An Illinois woman, upset that her Starbucks iced drink was more “ice” and less “drink,” has filed a lawsuit on behalf of everyone who has ever been similarly defrauded by Starbucks. She wants $5 million.
As MSN reports, Stacy Pincus apparently broke out the kitchen scales and carefully measured out the ice-to-coffee ration in her 24-ounce “Venti” coffee, and found it sorely lacking. Specifically, the 24-ounce drink contains about 14 ounces of coffee, and about ten ounces of ice.
Making matters worse for Starbucks customers who like cold drinks, Starbucks charges more for cold beverages than they do for hot ones, even though hot ones contain no ice, and thus more coffee, than their cold counterparts.
As far as Ms. Pincus is concerned, that amounts to nothing short of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment, according to the lawsuit obtained by Courthouse News.
“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.”
Ms. Pincus believes that $5 million ought to be enough to punish Starbucks for their practices. As of this writing, it is not clear if she intends to distribute the money, should she win her lawsuit, to other disappointed Starbucks customers.
In a statement obtained by the New York Daily News, Starbucks spokesperson Jaime Riley called the lawsuit “absurd.”
“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.”
Oddly enough, just a few weeks ago, Starbucks was sued, this time over their hot-beverage practices.
As TMZ reported at the time, plaintiffs in California alleged that Starbucks was under-filling its hot beverages — at least, those hot beverages that required milk. In essence, the complainants said that Starbucks used foam to cut corners and save money on milk.
“In the food science community, as well as in the weights and measures community, foam is not measured on a volumetric basis.”
Not surprisingly, Starbucks also brushed off that claim, telling the New York Daily News that Starbucks “inform[s] customers of the likelihood of variations” in such drinks.
Starbucks is not the first company to face a lawsuit for “deceptive” practices when it comes to describing the size of their product.
According to a February, 2016, Forbes report, disappointed customers sued sandwich giant Subway for selling “foot-long” sandwiches that were routinely shorter than 12 inches. However, during the trial, it emerged that a slightly-shorter-than-advertised Subway foot-long isn’t so much a matter of deception as it is natural variations in the baking and sandwich-making processes.
“All of the raw dough sticks used to bake Subway bread weigh exactly the same. The dough sticks arrive at the restaurants frozen, and are then thawed, stretched, allowed to rise, and baked. Due to natural variability in this process, the final loaves may have slightly different shapes. Some loaves will be slightly shorter and wider than others. But because all loaves are baked from the same quantity of dough, each loaf contains the same quantity of ingredients.”
Still, Subway settled the lawsuit for half a million dollars, with most of that money going to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, and promised to disclose the fact that their “foot-long” sandwiches may be slightly smaller.
Do you think the Starbucks ice lawsuit has any merit?
[Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images]