A customer thought she’d earned enough Starbucks points for a free drink. She was in for a not-so-fun surprise when the drive-thru employee told her the point system had changed… and she’d need to pay for her drink.
In a short video, Katelyn (@katelynfitchh) recreates her reaction to the news. She’s seen smiling at the invisible Starbucks employee as she grabs her large green drink, only for her face to completely fall into a look of disbelief and disappointment when she learns about the point system change.
The TikToker said she thought she was going to save $7 that day.
“I just got humbled at the Starbucks drive-thru thinking I had a free drink, but apparently they changed the rule to 200 stars,” the text overlay on the video read.
well i thought i was saving $7 today♬ original sound – ozu ♚
Katelyn’s TikTok is nearing 1 million views and has 180 comments, mostly of people complaining in solidarity or asking what’s in her mysterious green drink. (If you’re curious, it’s a strawberry lemonade açái refresher with no berries and three scoops of matcha, as she revealed in the comment section.)
For those unfamiliar with Starbucks’ rewards system, it’s an online program that can be joined via the Starbucks app. By paying for their Starbucks order directly through the app, users earn Stars that can be redeemed for drinks, food, and merchandise.
Depending on how they pay, Starbucks customers earn one or two points per dollar spent.
The Seattle-based coffee giant made significant changes to the rewards program last month that made it so customers would need to spend more to earn their freebie.
The tiers, which determine what reward you can get, changed from 50 stars to 100 stars, 150 stars to 200 stars, and 200 stars to 300 stars, Axios reported.
In the last quarter of 2022, loyalty members accounted for 56% percent of Starbucks’ sales, Axios reported.
In reply to Katelyn’s video, a few commenters said they only learned about the changes because of her TikTok. Others said the same thing happened to them.
“This just happened to me this morning I was so salty,” one person chimed in.
Others were a bit judgmental about the video, asking the creator how she could have missed the announcement that went out via email and in the app.
While some customers have taken advantage of the mobile app to finesse free drinks, others have found it to be a hindrance to what was supposed to be a convenient process.
The Daily Dot reached out to Katelyn via Instagram DM but did not immediately hear back.