Starbucks Sued Over Disappointing Ice-To Coffee Ratio

By Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi
May 2, 2016 Updated: May 3, 2016

Have you ever felt like your favorite iced drink from Starbucks has too much ice in it? Well, you’re not alone.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Starbucks, which claims that the coffee company is “misrepresenting its cold drinks as having more fluid ounces” than what a customer is expecting and paying for. 

Stacy Pincus, from Chicago, filed the lawsuit and is claiming more then $5 million for lost money or property as well as injury in fact.  

In other words—the plaintiff is stating that Starbucks is allegedly using too much ice, and therefore less coffee in its cold drinks; claiming customers often receive “nearly half as many fluid ounces” of the coffee amount they think they’re receiving.

A customer who buys a Venti iced coffee expects to receive 24 fluid ounces of iced coffee, however, the amount of ice reduces the amount to about 14 ounces received, the court documents say.

A paragraph from the 29-page court document reads:

“Plaintiff alleges that during the Class Period, Starbucks has engaged in the practice of misrepresenting the amount of Cold Drink a customer will receive. As a result of this practice, Starbucks’ Cold Drinks contain significantly less product than advertised, by design and corporate practice and procedure.”

Pincus is a frequent customer at Starbucks and according to the document, says, she “would not have paid as much, if anything, for the cold drinks had she know that it contained less, and in many cases, nearly half as many, fluid ounces.”

An example of the coffee giant’s alleged faulty ice-coffee ratio, according to the court document:

“As detailed in the menu below, which is available on Starbucks’ website, customers are told that if they order a Tall Cold Drink, they will receive 12 fluid ounces of that drink; in a GrandeCold Drink, they will receive 16 fluid ounces of that drink; in a Venti Cold Drink, they will receive 24 fluid ounces of that drink; and in a Trenta Cold Drink, they will receive 30 fluid ounces of that drink. 

“Accordingly, a Starbucks customer who orders a Venti Cold Drink receives only 14 fluid ounces of that drink—just over half the advertised amount, and just over half the amount for which they are paying. 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.”

Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi