• Reader Submission

Has Starbucks Forgotten That It's a Coffee Company?


Here is a complaint we received from a reader named Dawn who thinks that Starbucks seems to have forgotten that they are a coffee shop.


I work to 7 or 8 pm and like to stop by my local Starbucks a few times a week for a dark roast after work. I understand that dark roast is probably not their most popular brew and understand that it's not going to be 'on tap' late at night. That's why I usually just ask for a pour over when it's not available.


I have done this for years and more recently asking for a pour over has been a problem. First it started when I would ask for a particular brew (like Komodo Dragon) and was told that my location doesn't feature that particular coffee. Ok, can I get a Sumatra? No sorry, we are all out. It seems that the store is always trying to talk me out of a pour over and steer me to their ready made, weaker tasting, coffees.


Well today when I stopped in, I asked for my usual pour over and was told they don't brew dark roast after 3pm. I have never heard that before but okay. That's fine and the reason why I am asking for a pour over. But this time my request was denied. The barista said she could not do a pour over of dark roast, but I could have the Pikes Place or even an Americano which is more expensive.

I don't like the Americano, but asked if I would have to pay more. She said that 'as a courtesy' she would not charge me more. I don't really consider it much of a courtesy when a company who specializing in brewing coffee refuses...to brew coffee.


I did an online chat and spoke with someone name "Justo G" who apologized that I didn't receive my dark roast. He also advised that Starbucks company policy is not to brew dark roast after 3pm (must be a new policy) but that I could get a pour over anytime. Tell that to my store.


"Justo G" promised to send feedback to store management and the district manager.


It doesn't matter to me at this point. I am done with Starbucks. I can go to Burger King and get something equivalent strength to a Pikes Place for nearly half the price. Why pay Starbucks a (significant) premium for a basic brew? It seems to me that Starbucks has forgotten that they are a coffee company and is focusing on the higher profit Frappes now a days.


I am just hoping that a Peet's Coffee opens in my neighborhood. Till then Burger King here I come!


By the way here is a pic of my cup. It promises to "Make it Right". Yea right. You can't even do a pour over.

Have you had a bad customer service experience with Starbucks? Comment Below.