There have been many corporations that have encountered a PR crisis recently, however, the one that has affected me, personally, is Starbucks. Now, I am not sure if this is considered a “crisis” just yet because it has not gone into effect yet, but Starbucks has decided to change their gold rewards policy.
Currently, the gold card rewards program entitled its members to a free drink (any kind or size) after 15 stars as well as free soy and syrups and a free tall beverage with the purchase of a bag of ground coffee. This is no longer case. Last week, the company sent an email to all registered card members explaining the changes that will be made to the rewards program – and customers are not happy – myself included!
According to the email, gold card members will receive a free drink or food item after only 12 stars – sounds better than before, right? – BUT there will no longer be free soy and syrups or free tall beverage withe the purchase of ground coffee.
Each pump of syrup and soy costs an additional 60 cents to a drink – that adds up!
I am a loyal Starbucks customer that goes and gets the same drink, on average, about 3 times a week – That will turn out to be an extra $1.80 a week – which adds up to an extra $86.40 a year! When you are a poor college student, like myself, you want to save as much money as possible, so you can see why I am upset about this.
I am personally upset about the loss of free soy because as of this summer, I began a dairy-free diet for health and skin reasons. Since I have stopped consuming dairy, I feel better, healthier, I have better skin, and I have lost some weight. I began getting soy in my coffee to sweeten it in replacement of the creamer and skim milk that I used to get in my drinks. So now, I have to pay extra to be healthy.
What is the point of being a gold card member anymore? Why even call it a rewards program if half of the rewards are going away?
Starbucks’ website and twitter has been bombarded with complaints from members demanding that they bring back the free soy and syrups. Please visit the site that allows you to voice your ideas and opinions regarding the company and their products – if you browse on there enough you will see the hundreds of complaints from customers already.
If they want to save money, then they are going to be doing that because they will be saving thousands on postage with the new downloaded free drinks – so I think they could have spared us the free soy and syrups – Come on, they are a Forbes 500 company!
I will anxiously be standing by waiting to see if they change the policy back to the free soy and syrups – if enough people complain, and they do not change it back, then they will be making a horrible PR decision.
Lets hope they change back!