There have been some interesting posts regarding Starbucks coupon fiasco. A couple of weeks back, Starbucks offered an email coupon to employees in the Southeast for a free iced latte between Aug 23 and Sept 30. They also encouraged the employees to share the coupon with friends and family.
To no ones surprise, the email coupon spread like wild fire across the Internet. So much so that Starbucks decided to pull the plug and posted a note at all locations that the coupon would no longer be honored.
Two very interesting things have occurred since then. Caribou Coffee with it's limited 400 plus shops have chosen to honor the coupon. Smartly, on limited days and specific times. Way to use the viral campaign to their advantage, respecting consumers.
Another interesting problem is a lawsuit against Starbucks. The info was in businessweek. It's sad we're such a litigous society but the interesting point is the value of the lawsuit as the lawyer states, "he $114 million the lawsuit asks for approximates the average cost of one cup of Starbucks coffee a day for all of the people turned away for the 38 days the offer was valid, Sullivan explained. "That's a very conservative figure," he said.
Starbucks has been taking advantage of the consumers that helped build their monstrous brand. They should have chosen to honor the coupon or find a way to apologize and limit the date or time when the item could be redeemed. Has Starbucks become to big for itself and abandoned the consumers that brought them up? It will be interesting to see if and how this effects the bottom line and continued prosperity of Starbucks.