Starbucks Ruins What Was the Best Rewards Program on the Web
By now, if you are a Starbucks customer, you have heard of all the changes in their Rewards program; its been ruined; many customers are unhappy.
In the past, Starbucks Rewards were generally considered to be one of the best, if not THE best, rewards program online. It rewarded frequent visits, it was easy and fun to use, and seemed like a great value. I personally started going to Starbucks a lot more, because of their reward program.
Starbucks has lost touch with its customers.
Whomever conceived of this program does not understand why the Starbucks Rewards was so popular in the first place. Whomever signed off on this is more interested in profits, than in the needs and wants of the customers.
Yes, it is 'easier' to get Stars, but that does not make up for how badly this new program has been conceived. As a drip-coffee drinker, I feel that Starbucks has cast me aside. It appears that Starbucks only cares about the big spenders; people who buy Latte's and sandwiches all at once. In fact right on Starbucks site, on their own blog post that announced the new program, comments are overwhelmingly negative. We also wrote a Linkedin Article on this. People need to know; it is also instructive, from a business perspective - why take something that is so good, and change it that much?
I have talked to both customers and employees; everyone person I talked to is unhappy about these changes, and there are many articles online (here is one, and here is another, at Fortune.com, titled "Customers are Furious with Starbucks' New Rewards Program").
If you think about it, no one really needs to go to Starbucks.
So I am cancelling my account. I have been a loyal customer for many years, and have spent a lot of money at Starbucks - something that they apparently do not care about at all. i will lose my 'Gold' status, and free refills. But it won't matter since I will be going there FAR less. In fact, here is a picture of my last earned Reward at Starbucks:
I want to end this blog post by saying, that there are a number of things that I am unhappy about with Starbucks - not just the Rewards Program. But in the past I never criticized Starbucks, since I am a customer and I try to be positive. But there are just too many problems there now. I will be exploring some of these, in future blog posts. I believe that Starbucks is losing its 'cool' factor, and some of the reasons - like this badly-conceived Rewards Program - show that Starbucks is doing it to itself.