Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dear Starbucks-Epic Fail New Year's Day

I couldn't come up with what happened to me today at my local Starbucks, maybe Larry David could, because this would really only happen to George or Elaine.

I went into Starbucks-with my Christmas gift card and a dollar for a tip. I ordered my New Year's Day treat, Caramel Macchiato and gave the tip to the cashier, who was more than thankful-seems most people with gift cards and credit cards forget to tip.

I am waiting there for the girl to make the drink, waiting waiting waiting-the place was empty. She was moving really slow-but that's okay, I'm a great mood and have no problems waiting. Finally another girl comes in and goes behind the counter and the two of them start gossiping about other employees and what they did the night before.

After about five or ten minutes of this the girl pulls my drink-that was already made and just sitting there on the espresso machine waiting like the ugly girl at the prom-and hands it to me. She doesn't look at me or make eye contact in any way because she is still chatting away to this other girl who has moved from gossip to her computer problems.

I look at the drink-that was over $5.00 by the way-and notice there is no caramel so I politely ask her for caramel. She yells at me "This is a hot drink-it is on the bottom." I say that is all well and good and holding back that if the drink hadn't been sitting there for over five minutes the caramel may not be on the bottom. I ask her to just put a little more on top.

She snorts at me and screams, "I have been doing this for eight years." Then pours an obscene amount of caramel into my drink-in fact it spills because it is now half full of caramel. Then she sets down the caramel in a huff and says "I have been doing this for eight years. Here you go!" I tell her that there is no need to be rude and or ruin the drink and once again she repeats that she has been there for eight years and then adds that is how it is made.

~So is the drink made with no caramel of half a bottle?~ Just sayin'?

I go back in line to talk to the nice cashier to ask him to refund me my money because this drink is undrinkable now and am waiting calmly while he is helping another customer-the barista sees me and starts yelling over the other customer and the cashier. "Do you have a problem? What do you need?" I say, "Nothing, thank you." She continues to yell while the cashier looks stunned. I tell her that I would rather not talk to her and will just talk to him when he is done.

The other girl comes out of the back room-where she had gone once finished with her computer story-and the barista starts calling me names and telling her that I am not happy with the caramel. Then the girl comes to me and says, "What's YOUR problem?" I ask if she is the manager and she looks back at the barista and laughs before saying yes. I explain what happened and how the barista started yelling at me saying she had been doing this for 8 years and she ruined the drink by pouring too much caramel into it." The "manager" tells me that she will make me a new one, but that is how they make it-and I'll have to pay for it.

I politely tell her thank you but that I will just get a new one somewhere else. I was walking out when the barista yells "Bitch!" after me. The cashier was mortified and so was I. I left without a refund or a drink-bad bad bad..but I am thinking-'well this was free anyhow because I am using a gift card, so what ever.'

I walked the block and a half to the other Starbucks-by Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake and ordered the drink, and had to apologize because I didn't have any cash for a tip. I explained what happened. They were so NICE. They apologized to me, and gave me the drink for free and gave me the number to their manager, the regional manager and told me the real manager's name at the one I was just at. I feel terrible that I couldn't tip them, but will definitely go back there instead.

Here is the thing. I get Starbucks a lot-well I used to when the economy was better-but I still go frequently. The drinks are always a gamble and usually I accept whatever they give me and drink it, but to pour half a container of caramel into someone's drink just to be spiteful is just plain wrong. It was disgusting. If I had some vanilla ice cream and nuts, I could have made a sundae out of it, but I didn't so having that much caramel was ridiculous.

There is no reason to treat someone like that. I don't care if you are upset that you are working on New Year's Day, or you have a hang over, or whatever your problem is.

I am very disappointed in the way I was treated at that branch and really hope that girl learns how to act because news flash Starbucks-what you are serving is a luxury and you can't afford to treat loyal costumers, like me, in that way.

Thankfully the other Starbucks and their amazing service canceled out the bad one.

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