Timewaster Letters: Starbucks

For about three years I have envied my Stateside friends’ enthusiastic endorsements of Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte. When I heard it was that time of year again, I popped in at the coffee shop on my way to work and asked if they had it in this year, and yet again was told that it wasn’t something they were offering in the UK. I was genuinely disappointed, and decided to take a little action. All emails are genuine, although I might have fibbed a little when I wrote them …

From: (Princess)
Sent: 09 September 2010 09:11
To: ukinfo@starbucks.com
Subject: Complaint

Dear Starbucks

It’s pretty rare that I contact a company in this manner, but I was so outraged by your company’s unethical practices that are destroying relationships and tearing communities apart that I felt obligated to submit a formal complaint.

I’m referring of course to the lack of pumpkin chai latte for the third year running.

My smug American friends boast daily of their enjoyment of the beverage leaving us Brits stricken with envy, and motivated by their tales of sweet spices and frothy lather, I go to Starbucks in town every year to ask if – just maybe – they might have a pumpkin chai latte for me to try?

The crushing disappointment is unbearable. It’s not fair, and it’s making me resent my Transatlantic buddies for their regular indulgence in your spicy brew.

Please rectify this sad situation immediately. If I find myself UnFollowing friends after their umpteenth update about how their chai “totally fixed” their day, I’ll blame you.


(My name) (Mrs)

From: (Princess)
Sent: 10 September 2010 13:25
To: ukinfo@starbucks.com
Subject: FW: Complaint

Dear Starbucks

I’m disappointed you didn’t reply to my email, sent yesterday.

While awaiting your response, my friend posted on Facebook that the pumpkin latte he had purchased that day had “made everything better”.

I told him I hope he rots in hell, the self-satisfied gimp.

He has now de-Friended me.

Does your organisation know no shame?


(My name) (Mrs)

—–Original Message—–
From: (my work account)
Sent: 14 September 2010 16:44
To: ‘ukinfo@starbucks.com’
Subject: FW: Complaint

Dear Starbucks

Since you seem to have ignored my messages from my other account, I am compelled to use my work account, which might earn me a stern ticking off from someone important. That would make me very unhappy.

Almost as unhappy as my lack of pumpkin chai latte. It was freezing this morning. I thought, “You know what would really warm me up on this drizzly, autumnal morning? A nice pumpkin chai latte.”

(My name) (Mrs)

—-Forwarded Message—-
From: ukinfo@starbucks.com
To: (Princess)
Sent: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 08:29 BST
Subject: Customer Care E-mail Reference: 333922

Our ref: 333922

Dear (Princess),

Thank you for taking the time to contact Starbucks Coffee Company with your suggestion for our UK stores to serve the Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

Our range is regularly reviewed to ensure it offers a varied selection of quality beverages and we value customer feedback about our menu. As part of this process we also regularly look at our international stores to see what alternative drinks may prove popular in the UK. I have shared your comments with our beverage development team for their interest.

We appreciate you getting in touch and look forward to welcoming you back soon to your local Starbucks.

Yours sincerely

Christina K********
Customer Care Specialist


So if you’re in the UK and you find yourself sipping a pumpkin spiced latte at any point in the future, you can thank me and my new buddy Christina. I tease in order to please …


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