Coffee chain Starbucks is facing a $5 million lawsuit over the quantity of ice it puts in its cold drinks.
In late April, Illinois woman Stacy Pincus filed a 29-page complaint against Starbucks in federal court, alleging the coffee corporation is “underfilling” its chilled beverages, deceiving customers and serving drinks that have less coffee than promoted.
“Starbucks is misleading customers who expect to receive the advertised amount of fluid ounces,” states the class-action lawsuit. “For example, if a gallon of gas is advertised as costing three dollars, and a customer pays three dollars and pumps gas, that customer is expecting to receive a gallon of gas -- not approximately half a gallon.”
Pincus says a patron who orders a Venti iced coffee only receives about 14 fluid ounces instead of the 24 ounces Starbucks advertises, reports Fox News.
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"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," read the complaint.
The lawsuit Pincus filed is a class action on behalf of anyone who has purchased an iced beverage from Starbucks within the past 10 years.
A similar lawsuit claiming Starbucks was underfilling lattes was filed earlier in 2016, according to The Washington Post.
“The amount of fluid ounces in a Cold Drink is a material fact that a reasonable consumer would consider important,” the lawsuit against Starbucks states. “Had Plaintiff and the Class known that the Cold Drinks contained significantly less fluid ounces than represented by Starbucks, they would have not paid as much, if anything, for the Cold Drinks.”
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Starbucks called the complaint “absurd.”
Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley told The Washington Post on May 2: “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.”