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.
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.