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Starbucks’ Pricing Glitches

Starbucks Suffers Pricing Glitch

Complaining about the price of a cup of coffee is one of the purest examples of a first-world problem out there, but when Starbucks raises the cost of the cold brews and caramel macchiatos without telling anyone, it’s hard not to expect customers to get a little upset.

And get upset they did on Friday (July 1) when a glitch in Starbucks’ main computer system caused a scheduled price adjustment to go live in all its U.S. company-operated stores without warning. As a result, some customers were overcharged by as much as $0.30 per drink, and though Starbucks acknowledged the mistake in a statement and offered to compensate any customer that believes he or she was overcharged, the company updated the same statement a few hours later on Friday with some customer-unfriendly news: The glitch was just a false start for the real pricing change that will go into effect on July 12.

While Starbucks didn’t break down the pricing adjustments in its statement, a spokesperson told Consumerist that most parts of the country will see a $0.10 increase to push a large coffee to a grand sum of $2.45. However, the pricing glitch would appear to set an upper limit of a $0.30 increase on more ingredient- and labor-intensive beverages, like lattes.

That would make this year’s price adjustments the largest single jump Starbucks has ever pushed in the three consecutive years it’s been at it, with the last two years bringing incremental rises of between $0.10 and $0.20 and $0.05 and $0.20.


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