Starbucks has been getting a pretty bad rep lately — customers have previously accused them of adding too much ice to their cold beverages and now, two customers are suing them for under-filling lattes.
While the lawsuit may seem too trivial to be heard by a court, a San Francisco-based US district judge named Thelton Henderson determined that the customers making the claims against the coffee giant may pursue their case.
The nationwide class action suit seeks damages for fraud and false advertising from Starbucks Corp. for cheating its customers out of the beverage they are paying for.
The disgruntled California customers, Siera Strumlauf and Benjamin Robles, claim that Starbucks does not put the adequate amount of milk in their lattes, which is the main ingredient that separates a latte from other coffee drinks.
“A latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk,” the lawsuit claims, explaining that caffè latte is Italian for “milk coffee." "Traditionally, a latte is created by mixing steamed milk and espresso, which is then topped with a thin layer of milk foam.”
According to The Guardian, the company is being accused of overcharging customers by serving lattes that are 25% too small in an effort to save money on milk.
“By under-filling its lattes, thereby shortchanging its customers, Starbucks has saved countless millions of dollars in the cost of goods sold and was unjustly enriched by taking payment for more product than it delivers,” the suit reportedly reads.
Although Starbucks advertises that their Tall, Grande, and Venti latte cups hold 12, 16, and 20 ounces of liquid, the plaintiffs insist that they aren’t actually serving those amounts.
Starbucks spokesman, Reggie Borges, offered a very familiar response to the claims being made against the company. It was nearly identical to the statement they offered surrounding the iced beverage case.
He discredited the lawsuit’s merit and maintained that if a customer is unsatisfied with the way a drink is made, baristas “will gladly remake it.”
While it may be true that Starbucks employees are instructed to remake drinks per customers’ requests, the chain should be making the drinks the way they are advertised in the first place.
A paying customer who waited in line patiently deserves to get exactly what they ordered in return. Furthermore, it simply isn’t fair to charge people for a certain amount of coffee that they aren’t actually getting.
One thing we can deduce as these lawsuits come to light is that Starbucks isn’t going to get away with claiming these accusations are “without merit” for much longer.
They’re going to have to address the problems and fix them before they jeopardize their beloved standing among coffee drinkers everywhere.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Elsie Hui