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April 23, 2012


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So, if it's on my card automatically, will the size drink be determined by me or by Starbucks? How will the customer be informed that the reward has been earned without the postcard?


You'll get an email stating the drink is on your card. You'll order your whatever drink in whatever size and say that you want to use your free drink. I assume the barista will have a button on POS to hit then swipe your card.

The only thing I see this changing is the free drink expiring. We still except expired postcards, but if it's digital it'll just remove itself from your card when it expires.


Thank you MS- appreciate your clearing it up!

Bitter Ben

I doubt the barista will have a button. It will probably just take it off automatically like syrups and what not, so that people can't just say they have a free drink.

I foresee a lot of angry people who don't pay attention to their emails (or have 2000 unread emails) and get mad when suddenly their short drip was free.

I think the best idea would to make this into a "paperless" option that people could opt into. Give them a free drink or something if they go paperless.


Ahhh "Bitter Ben": Your name says it all.

Coffee Soldier

I think this is great less paper use and mailing costs disappear! Maybe the customers with the app will remind them right on the screen. I somewhat agree with Bitter Ben though...there will be a backlash of the customers who get tall drip coffees 15 times then suddenly want a 6 shot venti latter and they won't pay attention and it suddenly becomes the baristas fault! But once the kinks get ironed out it will be much better cost wise!


Pittsburgh barista here. There are buttons on the POS for digital rewards. The customer must tell us if they want to use their free beverage-it isn't automatic. They are the same buttons that are already on the POS under the Discount menu-the "Free Rewards Drink" and Birthday Drink" buttons. Instead of automatically taking the drink off like the buttons used to, we are now prompted to swipe the customer's gold card instead. We have had some issues with this because many customers still keep coming in with their old post cards and not bringing their gold cards in with them. We just ring them up under "recovery certificate" when this happens. The rewards do expire now. No more getting away with hoarding postcards for months.

The reception has been pretty neutral. No one seems particularly thrilled or angry. I'm sure we will have issues with people not realizing that they need to tell us in order to get their free beverage, but so far that hasn't happened yet.


So Bitter Ben, I was right. I'm a Canadian barista here and just read what was on portal. My assumptions were %100 huh. Haha


great idea-
this will save on postage and paper.

never could figure out why on earth they were sending me a postcard in the mail
when I had a perfectly functional card.

I am sure Starbucks will pass along these savings to its customers. (call me an idealist).

welcome to the digital age, Starbucks!


atta girl

Actually, Starbucks will lose money. Many people forget to
bring in their 'free drink card.' Consequently, when Starbucks
sends out a card and it is not redeemed, the company is ahead.
It looks good, but doesn't have to pay up.
Another point. I have a gold card. I give my free drink postcard
to my daughter. It is my reward, she lives in Pittsburgh. I am
now informed she will not be able to use it.
Not happy with this new policy.


Pittsburgh Gold Card member here. Still getting cards in the mail every week. Can't use them here, but still getting them. Baristas tell me to "throw them away". When I ask how many drinks I have earned, they say they have no way of telling.

How can I tell how many free drinks I have coming to me and what their expiration dates are? Is it on the website or through the iPhone app? Can't find it either place.

I hate this new system.

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