person holding Starbucks drink outside (l) Starbucks on phone on napkin in front of black background (c) person holding Starbucks drink outside (r)

Brenda Rocha - Blossom/Shutterstock @aiyannace/TikTok (Licensed)

‘It just tastes so much better when it’s free’: Starbucks customer finesses free drink by pretending to have placed mobile order

'I had intentions on paying, but I just couldn't.'


Phil West


Posted on Feb 11, 2023

A TikToker walking through the streets of New York City demonstrated — not once, but twice — how she scammed Starbucks by pretending to have placed her order on a mobile app and then inquiring about it when she arrived at the store.

Commenters, responding to the viral videos online, were generally supportive of the move, which the TikToker characterized as “finessing” the free drink.

The video was created by TikToker Aiyanna (@aiyannace), who posted the initial video Friday afternoon, garnering more than 455,000 views, and then posted the sequel four hours later, approaching 400,000 views as of Saturday.

Both videos feature her walking with a Starbucks drink in hand, with the first one explaining the scam in detail — or, in her words, how “I finessed myself a free drink.”

“I had intentions on paying, but I just couldn’t,” she narrates. “The line was busting out the fucking store; I couldn’t do it.”

So, creating the fictional name “Danielle,” she says she explained to a Starbucks worker that she’d placed the order online and was wondering if it was ready.

@aiyannace Never paying for starbucks or chipotle again #starbucks #chipotle ♬ original sound – Aiyanna❤️

Noting that “Starbucks employees are so fucking nice,” and comparing them favorably to Chick-fil-A employees, she reveals that the person at the store offered to “remake” the drink for her.

“Mind you, there’s no fucking Danielle that exists,” she says. “I just made that up because I wasn’t waiting on that line or paying for my drink.”

Then, a twist — the employee said they’d have to verify the order, which caused her to panic, Aiyanna says. Thinking quickly, the creator says she told the barista, “Oh, I placed it at the next location,” referring to a Starbucks store (because this is New York) 800 feet away, and asking if she could get it switched over. The barista allegedly decided that was “verifiable” enough and made her the drink.

“It just tastes so much better when it’s free,” she says, noting that she wanted a grande “and they gave me the small but it’s like, you know what, whatever.”

She then shows that she was able to do it again in a second video once finishing her first drink.

@aiyannace FREE STARBUCKS DUPE????? #freestarbucks #starbucks ♬ original sound – Aiyanna❤️

That short video shows her approaching the entrance of a second Starbucks location, and then emerging with a larger version of the first drink, marveling that it worked.

Many commenters — including those claiming to be Starbucks employees — applauded her initiative, and even revealed how easy it might be for others to attempt this.

“I work at Starbucks,” one commenter noted. “We are required to make it if you place it at the wrong location. Most [of] the time, we don’t even care to check.”

“I do this for customers all the time,” another revealed, “because it’s such a hassle to make the actual transaction.”

Another claimed to have not paid for a Starbucks drink in two years thanks to this subterfuge, advising to claim that your phone has died to help augment the ruse.

One simply said, by way of endorsement, “QUEENNN.”

The Daily Dot reached out to the creator and to Starbucks for comment.

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*First Published: Feb 11, 2023, 12:23 pm CST