead. So, you’ll understand why messing with my morning coffee can make me cranky!

Even though I start my day with a cup or two of coffee at home, I usually need one more cup from the Starbucks at work. Last year, I bought myself this Starbucks mug to use there- I love drinking from a ceramic mug, and this one has a lid that makes it transportable (but not spill-proof). For months I took this mug to Starbucks and had it filled with a grande bold coffee. Then, one day when I was washing it, I noticed this printing on the bottom.

Starbucks Mug - Bottom

“12 fl oz”  Twelve ounces? Isn’t twelve ounces a “tall”?

The next time I went to Starbucks, the barista rang up a “grande” as usual, but I told her it actually is a tall sized mug. She noted that I’d been paying for a grande for months, and I explained that I had just noticed that it is labeled as 12 ounces on the bottom. “Isn’t 12 ounces a tall?” I asked. She grudgingly re-rang my order at the lower price. 

This process went on for weeks–me ordering a coffee in this mug, them ringing it as a grande, me insisting I only should be charged a tall, them grudgingly re-ringing at the tall price. Sometimes they asked “You want a tall-sized coffee in this mug?” and I would explain that the mug only holds a tall coffee, but they didn’t believe me. Sometimes they would only fill the cup 3/4 of the way. Depending on my mood, I might ask them to top it off, or I might shrug it off, knowing that I probably wouldn’t drink the last few drops anyway. One barista kept “threatening” to fill a tall paper cup with coffee and pour that in my mug, and I wished should would have because I had done my own experiment to prove to myself that my cup was indeed a tall. 

The coffee in the not-full tall paper cup comes almost to the fill line on my cup.

I entered several customer service comments through the Starbucks website (along the lines of, “Dear Starbucks, Please teach the baristas at Store XXX that this mug that you sell on your site here is a tall.”), but that didn’t seem to make a difference. I made a few calls to the Starbucks customer service phone number, but while the CSRs always were very nice and usually added $5 to my Starbucks card to make up for my troubles, they never got to the root of the issue. Finally, a CSR told me that I would have to speak to the district manager and gave me that phone number, which I eventually used after being given the stink eye once again for asking to be only charged for a tall.

I knew when the district manager had spoken to the baristas because one of them asked me if I had made a call. I felt bad for making a complaint over 15 cents, but 15 cents a day adds up, and it’s the principal. I didn’t understand why they didn’t believe me when they could read the “12 fl oz” on the bottom of the mug just as clearly as I could. I didn’t understand why they didn’t ask their district manager or look it up on the Starbucks website when I kept insisting day after day that the mug was a tall. I didn’t understand why they would rather treat me like a lying b*tch than apologize for making a mistake.

It’s all good now–although sometimes I have to educate a new barista–but if you have one of these 12 ounce double wall traveler mugs from Starbucks, make sure they only charge you for a tall. 

Do you think I went too far with my complaints?

Speaking of coffee, don’t forget to join the Ultimate Coffee Date link-up on Saturday–my treat! 😉 

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11 Responses to Dear Starbucks, This Is A Tall

  1. I almost bought that mug once when I was on a quest for a ceramic travel mug – but it said not to microwave and I heat up my coffee 3 times per cup at least (cold coffee sucks).

    But, what a pain in the butt – I’m glad they charge you correctly now – I wonder if other people bring the same cup in and get charged correctly now too?

    Happy New Year!!!
    carrie@familyfitnessfood recently posted…Big PlansMy Profile

  2. Nope! 15 cents does add up and you’re right, it’s the principle! You really shouldn’t have to feel like you’re trying to pull a fast one on them when they are just being stubborn. I’m big on numbers… 12 oz is 12 oz… it’s not complicated!
    Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed recently posted…Tis the SeasonMy Profile

  3. Very funny! I probably wouldn’t have the patience to argue with them over it. Looking forward to our coffee date Saturday!
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…My Royal Wow MomentsMy Profile

  4. Tamara says:

    Nope. Not too far. The should be bending over backwards to be friendly and accommodating to such a loyal customer! xo
    Tamara recently posted…My favourite posts of 2014My Profile

  5. Yum Yucky says:

    Sheesh. What a coffee scam. Don’t make me go in there and kick the door down if they give you a hard time again… ((insert coffee rage here))
    Yum Yucky recently posted…With Makeup vs. Without, and Part Two of My 10 Best Tips for Weight LossMy Profile

  6. WHOA! You are like a coffee detective and I thank you for doing the work for me. YES! .15 cents is 15 cents! Happy New Year!
    Smitha @RunningwithSDMom recently posted…14 things I learned as a Runner in 2014My Profile

  7. Good for you for sticking to your guns!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…My Year of Running and Racing 2014My Profile

  8. Huh. Interesting.
    The only complaint I would have is with my Asics sneakers. They often tore on the inside, near the heal due to rubbing, after several months. My last pair, which I paid close to 150 for, tore after 3 months. Bye bye Asics. Sorry.
    Karen – Fit in France recently posted…Blog anniversaryMy Profile

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