Starbucks rolled out their newly renovated rewards program on Tuesday and it did not receive a warm welcome.
Prior to Tuesday Starbucks Rewards participant received one star reward for every visit. The newly revamped program now rewards customers two stars per dollar spent. Customers with a ten dollar-a-day frappacino habits will rack up the stars and quickly earn the 300 stars ($150) needed to reach gold level. Those who drink a daily venti dark roast, not so much. The original program required 30 stars to reach gold level. The sentiments expressed on Twitter sum it up perfectly:
— Chuck France (@chuckfrance) April 12, 2016
Starbucks rolled out the new star program. Now I have to spend more to get my rewards. How is this better for me?Thumbs down @starbucksgold
— KerSh (@kerstincrosson) April 12, 2016
When the company announced the changes to the program back in February, they claimed the changes were made in response to customer feedback.
There have been a few issues with the Starbucks app as well. Some customers report that the app update erased stars they had already acquired:
@starbuckshelp hi there- I had 8 stars before the update and now they are gone- have I lost all that effort? I thought I would keep the old
— wgibso1 (@wgibso1) April 12, 2016
— Teresa Stamper (@LakeTravisAgent) April 12, 2016
Starbucks did respond to the Tweets advising patience while the app is updated or uninstalling and then reinstalling the app. The company spokesperson told Time magazine:
We started making big (and exciting) changes to our new Starbucks Rewards program and mobile app user experience yesterday. Because of the phased approach, these changes have created slower app functionality, and as a result some customers are seeing a delay in the technology where their account information and Stars are not populating within the mobile app. However, we expect this will be resolved soon and we’re keeping track of everything in the meantime so once a customer’s account transfers to the new system, all of their transactions will be accounted for and Stars and Rewards will be visible and allocated appropriately. Customers should be sure to check their phone throughout the day and customers who have apps set to auto-update don’t need to do a thing – customers without this function enabled should update their app when available.
The company is also offering its an "Automatic Gold" incentive. Customers that are currently Green level who make a purchase during the promotional period will be given Gold status. Be aware that the star balance will then return to zero.
The bottom line is those who spend a lot of their fun money at Starbucks will be quickly rewarded, however those with smaller habits will have to up their game to reap the benefits of the new program.