May 04, 2016

    Starbucks sued for over $6.7m for serving less than advertised


    A CHICAGO woman is suing Starbucks for more than US$5 million (S$6.7 million), claiming the coffee giant is underfilling its popular hand-blended iced coffee, tea and other drinks, making customers overpay.

    In a lawsuit alleging false advertising and consumer fraud, Stacy Pincus accuses the world's biggest coffee retailer of serving "much less than advertised - often nearly half as many fluid ounces".

    "As a result of this practice, Starbucks' cold drinks contain significantly less product than advertised, by design and corporate practice and procedure," the suit filed last week said.

    Starbucks baristas typically fill cold-drink plastic cups to the top black line printed on the cups and the rest with ice.

    Ms Pincus said that since April 2006, she and millions of other Starbucks customers had been defrauded because Venti cup customers get only 414ml of beverage - the amount of liquid obtained when filling cups to the top line - even though menus state a 710ml total.

    "Starbucks includes these three black lines on its cold drink cups to ensure that its employees fill these cups with less fluid ounces than are advertised on Starbucks' menu for a given cold drink," the lawsuit said.

    Ms Pincus is also challenging Starbucks' pricing, saying it charges more for cold drinks than hot ones.

    An average Grande Iced Coffee, advertised as a 473ml drink, costs US$2.65 while a hot Grande Freshly Brewed Coffee costs US$2.10.