Customer says Starbucks will start charging for light ice cream, not water

A user on TikTok has a warning for Starbucks customers. According to TikTok user Rayah (@4rayah.sunshine), Starbucks will soon charge customers for light ice, no ice, or no water modifications on refresher drinks.

The reason, Rayah says, is that baristas need to add more base to make up for the lack of product in the cups — something TikToker has complained about in the past.

She then shows what appears to be documents from Starbucks confirming this change, with Rayah claiming that it will be implemented on May 9th. It’s unclear where Rayah acquired these screenshots, and the Daily Dot has emailed Starbucks to confirm the price change.

@4rayah.sunshine Another price increase! What do you think of these changes? do you make more drinks at home #starbucks #starbiestok #starbucksrefreshers #priceincrease #starbucks2023 #starbies #refreshers #starbucksdrinks ##sheknows##lightice##greenscreen ♬ She Knows – J. Cole

As TikToker notes, these documents appear to state that this change only applies to refresher drinks. Coffee and tea beverages do not appear to be affected by the change.

Although these documents have not been verified, other sources seem to corroborate TikToker’s claim.

For example, a post on the r/Starbucks subreddit claims, “They charge $1 for light ice cream and/or light/no water.” The poster claims this is a detail from the company’s summer school.

However, there is some disagreement as to whether Starbucks will actually charge more for light or no ice, as comments on another post note.

“No/ Light Ice 100% doesn’t get an extra charge and anyone who says otherwise misunderstood the training and didn’t read the supplemental guide,” claimed one Redditor.

“I have a picture of the update on my phone and it doesn’t mention anything about ice,” repeated a second reply. “The extra charge is only for light or no water as [it requires] additional base.”

Regardless of how the fees are introduced, TikTok users were quick to share their thoughts on the new fees.

Many were against further price increases.

“I won’t get my pink drinks if I have to pay $1 for light ice cream,” one user wrote. “Like they’re already charging $$$ for 3 sips.”

“I’m so over it,” added another. “The drinks are already so overpriced.”

Others worried about the baristas who will have to deal with explaining this new charge.

“And we’re still not getting paid enough for the amount of angry customers we have to deal with because of it,” said one commenter.

“I can’t wait to be yelled at about this even though our wages aren’t increasing at ALLLL,” agreed another TikToker.

“Just a reminder, this is the company’s work and we baristas have no control, so please don’t take this out on the barista,” said a third party. “We hate price hikes[s] to.”

Still, some supported the change.

“No, but I don’t blame them, we cleared so many açaí bases for no water and no ice,” claimed one user.

“Sbux Barista here – I’m happy about that,” said another user. “It’s time we found a solution.”

The Daily Dot contacted Rayah via Instagram direct message.


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*Initial publication: April 11, 2023 at 9:25 am CDT

Braden Bjella

Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.

Braden Bjella

Jaclyn Diaz

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