Starbucks barista speaking in front of white wall with caption 'Thanks Starbucks Another price increase' (l) Starbucks refresher in front of blue sky (c) Starbucks policy changes scenarios A and B (r)

Starbucks/Facebook @4rayah.sunshine/TikTok by Caterina Cox

‘The drinks are so overpriced already’: Customer says Starbucks will start charging for light ice, no water for Refresher drinks

'Can't wait to get yelled at over this.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Apr 11, 2023   Updated on Apr 28, 2023, 9:51 am CDT

A user on TikTok has a warning for Starbucks customers. According to TikTok user Rayah (@4rayah.sunshine), Starbucks will soon be charging customers for light ice, no ice, or no water modifications on Refresher drinks.

The reason, according to Rayah, is that baristas need to add more base to make up for the lack of product in the cups—something the TikToker has complained about in the past.

She then shows what appear to be documents from Starbucks verifying this change, with Rayah claiming this will be implemented on May 9. It is unclear where Rayah acquired these screenshots, and the Daily Dot has reached out to Starbucks via email for confirmation on the price change.

@4rayah.sunshine Another price increase! What do you think of these changes? Will you make more drinks at home? #starbucks #starbiestok #starbucksrefreshers #priceincrease #starbucks2023 #starbies #refreshers #starbucksdrinks ##sheknows##lightice##greenscreen ♬ She Knows – J. Cole

As the TikToker notes, these documents seem to say that this change only applies to Refresher drinks. Coffee and tea drinks appear to be unaffected by the change.

While these documents have not been verified, other sources seem to corroborate the TikToker’s claim.

For example, a post on the r/Starbucks subreddit claims, “They’re charging $1 for light ice and/or light/no water.” The poster alleges that this was a detail from the company’s summer training.

However, there is some disagreement about whether Starbucks will actually charge more for light or no ice, as the comments on another post note.

“No/ light ice 100% does not get an upcharge and whoever says otherwise misunderstood the training and didn’t read the supplementary guide,” claimed one Redditor.

“I have a picture of the update on my phone and it doesn’t mention anything about ice,” echoed a second in response. “The up charge is only for light or no water, as [it requires] additional base.”

No matter how the charges are going to be rolled out, users on TikTok were quick to share their thoughts on the new charge.

Many were against additional price increases.

“I won’t be getting my pink drinks if I have to pay $1 for light ice,” wrote one user. “Like they already charge $$$ for 3 sips.”

“I’m so over this,” added another. “The drinks are so overpriced already.”

Others worried about the baristas who will have to deal with explaining this new charge.

“And we still don’t get paid enough for the amount of angry customers we’ll have to deal with because of this,” offered a commenter.

“Can’t wait to get yelled at over this even though our wages aren’t being increased at ALLLL,” agreed an additional TikToker.

“Just a reminder this is the company’s doing and us baristas have no control so please don’t take this out on the barista,” stated a third. “we hate price increase[s] too.”

Still, some supported the change.

“No but I don’t blame them, we’ve cleared so many açaí bases for no water no ice,” claimed a user.

“Sbux barista here – I am happy about this,” detailed a further user. “it’s about time we came up with a solution.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Rayah via Instagram direct message.

Update 9:50am CT, Apr. 28, 2023: In an email to the Daily Dot, a Starbucks spokesperson shared the following statement:

“I can confirm that Starbucks is not making any changes to their ice policy. We don’t have anything to share regarding changes to Refreshers beverages.”

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*First Published: Apr 11, 2023, 9:25 am CDT