Starbucks is changing their rewards program.
You know the one, where getting 12 stars can get you a Starbucks freebie.
According to Starbucks, they are instigating the #1 member-requested update. Or an exciting new program! (For them). That update is to make us pay a hell of a lot more before we can redeem a free drink for our patronage. But they call it “Giving you more stars for every dollar spent.” And they say that we can “earn our way to rewards faster” too. (Well, yea, if we spend more!)
Consumers used to get a freebie after 12 stars, because we’d get a star per transaction. (Unless you were one of those stupid, cheap asses that would buy five things, one at a time, holding us all up.) But just for us, Starbucks is now making it so we need 125 stars to get a freebie instead of 12.
Exactly how this works the consumer is completely beyond myself and apparently, my meager math.
The last time I checked, I could earn a free star by spending around $24 over time, but now, with their new and exciting (for them) program, I ONLY need to spend $63!!!
WOW, where do I sign up? No, really. I’m mentally challenged and I want to spend way more money to earn stars for freebies that will now cost more. Wait… did I just say that. “FREEBIES that will cost more!” OK, yes I did say that.
But they say this is a better program and that we, the consumer, asked for this? HOW in the hell did they ask the questions to make us say we want to spend more money for freebies? Or are they taking liberties with how consumers complained about other consumers making multiple transactions at the counter, holding us up?
Let me take a peak here at this new sales pitch and compare, shall we?
“In April, we’re launching a new Starbucks Rewards program to reflect the #1 request we heard from members: more Stars awarded based on what you buy, no matter how often you visit.
You’ll earn 2 Stars for every $1 you spend on coffee, food, drinks, mugs—and more.”
Here’s the new structure, vs (the old structure)
2 Stars per $1 spent (1 Star per visit)
300 Stars to Gold level (30 Stars to Gold level)
125 Stars for a free reward* in Gold level (12 Stars for a free reward* in Gold level)
“We’ll take care of everything. All the Stars in your account will multiply to reflect the change once we launch the new program in April. The benefits you currently enjoy will stay the same, and we’ll introduce new benefits when we launch.”
So wait… you even have to pound the java harder to even get to the gold level now.
I truly do not believe the “spin” that Starbucks is saying “the change is the No. 1 request among loyalty program members.” WTF? That is just taking liberties with something else the consumers have said. They did quote this will speed up counter service because consumers won’t be taking as long with multiple transactions.
Then again, all Starbucks had to do was put a time restriction on transactions, say, once you complete a transaction for a reward, you have to wait for 15, 30 or 60 minutes for your next available reward. But no… that would be too easy on our wallets.
They also predict, that since “club” members always spent more (3x) to achieve these lofty free goals, that they will now spend even more to continue to achieve more stars and those now, farther out of reach freebies.
The brain washing continued with statements like,
“Starbucks Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Ryan said the vast majority of customers will earn rewards at an equal or better rate with the change. Without providing details, he said a “small minority” of customers will earn rewards at a slower pace.”
With that said, it is now time for Coffee Bean and Peet’s to take advantage of how Starbucks is going to screw us over and step up and remind people that they may now have a more economical rewards program than Starbucks. (Do they have rewards programs?)
But I know that sometimes preference is an acquired taste, so many will not change. Nor will those folks who have the bucks, stop going to Starbucks. I mean face it, spending $3-5 on something you can get for .50 cents is crazy, but it’s like a fun outing every now and then.
But for the regulars, this probably won’t change a thing. But then again, for those with budgets who enjoyed redeeming free items every few months at their reduced spending, will be seeing a lot fewer freebies.
So what’s our incentive now? Not a lot, that’s for sure.
Disclaimer: There is something I have neglected to mention, but a fellow coffee-drinking peer was bold enough to say, and that was, if this is aimed at April 1st, wouldn’t this be the best April Fools joke ever? If only!!! But hey, to be fair, I thought I’d toss that out there and mention it. And I only mention it because this new program seems stupid and extreme enough to actually qualify as a joke. The statements they make are too dumb to the point of it being a joke.
Or this is a nasty way to drive more business in the doors as people rush to build up their rewards stars and cash in before this potential screw over.
We’ll see. Joke or bad move? We’ll definitely see.