Why can't I get what I pay for at Starbucks?

iStar

Registered
Is it me... but is it too much to ask to get you pay for in BA?

I was at the Alto Palermo Starbucks yesterday, I asked for extra syrup in my tall (med) latte and I gladly paid the extra AR$1.50. Before I finished paying the cashier, the person next to her asked my name and marked the cup with my order and then proceeded to add the flavor syrup which was only two pumps instead of four.

I told the cashier that I paid for extra syrup and that I'd like what I paid for, she looked in the cup and said I got extra syrup. I told her that was not extra and that it should have been 4 pumps. She dumped the syrup out of the cup and gave me four pumps of syrup and said "it's the same thing" which I replied....

If its the same thing then what's the problem? Is the money coming out of your pocket? I'm at Starbucks paying top money in Argentina for a coffee, I don't want anything for free, I just want what I paid for." which she replied "You are in Argentina, that's the way we do it here"

I looked at her and said she needed to get another job because you're working at Starbucks and that's not the Starbuck way to treat a paying customer.

This is not the first time I've had an issue with Starbucks here. Another time (Starbucks Palermo Soho) I asked for a caramel macchiato without any foam, and I was told they can't do that because the caramel topping will fall to the bottom. I said I don't care, I don't want foam. They gave me such a hard time that I had to speak to a manager about something so stupid. In the end, I got it without foam but not before going through leaps and bounds!

Sorry about the long rant... but has anyone else had issues with Starbucks here?
 

EliA

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Chalk it up to another cultural difference and make your peace. It may be the same company but I can assure you the baristas here make nowhere near the amount that baristas in the U.S. do, either on base salary or tips earned, so I don't blame them for being less polite or indulgent of each customer's special request. Remember they were trained to do things a certain way so when you ask for extra syrup or no foam, even though it seems like it should be easy and reasonable and even if you pay for the difference, it IS a special request and therefore means more work for them. I would do 1 of 2 things:

1) Stop going to Starbucks. Find an Argentinean version of coffee that you like (I bet you'd go for cafe con crema which is a little fancier than straight up cafe con leche) and order it at any one of the million cafes in the city. Do something fun with the oodles of money you'll save.

2) Make yourself a local. If you're going to go to the same place over and over, make a point of tipping big and being extra friendly. Eventually they will start recognizing you as the nice tipper and will give you exactly what you want.

I often have to choose between making a stink about something seemingly small or just rolling with what I'm given. When I do make 'demands' I always compensate for how 'difficult' I've been with a bigger tip, which still falls far short of the 20% I'd leave for mediocre service in the states.
 

iStar

Registered
Elia, I appreciate your response... although I politely disagree with your statement

"Remember they were trained to do things a certain way so when you ask for extra syrup or no foam, even though it seems like it should be easy and reasonable and even if you pay for the difference, it IS a special request and therefore means more work for them"

I think it comes down to some people's attitude in Argentina already programed doing things "a certain way". Like the cashier said... "You are in Argentina, that's the way we do it here". I also think that people put up with this sort of service which only makes the situation even worse.

I also don't think it's a special request if it's offered on the menu and there's an extra charge for it (extra syrup).

I think I will just avoid Starbucks in the future. I considered it a "treat" and I only indulged maybe once a month... no more!
 

arty

Registered
When I order any food or drinks I don't even bother to try to have them make changes any more. It's not worth the hassle. Get used to the lack of customer service.
 

Vagabond

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-iStar

Did you really just post a 200 word rant about your dissatisfaction with the amount of syrup in your Starbucks latte?

I suggest you go to the Retiro train station and peruse the Red Cross exhibit on humans in conflict by James Nachtwey so that you might acquire some much needed perspective.

People like you are the reason I travel...
 

iStar

Registered
Vagabond said:
-iStar

Did you really just post a 200 word rant about your dissatisfaction with the amount of syrup in your Starbucks latte?

I suggest you go to the Retiro train station and peruse the Red Cross exhibit on humans in conflict by James Nachtwey so that you might acquire some much needed perspective.

People like you are the reason I travel...
Wow... did you really count how many words were in my post? Someone's got way to much time on their hands.

People like me?... You have no clue who I am as a person. Unless you think expecting to get what you pay for is above and beyond reason? I call it smart consumerism!

I suggest... If you have nothing constructive to say don't post at all!
 

iStar

Registered
arty said:
When I order any food or drinks I don't even bother to try to have them make changes any more. It's not worth the hassle. Get used to the lack of customer service.
I agree.

Although I happen to point out Starbucks, I believe the "problem" is the lack of customer service in general here in Buenos Aires.

I'll never complain about customer service in North America again!
 
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