You all know how much I love Starbucks. I was a convert when I went to the USA in around 1996/7 and was introduced to it by a colleague. I was even more thrilled when they came to the UK.
I have their cups and even their bears!
When they opened in Borders it was brilliant. The area manager gave me a special Starbucks card preloaded with £5 and from that moment I started using their cards. It was a pain to remember to top it up but it looks so unique wherever I use it in the world they notice and ask me about it
And then they turned the card into a reward card. About time I thought, after all, the other coffee places have reward schemes based on getting free coffee when you have bought a few.
This card would give me instant discounts at the till that I liked, but it was a little unpredictable!
So I had high expectations.
I was wrong to.
Basically I don’t get any benefits from my card.
When they introduced “GOLD” they basically downgraded the basic green card. So unless you’re Gold you don’t get any perks from having a card. Well, I was already getting perks (as listed in the graphic) so firstly I was downgraded and then I earned gold so I can now get what I’ve always got.
And nothing more.
I don’t have syrups, or extra shots, or soy milk, or whipped cream. So that’s useless.
I get a free tall drink every 15 I buy. 15!!! Seriously! I don’t know any other free drink scheme that requires as many drinks bought first.
I no longer get money off at the till. No pleasant surprises now.
And you can see I’ve been Gold since 1st May this year. This was not long after the card was launched. To achieve Gold you need to buy 50 drinks. Well that was easy. I’m probably Gold about 3 or 4 times over at this stage.
I’ve earned 6 free drinks.
This is one of the worst reward schemes I’ve ever seen and I can’t imagine why you would want to specifically sign up to it. Luckily I like the coffee. But this ‘Reward’ scheme does not make me feel like a valued customer.
Quite the opposite actually.
It makes me feel like Starbucks feel they need a reward scheme but are worried about giving anything away.
So they don’t want to reward their loyal customers like me.
I love the values behind Starbucks. I believe in their CEO Howard Schultz. He is a visionary with great ideas. I just wish they understood more about how to play in the competitive commercial space more.
I would rather they had no rewards scheme than one that’s as pathetic as this one.