I love Starbucks. I’ve been a gold card holder since 2010. I can get a better cup of coffee in Reno at places like Swill and HighPoint, but I appreciate the convenience of multiple locations and the usually consistent product and service quality offered by Starbucks.
But I had a bad experience at the Starbucks located at Keystone and 7th Street Friday morning. I was in that location on Wednesday morning that same week and ordered a muffin with my cup of coffee. The price listed in the display counter was $1.95, but the register rung it up as $2.25. The young woman providing service that morning told me the new signs were on order and thought nothing of charging me a price different than the one advertised. I politely told her that they needed to change the signs to reflect the price they intended to charge customers. When I returned Friday morning, the price still said $1.95 and I was still charged $2.25 at the register. When I complained, the manager told the young woman “just give it to him for free.” I did not want it for free, I simply wanted to pay the advertised price.
The manager was very dismissive of my complaint and remarked “we are only human.” That’s an excuse, and customer complaints never merit excuses. What makes this so inexcusable is that is was was so easily avoidable. If you don’t have the right sign, then simply remove the wrong one and let customers inquire about the price. What really bothers me the most about this is they willfully chose to ignore my service encounter two days earlier when I politely pointed out their error and gave them the opportunity to take action to recover. I could care less about paying an additional 30 cents for the muffin, but I do care a lot about the principles of charging what you advertise and responding to loyal customers.
I always complain about bad service. I spent over $10 for lunch at a different Starbucks that same day and got fabulous service. I will continue to be a fan of Starbucks and continue to spend money with them; however, it will be a long time before I return to the location at Keystone and 7th street.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!