Consumer Law

Suit says Starbucks puts too much ice in cups; rep calls it 'essential component' of iced drink

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Starbucks logo

Starbucks logo.

Earlier this year, a California customer sued Starbucks, contending that the company routinely underfills its cups when dispensing hot coffee drinks.

Now a new lawsuit in Chicago alleges that Starbucks is overfilling its cups, but with ice instead of the more expensive drink for which the customer is paying, when selling cold beverages.

Plaintiff Stacey Pincus, who hopes to do legal battle on behalf of all of the country’s Starbucks cold-drink customers over a 10-year period, is seeking class-action status for the federal suit, reports Courthouse News. It was filed Wednesday in the Northern District of Illinois.

A company representative called the suit “without merit,” saying: “Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any ‘iced’ beverage,” the news agency reports. The representative also said Starbucks will gladly remake any beverage if a customer is not satisfied with the preparation.

However, Pincus argues that the ice displaces nearly half of the advertised cold beverage ounces, and asserts alleged causes of action including breach of warranty, unjust enrichment and fraud.

“In essence, Starbucks is advertising the size of its cold drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they purchase a cold drink—and deceiving its customers in the process,” the suit contends.

The suit seeks $5 million in damages, reports ABC News.

A Washington Post (reg. req.) article provides a link to the complaint in the case.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Suit says Starbucks underfilled lattes; company says customers told of ‘likelihood of variations’ “

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