Starbucks loses a customer

Alison Overholt posts on Fast Company’s Weblog about a frustrating experience with the Starbucks card.

In that moment, I completely lost my loyalty to Starbucks. I normally go there every day — often more than once a day — for coffee, to use WiFi when on the road, for a quick snack if I’m hungry. I’m so loyal to Starbucks that I tried their “loyalty card,” until losing it made me realize it might be more hassle than it was worth. So it was surprising to me, shocking even, to realize that years of brand loyalty could be wrecked by just one negative interaction with the company.

A friend last week sent me a pointer to David Pogue’s column about lousy customer service experiences — being promised one thing, getting another and having to waste time calling back to resolve it. Seems like there’s a bit of an epidemic of “how can we maximize profits” through borderline “promises” underway.

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