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Starbucks Iced Beverage Drinkers Unite: Class Action Lawsuit Filed

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

If you're drinking Starbucks beverages and miffed that all the ice is depriving you of your due liquid, fear not. Someone has taken up your cause. A class action lawsuit was filed in Northern Illinois Federal Court last week on behalf of Starbucks iced beverage drinkers whose cups are being underfilled compared to hot java drinkers, reports Courthouse News Service.

The suit's lead plaintiff, Stacy Pincus, says Starbucks iced beverage drinkers are being deprived of the amount of liquid advertised in any particular size cup when they buy iced drinks, and that Starbucks is disproportionally profiting from iced drinks. A representative of the java giant called the claims in the lawsuit meritless and reminded reporters, "If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it."

Class Claims

While Starbucks does not appear to be taking the lawsuit very seriously at this point, the plaintiff certainly is. Her complaint on behalf of the class of Starbucks iced coffee drinkers is reportedly 29 pages long and alleges that Starbucks is committing fraud, negligently misrepresenting its products, and unjustly enriching itself by cheating iced beverage drinkers, among other claims.

The company offers four drink sizes -- 12, 16, 24, and 30 fluid ounces. These measurements are advertised in stores. Yet iced beverage drinkers, Pincus argues, do not get the promised measure of fluid ounces as their cups are full of ice.

The complaint states. "In the iced coffee example, a Starbucks customer who orders and pays for a Venti iced coffee, expecting to receive 24 fluid ounces of iced coffee based on Starbucks' advertisement and marketing, will instead receive only about 14 fluid ounces of iced coffee."

Insult to Injury

To add insult to injury. Starbucks often charges more for its iced beverages than it does for hot ones, thus disproportionately profiting from iced drink sales. "In essence, Starbucks is advertising the size of its cold drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they purchase a cold drink -- and deceiving its customers in the process," the filing states. Pincus is hoping to represent a large class of Starbucks iced beverage drinkers -- anyone who bought an iced beverage from the company in the last ten years -- and is reportedly seeking $5 million.

Meanwhile, the Starbucks' representative is providing the same reply to all media inquiries, telling the Huffington Post, ABC News, and Courthouse News Service, "We are aware of the plaintiff's claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it."

Product Problems?

If you too believe that you are being cheated by a company or service provider, consider consulting with an attorney. Many lawyers consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss any potential claims.

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