Back on Black Thursday, Starbucks had a special promotional tumbler for sale, priced at $75.00. Doesn’t sound that great, right? Except that it was going to include 1 free drink a day for the entire month of January. Now that’s pretty reasonable. When the guy behind the counter tried to sell me one in the morning, he specifically said I’d be able to get my regular Chocolate Chai, if I got this mug, and so, after I was done with other shopping, on my way home, I picked one up, washed it, and set it on the counter to wait for the new year.
Yesterday, as I was walking through the starbucks built into my grocery store, I remembered the tumbler, and even though coming to the store once had already made my sore throat pretty unhappy, I didn’t want to waste my money, and so after I dropped off the groceries, I grabbed the tumbler and headed out to the shop where I’d bought the thing. Imagine my surprise when the woman behind the counter says she doesn’t think I should be able to get a Chai, since it’s not an espresso based beverage, but she’ll let me. Presumably she saw the “I am totally willing to make a big scene over $75, even if I’m sick” in my eyes.
When I got home, I wrote the company, basically expressing my frustration, politely, and asking if I should just try to return the mug, if it was going to be useless to me (my tummy can’t take espresso no mo). I was surprised and pleased, to get a same day response, even though it was a holiday, and even more please when the rep gave me a $10 credit for my annoyance. They didn’t say one way or the other, what to do about the tumbler, but when I went in this morning, after an initial attempt to charge, because the guy forgot the mugs were free, not because I wanted chai, they gave me my drink for the right ‘price’, and it sounded like they had already decided as policy to just honor the drinks for everyone.
Sure enough, if I look on the very tiny print on the side of the tumbler, it does say, “grande espresso beverage”, but it sounds like I am not alone in having been told something different than the fine print. So kudos to Starbucks for honoring the intent under which these magic cups were bought, for the chai folk of the world =)