Starbucks customer complains about change in rewards system

On February 13th, Starbucks changed its famous “stars” system, so items cost more stars than before.

The Starbucks Star System is a loyalty program that allows customers to earn “stars” from purchases that allow them to earn free items over time.

“It now takes 100 stars to qualify for a hot coffee or tea, double what it used to be,” explains CNET writer Dan Avery. “You must collect 200 stars to get a latte or frappuccino instead of 150, and the ‘cost’ of a sandwich has increased from 200 to 300 stars.”

While the move may seem insignificant, it has caused significant damage to those who have spent their dollars collecting stars in hopes of redeeming them for free goods.

This can be seen on TikTok, where a user recently went viral and expressed dismay at the new prices.


And capitalism continues to let us down!!!

♬ Original sound – user6934054176375

In a video with over 702,000 views on Friday, TikTok user @user453902357 writes: “Today I walked into Starbucks and was told I need 100 stars for a croissant instead of 50. That has changed today. We live in a dystopian society.”

While the seriousness of TikToker’s text is up for debate, users took to the comments section to express their frustration at the new prices.

“Now 200 for a drink,” said one user. “Why is there stellar inflation, it’s not even real currency.”

“But when inflation makes the drink more expensive and you have to buy stuff to get points,” explained a second. “Isn’t inflation already applied to the points?”

“I wanted to use my 174 stars on my coffee this morning and it was heartbreaking that it just covered my croissant,” recalled another.

“I’m saving the 150 free drinks I earned last week for a ‘bad day,'” added another TikToker.

Some expressed concern that this change was not being adequately communicated to customers, leading to potentially negative interactions between shoppers and baristas.

“Rip to all my barista girls getting yelled at even though we can’t control it,” wrote one commenter.

“No joke, the new spring training has a module for handling customer complaints about the new star system,” claimed a second.

“I work at Starbucks and I’ve been yelled at 7 times about it and it started yesterday,” claimed a third.

Some commenters are ready to swear off the chain forever.

“I’m literally giving up on Starbucks,” said one user. “I can not anymore.”

“I’ve been a loyal Starbucks customer for 10+ years and I’m done with it unless I have a gift card,” said another TikToker. “I make espresso drinks at home.”

We contacted Starbucks via email and @user453902357 via TikTok comment.


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*Initial publication: February 17, 2023 7:51 am CST

Braden Bjella

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

Braden Bjella Starbucks customer complains about change in rewards system

Jaclyn Diaz

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