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Man Games System to Get Starbucks for Free Everyday and Is Complete Asshole to Staff About It

When you are into deals, miles, points, and promos, there’s usually a gray area when deciding what deals to take.  If a program’s conditions technically allow the loophole you found, is it alright to take advantage of it?

This question has come up a lot.  Is it okay to book a mistake deal that the airline itself is advertising?  Is it okay to use a refundable ticket to continually get lounge access, knowing you’ll cancel the ticket you used to get in?  Is it okay to “purchase” dollar coins with a credit card, only to immediately turn them back in at a bank?

I’m not going to answer those questions.  But I do believe something, very strongly.

If you are able to game the system to get something for free, don’t be an asshole to the staff about it.

I just read a story about a man who purchased 365 Starbucks cards and is using them to get a free drink every day.

starbucks veterans day discount

How?

You can register your birthday with Starbucks.  They give you a free drink on your birthday.

He registered each card with its own birthday.

He goes into the Starbucks each day for his free “birthday drink” based on each of the cards.

I’d argue that this is something different than the questions I asked above.  He isn’t taking advantage of a program within its own rules–he’s taking advantage of a program outside its rules.  364 of those cards were not registered to his birthday and the program gives you a free drink on your birthday.

But I’m not writing this to be the moral police on that piece.  In fact, I think this will encourage Starbucks to build something into their app that uses one birthday to rule over all the cards you register.  I just sort of shrugged when I first heard about it.

But then I read this article by Extra Crispy on the subject, originally reported by Jezebel.

Apparently this customer is a total brat who insists on writing his own order on the cup in black marker. And it’s complicated:

“He draws lines and arrows and writes all over the cup while telling me: ‘Two pumps of white mocha here, then add five pumps of vanilla. That should take us to this line here where you’re gonna add cold heavy cream up to this ridge here…it should be halfway between this line and this line. Make sure to add the heavy whipping cream before the espresso, it changes the taste if you do it out of order. Then add your four shots, three regular and one long shot. That long shot is important, since you guys reformulated your machines, it’s been Hell trying to get my drink right. That long shot helps balance it. Then stir it for me, Mister Brad. Now do me a favor and add ice to the top there and it’ll be easy as pie. I’m not picky so don’t worry about shaking it or anything like that.'”

Dude.  Come on.

It’s one thing to get something for free.  It’s another thing to use that to torture the staff.

I don’t know if this makes him feel powerful or important, but it’s a dick move to do to the staff.  It’s also not that smart since the staff can rat you out.

Think of it this way–if you make your into the airport lounge every day and you are sweet to the staff, they won’t question how or why you are there every day.  If you are an asshole to them, they won’t want you coming in every day, so they’ll be in a rush to question you / find a reason why you shouldn’t be there.

But self-interest aside, that just isn’t how you should treat people.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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9 comments

  1. ….and Starbucks has every right to “divorce” him as a customer, which they SHOULD DO. I am very much in favour of companies divorcing those who abuse benefits to the extreme, since it hurts everyone. Not to mention, a birthday is a birthday and supposed to be YOUR birthday. So, this is quite easy to use as a disqualification based on picture ID. And, yes, I agree 100% kindness will get you very far, and quite a bit more longevity with regard to deals….

  2. Tootsie Roll

    Frankly, sounds like @Starbucks is being a pu***. I’d just tell him to get the hell out of my store.

  3. *bucks should just ban him. No need to deal with that especially if he’s acting that way.

  4. So in a case like this, where he is obviously abusing the system, why don’ they just ask to see something with his birthday on it? What’s the worst this that can happen? He takes his “business” elsewhere?

  5. “Is it okay to “purchase” dollar coins with a credit card, only to immediately turn them back in at a bank?” — Only if you used the method of ordering those coins where the message (then printed in red) suggesting otherwise was never programmed to appear. If the government did not tell us otherwise, then who are we to challenge the great wisdom of our officials who set up the greatest income transfer program of all time?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Like I said, I’m not saying anything either way on those questions. Just stating that those are questions that do come up.

  6. @alohadavekennedy. Don’t play dumb. you knew what the coins were for-ultimately, to save taxpayers money since coins last longer than bills and you knew the mint wanted them in circulation for that so they didn’t charge shipping/cc fees

    And I agree with the others that say Starbucks needs to put an end to this.

  7. Andrew Fielding

    Love your tracking referrer description “FB Fake Profile”

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