Another year, another Starbucks holiday cup controversy. In years past the themed drinking vessels have been criticized for being not festive or inclusive enough, but this year customers are angry because the coffee giant ran out free, reusable cups it had promised to patrons.
Per an announcement from Starbucks on Thursday, November 1, the chain had intended to give U.S. customers who ordered a holiday beverage the following day the chance to “celebrate all season long with a free, limited-edition iconic red reusable cup, in participating stores while supplies last.” However, according to dozens of angry tweets from Starbucks customers, many stores ran out of the cups before people had a proper chance to redeem them.
In fact, the reusable cups, which also would have earned customers 50 cents off their grande holiday beverage after 2 p.m. each time they were used through Jan. 7, 2019, were in such high demand on Friday, November 2, that many Starbucks storefronts had burned through their supplies in a matter of minutes or hours. The increased demand even caused the Starbucks app to crash, making it all the more difficult for coffee fans to get their hands on free stuff.
Not surprisingly, many agitated Starbucks goers took to Twitter to air their frustrations. Check out some angry reaction tweets below:
So @Starbucks is advertising that when you buy a holiday flavored coffee you get a free reusable red cup for free went to my local Starbucks at 10am this morning and they tell me they have already ran out of the red cups #disappointed
— Jennah Strader (@StraderJennah) November 2, 2018
@Starbucks is there any reason why the Marblehead, MA store would not honor the free reusable cup promotion on November 2nd? I was told I had to buy one even though I got a grande holiday drink. 🙁
— Noah Hendy (@noahhendy) November 5, 2018
I have not said anything but feel I should. I go to @Starbucks 2 times a day. I was so excited for the reusable cup. I was there 10 mins after opening and they were out. Its so not fair. I was so upset.
— Laura Fagras (@LauraFagras) November 5, 2018
@Starbucks I’m honestly really sad I went to to try and get the free holiday reusable cup and y’all were out. Trying to save the environment here!
— Bryanna Souza (@bryanna_souza) November 5, 2018
@Starbucks are you going to bring back the red reusable cups that were sold out at 7:09 am Friday? #AskingForAFriend #NotJolly
— Debbie De La Rosa (@debbiescott24) November 4, 2018
Just purchased two holiday drinks today. No reusable cup was given. What’s up with that? Plus the mobile app is down. pic.twitter.com/bVbdniuMoT
— Jodi Street (@Ourstreet10Jodi) November 2, 2018
@Starbucks Mobile ordered an eggnog latte and wanted the reusable red cup. I got a paper cup. I even called the store to confirm they had the red cups. #OverTheHype #WastedTrip🤦 pic.twitter.com/GrAfhLeNYZ
— Kendra (@Giggs11) November 2, 2018
Goes to @Starbucks to get a reusable plastic cup. Orders special latte crap to get the cup. Pays for order and then I ask why it is in a paper cup… “oh we ran out, sorry”. I feel cheated… pic.twitter.com/MKkQhFTZ2D
— David Scales II (@DavidScalesii) November 2, 2018
@Starbucks I went to three Starbucks to order a holiday drink so I could get the reusable cup and all three of them were out…. sooooo like can I get a cup? 😭 pic.twitter.com/SA5WeNYMVC
— chey 🌩 (@cheykh_) November 2, 2018
Not eager to have another controversy on their hands, Starbucks has responded to reusable cup snafu promptly, telling Eater, “Each store had a limited supply for Friday’s giveaway, and we’re aware that some stores ran out.”
What’s more? The chain has even offered peeved patrons another chance to get their hands on a reusable cup, for a small fee. The statement continued, “Customers who did not get a reusable red holiday cup may now purchase the cup for $2.50 to receive $.50 off their grande (16 oz) holiday beverage order through Jan. 7.”
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