Class action: too much ice in Starbucks iced drinks

“A consumer class claims Starbucks’ cold drinks are almost half ice and the coffee chain misrepresents the fluid ounces of its popular, and profitable, iced coffee and tea beverages….Further, Starbucks charges more for cold drinks than for comparable hot drinks, despite giving cold-drink customers less of the product than hot-drink customers; in this way, Starbucks makes higher profits off its cold beverages, Pincus claims.” [Jack Bouboushian, Courthouse News Service] “The customer is seeking $5 million in damages. ‘Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any “iced” beverage,’ Starbucks said in a response. It added that the company will happily remake any beverage until the customer is satisfied.” [Lindsay Putnam, New York Post] Another class action a few weeks ago claimed that the coffee chain does not fill hot drinks up close enough to the top of the cup.

More: “Dear plaintiffs: put your too-hot McDonalds coffee in your too-icy Starbucks coffee. Problem solved.” [David Burge]


  • If you don’t like how much coffee you are getting, go somewhere else. Meanwhile I, as someone who likes Starbucks and gets coffee there a couple times a week, will have to pay more for the drink that I was perfectly happy with.

  • […] In case you missed it, there’s a class action against Starbucks for putting too much ice in iced coffee drinks.  You can read about it here. […]

  • What happened to the good old days, when if one was dissatisfied with a merchant’s wares, he ceased patronizing the merchant? Coffee is about as free-market as one can get. Each purchase is for a small amount, and a typical customer makes many purchases each month. Competition is everywhere, so if a consumer is dissatisfied with a store, he can send his message by not buying there anymore.

    With that said, In the back of my mind, I always wonder if many of these incredible lawsuits are not brought in collusion as an inexpensive cheap means of advertising.

    • Or more likely brought by competitors who otherwise can’t quite compete…

  • First world problem.

  • VMS, that’s an interesting conspiracy theory and probably not that farfetched to be believable.

    As Starbucks mentions, they will adjust the drink as desired. As proof of that, my wife demands light ice when she orders an iced coffee from Starbucks and they never respond, “no, we can’t do that because we’d have to give you more coffee.” They willingly comply. Of note, she also orders her lattes with no foam. She doesn’t believe in paying for 2 ounces of air. She’s been doing this for years.

    Do we really need lawyers to point out that there are people out there too stupid to make decisions and, in the process, make products more expensive for the rest of us?

  • One of the arguments is that Starbucks is making too much profit on its iced drinks. Did I somehow sleep for seven months and miss the election that made Bernie the Commie Sanders president?

  • Quick trip east of min/mn. 2 cups of coffee, two sandwiches, and 4 cinnamon buns < the equiv two cups at starbucks. The coffee was better, the cinnamon buns beat cinnabon and my wife wanted a sausage/egg/cheese crescent which wasn't there so they made her one… $10.50 after tax.
    Please forgive misspellings of company names, blind and I spell them as I hear them. 😀
    Oh yeah, the cups were Styrofoam instead of paper and kept the coffee hotter longer. I probably could have spilled it on my legs and sued, but I prefer being able to purchase hot coffee than to enrich lawyers and I work for my money. 😀

  • The empty space in coffee cups is for you to add your own milk.
    If you tell the staff that you don’t take milk they will happily fill your cup to the brim.

  • OMG! As I sat there the ice all melted. Not once did Starbucks warn me that the ice would turn to water. Quick! Let’s “Just Call Saul.”

  • The insider joke at the venerable F W Woolworth Co. was what’s the difference between a “Regular” Coke and a “Large” Coke at its ubiquitous soda fountains? The amount of the ice in the large glass! Starbucks must have learned from the Five & Dime/

  • Starbucks coffee tastes awful, now their dessert drinks are ok but overpriced. That being said, I buy coffee at this little local place on my way to work. It’s 1/2 the price, tastes good like black coffee should, and I feel good when I leave because of the great and friendly service. I’ve never thought of suing Starbucks because their black coffee tastes bad though. But being the Libertarian that I am, I just go elsewhere.

  • […] some may want to demonize this suit as part of the problem of overzealous lawyering, perhaps we should step back and salute this woman for her courage taking a stand and risking her […]