The New Starbucks Rewards: Not So Rewarding to Customers

Article by Taylor Romano | esPResso Staff Writer

To its surprise, Starbucks has received considerable backlash and negative feedback after announcing upcoming modifications to its rewards program.

The most significant change is that customers will receive two Stars per dollar spent instead of one Star per visit. With this change will come an increase in the amount of Stars required for both “Gold Level” status and a rewards like free food and drink items. A more minor change, the company also plans to change the name of this rewards program from “My Starbucks Rewards” to “Starbucks Rewards”.

Starbucks’ mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time,” however their mission doesn’t seem to be reaching its small spenders. Customers must spend more money in order to get more Stars. Therefore, although Starbucks got the idea to change its rewards program in response to suggestions from current members, its policies negatively affect low spenders.

Upset customers aren’t holding back their opinions of the program. They are using Twitter to grab Starbucks’ attention:

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Starbucks is also using its new rewards program to promote its Mobile Order and Pay service. On the Starbucks app, customers can place a detailed order, pay, and without waiting on line, pick up their order in store. If customers use this feature, they will receive more Stars.

Starbucks is coming out with additional user-friendly features in response to customer comments. They hope these accommodations will retain loyalty members after the changes in April. Once the program is in effect, Starbucks will be able to see if it ‘rewards’ them with new members or has previous members switch to competitor Dunkin Donuts.


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