Starbucks Retracts Free Iced Coffee Email After Offer Spread Across Internet

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You

Starbucks has been forced to retract a coupon offer for free iced coffee for the friends and family of their employees in the southeast region of the United States after the email containing the offer was distributed across the Internet, and the coupon started getting posted on blogs across the nation, and even made it out to Digg.

The Starbucks free iced coffee coupon was intended as a promotion for just the friends and family of a limited number of employees in the South Eastern United States, but it quickly grew out of control as it ended up being shared well beyond the region. Once posted to the popular Digg site, it got ‘dugg’ more than 1600 times, which generally means that just the one site which Digg pointed to probably received thousands of hits, all of them looking for that free coffee.


Said Starbucks in a public statement, “An email offering a free Starbucks iced coffee was distributed to a limited group of Starbucks partners (employees) in the Southeast United States on Wednesday, August 23, 2006, with instructions to forward to their group of friends and family. Unfortunately, it has been redistributed beyond the original intent and modified beyond Starbucks control. Effective immediately, this offer will no longer be valid at any Starbucks locations. We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience as a result of this offer.”

In an effort at damage control, the public statement was displayed prominently at Starbucks across the country this week, as you can see by the picture below.

There actually was such a thing as a free coffee, but no more:

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

 

Retraction hanging in the drive-through window at a California Starbucks:

Some sites are now slamming Starbucks for “not understanding how email works”, but sometimes the simple explanation and fix are the most obvious. In the future, perhaps Starbucks should print limitations right on their email coupons, such as limited to a certain region.

 

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

2 thoughts on “Starbucks Retracts Free Iced Coffee Email After Offer Spread Across Internet

  1. I think that the problem wasn’t with Starbucks “not understanding how email worksâ€?, but that they did not understand basic math. When that asked the the coupon be passed on to family and friends – this is a progression. 2-4-8-16-32-64-…

    There is an old story about a man that asked his king for a “chessboard of rice” as a reward. Two grains of rice on the first square, four on the second, eight on the third, and so on. The king thinking he was getting off cheap agreed. Of course after finding out the amount of rice he owed the man, the king just had him killed. Kind of what Starbucks did.

  2. Now no one will ever accuse Starbucks of engaging in imaginative merchandising!

    They just blew an opportunity to create some new customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.