May 1, 2016
Starbucks Hit With $5 Million Lawsuit By Woman Claiming Her Coffee Had Too Much Ice

Stacy Pincus has had enough of Starbucks and their ice-to-coffee ratio. According to reports by TMZ and the New York Post among others, Pincus started a class action lawsuit against Starbucks. If successful, she and other plaintiffs may split $5 million.

Or far less; it's typically the attorneys who pocket the majority of the cash earned through these types of lawsuits.

Iced coffee is very serious business to some people, so serious that Starbucks may have to change the way it serves its coffee to keep customers happy.

This particular case began when Pincus, a native of Illinois, noted that the 24-ounce venti iced coffee she ordered was made up of much more ice than she wanted. According to plaintiffs in the case, anyone who orders a venti-sized iced drink gets 14 ounces of coffee and 10 ounces of ice. This would mean nearly half the drink is made up of ice.

By the way, the venti-sized drink costs about $5.

That's a bit pricey for a drink. When you consider that almost half of what you're paying for could be frozen water, it's understandable why this Starbucks customer was hopping mad.

Still, is ice worth a lawsuit? Stacy seems to think so. She outright accused the coffee chain of "fraud" and "negligent misrepresentation." She also thinks the ice-to-coffee ratio lead to "unjust enrichment."

Not fixing their drinks the way that customers like or find to be fair is threatening to cost Starbucks millions. This class action lawsuit comes mere weeks after a latte lawsuit.

Yes, seriously. A quote from Today reported on the incident.

"A new lawsuit alleges Starbucks lattes are 'approximately 25 percent underfilled,' calling it 'fraud.' And it's not just variations by different baristas, the lawsuit says; it's Starbucks' own 'standardized recipe.'"

"The official Starbucks menu in stores lists a grande latte at 16 fluid ounces. Rossen Reports bought the same grande latte at six different Starbucks locations, then measured them in laboratory-grade beakers after allowing the foam to settle."

Imagine breaking out the chemistry set to determine if Starbucks lattes are being systematically underfilled. That kind of behavior may actually flatter Starbucks, if only because such an act proves that people seem to care a great deal about their products.

It could instead mean that some people are very dedicated to getting their money's worth of their morning cup of joe. Surely, Starbucks will want to search for a silver lining.

What's interesting is that the customers in question seem to assume they are entirely at the mercy of Starbucks and their standard recipes. Is it true customers are overpaying for iced coffee? Possibly. Is it true that lattes are underfilled? Maybe.

And yet, there's something the parties behind both lawsuits apparently never bothered to take into consideration: They might be free to adjust their Starbucks orders in whatever manner suits them.

Today shared money-saving hacks for Starbucks coffee fans. These hacks might even cut their coffee bill in half. Here's a tip for chopping down that $5 Venti iced coffee bill.

"We jerry-rigged our own iced latte by ordering three espresso shots over ice in a Venti cup, then we added the milk ourselves at the bar. The total cost at our neighborhood Starbucks ran us $2.45 instead of nearly $5: a huge savings."

"But we asked ourselves this: Is it OK to fill up a 24-ounce iced Venti cup with lots of milk that we didn't explicitly pay for? Somehow we haven't gotten raised eyebrows from baristas when we've tested this hack, but maybe we've just been lucky."

The question now is whether a lot of milk is better than a half a cup of ice.
Do you think this Starbucks iced coffee lawsuit goes too far or should Starbucks be held accountable for allegedly "cheating" customers? Share your thoughts below!

[AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File]