Many would like to game the system at least once in a while, exploiting a loophole to enjoy a perk. But while the random clever life hack may seem like harmless fun, one man’s scam is driving his barista crazy.
Starbucks server Brad Halsey took to the Internet to vent about a shameless customer, a man who figured out a way to wangle a free drink every day of the year and who extremely particular about his coffee.
On Kitchenette, the culinary section of the Jezebel website, Halsey confessed his story in an article that asked servers to dish on their worst customers. Referring to the coffee culprit as Mr. X, Halsey says this customer shows up every day and uses a birthday discount to get a free coffee.
“He purchased 365 Starbucks cards and registered every one of them online with a different birthday,” writes Halsey.
According to Fox News, the customer would have had to spend at least $365 to buy the gift cards. Because Mr. X’s regular order costs $6.50 a cup, that adds up to thousands of dollars in savings over the course of a year.
"Even though I know exactly how he 'beat the system,' he pretends that his app is just malfunctioning and it magically gives him the same free birthday drink every day," writes Halsey.
This type of alleged scam might be annoying, but Mr. X is also a particularly demanding customer.
According to Halsey, Mr. X gets this started by taking the coffee cup and marking it with a black marker, indicating the proportions of each layer. His order:
"Two pumps of white mocha here, then add five pumps of vanilla. That should take us to this line here where you're gonna add cold heavy cream up to this ridge here...it should be halfway between this line and this line. Make sure to add the heavy whipping cream before the espresso, it changes the taste if you do it out of order. Then add your four shots, three regular and one long shot. That long shot is important, since you guys reformulated your machines, it's been Hell trying to get my drink right. That long shot helps balance it. Then stir it for me, Mister Brad. Now do me a favor and add ice to the top there and it'll be easy as pie. I'm not picky so don't worry about shaking it or anything like that."
This encounter always ends with Mr. X specifying how Halsey must ring up his order, cutting the drink’s normally $6.50 price tag in half. He then feigns innocence when he uses his free birthday reward as payment.
According to Eater, Mr. X is indeed violating the rules with his shenanigans. “We are are aware of this customer’s misuse of the Starbucks Card Program,” says a spokesman for the company. “We are investigating this matter as our card program terms prohibit such schemes.”