My Starbucks Rewards UK&I

Many of you have been talking about our new My Starbucks Rewards programme.  I want to let you know that we’ve been listening and thank you for taking the time to tell us how you feel.

I’d like to talk about why we’ve made these changes.

When we developed the programme, we took great care to listen to what our customers were saying.  They told us very clearly they wanted a rewards scheme that gave them free drinks when they visited us regularly, no matter what they ordered.  Also, they wanted extra benefits if they came more often, which is why we introduced the new Gold level.

That’s why this scheme is a little different to the one that has been launched in the US, and why every registered card holder immediately qualifies for free drinks, without the need to reach Gold level.

I know that some of our customers who drink filter coffee or buy whole bean have lost a discount under the new scheme.  That said, they will now get a free drink every 15 visits and receive a number of other benefits.  I appreciate that we could have told you about this more clearly.

This isn’t the only way that we’re giving customers more value.  In recent months, we have also introduced free Wi-Fi and free iTunes downloads.  Just last week we created a faster and more convenient way to pay using the iPhone app, and we’ll be following up with the Android version soon.  

In the last few days, we’ve seen more people than ever using their Starbucks Cards in our stores, which gives me confidence we now have a programme that can reward the loyalty of each and every one of our customers – regardless of what they drink. 

You have my personal commitment, we’re going to keep listening.  This kind of feedback is incredibly valuable as we find ways to improve what we do.   We have many more exciting developments to bring you in the coming weeks and months.  Thank you for being a Starbucks customer.

comments (200)

Comment FAQ

    • 3224dave
    • 11/01/2012 03:34

    Hi Ian. as you say, Filter Coffee drinkers have really lost out - 50p discount per drink. The free drink is in no way free for me - 15 Filter Grandes used to cost £18. They now cost me £25.50, so the Free drink costs me £7.50! Great. I think you will see people voting with their feet, and moving to Costa or Nero.

      • njohnson101
      • 18/01/2012 04:19

      In reply to: 3224dave

      I couldn't agree more, and I have indeed voted with my feet.

      • karljhamilton
      • 30/01/2012 14:34

      In reply to: 3224dave

      I've switched from being a Starbucks addict to Pret-a-Manger. 99p fresh filter vs. £1.50 and just as good. Easy equation to work out.

        • maxijazz
        • 23/05/2012 09:42

        In reply to: karljhamilton

        Ditto for me. I was in Starbucks every day last year. With the £0.5 price increase and only 1 free coffee for every 15 coffees it is Pret for me. I still love the Starbucks filter coffee BUT with an estimated loss of more than £100 per year the choice is simple. Surely Starbuck's can still make a pretty penny for £1 for simple filter coffee?

      • Paulandclairenorman
      • 08/02/2012 11:56

      In reply to: 3224dave

      Like so many other People I really feel that I loose out with the new scheme. I used to buy ground coffee on nearly a weekly basis, having a free drink each time ... Now I only get one every 15 weeks ... Where is my incentive to buy Starbucks coffee over costa? - answer: there no longer is one ... As a real Starbucks fan this pains me .... But as mentioned, people vote with their feet!

        • Paulandclairenorman
        • 08/02/2012 13:13

        In reply to: Paulandclairenorman

        Also, I know it was mentioned that the new scheme is not the same as the us scheme, but this privilege is even available on the basic level over the pond. When I looked at the recent book from the founder of Starbucks it spoke above serving people and going out of your way to please a customer ... Is this the same company? ... Judging on how many negative comments there are to this blog, I'm not sure!

      • kriskkan
      • 29/02/2012 06:29

      In reply to: 3224dave

      Yes I agree, on top of which we have to wait up to 3 weeks for a starbucks
      voucher. That really is an insult. Nero, Concertina, and even McDonalds, Reward is
      instant!! Thats Loyalty Appreciation!!. This scheme hasnt been thought through, there has been no customer input, and quite frankly it *****.
      But why wouldnt it? , Your company are a corporation out to make as much money as possible, profit first, customers second. Simple as that!

      • bryan.steele
      • 14/03/2012 05:51

      In reply to: 3224dave

      Have to agree with 3224dave - this new scheme is an own goal Starbucks.

    • Gripfill
    • 11/01/2012 03:42

    As a filter coffee drinker I do not believe that the new rewards programme 'is better than ever.' The loss of the discount off each cup is not matched under the new scheme. The email I received informing me of the new scheme failed to mention this information. Poor communication from a global company or a deliberate ploy to mislead has caused confrontation for customer focused staff.
    I will not be 'topping up' my card again and visiting stores in protest to this cavalier attitude.

    • Limesmoothie
    • 11/01/2012 04:07

    You've made a good scheme poor and are trying to spin the consequences. Cardholders are invariably 1) customers who spend frequently in stores and b) much better informed and social media savvy than you take them for. In a crowded market place, this is a PR disaster - already the subject of 2 articles in Marketing Week in the last 2 days. I've run my credit down and will be using other retailers until/unless you see sense. Twitter/Facebook responses to reasonable queries are patronising at best.

    • tconey
    • 11/01/2012 04:36

    Based on last years figures, how many(% and number) of the existing card holders which you 'gave' Gold to for a year would fail to meet the new criteria of 50 visits for next year based on usual visiting paterns? I assume this was researched by the team deciding the figure of 50 stars or was this figure plucked out of the air?

    Also to state free wifi is a bit dis generous as this use to be a very benefit of the rewards scheme before you made it available to everyone!!!

    • adiebriggs
    • 11/01/2012 05:09

    Free wi-fi and iTunes were introduced before this 'improvement', so to include these is disingenuous at best. You talk about the face that you listened to your customers, can I you say when you asked all reward card holders what they thought? No one I know with a card has been asked for any feedback so one can only assume you asked no reward card and to give 1 day notice is poor.
    Where is the apology for the mis-information that Brian Waring gave in his interview to marketing week?

    • astennett32
    • 11/01/2012 05:30

    The new scheme is appalling, highly insulting to our intelligence to expect us to believe it's a better deal.

    I'd suggest given the amount of notice given about the change that Starbucks knew it was going to be unpopular. I'd recommend scrapping this new scheme and bringing back the old benefits. until that happens I and many people I know will be using either Costa or Nero.

    • robinleggett
    • 11/01/2012 05:37

    "listening" is an active verb - there's no evidence you are actively engaged with justified concerns. No comment on why US customers get a better deal, you shout about tech but free drinks are done through vouchers, to name but two. That's great that you see growth in stores but you fail to mention a similar upturn in customer complaints which might lead you to conclude something different. This is a marketing AND PR fail of epic scale. You won't see my reaction in store - unless you go to Costa.

    • 3224dave
    • 11/01/2012 05:52

    Whichever bright spark came up with this must have been working under cover for Nero or Costa! This is going to be up there with Gerald Ratners PR masterclass!

    • 11/01/2012 06:13

    Guys its one thing changing your loyalty program but to make it significantly less beneficial (to your customers) than the US one is adding insult to injury. Here are a few things customers are missing out on in the UK:

    Free drink on your birthday (1 drink purchase in 12 months to qualify in US)
    Free drink when you buy a bag of beans
    Free syrups/customisation etc kicks in @ 5 stars in US vs 50 stars in UK

    Your post actually tries to mislead in this area, why?

      • robinleggett
      • 11/01/2012 07:50

      In reply to:

      To be fair, the US scheme isn't perfect. We'd lose out on free shots and it has the same "loony tunes" way of reward by transaction rather than spend but at least it would be FAIR rather than the new "rip off Britain" approach they have opted for. I'd probably be slightly worse off with the US system but I'm arguing for it because it is fair.

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:19

    > I want to let you know that we’ve been listening ....

    It would be hard not to listen, given the number of complaints made on Facebook, by email and elsewhere, but it's a pity that Starbucks can't be bothered responding to emails, and the responses on FB have been lame, rehashing the same few statements about how you've listened to what customers wanted, and that they don't understand points systems - did you only asked your most stupid customers for feedback?

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:20

    > I’d like to talk about why we’ve made these changes.

    Excellent - I'd like to hear that. My opinion is that you thought you'd get some great publicity out of announcing a 'new' rewards scheme, and heck let's get rid of those discounts we've been giving to loyal customers, we'll charge them full price, and our customers don't even understand points-based reward systems, so they'll be too stupid to realize we're milking them for extra cash.

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:20

    > When we developed the programme, we took great care to listen to what our customers were saying.

    Looks to me, like you just said let's remove the discounts, then we'll rehash the USA rewards scheme so that the benefits are less - those UK and Ireland customers are too stupid to realize they're being done. And if a few people make any noise about it, we'll tell them how we listened to our customers and this is what they wanted, and it'll all blow over in a little while.

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:22

    > They told us very clearly they wanted a rewards scheme that gave them free drinks when they visited us regularly, no matter what they ordered.

    So how many customers did you ask - did you do a straw pole for ten minutes on a wet day outside your nearest branch?

    Did you think of doing a survey amongst your existing cardholders? Or are you only interested in new customers, not your existing?

    Did you tell them the existing discounts would be removed?

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:23

    > They told us very clearly they wanted a rewards scheme that gave them free drinks when they visited us regularly, no matter what they ordered.

    Did you tell them they'd only get a star/point whatever per transaction, not per coffee like every other rewards scheme?

    Did you tell them that you'd have more transactions than in any other scheme to get a benefit? Where I live, reward schemes equate to a free hot drink after from 4 to 10 paid coffees (note I said coffees, not transactions).

      • bryan.steele
      • 14/03/2012 05:53

      In reply to: barrybyrne

      1 star per transaction is very poor. I guess if there are 4 in the party then only sensible approach is 4 transactions. That will do a lot for the queues!

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:24

    > Also, they wanted extra benefits if they came more often, which is why we introduced the new Gold level.

    And I thought you just took a watered down version of the USA rewards scheme.

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:26

    > That’s why this scheme is a little different to the one that has been launched in the US

    Did you ask something like this?

    How would you like a new rewards scheme - it'll actually give you less than the old one, but we'll have a spiffy new name for it and we'll have this thing called a 'gold level' so that you can feel more important than you really are?

    And to top it all we'll let you be 'gold level' member for a while for free!

    But do keep spending with us or we'll take that away

      • crookedjack007
      • 16/01/2012 00:23

      In reply to: barrybyrne

      I agree with barrybyrne. When I had the notification of the new 'improved' scheme through the post it did make me smile. Less benefits all round, but I get to be 'Gold' so I'll feel special.

      As if.

      Nero's - 9 Coffees. 10th Free. Simple. And so much better than 15 VISITS for a free tall beverage. Which is rubbish. Voting with my feet.

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:27

    > I know that some of our customers who drink filter coffee or buy whole bean have lost a discount under the new scheme. That said, they will now get a free drink every 15 visits and receive a number of other benefits. I appreciate that we could have told you about this more clearly.

    Actually you didn't tell us about this at all. We found out when we looked at the balance on the receipt after paying for our coffees.

      • kentland31
      • 09/02/2012 02:41

      In reply to: barrybyrne

      I am a filter coffee drinker and I didn't find out about these changes until I read my receipt and questioned the transaction as being erroneous. How dare they take away benefits they already promised!! I have no objection to them adding rewards, but taking them away just drives loyalty away. I used to get a free drink after spending £3, now it will take me £22.50 to get a £1.50 drink coupon! Disgusting treatment for such loyalty don't you think??

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:28

    So now we get a free drink after 15 transactions for what we used to pay £1 or €1.40, after we've shelled out an additional £7.50 or €12 (or more that that if you buy more than one item a time) over what we used to pay.

    And what are the 'number of other benefits' to filter coffee drinkers that you mention? I don't see any.

      • ponchymonchy
      • 17/01/2012 03:09

      In reply to: barrybyrne

      Hey Mr. Half Empty, you are overlooking the app that lets you pay instead of using that oh so clumsy plastic card. No more fumbling around in your wallet looking for that card, Now you just show everyone in the store that you have an iPhone and just hope you don't get mugged for it

      An app - now I don't mind having had the rug pulled from under me....Oh wait, I don't have a smartphone!

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:29

    Did you also think "let's not bother giving you this benefit electronically. We'll stick a voucher in the post, and it'll expire a short while after we send it to you. I know this will cost us lots in terms of paper, stamps, ink, and administration, but as most of the vouchers will get lost in the post or by you or will expire before you get to use them, so we'll actually save in the long term, as we won't have to honour most of the vouchers"

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:29

    > This isn’t the only way that we’re giving customers more value.

    It's been a long time since I was in school, but my maths don't seem to be the same as yours in working out the more value. For my 500+ coffees a year, it'll cost me about €370 per year more. Is that how you define more value? Or did you mean more value for Starbucks?

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:30

    > In the last few days, we’ve seen more people than ever using their Starbucks Cards in our stores,

    Not surprising given that you have posters and stars up everywhere and have the staff asking all their customers to sign up. But your posters don't explain the benefits lost to existing customers. When I pointed out the additional expense at the counter, I got the 'but you get a free drink after 15' response. When I explained the maths, I was told I should email my thoughts.

      • astennett32
      • 11/01/2012 06:35

      In reply to: barrybyrne

      It's not surprising they've seen more people then ever using their cards, most people I know rushed to empty their cards of any remaining cash so they could stop using Starbucks.

      • ponchymonchy
      • 17/01/2012 02:27

      In reply to: barrybyrne

      I have seen a lot of chatter about people asking for their purchases to be split up and put onto separate transactions in order to get more points per visit. That might explain the increase too

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:30

    What you don't say is that you've also seen more customers than ever before complaining about the scheme, but seem to have dismissed them as a vocal minority. Nice term for your loyal customers!

    • markdavidhaus
    • 11/01/2012 06:30

    YOU HAVE ***NOT*** LAUNCHED THE IPHONE APP IN IRELAND!!! Don't sit there and tell us what you have done when you clearly haven't. Who do you think you are just making up stuff you did. Ireland or as you like to put it "I", is ALWAYS left out in the big promos and new features. Launch the pay my iPhone app in Ireland maybe before working on other ideas like android. And lastly, 50 is WAY to many, when you listened to people saying they'd like more rewards did they say nearly double US rewards?

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:31

    > You have my personal commitment, we’re going to keep listening.

    But will you change anything?

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:31

    > This kind of feedback is incredibly valuable as we find ways to improve what we do. We have many more exciting developments to bring you in the coming weeks and months.

    Indeed you get research and feedback for free from the vocal minority.

    • barrybyrne
    • 11/01/2012 06:31

    > Thank you for being a Starbucks customer.

    Sorry my card balance has now run dry and I haven't bothered to reload - perhaps when Starbucks management wake up and smell the coffee, put their hands up and admit they screwed up, and do something about it, then maybe I'll come back.

    • markdavidhaus
    • 11/01/2012 06:35

    I agree with my fellow coffee drinkers. We are most certainly not better off. As an American living in London, I've accpeted at Starbucks here, I will often have to wait for coffee to be brewed. I get that the UK is an espresso culture but Starbucks was born on filtered coffee, correct? Now, I'm required to pay £1.50 ($2.30) for the same tall pikeplace that is $1.91 in NY. I’m afraid Pre-a-Manger will be my solution

    • adiebriggs
    • 11/01/2012 06:41

    Also it should probably be pointed out that this is a redevelopment and not a new development . Also the android app is already available in the states, strip away all the fluff in that statement and you're left with: we've taken a lot away replaced it with a free drink scheme that is worse than our competitors because it's what you our customers want. even with my own cup it's still cheaper to buy filter elsewhere and mcdonlads even give every 7th one free..

      • aerotec
      • 25/02/2012 09:21

      In reply to: adiebriggs

      It is every 6th one that is free as the free cup has a sticker on it too. I love McDonalds coffee. Great for the price and plenty to stop at when on a road trip.

        • aerotec
        • 25/02/2012 09:39

        In reply to: aerotec

        Actually it will be every 5th one! The free one has a sticker, get 5 more stickers to get that free cup (with another sticker). So buy 5 get 6th free.

    • ejk424
    • 11/01/2012 07:29

    Rewarding customers with a free drink every so often is *absolutely* the right thing to do, but this is *absolutely* the wrong way to do it.

    To award stars per transaction rather than per £ spent is completely unfair on customers who regularly place larger orders and, as has already been discussed at length on facebook, most people will get around this by paying for each item they buy as a seperate transaction, this increasing queuing time for everyone. What awful planning.

      • Limesmoothie
      • 11/01/2012 07:32

      In reply to: ejk424

      This part in particular is irritating for customers who normally visit with friends/family and would spend upwards of £20 per visit. However, they only receive 1 star. Way to reward high spending customers.

      • rewaltonhayfield
      • 11/01/2012 09:23

      In reply to: ejk424

      I agree, and if I ever go again, I will pay separately for my usual 8 items. What joy.

    • ejk424
    • 11/01/2012 07:31

    Also, making us wait for vouchers in the post, then having to spend them in a limited time (some of us don't live right by a store, y'know, and can't visit often!) is nonsense in this day & age. Why can't the free drink be claimed immediately via the card? You might as well admit you're making it hard to claim in the hope that people won't.....

    • jennytablina
    • 11/01/2012 08:19

    I'm not planning on ending my Starbucks days but must express my dissapointment at the new scheme.

    I wanted to support it and be excited because over the past 3 years Starbucks have been pretty kind to me as a Starbucks Rewards member, plus I enjoy my Starbucks visits, but I liked having filter as an option (despite being a latte fan), and while infrequent, did enjoy getting a free drink with my beans or VIA

    IMO You could of at least done an online survey of members to get better results

    • robpurbrick
    • 11/01/2012 08:25

    Apart from a free TALL drink for every 15 drinks what other benefits have I gained that I didn't have previously?
    As others have said 15 tall filters would have cost me £15 and now cost £22.50 with a free Tall only drink of £1.50 if I stick to filter. £6 more than before.
    I DID get asked my opinion in a survey last year and there was no mention of how rewarding me for drinks might work or that you would remove current benefits.
    Like others my balance will not be topped up again!

    • robpurbrick
    • 11/01/2012 08:34

    Why no statement regarding the article in Marketing Week when Brian Waring states "one will lose benefits, but now in addition they will get a free drink with 15 visits" NOTE he says in addition I get a free drink!
    Read the full article here
    Still waiting for a reply to the email sent last week asking exactly this?

    • rewaltonhayfield
    • 11/01/2012 09:22

    I am disgusted with this iniquitous reward system that gives the same reward on a potential spend of 50p to that of £25. I have 4 children and EVERY week I spend £10 on lunch for myself and 2 youngest children, most weekends my husband and I will spend £25-30 on lunch for all of us. FOR ONE STAR ??? Without mentioning the Via and filter benefit loss. I don't know who you asked - your board ? Both my husband and I have cards, loads of mugs, thermal cups, VIA. & loved SB. Absolutely appalling.

      • wsrowatt
      • 11/01/2012 13:46

      In reply to: rewaltonhayfield

      Totally agree... I have similar situation where I buy 3 drinks and food all at once... Well I'm going to brave it and make sure I get 6 stars for every visit from now on.
      Otherwise I'm losing all the benefits I had before under the whole bean scheme... and I refuse to spend about £300 to get one free coffee back.

    • rewaltonhayfield
    • 11/01/2012 09:26

    As you 'have seen more people than ever using cards' I can only presume you are happy to be replacing your loyal customer base with new people. We can all go somewhere else and these new people will fill your coffers... and they call it a 'loyalty' system. How ironic.

    • scoobyroo2
    • 11/01/2012 10:37

    > some of our customers who drink filter coffee have lost a discount under the new scheme. That said, they will now get a free drink every 15 visits & receive a number of other benefits.

    Being rather self indulgent, I've worked out I would have been around £200 worse off pa thanks to your 'improved' rewards scheme. 2x filters per (working) day, 5 days a week... even with a free cup every 15 (wooo!). I say 'would of' as I've been drinking .99p Pret since Fri & am now £5 better off pa! So long!

    • scoobyroo2
    • 11/01/2012 10:42

    > I know that some of our customers who drink filter coffee or buy whole bean have lost a discount under the new scheme. That said, they will now get a free drink every 15 visits and receive a number of other benefits.

    (darn character limit!) Now, do tell me about the "number of other benefits"? You have taken away benefits and added none, it's as simple as that. Man up & admit that this was a money grabbing move & you have absolutely no interest in cust loyalty... I'd at least respect that!

    • pcolmer
    • 11/01/2012 14:28

    > That’s why this scheme is a little different to the one that has been launched in the
    > US

    The preceeding paragraph really doesn't explain why you aren't still offering a free drink when beans are purchased (like the US) or why you aren't offering a free drink on our birthday (like the US). In fact, the BIGGEST difference between UK & US is we have to get FIFTY stars to get to Gold, not THIRTY!

    Shame on you for trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

    • Dancinannie3
    • 11/01/2012 17:09

    I'd just like to lend my support to the above complaints. Very disappointed that Starbucks UK are no longer offering a free tall drink with the purchase of a bag of coffee beans and no discount on filter coffee for registered card holders.
    It is quite likely that myself, mother and fiance will move from being regular customers to infrequent visitors.
    I hold loyalty cards for The Boston Tea Party, Pumpkin, Wetherspoons and Ritazza, they all offer free drinks for fewer purchases.

      • roydavidson
      • 27/01/2012 10:32

      In reply to: Dancinannie3

      Went into my regular store today without realising that this benefit had been removed! Not pleasant to have to insist at the till that their system had made an error only to find out the benefit had been removed without me being told!

      No more organic whole bean coffee available!! The most loyal customer ever is now looking for a new supplier.

    • cariadeccleston
    • 12/01/2012 08:13

    I have to agree with everyone up there before me -- this is a TERRIBLE change for existing, loyal customers. I loved the discount I had on filter coffee, but now Starbucks is a more expensive option on the high street. Guess where I won't be going any more? And you really shouldn't be so proud of the iPhone app. Most of your staff haven't ever heard of it, and they're reluctant to accept it. I wish I could get a discount on my top-up now.

    • cariadeccleston
    • 12/01/2012 08:15

    I also can't believe we get a star only per-visit, not by the amount we spend! If I was going to buy a coffee, a sandwich and a cake, then it would be a better deal for me to queue and pay THREE TIMES. How is that more efficient for me, your staff or the other paying customers? Why should that behaviour be rewarded?

    • jdoogiek
    • 12/01/2012 09:35

    Barrybyrne seems very much hacked off by these changes. Given that costa have demonstrated that people prefer their coffee this seems to be somewhat nearsighted. Only thing keeping me going back to 'bucks was the cheap filter coffee. Surely even at a £1 starbucks were making a healthy profit. since the card is a cashless system i can't see how the iphone app is even a perc? I'll be joining the masses voting with their feet. Even the friendly girl who served me my last pike thought this was nuts.

    • andygill
    • 12/01/2012 14:25

    So your customers said they would like to collect 50 stars to stay on gold rather than 30 in the US. They said they didn't want a free drink when buying beans (as in the US). They said they didn't want a free drink on their birthday (as in the US).

    • P21gjcox
    • 12/01/2012 14:55

    I have to echo all the comments above. Frankly appalled that my morning tall filter is now costing 50% more, while all I am getting as compensation is a free drink every 15 visits. Like other people here, I have emptied my card of its balance and am not going to top it up again. Also, 2 emails and 3 tweets for @StarbucksUK to even acknowledge my complaint, no explanation though. Poor. Very, very poor.

    • Gomacadeshez
    • 13/01/2012 05:17

    Filter Coffee is a rip off now. It also must make such a big margin on it as it is so cheap to make and produce. Surley it is better to loose £5.60 per customer per 15 drinks than loose your filter coffee customers (once their current balances expire).

    plus it's false advertising to say "better than ever".
    New scheme: £1.90 * 15 - £1.90 = £26.60
    Old Scheme : £1.40 * 15 = £21

    • dawraggster
    • 13/01/2012 05:21

    The first time I knew that the 50p discount on filter was gone was when I bought my usual filter despite reading the literature that Starbucks sent. This was the reason I used a card and bought Starbucks, if you value your customers bring this back, listen to your customers who are upset enough to take the time to post on this board.

    • Gomacadeshez
    • 13/01/2012 05:23

    I take out my filter coffee. I have no desire for any other "benefits", which don't benefit me at all. Starbucks is no longer a worthwhile option (once my card balance is emptied).

    • srhicks57
    • 13/01/2012 06:29

    I would just echo the thoughts of others - I am very unimpressed by the new rewards system and I will take my custom to Costa and Caffe Nero.

    A voucher in the post? The plot has been lost.

    • flemingdh
    • 13/01/2012 12:48

    If you wanted to simply introduce the American version of the rewards program to the UK market, that would be fine, but you've decided to cancel a pretty good program by withdrawing most of its benefits and replace it with a VASTLY inferior program that bears no resemblance to its American counterpart. I do not believe that ANY marketing reseach was undertaken - who would say "Yes, Starbucks, we want less for more"?? The new program shows complete contempt for your customers.

    • lisacampion
    • 15/01/2012 10:10

    There's no benefit to topping up my card with you. Myself and hubby are lactose intolerant so the free soya milk was the reason for our loyalty. I visit on average with my husband once a week, but can't get to you every week, so will probably fall short of the 50 stars required to keep the benefit another year. If it was per drink, we'd be ok. So we spend about £10 a week with you and top up every week, what's the point? Get a free drink every 15 weeks? Big deal! Worse off by at least £20 a year!

      • adiebriggs
      • 16/01/2012 06:02

      In reply to: lisacampion

      All you need to do is buy yours and your husband's drink separately. Thus you would get 2 stars per visit. It may be a hassle and cause a queue, but should help you meet the quota.

    • giant_frying_pan
    • 15/01/2012 16:23

    I've been a long-time user of the old Rewards card and it encourages me to top up a significant amount over the years and therefore spend a lot with Starbucks. Not just on discounted drinks but I purchased and enjoyed other things I wouldn't normally have like food and Via sachets.

    I was also really happy that over time, Starbucks was only ever adding the the scheme, rather than taking away.

    • giant_frying_pan
    • 15/01/2012 16:26

    However, with the removal of the discount for filter coffee and free drink with a bag of beans or Via purchase, I see myself visiting Starbucks a lot less often. I probably won't 'defect' to any of the other big chains, but I'm more likely to visit independent coffee shops now, of which there is no shortage of in my city.

    Again, I'm really disappointed in the changes and it's the method of which they have been implemented; seemingly sneaking them in, which is the biggest letdown.

    • allottcpsb1
    • 16/01/2012 06:51

    Free wifi had it before with the Starbucks card anyway, so hardly giving anything back to your card holders are you?

    I'll still go to Starbucks. The staff at my local one are friendly and it's a nice location. However, with the filter coffee offer withdrawn it'll just be once a week now rather than 4/5 times.


    • ponchymonchy
    • 17/01/2012 03:13

    You've not really explained why you got rid of the £1 coffee

    The only reward I used was a £1 coffee and a free cup with whole beans. Both have gone, so I've no reward worth having. Thanks, but I can get a free cup of coffee a lot sooner elsewhere

    Surely you're still making a good profit on filter even at £1 - how many do you get out of 1 bag? Plus you're sat on £1000s of reward credit earning you interest too

    A new Costa near me gets ALL my trade now, I don't just buy £1 coffees you know

    • nearlyheadlessian
    • 17/01/2012 14:04

    Another frustrated filter coffee drinker. I bought 1 or 2 filter coffees per weekday, as well as other more expensive coffees and eats on occasion. Now I'll not be spending anything.

    • macnurna
    • 17/01/2012 14:47

    I too enjoyed the free tall drink with the Via reward, but now that is been removed, I shall not be frequenting a Stabucks anytime soon.

    • awjlodge
    • 18/01/2012 03:54

    There is no benefit to me now from this reward programme. I drink black filter coffee (so soy milk, cream, flavours etc are not interesting to me. A free drink every 15 drinks is worse than Nero/Costa.

    For now, I'll not use this chain.

    I hope you change the policy, please.

    • altafearn
    • 18/01/2012 04:52

    Starbucks have turned a great scheme into a terrible one. With the card, I have enjoyed free shots and a free drink when I purchased beans. The shots are now contingent on clocking up 50 transactions (not drinks) and the free drink has been deleted. I am going to empty my Starbucks Card and go to Costa, Nero, M&S etc where drinks come with 2 shots anyway and typically you get a free drink for every 9 purchased. So long Starbucks!

    • mickrick
    • 18/01/2012 06:07

    > When we developed the programme, we took great care to listen to what our customers were saying.

    Shouldn't that read "...we took great care to listen to what our SHAREHOLDERS were saying."

    Anyway, this was just the excuse I needed to get an espresso maker for our kitchen in work. That way I'll see rewards everytime I fancy a cup of coffee, to the tune of about £2 a cup.

    Bye, Starbuck$$$

    • El_Raberto
    • 18/01/2012 12:58

    Yes, it doesn't seem very 'green' (see Responsibility\ Environment\ Recycling & Reducing Waste -at top of page!) sending out a voucher to redeem your free coffee once you hit visit number 15 when surely you could just do it at the till?

      • El_Raberto
      • 18/01/2012 13:15

      In reply to: El_Raberto

      Also, I got a free americano last week (with a free extra shot) when I bought a bag of beans. I take it this was some sort of fluke? On a U.S. site it's mentioned that the old packaging still gives you a free coffee but the new style doesn't? Also I'm unlikely to make 50 visits in a year so its bye-bye to free coffee with beans and free extra shots.

    • chris_notton
    • 18/01/2012 14:18

    Just realised I've been paying £1.90 per filter coffee for the last few weeks rather than £1.40. I Googled to get this page and I have to agree with every comment. The new rewards suck big time and I'll not be topping up again thank you.

    No wonder you made the reciept optional, stops people knowing how much they are spending. Really you are doing so much harm to your business. I never set foot in the last Coffee house that did something like this.

    Time to hit the twitterverse...

    • mickrick
    • 19/01/2012 04:11

    Lol. I left a comment yesterday about how "...we took great care to listen to what our customers were saying." should have read "...we took great care to listen to what our SHAREHOLDERS were saying.".
    I went on to say that this is just the excuse I needed to get an espresso machine for work (which I have been given free of charge) and how this would save me on average £2 per cup anytime I fancied a coffee (I usually have a venti triple shot latte).

    It appears my post was removed. 8¬)

    • Kodour
    • 19/01/2012 04:23

    Whom ever came up with this "Wise" decision should be awarded "The How To Lose Your Customers" award of the year.

    • jontynorfolk
    • 19/01/2012 06:09

    I've just registered a Costa card and will drink the office-made filter coffee instead of my usual Pike Place. Bad decision Starbucks.

    • IainBrodie
    • 20/01/2012 14:37

    I sent an email complaining and the reply had a link to here. This blog has just reinforced my Unhappiness. It's ridiculous to say this change is an improvement and try's to treat me like a fool. I was in my local Starbucks at least twice a day and on first name terms with the staff. I use to actively seek other Starbucks when I was out and about (even when on holiday in the US). Now I feel like actively avoiding Starbucks.

    • IainBrodie
    • 20/01/2012 14:38

    There in a costa, Nero, M&S, Pret and others in the same area as my office. Ive just run down my card to £0 and now trying to decide where to get my coffee in the future. The silence from Starbucks on this blog says it all - cant defend the change eh!

    I plan to post my empty and well used card to the most senior person I can get an address for. Any suggestions?

    • Frapucapuchino
    • 21/01/2012 02:59

    Wrong pricing structure for the eco cycle. The new styled rewards scheme is aimed only at people who buy premium drinks, not for low-priced lower-cal filter coffee drinkers. The reward for these customers has disappeared, it is a pity Starbys can't cater for both types customer. I'll be reducing my filter coffee intake, and afternoon teas with my niece, low £ coffee during the week afforded me weekly treats with her. PS it's pretty arbitrary if staff give the discount for the Starbucks thermos.

    • bmspence
    • 21/01/2012 10:23

    The new scheme is appalling, even MacDonalds has a better rewards cardbuy 6 cups of coffe and get one free

    • paulheskes
    • 21/01/2012 16:49

    I’ve had a reward card and enjoyed the benefits for some time and I’m amazed at the disregard shown toward loyal customers. There is no reason to load a card now, when the reward is a £1.50 coffee for every £22+ spent. In the past I’ve searched out a starbucks, but now that McDonalds offer good coffee with a free cup for every 6 bought, I can’t see any reason to stay loyal to Starbucks. The recent survey is obviously to blame but were we telling the truth? They’re about to find out.

    • johnnykearney
    • 22/01/2012 03:33

    I hope you can tell from the responses that your customers are not happy about the new 'SCHEME'. I won't be going to starbucks anymore. Please stop pretending that it's for the customers and that people are happy abnout it. They're not.

    • limesmoothie
    • 22/01/2012 08:47

    Its fairly telling that of 90 comments on this post, none appear to be positive. Starbucks also appear to have stopped responding to their UK Facebook wall and the Twitter feed is only updated with 'positive' retweets. Criticism or reports of poor in-store customer service are ignored.
    One of the most dismal marketing 'fails' in quite some time. If you don't like what social media is telling you, disengage? People dislike being taken for fools by corporations -these are your customers, LISTEN!

    • RVR184
    • 22/01/2012 10:37

    I think at the very least Starbucks should award a star for each beverage purchased, as opposed to each visit. My wife and I visit our "local" Starbucks virtually every weekend and it means that I will only just qualify each year for Gold membership on this basis. Paying in two goes to maximise the number of stars per visit is a hassle and just wastes the staff's time too.

    Also just purchased my last bag of beans, unless Starbucks bring back the free tall drink reward.

    • chrisksaunders
    • 23/01/2012 04:16

    The new rewards system is awful. I used to stop by and buy my beans almost every week, hey they were a little more expensive I thought but I got a free caramel latte so I didn't mind the extra expense. Now I'll be looking elsewhere for beans! Oh and for my Latte treat... Costa or Nero here I come.

    • sandieleo94
    • 23/01/2012 15:33

    Just found out instore today that I will no longer get my free tall drink with my bag of coffee, only found out then because I questioned staff about why I had been charged for the tall drink. Feel annoyed I had not been informed earlier, if I had I would not have put money on my card today, I will not in future. Will have to find another source of beans too.

    • leelew17
    • 24/01/2012 04:59

    The good news is you make your Iphone app really usefull especially as I can top up my card and pay with the Iphone BUT then you make the rewards of no use whatsoever! talk about shooting yourself in the foot. I used to buy your beans which represented fair VFM as you got a free tall drink, but now the beans cost £4 and quite frankly I can get much better at that price. Bye Bye Starbucks

    • thomasdavies89
    • 24/01/2012 05:39

    I too would like to echo the comments here. I used to buy a grande filter daily whilst at work, taking advantage of the 50p saving. My 'free' coffee now effectively costs £7.50 in lsot savings.

    I'll stop replenshing my coffee machine at home with starbucks beans too, now I've lost my tall drink reward.

    I hope that everyone votes with their feet, starbucks are far from the only option for my daily coffee, with others offering much more attractive reward schemes.

      • aerotec
      • 25/02/2012 09:50

      In reply to: thomasdavies89

      Highly recommend 1kg bags from £7ish and free delivery with a £50 order. I emailed them and they sent me out some free samples. Espresso Gold is nice and so was Italia.

    • P21gjcox
    • 24/01/2012 09:20

    Isn't it interesting that, despite there being 94 comments on this thread, noone from Starbucks themselves have had the courage to try to respond to any of the criticisms herein? Also that there has not been any new blog posts in the two weeks this one has been live?!

    • daruma3
    • 24/01/2012 09:58

    Part of me says it isn't worth adding a comment here because in truth there's been absolutely no sign whatsoever that you're listening - whatever you claim in your blog. But I will because I don't want you to interpret silence as acquiescence. As many of the other filter coffee drinkers have said the new deal is far worse for us and what's more you've communicated it terribly. The only eneficiary of this mess is Pret a Manger...

    • daruma3
    • 24/01/2012 10:01

    One other point - I learned today that you stopped making contributions to the Global Fund at the end of 2011. So bang goes the charity benefit of my RED Starbucks card - did you tell us you were doing that too?

    • The Jaspers
    • 26/01/2012 04:11

    We are also very disappointed, I hope adding my comments about the new scheme Starbucks will work out what to do next & improve the scheme back to it's former glory. I wrote an email to complain (which I never do) because I was so incensed the new scheme was being sold as an improvement not as it's true purpose, which is to water down the benefits. Maybe they make too much profit, maybe the queues are too big or maybe they want us to try other places! Looks like they'll succeed on all three!

    • uzboz01
    • 26/01/2012 05:14

    Disappointing removal of perks of being a card holder. Certainly won't bother buying Starbucks beans any more and I was buying at least a bag a week on average and that meant I was also usually stopping by and buying food when I visited.

    I'm not in the "I'm going to boycott Starbucks brigade" but I'll certainly visit less and spend less.

    Dumb move imo probably initiated by someone who over analysed a spreadsheet.

    I should imagine Darcy is pleased he left before this debacle

    • brettjgilbert
    • 26/01/2012 06:41

    Dear Starbucks,

    Now that my existing card balance has been used, I won’t be refilling it. I will still visit your cafes, but less frequently and with less enthusiasm. Your new ‘rewards’ scheme is nothing of the kind. It is patronising to new customers and insulting to old. For the record:

    — It is NOT a loyalty scheme since it requires prepayment. No other British retailer has a loyalty scheme that requires prepayment; they wouldn’t dare.


    • brettjgilbert
    • 26/01/2012 06:41


    — It is NOT an attractive prepayment scheme, since prepayment now offers only extremely deferred discounts, and then holds nothing but the threat of them being withdrawn if customers do not regularly and repeatedly top up their card. Again, no other British retailer offers such a prepayment scheme, and for exactly the same reason.


    • brettjgilbert
    • 26/01/2012 06:41


    By conflating two fundamentally distinct types of retail incentive scheme you have made a category error, and created a scheme that offers nothing and serves no-one. The very best interpretation of this is that you have effected an ‘inadvertent con’ on your customers, but I am not prepared to be that charitable about a billion-dollar corporation.

    Fool me once, Starbucks, shame on you. Fool me twice...

    • Sharon2011
    • 27/01/2012 05:24

    I just drink filter coffee, and with the reward card, I didn't even look at other coffee places, as I got a few pence off EACH TIME. In fact, I used to go in every morning, as it was near my work. AND the wifi was for people who joined the reward scheme - not for everyone. I will now run down my card and check out other places. NOT a good move folks!

    • tselliot
    • 29/01/2012 09:51

    Bye bye Starbucks - I will now get my beans from the local independent. You can think of it as your diluted loyalty scheme helping family-run businesses. Nice move.

    • davefood
    • 30/01/2012 07:56

    I am pretty sure the "new and improved" scheme could be had under trade descriptions, its not improved for many people, actually I think you are just trying to reduce costs. Connecting i-tunes and free wire-fi is irrelevant they came long before these other changes!

    Also because the scheme will now be per transaction I will be buying one coffee at a time, which will slow the queue down not speed it up?

    Why is Welcome break still not on the card scheme?

    • thernanz
    • 30/01/2012 10:12

    awful scheme, i dont see the point of topping up my card again. is this really the best that you can come up with???

    • avensis20
    • 31/01/2012 17:56

    The new reward scheme is crap. As a person who only drinks black filter coffee, I always enjoyed using the Starbucks card as I got the discount on each purchase. I noticed the price did not have the discount recently when using the reward card, but have only realised this is due to the new reward scheme, which Starbucks conveniently forgot to mention. I shall be going back to my favourite coffee shop in future. Costa Coffee.

    • Grpogson
    • 01/02/2012 00:58

    I find it interesting that they said they've listened to their customers to come up with the new scheme. I don't remember saying i wanted a new rewards programme and they appear to have no intention of listening to us now - no responses to e-mails or Facebook posts. do you actually have a sales team Starbucks. Good luck in India by the way - if you don't listen to customers, you might as well stick to the two introductory outlets.

    • brookal_1
    • 01/02/2012 04:00

    Having one scheme for US and one for UK is very confusing when you log into It says that I should be eligible for free drink with whole beans but isn't right.

    This was one of the benefits that brought me to Starbucks in the first place.

      • brookal_1
      • 01/02/2012 04:00

      In reply to: brookal_1

      I am now going to go somewhere else for my coffee (Whittards factory outlet) as it is cheaper.

      Therefore, by changing the reward system, Starbucks have lost out on some business.

        • brookal_1
        • 01/02/2012 04:00

        In reply to: brookal_1

        I like the idea of a good reward system but surely the emphasis should be on the word "reward". If the whole bean offer was there then I would go back to spending more money at Starbucks again as the coffee is nicer but sadly finances have to be considered as well as taste so Whittards it is..

        Sorry Starbucks - but to quote Homer Simpson - D'Oh!!!!!!

        • kim.wong168
        • 01/02/2012 09:24

        In reply to: brookal_1

        I agree, I'll be going elsewhere for my beans now, probably Whittards.

    • kim.wong168
    • 01/02/2012 09:38

    I'm not terribly impressed with the need to acquire another 50 stars each year to keep the gold status. We live in a rural area and the nearest Starbucks is 8 miles away, at current fuel prices for my car that's about £2 a round trip. I almost always buy a coffee in Starbucks when I am near one, but that isn't every week, so the chances of earning 50 stars is very low. This is a very poor show Starbucks, very poor indeed.

      • kim.wong168
      • 01/02/2012 09:41

      In reply to: kim.wong168

      Just one other point, you have our money in your bank up front, so this is more than a simple reward card. I'm not so sure if I'll bother to top up again, or if I do, it'll be at the till for the amount I'm about to spend. I can't see why I should lend you the money any more.

        • Klein905
        • 04/02/2012 10:30

        In reply to: kim.wong168

        I agree - seems crazy that Starbucks have upset so many loyal customers. I keep hoping they are going to see sense and reinstate the rewards that were worth having. If not, I'm voting with my feet too!

    • gillesj
    • 01/02/2012 14:40

    I too am disappointed with the new reward scheme as I frequently drink filter coffee and buy bags of coffee and I also frequently buy food so all in all I will be worse off with this scheme and think I will be using separate transactions whenever possible to at least get better value for my money
    Also found out today that they have stopped giving free refills on filter coffee although don't seem to be advertising that they have withdrawn this too busy trying to up sell their new rewards system.

      • Klein905
      • 04/02/2012 10:32

      In reply to: gillesj

      I didn't realise that they had stopped the free hot drink with a bag of beans, until I tried to buy some. Did they advertise all the perks they were removing, 'cos I don't remember seeing anything

      • PirateTimelord
      • 26/02/2012 06:53

      In reply to: gillesj

      As a note - though the new scheme has been very poorly implemented, thought out and communicated (and many details are still rather hard to find, if present at all, on the website), the free filter refill hasn't been stopped - that wasn't part of the rewards they say. What they did do with filter refills, is rather than offering the refill with the purchase of any hot drink, you now only get the refill with filter purchases (though this was introduced months before the 'reward' scheme change.)

    • Skinqueezy
    • 02/02/2012 02:41

    I can understand why filter coffee drinkers are annoyed. These new benefits do seem to ignore you. As for anyone else. THEY DON'T HAVE TO GIVE YOU ANYTHING FREE.

    As a registered card holder, the same FREE benefits still apply, as they started you on gold. THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THAT. And I don't think asking its customers to make 50 separate purchases in a year is a lot to ask to get these benefits. And I'm sure, in time, they will tweak the benefits to include all LOYAL customers.

    • lorimartin61
    • 02/02/2012 04:38

    I am very disappointed in the new rewards scheme, especially has I have four registered cards. When you said that you took great care to listen to what our customers were saying, who were those customers because I was never given the opportunity to voice my opinion. With the old rewards scheme, using my registered card, I received free syrup, cream, 50p off fresh filter. You have taken away and not stayed the same. My 16 years of loyalty with Starbucks (USA & UK) have now come to an end.

    • gireesh
    • 03/02/2012 00:41

    Terrible! I asked about how to refund the money that is on the card as the benefits are useless to me as I prefer filter coffee. I had no reply from customer service which apparently listens to their customers! Just waiting to use up the amount and I will go elsewhere for coffee.

    • spietrosanti
    • 06/02/2012 15:21

    Hello Costa!

    • LDWAN23
    • 07/02/2012 04:58

    Thanks everyone for all the comments above I wasn't aware of the changes and was just about to advise members of my teams to buy a Starbucks card each instead of using the company credit card. In view of all the above comments I will now not be making that recommendation. And will be recommending that they us alternative coffee places.

    • alexcomerford
    • 08/02/2012 01:31

    Starbucks don't understand what loyalty actually means. I used to be loyal to them. I even went to the government planning inspectors hearings when the local council tried to shut my nearest store for breach of planning permission. What do I get in return? My coffee goes up in price 50% on top of the (quickly removed) increase to £1.75 for a tall drip before xmas.
    Most of my drinks are now brought from my local indy - cheaper, better and an instant reward after 9 cups.

      • saint100
      • 08/02/2012 15:42

      In reply to: alexcomerford

      Unbelievable! Didn't think I would see an American company try to top the coca **** blunder of many years ago and then try to tell us it was what the customer wanted. however not only that but you have compounded it by then ignoring those customers. Well congratulations you have made me a Costa customer - a company where my loyalty will be more generously rewarded and my intelligence and custom will be respected.

    • olivershawo
    • 09/02/2012 03:51

    Please hurry up with the Android version! More Androids out there than iPhones.

    • 6028878889757669
    • 09/02/2012 16:51

    Hi Starbucks,

    Just to let you know since the new rewards scheme started and I started losing more than I was being rewarded I have stopped drinking my daily filter coffee.

    I now buy Kenco Millicano.

    Shame as I really enjoyed my daily visit to Starbucks and my filter is now a distant memory!!

    • ruskiny
    • 10/02/2012 21:20

    Pret is now where I go 99p

    • 13/02/2012 05:58

    I have moved to PRET A MANGER
    They have filter coffee at 99p, also free wifi + the one I go to now free newspapers.
    I sent an email to the customer services which they ignored about losing the 50p discount.
    I asked for a refund on the balance on my card to put on my PRET card, sent the forms weeks ago + still no refund from the balance on my card.
    Theya re obviously not interested in keeping regular customers who possibly are low spenders (around £4 or £5 a week in my case). PRET wins!

    • sullyatt
    • 13/02/2012 08:32

    glad i'm not the only one to feel that my loyalty is not being respected - does anyone know how much brewed coffee is at costa or nero?

    • ali5244
    • 13/02/2012 10:04

    Re the valentine day reward. Why only after 2pm? How about a reward for being a loyal customer rather than constraining it to your quiet times.

    • paulandclairenorman
    • 13/02/2012 23:35


    Given all of the negative feedback that I have seen here and in other places, when are you going to turn a marketing disaster into a marketing sucess by re-instating a free tall drink with a purchase of coffee beans and the £1 tall filter for gold members, really showing that to listen to and care about what scheme members say ... and because you care ... you do something about it?

    • chrish0rn
    • 14/02/2012 02:47

    I am disgusted with the loss of the discount on the filter coffee.

    You disgust me.

    • waytoday
    • 14/02/2012 12:04

    Me and 2 friends used to visit our local Starbucks literally every day because we could get a filter coffee and a refill for a pound. We would often buy food and sometimes treat ourselves to a more expensive coffee. On average we would spend between 10 and 20 pounds each per week as well as bringing other friends into the shop. Now that the cost of our coffee has trebled we no longer go there. Well done Starbucks, nice way to treat your loyal customers.

    • Dpreeves
    • 15/02/2012 08:46

    I'm not impressed by the new scheme. When I visit a Starbucks at a service station or in a hotel I'm told that they don't accept the starbucks card so the visit can't count towards the rather high requalification limit of 50 stars. I'm always told that Starbucks is working on solving the problem, ive been hearing the same line for over a year now. As a consequence I've started favouring Costa as at least each visit there earns me some reward. Oh and thanks for removing the £1 tall coffee offer..

    • taiernest
    • 17/02/2012 05:11

    I must say I'm so disappointed with the new rewards programme too. May begin considering moving to Costa or Nero as Starbucks is no longer good value any more. Another thing is Starbucks have now open up the WiFi, making it INCREDIBLY SLOW and difficult to connect.

    • ernieglenman1
    • 18/02/2012 06:41

    I have not used my card or Starbucks since finding out by experience rather than communication that the free coffee with a bag of beans was now gone. I am also a filter coffee drinker and have lost out there as well. What used to be a 3 / 4 times a week visit has gone to zero. I had to wait 17 days for a reply to an email, obviously customer services are inundated. Ill thought out and an absolute disaster. Costa & Nero have better Americano and better parking in my area. Supermarkets for beans.

    • Dbinqs
    • 19/02/2012 06:13

    I have only just realised that I am not getting my coffee for £1 no more.
    This is a bad move Starbucks n I will most certainly be using Costa or Pret A Manger who both sell coffee for 99p plus after about 12 stamps get a free one with Pret.

    Your reward card does not really feel like a reward at all and in fact it's a bit misleading as there is no real reward at all.

    Well done though for losing a loyal customer.

    • srhicks57
    • 22/02/2012 04:17

    Okay. So one minute I'm a Gold member. Next I get three emails telling me I'm a green member.

      • brookal_1
      • 22/02/2012 04:31

      In reply to: srhicks57

      Similar to srhicks57 I have just got 3 emails saying that I am a green member when I should also be a gold member as I was told that as I have the card before the new scheme came in, I would be assigned a gold level membership to start with but I would have to do the correct number of visits in a year to keep it. What is going on Starbucks??????

    • acraceea
    • 23/02/2012 04:33

    With regards to the rewards scheme or rather, lack of it, why when I buy 15 large coffees do I only get a free small one??
    Have a really got to resort to splitting my purchase up each time to ensure I get my rewards? I could not believe it when, I took my family (5 of us) to starbucks and after paying for 5 drinks and 5 paninis, and upon checking online noticed I had received 1 star - whoopee !!!
    I'm sure the staff would have loved it if i had split this into 10 separate purchases.

    • aerotec
    • 25/02/2012 09:55

    Well it sure is a bunch of unhappy people in here.

    One one hand I am not surprised the £1 filter coffee has gone. It was probably a loss leader for them. All these people taking up seats when it could be full of Frapucinno buyers must have hit the bottom line for them.

      • PirateTimelord
      • 26/02/2012 07:06

      In reply to: aerotec

      TBH it can't have been that big a loss for them, since their cited reasons for removing it were that filter coffee drinkers were only a niche market. If they were only a niche market, they can't have cost the company that much, or taken up that many seats. That said, it was an offer (albeit a very long running one), so removing it isn't that big an issue. Not telling anyone, and ignoring questions asking what happened to it however was not really acceptable.

    • aerotec
    • 25/02/2012 09:56

    The free tall coffee with the beans was also a very good deal, to good to keep so I am not surprised it has gone. I used to use that offer frequently as it made the beans better value. However at around £16/kg it is not a cost effective way for me as I go through a lot of beans at home.

    So as much as I can understand the removal of these "rewards" they should really have made the rest of the scheme better. Starbucks coffee is pretty weak without the extra shot. However I probably visited...

    • aerotec
    • 25/02/2012 09:58

    30-35 times a year so I won't manage to renew Gold status. And there is nothing in between worthy and worthless. I reckon they picked the 50 "Stars" threshold as it will only apply to 20% of card holders. Guess it has to be earned to be a reward but this threshold is too high for most. And with it being one star per purchase and not per beverage that just adds insult to injury.

    Lastly, why not make it a free cuppa after 12 drinks, email us when earned and apply it to the card.

    • aerotec
    • 25/02/2012 10:00

    Paper vouchers are blatantly used in the hope that most people will lose them or they will expire. If they think electronic Starbuck cards and iPhone/Android apps are they way to go then the use of paper vouchers is just a joke.

    Luckily I have discovered and my local Camden Coffee House. Both of which are excellent and worthy of my spend with better quality latte than Starbucks ever gave me.

    • nbonaparte
    • 26/02/2012 00:47

    I think starbucks have based these changes on the marketing theory that removal of a discount is not perceived negatively by consumers. The theory assumes that we consumers use the published price (e.e £1.50) as a reference "fair" price, with any discount seen as a bonus. This fails to recognise the fact that anyone with half a brain cell knows that £1.50 is hugely overpriced for a brewed coffeee that costs 5 to 10p to produce. Our reference price was the 75p cost after discounts.

    • nbonaparte
    • 26/02/2012 01:05

    Needless to say I agree with all the negative comments above.

    The changes prompted me to look for an alternative, so now, having run down the Starbucks card balance I get my coffee from a local coffee shop that offers 99p brewed and a free drink every 8 purchases.

    Starbucks has really angered me by trying to sell these changes as an improvement. My loyalty was maintained by the 50p discount on brewed coffee and the free refills, both now withdrawn. So I'm withdrawing my custom.

    • brookal_1
    • 27/02/2012 02:50

    It says in the blog "You have my personal commitment, we’re going to keep listening. This kind of feedback is incredibly valuable as we find ways to improve what we do".

    Are they listening to all this negative feedback? I hope that they are as the reward scheme is a brilliant idea but extremely badly implemented and not the best of public relations exercises.

    • jtraxy
    • 27/02/2012 03:38

    Irritated that this is a backwards step on the rewards. It does seem like the other cafes will be getting more of my business now. And of others if the comments are anything to judge by.

    I guess Starbucks don't mind though as they always seem to be doing a roaring trade. In business, if you can raise the prices and still get the custom then you do so, so I guess that's what they are doing (in a way).

    Thanks Starbucks.

      • cliffwilkes
      • 28/02/2012 04:17

      In reply to: jtraxy

      Just returned from ordering my regular bold filter coffee to be told by the Barista that from next week, ALL Starbucks will only be offering Pike Place. This is the final straw - the loss of the discount was bad, but I was prepared to chalk that up to Starbucks being a business and wanting to increase its profits - but removing the bold option from the filter coffees - I'm sorry, but Pike Place tastes like dish water. Bye bye Starbucks.

    • johngdyke
    • 28/02/2012 04:15

    Will Starbucks UK be issuing Gold Cards like they do in the USA?

    • PJH1974
    • 02/03/2012 07:34

    Disappointed with all the changes that are going through at the moment, don't feel rewarded for being loyal, please reconsider the 50p off filter coffee :) plus the idea of one drip coffee availble is poor and was your unique point of sale against other chains :)

    • Saint100
    • 02/03/2012 09:33

    Well now that they have introduced the extra shot for Tall and Venti lattes fo everybody there is now no point in me being a gold card holder as that was the only reward left after the last fiasco.

    • Bootle27
    • 02/03/2012 13:59

    I think everyone's comments highlight what a disaster this 'change' has been; wait for it to appear as the example what not to do at your local college! Costa are benefitting significantly judging by motorways services!

    The other advantage I found (but I think not mentioned) was avoiding lots of change, and being able to load cards for kids. As I and others run off balances, Starbucks is going to loose a lot of prepaid money which would sit for some time - £100000s across the country? Dumb!

    • billmurdo
    • 03/03/2012 04:16

    The new rewards is a PR disaster
    The rewards is not per 15 drinks butVISITS - so if visiting with 1 friend and family each time this means 30 purchases before a free drink.
    OK the rules are there but VVVVVVVV misleading anda rubbish reward scheme
    NERO offer 1 free ANY drink or size every 9 so I have started to go to NERO.
    Goodbye Starbucks

    • billmurdo
    • 03/03/2012 04:23

    BTW The best thing about Starbucks at the moment is this BLOG. Delighted to know that it's not just me who is really angry about the changes to the rewards and especially my loss of the 50p per filter (equivalent 1 in 3 free)

    • blackchop
    • 05/03/2012 09:48

    I'm from Seattle and I've been a Starbucks customer from the beginning and forf over 30 years. This new incentive scheme in the UK is complete rubbish and a rip off. Poorly planned and whoever came up with the genius idea should get a pink slip. After 2 decades as a loyal Starbucks customer I've switched to Pret. Better coffee quite honestly and at 99p a much better deal, even if no refills. I might consider returning to Starbucks if I return to America and the old deal is still honored.

    • paulheskes
    • 07/03/2012 06:10

    My 2nd and last post on the matter, in the hope that Starbucks do actually read this blog and listen?
    The main reason I chose you over other High St brands was partly due to your very good rewards scheme, but mostly due to the fact that I could visit a few times a week, enjoy a mug of good filter coffee and try out different types of drip coffee.
    I really enjoyed some of your seasonal premium blends and I regularly bought your standard blends to take home and brew myself. tbc ................

    • paulheskes
    • 07/03/2012 06:48

    cont.. Now, it would appear that you have a vendetta against your filter drinkers, as all of your recent changes to the rewards scheme have been to the detriment of us. Well for me it was the final nail in the coffin when you decided to take away the choice of drip blends. I'm not going to buy a bag of beans when I don't know how it tastes and as I can buy fresher online, I cannot see a single carrot in front of me to keep my custom. tbc....

    • PaulHeskes
    • 07/03/2012 07:00

    cont... So congratulations to the person who came up with the latest rewards scheme and who limited our choices, but most of all, congratulations to the person who decided to put profits before customers.

    • 89jessica
    • 07/03/2012 11:04

    I want to cancel because the awards only happen to new customers and I have left it long enough and get nothing back not a free drink like coasta coffee so I want leave

    • ben_darras
    • 08/03/2012 11:53

    I'm quite happy with the new scheme. Thank you

    • garethprobert
    • 12/03/2012 05:30

    Another very dissatisfied voice to add to all of the above regarding the loss of the filter coffee (50p off) benefit.

    Please don't try and suggest that you have done us any favours by giving a free coffee after 15 purchases when it used to be after just 3!

    I appreciate that latte and capp drinkers may not have got much out of the old system, but why remove the flagship benefit for us? Crazy.

    • jwb39uk
    • 12/03/2012 06:34

    I agree with all the above. I used to go to Starbucks several times a week in London and Cambridge for the a tall filter coffee, and regularly bought my bags of whole bean coffee at Starbucks because of the free tall drink that came with it. I now buy my morning coffee in London from Eat, Pret, or a small local place, and bags of ground coffee at the Co-Op. I've been a regular at Starbucks for 20 years (starting in Chicago in the early 1990s when I lived there), but no more.

    • kevirving
    • 12/03/2012 11:11

    Bring back the £1 tall filter coffee for cardholders and I'll be back. The gold level of membership offers me nothing of any interest.

    • sleepmonsta
    • 12/03/2012 13:52

    nobody likes to feel they've had the p*ss taken out of them. Genius marketing move well done Starbucks. I'm off to Costa.

    • lobo666
    • 14/03/2012 04:23

    well it is back to costa for me

    • bryan.steele
    • 14/03/2012 05:50

    I used to drink filter coffee quite often. The first I knew that the discount was no longer available was when I was charged 50% more than usual. The new rewards scheme is definitely inferior to the old and poor value when it comes to feee drinks compared to much of Starbucks competition. The incentive to select Starbucks over the competition has gone.

    • Ttz212
    • 14/03/2012 10:10

    When will you be changing the way you treat customers? After all they do pay your salaries. No customers, no job guys, think about it.

    • billmurdo
    • 19/03/2012 07:51

    Starbucks PR disaster
    Sat in Starbucks on the A3 watching the coffee world go by & reading the Sunday Papers.
    Pay for my filter
    Pay again for wife's latte
    Pay again for the daughters hot Chocolate (queue got pretty long by this time)
    Disappointed - filter choice now only Pike Place
    Forgot latte now has 2 shots so return the wife's latte for single shot the way it used to be
    Lose count of numerous latte's being returned too strong
    why not just add a shot (if you want it) for free!!!

    • Saint100
    • 21/03/2012 10:02

    See this one got archieved despite it still being active.

    Now that what Starbucks call listening to your customers!

    • kdyank
    • 22/03/2012 04:59

    Perhaps the new rewards scheme has attracted some new customers but, as a long time card carrying customer, it's caused me to do several things: bought a Nespresso machine, won't be topping up my Starbucks card (what's the point?), more frequent visits to Nero and Costa both of which have better loyalty programs. Very disappointed in Starbucks UK.

    • vikki3716
    • 09/04/2012 09:39

    The free drink with a bag of coffee was my favorite thing and my only reason for topping up my starbucks card. Now I have 14 stars so one more purchase and that will be the end of that I'm aftraid!

    • Syrupie
    • 19/04/2012 04:41

    Another who has voted with their feet. Starbucks say they are listening but people have been posting here and Ian hasn't responded.

    • aujo79
    • 22/05/2012 07:55

    This new reward scheme is near useless and vey unfair given US customers get a much better deal. I doubt this is what your customers asked for. I won't be buying my coffee beans from you anymore but will be going to Insomnia instead. I am very disappointed!

    • iain.caird
    • 14/06/2012 15:20

    I bought my 1st card in the US where I downloaded the app. My balance is shown in $. I have 2 addresses listed under settings. Do I receive the gold card and benefits at 30 stars or not?

    • mark_forrester
    • 25/06/2012 06:07

    It would be rather nice to get the android app in the UK.

    • Colinmack01
    • 03/07/2012 12:11

    I thought I must be due lots of drinks by not- oops, silly me, visits. I will not longer be buying my friends drinks or encourging them to walk the extra distance to starbucks.

    • surreytyke
    • 12/07/2012 02:46

    I am not a major customer but liked the filter coffee and at £1 it was a good deal. It is now not competitive with other places so I will use up the credit on my card and then go elsewhere.

    • butlerchris
    • 09/01/2013 07:38

    now it's 2013 and I'm now ditched from gold to green because I didn't quite collect 50 stars before my anniversary date! say what!
    It looks like Starbucks is trying to do away with the Gold tier.
    How much do I need to top up with to go back to gold? I drink soy milk rather than cows milk and that healthy stuff is expensive compared to calfs milk.

      • vandermerwe.jacques
      • 09/01/2013 07:55

      In reply to: butlerchris

      Same here. Been dumped like an old rag. Too bad though. It is unfortunate that Pret can make profits on 99p coffee and Starbucks can see past the failure of an expensive reward scheme.
      I am sorry Starbucks, but as much as I like the coffee I do not approve of the way you generate profits at the cost of customers.

    • feedthewolf66
    • 30/01/2013 08:55

    I registered my card 2 years ago to enjoy the not having to pay for soya milk. My shock today at being charged an extra 35p has made me question the word 'loyalty'. Starbucks are being 'disloyal' to their customers!! It is also about time the non-milk drinkers stopped being penalised for doing so. Proportionally speaking soya milk does not cost that much more than milk!! I'm taking my soya coffee custom to local Independant drinkeries not charging extra for soya drinkers!!

    • feedthewolf66
    • 30/01/2013 08:56

    Also just like to add that on two occasions I have tried to contact them by, they don't want to speak to us either!!

    • Workin4ALivin
    • 31/01/2013 15:33

    I just got hit with the 35p for the extra shot which was always free in the past. I had not really noticed the program change until I contacted SB twice. First response was long but never answered my question about charging for the extra shot. I asked again and then finally got a direct reply. I figured the free shot was ok in return for my free loan to SB every time I put money on the card. I'll spend down the money on the card and call it a day with SB. I guess they don't need me anyway.