A Sneak Peek at Starbucks Gold

Hi there, it’s Brad and I’m leading our ongoing efforts to provide you with everyday value.  We appreciate your ideas for improving our rewards offerings, and have worked hard to incorporate them into Starbucks Gold, a new membership program for people who really love their Starbucks.  Although we can’t act on every idea we receive, we feel this new membership is in line with what you’re asking for – significant everyday savings, flexible payment options, and member recognition.  This is a great deal for those of you who come into our stores several times a week and are looking for savings on many items from espresso beverages to espresso machines.

Here’s how it works … Join Starbucks Gold for an annual membership fee of $25 and get 10% off most purchases in participating U.S. stores, a free drink when you purchase your membership in a Starbucks store, flexible payment options, and a special Gold Card that identifies you as a member.  And when you register your Gold Card, you’ll unlock additional benefits like a free drink on your birthday, exclusive offers and discounts, and access to the Gold members-only website.  That’s when the top-shelf treatment really begins. 

I know many of you are enjoying Starbucks Card Rewards and taking advantage of the select free syrups, milk options, refills on drip coffee, and Wi-Fi.  If so, we hope you continue to take advantage of these benefits.  But if you visit us often and are looking for daily savings on most everything in our stores, you should check out Starbucks Gold.  (Please note that Starbucks Card Rewards discounts cannot be combined with Starbucks Gold discounts.)    

I’m letting you know about Starbucks Gold early, so don’t be surprised if your barista isn’t up-to-speed yet!  Be sure to keep an eye out for it when you visit your neighborhood store in a couple of weeks.  We’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts on Starbucks Gold!

  



Momiji
10/21/2008 5:32 PM

So you have to pay to get a discount?

Melody
10/21/2008 6:10 PM

Momiji, I think it's designed with the same frame of mind as a Barnes & Noble Membership and/or a The Body Shop's Love Your Body Card.

Lots of businesses offer some sort of membership where you pay an annual fee and then get a percentage discount.  In fact, it's the norm that you pay for that benefit, rather than a business just saying "okay, now everyone gets 10% off."

Think of it as your Love Your Coffee Card.

It won't be for everyone. It will definitely be the most advantageous to the whole bean/drip coffee and food consumers.  If all you ever order is a skinny vanilla latte, it might not be for you.

The real unknown part of it is 'what is the special top-shelf treatment going to look like?'  Time will tell!  If that ends up being a bust, well then maybe the $25 won't be worth it?

The only unnerving part of the blog entry is the statement: "so don’t be surprised if your barista isn’t up-to-speed yet!"

^ I already get a tad unnerved that when I go into a Starbucks that I feel like I know three times as much Starbucks information as the barista (whether or not that is really true LOL!) and I prefer not to have to educate baristas about anything.  I already had my fair share of educating baristas about "brew bold on demand" policy and my wounds are still healing.  They can't take even the slightest amount of salt.

Hi Brad!

1Tree
10/22/2008 3:42 AM

So... doing the math, anyone who spends more than $250 a year at Starbucks would break even as soon as they spend the $250.   If you buy lunch items, the card would pay for itself in about a month.  

1Tree
10/22/2008 3:43 AM

The next question, can the gold card be incorporated into my Duetto card, so I don't have to carry two cards?  For example, the AmericanExpress Costco card.

UrbanVoy
10/22/2008 4:56 AM

$25 might be little high. That price point works for Barnes & Noble because books are expensive and it's not uncommon to get $3 off a single purchase. Not so at Starbucks. And Barnes & Noble members discounts CAN be combined with other sales.

But I'll sign up for it when I can and see how it goes.

Like Melody, I am concerned by Brad's statement:

"don’t be surprised if your barista isn’t up-to-speed yet!"

Why not? Why can't Starbucks hold a promotion back until it is sure the staff is up to speed? Why are promotions always rolled out beta test mode? I'm tired of begging and arguing for small discounts & rewards as it is. Like Melody, I don't look forward to more barista "education" sessions.

I still think my local indie shops got it right. They all have 2 punch cards, 1 for coffee, 1 for whole bean purchases. Buy 9 or 10, get one free. Buy a bag of beans, get a medium coffee free. Simple, direct, easy to understand, easy on the staff.

namuggoo
10/22/2008 6:58 AM

As 1Tree mentioned above, it would be nice to have the gold membership benefits tied to a duetto card or SB card so we dont have to carry 2 cards at the same time.

Also, PLEASE PLEASE make the system automated to recognize the best value rather than making the card holders say which "discount" to apply...

For example, if I'm getting a coffee refill, the system should be the one determining to use the rewards benefits instead of the gold benefits (free compared to 20% off $.50) automatically rather than the card holder saying "I'll use the rewards benefits instead of the gold benefits".

I don't want to live through the nightmare of confusing the cashiers again like when Rewards memberships first came out when we had to mention we had a registered sb card... I can imagine the confusion...

("I'd like to pay with my starbucks side of the duetto card but since I'll get more discount with the gold membership, please don't use the rewards benefits but apply the gold benefit")

If the system was automated to recognize the best value for the customer, the above can be easily avoided!

Melody
10/22/2008 7:06 AM

Much remains to be seen. As I'm looking at my junk mail right now, I see that I have a coupon for an additional 15% off one item as a "member exclusive offer" from Barnes and Noble.

On a separate note, I really wish the card were GOLD and not BLACK! Now how in the world am I supposed to get Howard's autograph on a black card? ;-) ;-) LOL ((j/k)  It does get lost easier in the purse and wallet due to it being black.

Momiji
10/22/2008 7:54 AM

So, ppl have to carry 3 cards now? Duetto, SB card and Gold Card.

Hey Brad remember what I said a few months back. Simplicity is your friend! Why are y'all complicating things?

UrbanVoy
10/22/2008 8:34 AM

Yes! Why can't Starbucks "Gold" my regular card. Or better yet, "Gold" me - that way whatever card I use get the membership benefits. It's all electronic and already linked in a database somewhere. Make it easy.

cardipup
10/22/2008 9:26 AM

Hi Brad,

Could you please clarify, once and for all, will the Gold card also contain the registered card rewards if it is registered?  I understand the the two rewards cannot be combined, but will you be able to use the gold card like a registered gift card?  For instance, if I purchase a tall skinny vanilla latte, and use the gold card, can I get the reward- free syrup- or will I only get 10% off , which is a lesser discount?  If I order the vanilla latte witha berry stella- as I do often, will I be able to get the free syrup on the latte and 10% off of the pastry, or will I have to carry 2 cards and pay separately to be able to get the best discounts.  It seems that your customer service teams has been telling different customers different things.  I was told when I called 1-800-STARBUC  that the POS system would be able to calculate which is the greater of the 2 discounts and apply that on each item, but it has not yet happened in practice ( as I was lucky enough to get one prior to the launch), nor have I seen anything in writing indicating whether that will actually be the case.  I think a better explanation of benefits is in order so that people understand what they are paying for.

Thanks!

purple1
10/22/2008 9:33 AM

I agree that paying $25 a year is too much. With so many people feeling the same way will the cost for the card change? And I still want to know what starbucks views as their loyal customer?

purple1
10/22/2008 9:36 AM

Cardipup-I hope you can get an answer to your questions. This is one of the problems I have with this website. Hard to get answers and know where to find them. If you do not purchase a gold card, will there be any more rewards offered to you other than the ones already in existence?

paulj114
10/22/2008 9:46 AM

I now have to use and carry 2 cards in order to make an initial purchase and train the staff on what / how to get th 10% Gold card discount - then use my original SB card (both cards are registered) to get the Free "drip" coffee refill...   didn't see the problem the first week as I did not check the receipt - so 5@2.17 - 10% = $1 saved  but 5@.50-10% (instead of free refill) = $2.25   --- net the first 5 days of Gold card use cost me $1.25 more than without it!  

The above does not even consider the training or awareness issues and the time for them to try and read the entire back of the card or ask all their coworkers what to do --- and finally ask " Did you register the card?"  - same staff - same question - every morning....

Training is critical to successful promotions and a happy customer base.

ChaiTeaMisto
10/22/2008 10:04 AM

FYI, the gold card can be used as a regular gift card (e.g., store funds, auto reload, etc.) Since I linked it to my account, all my transactions, benefits, etc. have carried over. So other than a Duetto, you shouldn't need to carry another card.

Good point about the Baristas: less than half know about the card and most want to take a look at it. Those that know have been great about it; the others, I have to train. I had one barista call her manager and she later refunded the difference (I was buying a lot of stuff). Threw in a cuppa too.

SeattleJ
10/22/2008 12:15 PM

I agree this seems a little high. Costcos Gold membership is only $50 per year and the average dollar volume per customer is much higher than what a customer would spend at Starbucks.

There are some cool things you could do to sweeten the deal, though.

How bout fee unlimited WiFi for Gold Card members?

And maybe after the 5th drink order during any week period, an EXTRA free iTunes song, to be changed every week. That would encourage at least 5 times a week drink orders, keeping us nice-and-addicted:-)

I'm gonna ask for one today and see if one of my usual stores knows about it.

SeattleJ
10/22/2008 12:43 PM

:-(

I just went and asked my Barrista and she said some VIP people were bringing them in and using them, but I'm not one of them.

Anyway to get on this exclusive beta VIP list?

If it matters, I've been a steady customer since 1982. I used to drive across the 520 bridge from Bellevue to go to Pike Place Market Starbucks every morning for my espresso. These days I buy lattes at Pike Place, Westlake AGC, Roosevelt Square , and Madison Park at least once a week. I have three personal Starbucks cards.

Do I qualify?

JosephG
10/22/2008 2:25 PM

I've been lucky enough to be selected for the Gold program prior to it's announcement and I'd like to echo what others have said.  TRAIN YOUR BARISTA's.  I can't tell you how many times I've now paid FULL price (no rewards) because of my Gold card.  I've called in to report these issues but it still doesn't seem to fix the problem.  It seems the training is being held when the store manager is there but not necessarily when all employees are there.

FalconSoaring
10/22/2008 2:36 PM

Just think of all the $$$ you'd save NOT getting this card! I prefer the pay-as-you-go way!

dcaolo
10/22/2008 2:39 PM

I've been getting the oatmeal and a latte 2x/week and usually 1 other drink during the week, so I'd be interested in this. I'm also interested in what the Gold site will include from a customer-building perspective.

jEEpeto
10/22/2008 2:54 PM

I spend around $3140.00 a year,  i should get it for free!!

lovewhitemocha
10/22/2008 6:37 PM

My husband and I go to Starbucks about 6 times a week and each order an espresso beverage of some variety. How do you get on the VIP list to test beta ideas?

Breve
10/22/2008 8:37 PM

Hi Brad, Just received your e-mail today.... And if I am to understand this right..... I'm supposed to pay for a discount? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha.

Brad, I hate to be the one to tell ya but $tarbucks is NO LONGER a status symbol. Nobody's going to be around the water cooler  talking about their  $tarbucks "Gold Card".

Melody
10/22/2008 8:47 PM

@Breve, what was the email you got?  I'm just curious. So did you get an early invite but with fee of $25?  Aren't we still like 7 days away from the national launch?

@lovewhitemocha: I think (and I'm just making a wild guess here!! I haven't a clue) that Starbucks probably looked at data from their registered card holders and looked at some algorithm of length of time of registered card, monthly spending habits, total amount spent at Starbucks, and who knows maybe a couple of other variables. Just my guess. I suspect (again I have no clue!!!!!!) you had to get close to $300 - $400 or above a month at Starbucks to get close to a Gold Card.  With literally millions and  millions of customers every week, I'd suspect the dollar amount to have been pretty high. But you disregard this post as my crazy guesses.

Breve
10/22/2008 9:17 PM

@Melody, My e-mail was verbatim the above statement from Brad.

Sam Freedom
10/23/2008 12:58 AM

I realize it's income that helps pay for the card program but $25/yr just to start getting discounts feels almost criminial.  My sister told Barnes and Nobel that she was a steady customer and they were going to lose all her business if she had to pay annually for a member card.

purple1
10/23/2008 7:00 AM

Why are some people being selected to receive emails and others not? The more I read comments, the more I feel that starbucks has a tiered system to define their customers. And it appears as Melody suggested you have to spend a lot to really be considered a loyal customer.

lovewhitemocha
10/23/2008 8:29 AM

@Melody I figured as much. Not even that I would want the card for free, but it seems that they should inform the people who keep spending money at Starbucks on a regular basis. Sometimes I really wonder why I still do. We have gone on several "strikes" but always come back for lack of other options. Maybe we'll get an alternative sometime soon.

sughrpie
10/23/2008 10:17 AM

Dear Brad - I will NOT pay to get a discount.  Carrying 2 cards to get the proper discounts?  I've already put Starbucks on my "things to do without" list...................

The baristas in the store across the street from my apt (in Austin) are already routinely overcharging me - and they argue every time I buy a pound of coffee and ask for a free drink.  Training, training, training......

Melody
10/23/2008 10:25 AM

@sughrpie - If your card is registered you get any tall beverage complimentary with your purchase of a pound of beans. This goes back to the "barista education" program that both UrbanVoy and I alluded to above.  I always feel tired after I have to go through a wrestling match with a barista; thankfully, in Seattle, that's pretty uncommon and there's usually no problem with baristas being knowledgeable about card benefits, how to ring a gold card, and even now you can get them to brew bold on demand pretty easily. If only the rest of the country followed Seattle's example.

Tiki
10/23/2008 1:09 PM

Just like Barnes & Noble. And I won't sign up for it. I hate, hate the idea of paying to buy something. Sure, there's a small discount. 10%? That's nothing unless I'm buying a fancy espresso machine.

Think of something new Starbucks! This idea is old hat.

dgblackout
10/23/2008 5:05 PM

Bring it to the UK and I'll be the first to sign up.

jdiettrich
10/23/2008 6:04 PM

I was one of the people that got the recent e-mail inviting me to join Starbucks Gold for free.  I am a 5x/week customer who always pays with the same registered Starbucks card - in general, I reload my card with $50 twice a month.  I think that going along with what Melody said, Starbucks is looking at their records of who is consistently spending money at Starbucks (that they can track - AKA one single registered card) and is attempting to reward us and make us guinea pigs for this program.  The membership is only free for the first year - after that, I have to pay for it.  It's a good deal for me as my typical drink is a caramel macchiato - I don't qualify for the syrup discount with my registered card.  Not as good as my old partner discount, but still...  :-)

Jonny@SF
10/23/2008 6:25 PM

Dear Brad,

As a royal starbucks customer,  I am so excited when I received my gold card invitation.  Without hesitation I applied and got my gold card.  After 2 weeks of using the GOLD card, I felt I am using a "Discount card".  Bristas consistently ring up my total WRONG and I felt no delight nor appreciation as a starbucks royal.  I am seriously considering dropping out of the program just for the simplicity sake!

First, almost all Barista swipe starbucks cards without looking.  Having the GOLD card in BLACK doens't help either.  They think it's just another Starbucks card.  As a VIP or Gold card member, I should have to say "Hey, I have a gold card and please make sure you put in that 10%!!!".  Shouldn't the POS system automatically discount it without any touch of the button?  There are so many Starbucks cards designs and credit cards out there, all Barista do is to swipe the card.  What make you think that Barista will take a second to do it right.  As a customer, I shouldn't be keep looking at the receipt or the register and make sure that Barista is doing the correct thing...  THIS IS A HUGE mistake to Roll out GOLD card and not having the POS built in to recognize the discount!!!  

Second, I don't like the idea that Barista in the stores have not been trained before the GOLD card get out... Or thanks for trying the GOLD card programs on your best customers and use us as test subjects.  Why is it so hard to have only the best employees to work the registers?  Usually the part time employees who works 20 hours a week have no clue of anything that is happening.  Please drop the part-time workers and have only full time Barista who are in touch with what is happening with the corporate development~

Thrid, I think GOLD card roll out will be a mistake as how I had experienced personally.  There will be a lot of mad calls into customer service and as for discount to be correctly applied.  Because they will buy a cup of coffee and without looking and being charge the full price without discount, until they check their balance online.  

Now, it's such a hassle to use the GOLD card because I have to check the balance and make sure the discount is correctly applied, if not, customer service told me to correct the transaction at the spot which hold up a huge line behind me.  

I really hope you fix the POS flaw before you deploy this program or make 100% sure everyone first "LOOK" at the card and recongnize is a gold card and apply a discount code before they charge it... OH MY GOODNESS what a mess!  How are you suppose to delight and suprise your best customers if you can't tell what a GOLD card is...  In a ideal world, when they swipe my GOLD card, my name should show up and discount applied with Barista greating... "thanks Jonathan".  This is nothing personal, that is why, I will call this card a starbucks "Cheapo discount" card rather than a "GOLD" or VIP card.

I wish you best of luck of deploying this, but from my experience as a GOLD member for two weeks, I'm going back to using my regular card and will not subscribe the program next year when it runs out!

Jon

UrbanVoy
10/23/2008 9:24 PM

Jonny@SF

You pretty  much hit the nail on the head Jon. I hope Brad and Starbucks are listening. This promotion doesn't quite sound ready for prime time.

How much to the point of sale team, the barista training team and marketing team coordinate before major promtional roll outs.

Jon made several sensible suggestions and requests that should have gonein to this release - especially after months of testing in other markets earlier this year.

Why does seem like training and point of sale are always playing catch-up with marketing?

Jonny@SF
10/23/2008 9:47 PM

Some statistics for my claim.  I live and work by 4 very busy Starbucks in San francisco and Oakland CA.  I visit Starbucks with my GOLD card about 2 times a day.  Once a day, I will encounter issue with the GOLD card.  Either Barista thinks they know what they are doing and Ring the total wong and have to void and do it again.... with a huge line behind me... OR the Barista is a part-time worker ( I know the regular experience full timers) so they have no idea what they are doing..

Why does it always seems like employee come and go at Starbucks?  Why could you guys have the regulars who knows what is happening and stop hiring the not experience part-time workers who just try to make their ends meet or a part-time student?  I think this makes customer service very inconsistent and of course, they really don't care what is happening to promotions because most of the part time employee only work so they can find their next "real job".   Please take care of the employee first and make them feel like part of the team.  Provide them more hours so they can work and live decently as Barista.

Again the POS system is the biggest flaw point.  Please fix it before you deploy or DO NOT DEPLOY to masses!  Not ready for prime time!

tkcoffee
10/23/2008 9:57 PM

i like the idea, i would like to echo the need for an option that ties to my duetto.   Using multiple cards will be confusing and frustrating.

thanks for setting up a frequent program...

veronicalynne
10/23/2008 10:57 PM

So what's the contest and how do I win?

TracyM
10/24/2008 12:51 AM

I for one was totally surprised and jazzed about being invited to receive a Gold Card!  What I loved best was when my wife became so jealous she called Seattle asking for her own..only to be told..sorry..nope! ha!  Ok...it's not what I like best...but it is funny!

I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth here!  Don't get mad...be happy!  We got our cards for free and Starbucks will work out the glitches before we have to start ponying up our $25 a year!  

Thanks Starbucks for making me Gold!  

purple1
10/24/2008 5:52 AM

I got an invite for the gold card. Although I know there are issues with it I signed up for my free invite. I will use it for the free year and if after that I see they are still charging for the card I am not going to continue. I really still believe there should not be a fee for the card. There just is something wrong with it. But it is nice being asked to be in the first group to try it without paying for it. As so many have said fix the problems and make the program work.

scottk
10/24/2008 10:18 AM

Brad,

A few hopefully helpful things from a longtime customer:

First off, the American Express idea of paying for membership is not the way to go with the economy the way it is. You need to reward your customers for the money they spend and the way to do that is not by making us pay more.

I spend about $200 a month at your stores. Some months more, but hardly ever less. At $2,400 per year, paying $25 might not seem like much, but it's a slap in my face.

And no, I'm not rich. I just love my coffee. And sadly, your coffee is not my favorite coffee. It's just the most convenient coffee. But that's besides the point.

Oh, and here's the kicker, Brad ... whatever I decide to do with this membership - with the amount of money I spend, I still have not received an invite and other folks have. How ridiculous is that??

And you are telling us it's news that a barista might not be up to speed? That was funny.

I'm sure you have my e-mail address based on my name here, so please -- take a minute and send me this invite. Please don't insult me any further than I already have. Let me decide for myself whether or not I want to join, but if you can't identify someone who spends $2,400 a year as someone who might deserve or want this invite, well, then I'd say you are off to a roaring start.

Thanks, Brad.

Scott K.

Chicago.

Momiji
10/24/2008 12:21 PM

You can send me an invite also. :-D

UrbanVoy
10/24/2008 1:05 PM

scottk

Well said!

sjc83
10/24/2008 8:50 PM

when will these be available?

Melody
10/26/2008 9:22 AM

I made this post in one of the threads here, and I think it's relevant and hope Starbucks sees it.  There are so many possibilities of things that *could* be done with the Gold Card over the course of the next year, and we just don't know where it will go ...

**[quote=UrbanVoy]I don't mind paying a membership fee, but for relatively low cost item like coffee, $25 takes too many coffees to make it back.

The same fee makes sense for Barnes & Noble, where book are $15-30 and transactions are much larger.[/quote]**

Since this program is essentially in its earliest stages, I assume we're going to see a lot of tweaks with it before it stabilizes into what it will finally look like. I agree that $25 seems *slightly* high. Perhaps $20 or even an odd number like $17 or $18 a year. And IF the "top shelf" treatment ends up being valuable, it will make the cost for the card seem more valuable. But the problem is right now, we're talking about it being $25 for a 10% discount but what we don't know is what kind of promotions will happen during the year making the card more valuable to us.

I can easily all kinds of promotions on the way with the Gold Card. A Special day where you use the card and it's 25% of your purchase, or I can imagine special offerings where Gold Card members get 30% off of whole bean purchases during a specific weekend, or coupons, or discounts on merchandise ... it's just a world of unknowns! Even better, have special "preview" days of new products just for Gold Card members. So if Honey Latte is going to be the new drink, have weekend before where if you're paying with a Gold Card you can try this new drink before anyone else.

Part of the idea here is that it should not be a one size fits all discount card, but have a variety of promotions that will appeal to a wide variety of consumers.

@purple1 - congrats on your free invite. I know you'd posted a number of times that you wanted one, as I recall.

Breve
10/26/2008 9:23 AM

This comment  is a re-post from a post on MSI:

IMHO, A loyal customer is one who uses that business or product exclusively. Whether they need the services or product once a day, once a month, once a year, once every five or twenty years. A loyal customer should not be measured by what they spend in any given time frame. The customers repeat business is what makes them loyal. Someone who buys a drink at $tarbucks once a month should be considered just as valuable as one who goes several times a day. But with this type of rewards $tarbucks is saying if you don't spend at least $250.00 (amount needed to at least pay for the gold card) your not loyal. Some how that just doesn't sit right with me.

That's why, IMO, if $tarbucks insists on having a "reward" it should be a simple "buy a certain amount get one free". That type of reward would be the most fair and equitable to all "loyal customers". It would bring the most happiness and joy for the customer and probably the barita's alike. Wouldn't it be great to hear "you've earned your free drink today", whether it took someone a few weeks to earn it or a few months or maybe even a year, it still would be a way for $tarbucks to say "thanks for being a loyal customer". Wow, now that would make anybody's day.

bbbobbb
10/26/2008 8:10 PM

There seems to be some whiners here...if you aren't using a Starbucks card for your purchases there is no way for them to track usage. I am about  $60 a month person *all* through a Starbucks card. Got my free gold card about 2 weeks ago, and yes, the first time I used it they had no idea how to do the discount. Since then it has worked 100% of the time, one swipe for the discount, an additional swipe for taking money out of the card, no problem. I used to go to the "drop-in" Starbucks at the Safeway since it was almost always quicker and literally 4 stores down from the real Starbucks in the same shopping center, not anymore due to the gold card. Thanks I love it!

ahempton
10/27/2008 12:15 AM

I don't want to pay $25 a year.  The whole benefits of using a starbucks registered gift card are confusing and seem to change daily.

Melody
10/27/2008 8:16 AM

ahempton - The situation is not confusing but it does seem as though many baristas don't take the time to be knowledgeable about what's going on. You can see that by the many posts here.

www.starbucks.com/cardrewards

^ Okay that's the 411 on the "Registered Card" - Free tall drink with beans, 2 hours of wi-fi, coffee refills free within 2 hours, and free drink customization (meaning milk and syrup changes but mocha and strawberry sauce are not syrups).

The "Gold Card" is simply a flat 10% off your purchases.  Very easy to figure out your benefit. It's ten-percent.

By the way, here's a good thread on the new Gold Card:

mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaView

The confusion comes with how these two programs overlap (or, in fact, the lack of overlap). Yesterday I was out at a Starbucks. Got black coffee and coffee cake.  I got a 10% discount.  I sat down, surfed the web, and knit.  Later, I got back up and got a coffee refill and a Vivanno.  I didn't think about how the 2 programs overlap. I just got 10% off again, though it would've been beneficial to get a free refill on the registered card!  Unfortunately I didn't think about this until it was too late, and it wasn't worth complaining about.  In the end, it might've been close to a wash.

The benefits are not changing, and each program separately is very simple. But I agree, that if you're paying $25 you should get the better of two benefits. My coffee refill should've been free.

UrbanVoy
10/27/2008 9:36 AM

Melody

The situation is confusing. I realize you want to put Starbucks in the best light possible, but let's face it, there are 3 different cards (Duetto, regular and now Gold), with different discounts, benefits and rewards, all of which overlap. It takes a spreadsheet to figure out which is the best deal at any given moment, especially if other non-card promotions are thrown in the mix.

This is not simple. Simple is all cards have the same benefits. Simple is the register figures out the best discount and applies it. Simple is the Gold card benefit *adds* to what ever the regular card discount. Simple is buy 10, get one free.

This current system is not simple, intuitive, self evident, consumer friendly or barista friendly. It is a confusing mess that will take months, if ever, to straighten out at the cashier level. Which will leave customers frustrated and fuming, just like all the other promotional failures this year.

Once, just ONCE, Starbucks, make it easy. Don't over think it. And for goodness sakes, ACT on the feedback you get here and fix this program before it goes live.

CoffeeMn
10/27/2008 10:05 AM

Brad/Howard:

Your little club (aka: The Gold Card) is going to backfire with the $25 membership fee.  Way to alientate further your loyal customers.   It looks like the left hand (Gold CARD) did not know what the right hand is doing (Duetto/existing SB card)!

What's next: a Platinum card with a 20% discount for $50 a year?

Melody
10/27/2008 10:22 AM

UrbanVoy, if I said the sky was blue, you'd argue with me.  I don't think you read my post based on your reply.

choco74
10/27/2008 12:25 PM

How do you get the GOLD CARD????

UrbanVoy
10/27/2008 1:04 PM

Melody

The first few time I read your post, it sounded like your were saying that the each of  the card rewards were simple, straight forward and logical, and that the mix up occurred on your end because you were trying to figure out which was the better benefit. Perhaps I misunderstood you?

I'm saying the whole card reward system is now a confusing mess.

I makes no sense to anyone, under any circumstances, and that Starbucks will confuse and annoy as many customers as it satisfies when the card goes live next week.

I think perhaps we differ a bit here?

Husky 53
10/28/2008 2:46 PM

I have a gold card and at least 50% of the time I've tried to use it, the Barista doesn't know how to ring up the purchase.  Honestly, it's more trouble than it's worth right now until all the stores are up to speed.  I spent an extra ten minutes at a store on Friday as four different people tried to ring up my purchase, and they finally had to call the manager to figure it out.  Before Starbuck's implements something new, they should make sure all of their employees know what's going on.  Also, why can't the card be swiped once to get the discount and purchase?  Having to swipe the card twice just confuses everyone.

sbx_sally
10/28/2008 5:03 PM

Hi,

This is Sally from the Rewards team to address some of the confusion about the new Starbucks Gold card.  I think the best way to do is to bucket common issues and go from there.  

Availability- How do you get a Gold card?  Just as Brad’s post indicates, Gold cards will be available to everyone in just a couple of weeks.  (And it’s already been 1 week since his post…we’re getting warmer!)

Early Invitations- Currently, only a handful of regular customers who use their Starbucks Card consistently were selected to participate during this early phase of the Gold program.  We appreciate all of our customers and thank you for your support and interest.   Remember to check your contact setting on your Starbucks.com account for future offers!

Starbucks Card Rewards v. Starbucks Gold-

When we introduced Starbucks Cards Rewards, we were fortunate to have enjoyed a tremendous response to the Card Rewards program.  We learned from you, our customers, how to say “thanks” in real and practical ways like free syrup and milk options.  If these are benefits you enjoy, please continue to use your registered Starbucks card.

Starbucks Gold applies a 10% discount to most of your purchases and anybody can use it.  This is a good choice for those who felt that Starbucks Card Rewards did not meet their needs. (Think of the Americano/espresso drinkers, Frappuccino fans, mug collectors, etc) Everyone can enjoy 10% off and find ways to use it!  

The Look- Part of the fun of Starbucks Gold is the distinguishing card.  The Gold card will uniquely identify members of Starbucks Gold- something we have learned is appealing to our most enthusiastic customers.  If you have an existing card that you love to use for your purchases, by all means continue to use it but you will need to show your Starbucks Gold card to enjoy the benefits of the Gold program.   The Starbucks Gold card can also be loaded and used for purchases in addition to the discount if you prefer to keep your balance and discount in one place

Store/Register Experience- Our stores have everything they need to apply your member discount. If you don’t believe your discount is being applied properly, please tell your barista so that we can make good on our promise to make it perfect for you every time.  

@bbbobbb- Glad to hear your experience has been pleasant! Thanks for allowing our baristas to assimilate to a new process.

Many thanks for your continued interest and support of our Rewards programs.  We’re trying to find ways to meet a variety of needs and Gold is just one more way to offer our customers everyday value.  

Take care,

Sally

Themapster
10/28/2008 7:14 PM

I am not willing to pay more (membership)for what I get now. This is the little bit that puts Starbucks above the other coffee house Tim Horton,Second Cup Java Joe...the rest. I can see it now on CNBC ....This is not the way to get shareholder value.When I preload my card that money is in your account. Long standing loyal customer should be considered to be  GOLD and not abused.

Melody
10/28/2008 7:41 PM

Sally - As to the early invitations, I was in that group.  What did that mean? There's a USA Today article saying that a "few thousand" were sent out. Does that mean 10,000? 20,0000? Just curious.

The Look - I strongly don't like the look. It's black. It blends in too easily with a black wallet, or the inside of a purse which is often black too.  I wish it were gold.

**[quote]Starbucks Card Rewards v. Starbucks Gold-

When we introduced Starbucks Cards Rewards, we were fortunate to have enjoyed a tremendous response to the Card Rewards program.  We learned from you, our customers, how to say “thanks” in real and practical ways like free syrup and milk options.  If these are benefits you enjoy, please continue to use your registered Starbucks card. [/quote]**

^ But how does this help the person who routinely gets a Vanilla Latte in the morning with, say, an oatmeal? You're essentially saying that the only way to maximize benefits will be to break this into two transactions.  Oatmeal on one receipt with 10% off and Vanilla Latte on the other with the syrup discount, which ends up being better than a 10% discount.  This is going to slow things down, and cause a headache.

What's your suggestion for that kind of person?  Surely, they exist in your pool of customers.

As for actually using it, no problem. It seems as though Seattle baristas are already up to speed, but that's no surprise. I'm now, already, consistently getting 10 percent off my purchases.  The Emerald City is still the flagship market.

Downtown Seattle Melody

UrbanVoy
10/28/2008 8:45 PM

_sbx_stor

Hi Sally, thanks for the update. As Melody said, there's a problem with the overlapping benefits and the need to use 2 cards to maximize savings (as we'd all like to do these days).

Now tell me honestly, does it make sense to you, Sally, for a customer to split a transaction across two cards to get the best deal?

_sbx_stor said:

"Our stores have everything they need to apply your member discount."

I believe you. The problem is training: the store staff are insufficiently prepared for this promotion. Eventually, after enough customers explain how the program works and/or complain, most of the store staff will come up to speed- but that's not how it is supposed to work, is it?

Is there a reason that the POS system cannot choose and apply the best benefit automatically?  Or why ( beyond an arbitrary marketing decision) the regular card discounts are not simply added to the gold card?

Steve1
10/28/2008 8:54 PM

HI EVERYONE IT'S ME STEVE1.  I GOT MY E-MAIL LAST WEEK AND WILL PROBABLY GET MY CARD TOMORROW OR THE NEXT DAY WHICH IS HALOWEEN (WILL IT BE A TRICK OR A TREAT?) AND I AM AS EXCITED AS A LITTLE KID ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND PROBABLY WON'T SEEP TONIGHT.  WELL NOT REALLY THAT EXCITED AND IN FACT NOT EXCITED AT ALL EXCEPT IT WILL ARRIVE IN TIME TO USE IT FOR MY FREE BIRTHDAY DRINK ON MY BIRTHDAY WHICH IS IN A WEEK.  I'M WONDERING WHY A  GOLD CARD IS BLACK THOUGH.  

Melody
10/28/2008 8:57 PM

Steve1, did you get a free Gold Card? If so, congratulations! :-)  Either way, have fun with the card!

Steve1
10/28/2008 9:40 PM

NO MELODY.  LIKE I SAID IT WILL PROBABLY COME TOMORROW OR ON HALOWEEN FOR A TRICK OR A TREAT.  AT ANY RATE I'M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH.  I AGREE WITH MOST PEOPLE THAT 25 BUCKS IS PRETTY PRICEY TO PAY FOR A CARD THAT IS GOOD FOR ONLY 10% DISCOUNT ON DRINKS WHEN A COSTCO CARD IS $50. AND MY SAM'S CLUB CARD WAS $35. AND GOOD ON A PLETHORA OF ITEMS SO I RATHER THINK IT WILL BE SOMEWHAT OF A BUST.  BUT LIKE MIKE MAILWAY USED TO SAY IN THE PI "DON'T KNOW DON'T KNOW".  ONLY TIME WILL TELL.  BUT I AM DISAPPOINTED I AM GETTING A BLACK CARD WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS GETTING A GOLD CARD!

Mattx
10/28/2008 10:06 PM

I think the information regarding the SBUX Gold card is finally getting to the local stores.  I've visited 3 different stores this week and the Baristas seemed to know how to ring it up and apply my discount. Hallelujah!!!!  

scottk
10/28/2008 10:52 PM

Oh, Sally ... really?

I'm still waiting for one person to explain to me why I spend $2,400 a year on Starbucks coffee and I have no invite for a gold card. I know why there's no explanation - - because it's so ridiculous everyone in Seattle is dumbfounded.

Melody
10/29/2008 7:23 AM

scottk, take this post I'm about to make with a grain of salt. Actually anyone reading ths, remember I have no idea what I'm talking about:

The first prerequisite to the free Gold Card was that you were using a Registered Starbucks Card (I think. How else would they know your buying habits?).

First off, having read a number of posts here and at other Starbucks sites, I'd say that how much money you spent was not the *only* consideration for whether you got a Gold Card (though certainly important).

I know I'm about to write something you won't like to hear, but $2400 hardly sounds like any money at all to me.  That puts you spending about $6.50 a day.  That's once a day trip to Starbucks - you and millions of customers are once a day customers.  A latte and a pastry in the morning.

Consider that some customers, (my bf & I as an example) are buying all their beans for home in addition to other purchases.  Suddenly, it's easy to be above $2400.

www.usatoday.com/.../2008-10-12-starbucks-gold-card_N.htm

Again, if you *really* think you should get a Gold Card for free, maybe you could approach your favorite Starbucks store manager to see if he or she will give you one of the 3 prized and rare ones at their discretion.

From the USA Today article link:

***[quote=USAToday]"•Gold card. The loyalty card, which costs $25, has been tested in Denver and Vancouver. Holders get 10% off most items, except gift cards and digital downloads. Several thousand free cards already were mailed to the chain's best customers, Schultz says. Each store manager will be given three gold cards to hand out to customers deemed the best."[/quote]***

sbx_sally
10/29/2008 11:00 AM

Me again.  Now I know I wont be hitting anything out of the park here, but I’m trying modestly to follow up on a your questions.

Melody-First, let me just say that I wish I could have met you while you were here!  I cracked up when I saw your “Hi Brad!” shout out! :)Ok, now onto the other stuff…Those that received the Gold card early were among our most dedicated and consistent registered card users.  The number of recipient remains unshared- sorry but I hope you understand!  

@UrbanVoy- You smart cookie!  Its customers like you that challenge us to be better and I thank you for it- really!  I thought of you this morning as I ordered my tall vanilla latte and oatmeal.  The 10% discount would have saved me $0.58.  Starbucks Card Rewards would have saved me $0.30 for the vanilla.  I hear you when you want the combined savings of $0.88 without having to use two cards.  This is something we are working on and as we evolve our programs, offering the best value will continue to be our focus.  For now which programs delivers the best value to you is a personal choice.

@Steve1- I hope you enjoy your card- color and all!  It's mainly black but I really like the gold foil cup logo and the overall look.  

As for the color, I'll share this that my wallet is black but lined with a plum color so it's easy to find a darker card.  Now the black wallet lying inside my black lined purse is another thing entirely! Or maybe it's because of the make-up bag, sun glasses case, hair brush, cell phone...I'm starting to think it's time to lighten my purse!

Have a good one everybody!

Momiji
10/29/2008 12:19 PM

Why do we have to pay to get a discount?

purple1
10/29/2008 12:41 PM

Question for Sally- clarification re one of your comments. Did you say that you do not need to load the gold card? You can get the benefits of the gold card still have it swiped but pay for it with your registered card?

Admiral
10/29/2008 1:37 PM

I enjoy the Gold card I have never been one that says look at me I have a gold card but I must say in my area it is pretty cool.

On a daily basis I get a Venti Iced Coffee (SF Mocha I have to bring) $2.55 and 3 petite scones $1.95 = $4.50 - 10%= $4.05 a savings of $0.45*7=$3.15 a week or $162.80 a year.  That's if I don't buy my wife or kids something on the weekends.  So far I am pleased with the Gold card.

I registered a complaint recently about a local Starbucks and we will see if my Gold status means anything to Customer Service.

UrbanVoy
10/29/2008 3:32 PM

_sbx_stor

Thanks for the reply. I’m pleased to see that someone at Starbucks recognizes the issue of competing discounts and that a fix is at least being discussed as a possibility.

I am disappointed that after many months of testing in major markets, this very obvious flaw was either not picked up by your team or not acted on before the national roll-out. Likewise, that a stronger training program was not in place before the pilot – nor it would seem, before the national roll-out. We seem to have been down this path before on other promotions. Oh well. Spilled milk.

One last thought about the customer choosing the discount.

Sometimes it can be fun in a store (any store, not only Starbucks) to figure out which combo gives you the biggest discount. It can be like a game.

But to have to figure it out every day, on every purchase it tedious and fatiguing. You may be distracted, have things on your mind other than your coffee discount or be at you low caffeine less than best when you order and pick the wrong discount.

How do you know you got it wrong? When you get back to your car or your desk, smack your head and say “Oh man, I could have saved another 30 cents if had just done it differently.

You kick yourself a little - it’s only 30 cents – but you are also slightly annoyed at Starbucks because you feel a bit cheated. They smiled while you overpaid – and nobody said a word. If it happens a few times, then it becomes less about the discount and more about how to keep Starbucks from overcharging you.

This is not the kind of feeling a preferred customer program should engender.

RJToronto
10/29/2008 4:40 PM

Please make sure it is rolled out in Canada at the same time, please! I'm at Sbux 3-4 times a day (70-80 times a month) in Toronto, so this card would be a Godsend for me.

purple1
10/30/2008 7:06 AM

I received an invite for a free gold rewards card on October 23 and responded to the email giving my info on October 24. (The deadline in the email said October 31). I am trying to find out how long it takes to receive and sent an email and got no response so I just called the 800 number and was told I had no way to contact that dept - they did not accept outside calls nor were there any email addresses I could write an email to them. I find this unbelievable that there is no way to followup. Where is customer service? She also sort of did not believe me that there was another email sent out after the first invite to other folks inviting them to get a gold rewards card. I certainly was not happy with the response.

Steve1
10/30/2008 8:17 PM

HAY SALLY...HERE IT IS THURSDAY 4 DAYS FROM MONDAY WHEN THEY SAID MY GOLD CARD  (WHICH IS REALLY BLACK) WOULD BE MAILED AND I STILL HAVE NOT RECEIVED IT AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD CERTAINLY BE HERE TODAY.    I HAD HIGH HOPES OF USING IT FOR MY FREE BIRTHDAY DRINK WHICH IS NEXT WEDNESDAY BUT I GUESS I CAN'T.  I WAS SO EXCITED TOO, JUST LIKE A LITTLE BOY ON CHRISTMAS EVE BUT SANTA NEVER CAME TO MY HOUSE, OR AT LEAST TO MY MAIL BOX.   WHAT 'S WRONG?

Breve
10/30/2008 8:35 PM

Well Steve, Maybe you will get your little "trick" ? or "treat"? tomorrow! LOL

Melody
10/31/2008 8:26 AM

Yesterday, I saw the enormous confusion and delay in the line when you start splitting up your receipts. The short version of the story is that I bought a pound of beans and wanted a tall beverage (and the barista was very slow to ring all this up because of confusion over the sku for Ethiopian Nardos) so I wanted to use just my registered card for that so the beverage would be free.

On a new transaction,  I got a second beverage and used the Gold Card for the 10 percent discount, but then paid with my registered card.  Again, it's the card shuffle.

It DOES slow the line down if you start having people breaking things into multiple transactions.  The barista also dropped my personal tumbler for the tall beverage, ran and rinsed it out, but all of the little delays started to add up.  I wasn't mad because I was in no rush, and the barista is a totally nice guy, but as the line formed behind I'm sure that others behind me would have had a different version of the experience.

rgk
10/31/2008 9:26 AM

I received my email invitation on October 1st.  I replied and verified my account information the same day. The reply was that I should receive my Gold card in about 7 to 10 business days. It still has not arrived. The day before yesterday I sent off an email to customer service, (category "other"), but have not seen a reply yet. Jeff, the local manager, said they started seeing the black cards being used within a few days.  I was hoping to use mine to pick up a couple pounds of Gazebo, before they were all sold out.  No such luck.

Momiji
10/31/2008 10:35 AM

Hey Brad, it would be better to combine these rewards/discounts onto 1 card.

Also, still no answer on why we should pay for a discount.....

UrbanVoy
10/31/2008 2:40 PM

Melody

I'm curious, d0 you put money on both cards, or only use the Gold Card for the swipe discount? (I noticed you paid with the registered card both times)

Did the barista understand what you were doing and why or was he baffled and just going along?

Melody
10/31/2008 6:27 PM

UrbanVoy,

When I got my Gold Card, I immediately registered it that night, and I went ahead and just re-loaded both cards because I was confused at to which I'd be using, so I figured I might as well put money on both.  I've had some indecision about that. I really like my registered card - sentimental reasons  - so I've been using that primarily to pay with lately. The odd thing about having two cards, is that I'm sure that to Starbucks it suddenly appears that I spend half as much as I used to! LOL.

Now here's something very interesting:

www.starbucks.com/.../terms.html

^ Read item 2(d) -

**[quote](d) Members will receive the most favorable discount available for a particular product at the time of purchase.[/quote]**

^ I was just re-reviewing the terms and conditions for other reasons and I re-read that.  That sure sounds to me like the INTENT anyways was that you should get both possible discounts on one receipt.

I realize the registers are not so sophisticated yet but if  you order a Tall Soy Latte and Oatmeal, it seems like you should get the milk change at no charge and 10 percent off the oatmeal.  Wouldn't that be the only way to get "the most favorable discount available..." ??

Steve1
10/31/2008 9:57 PM

GADS, I DID NOT GET MY CARD YET THAT THEY PROMISED ME WAS MAILED OUT MONDAY AND I AM BEGINING TO THINK IT WAS A HOAX AND I AM REALLY DISAPPOINTED AND AM GOING TO BED.

Melody
10/31/2008 10:14 PM

Steve1, it did take a full 9 or 10 days for me to get my card.  I'm sure your card is on its way!

Steve1
11/1/2008 7:18 AM

GOOD MORNING MELODY MY FRIEND...NINE OR TEN DAYS FROM WHEN THEY PUT IT IN THE MAIL?  WHERE DO THEY MAIL IT FROM ANYWHERE?

Steve1
11/1/2008 7:25 AM

OY VAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

danatello
11/1/2008 7:40 AM

Brad, the Gold Card is bullshit so far, can't be reloaded from the gold card site. Also, customer service is no longer offered on Saturday.

danatello
11/1/2008 7:47 AM

Why are there 2 different Gold Card sites:

www.starbucks.com/.../Login.aspx

www.starbucks.com/.../Login.aspx

Anonymous
11/1/2008 8:35 AM

danatello - I've had no problem reloading my Gold Card;

www.starbucks.com/.../Login.aspx

^ This is the site that you use to log in and INITIALLY set up your Gold Card.  USE THIS SITE.

http://www.starbucksgold.com/

^ Use this log in to manage your Gold Card account once you've gone through the initial registration.  I don't understand but I need to use this url to reload my Gold Card and manage my account.

www.starbucks.com/.../Login.aspx

^ Do not use this website AT ALL ever!  That was the beta site for testers in Denver (and one other city - Vancouver, I think). I recognize that image from the fact that I don't miss anything at S.G. and there had been a Denver blogger who had posted that image to his blog.

Yes, you're right there's no longer customer service on Saturdays.  

Steve1, it took about 9 or 10 days for me to get the card from when I accepted the invitation.

Melody
11/1/2008 8:39 AM

That was me, Melody, on the last comment.  

ambsolo
11/1/2008 8:12 PM

I am a loyal Starbucks customer, spending about 200-300 bucks a month and I never recieved a invite for the new gold card and to be honest I am a little annoyed with that.  How much do you honestly need to spend to be considered a Starbucks VIP?? I think that when you spent $2400-3600 a year that would qualify you to be considered a "loyal customer".  To be honest I may boycot Starbucks and start becoming loyal to Carrabou Coffee, maybe there I would be reconized as a loyal customer.  

Brad, an invite for the gold card would be nice, at least appreciated!!

UrbanVoy
11/2/2008 8:10 AM

Melody

So here's a bit of a picky question: (and you may not have the answer)

If you load your Gold Card, can you use it as *registered* card when you want to and as a Gold Card the rest of the time.

That is, can you tell the barista which discount to use without changing cards?

Melody
11/2/2008 9:36 AM

UrbanVoy, the answer is "yes".  Since it is a two swipe process at the register, you could tell the barista to skip to the "gold" discount button and just use the card as a registered card - I think!  This sounds very right but I will test this idea out today for sure!

UrbanVoy:

mystarbucksidea.force.com/ideaView

^ For me, by far, the most interesting part of the conversation is the legal stuff related to terms and conditions, but by the looks of it, only Cardipup and I (2 lawyers) have gotten excited about talking about the terms and conditions.  Still, I'd think you'd find interesting the term 2(d) discussion.

Melody
11/2/2008 2:17 PM

UrbanVoy,

I tested your question today. The answer is "no" I'm very sorry to say.

I went into a Starbucks that I don't usually go to and ordered a Soy Hot Chocolate.  I went with soy milk to see if I would get the soy complimentary.

I told the barista to use my Gold Card just as my form of payment only.  It definitely is registered. It did not work. He tried and then was confused and then had to call help over to the register.  Then they had to void the transaction and re-do it. Another barista redid the transaction and still it would not work. Finally she voided that and just rang me up for the Hot Chocolate only and didn't press in the button for soy at all.

It was a sad situation. They were very unfamilar with the Gold Card, had no idea that Tuesday they'd be giving out coffee for voters, and seemed  very behind the curve. At this point, most stores are now have no problem giving me the ten percent discount and most are up to speed here at least in downtown Seattle.  I then bought food, and asked for the Gold discount and the two baristas together struggled to find the Gold button. They eventually did, but I was at the register for a long long time, and drank my whole hot chocolate during this episode of ringing things in, voiding things, re-ringing it ...

I can't imagine what a national launch is going to look like.

Steve1
11/2/2008 8:34 PM

WHAT IS GOING ON?  AM I BEING PUNINISHED FOR SPEAKING OUT AGAINST HOWARD?  SEVERAL TIMES TODAY AND YESTERDAY I SIGNED IN, WENT WENT HERE, STARTED TYPING A LONG COMMENT AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN AND WITHOUT NOTICE -POOF- IT WAS GONE AND I FOUND MYSELF SIGNED OFF BECAUSE IT SAID "WELCOME GUEST"AND I HAD TO SIGN IN AGAIN.  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?  IT IS VERY AGRIVATING, NOT TO MENTION QUITE ANNOYING.

Melody
11/2/2008 8:38 PM

Steve1, I can promise you that you are NOT being punished for speaking out against Howard.  That happens to me too.  Are you using Vista?  I notice that on my home computer, the ideas in action area times out pretty fast, and I get exactly what happens to you! It's so annoying!!!

But it has nothing to do with Starbucks or Howard. That I'm sure.

UrbanVoy
11/3/2008 4:23 AM

Melody

Thanks for the test and the report. Bummer that we can't use the one card two ways.

Like you, I have reservations about the preparedness of the store staff for the Gold Card, especially since many of theme are still struggling with the regular, registered card benefits.

Steve1

That has happened to me several times. I try to compose my blog comments in MS word to avoid the problem.

Steve1
11/3/2008 5:43 AM

GADS IT'S SORT OF NICE TO KNOW THAT THIS STRANGE CONUNDRUM IS NOT HAPPENING TO JUST ME BUT IT IS ANNOYING AND SHOULD BE FIXED.  ARE YOU LISTENING SALLY. OR BRAD, OR WHOEVER.  FIX IT!!

Steve1
11/3/2008 5:46 AM

OH I FORGOT MELODY.  NO I'M NOT USING VISTA.  I'M USING XP.  DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

neilsf
11/3/2008 6:23 AM

Melody, Cardipup, and UrbanVoy -- ok, now I'm game to get into this, too.  Reading the terms, Section 8 seems to say that there are two 'halves' to the Gold card; a $25 membership fee for 10% off, and a pre-load normal Starbucks Card. While 2(d) says only one discount works at a time, do we get to choose which discount?  Could I choose 10% a larger order (say, if I 5-person client team out for a coffee break, where extra syrups and such are unlikely to make a difference), but I could choose the normal Starbucks Card side for when I'm Wi-Fi'ing for a few hours and want drip refills?  THAT sounds interesting, and so far, doesn't seem to have been communicated.

Momiji
11/3/2008 8:39 AM

Where is Brad? Where is the conversation?

Anonymous
11/3/2008 11:45 AM

I STILL HAVE NOT GOT MY GOLD CARD THAT IS REALLY BLACK (IF IT IS BLACK, WHY DIDN'T THEY CALL IT BLACK CARD OR IF IT IS A GOLDCARD WHY ISN'T IT GOLD?) THAT STARBUCKD TOLD ME A WEEK AGO FRIDAT THAT IT WOULD BE IN THE MAIL MONDAY.  WERE THEY REALLY LYING OR DID THEY MEAN TODAY?  NOW I FIND OUT THERE IS REALLY 2 CARDS GOOD FOR TWO DIFFERENT PURPOSES AND ON CANNOT BE USED FOR THE OTHE, EVERYONE INCLUDING EMPLOYEES, ARE  CONFUSED AND THERE ARE TERMS.  WHAT TERMS?  IT SHOULD BE ONLY 1 CARD GOOD FOR DISCOUNTS ON EVERYTHING AND NO TERMS PERIOD.  THEN NO ONE, CUSTOMERS OR EMPLOYYEES, WOULD BE CONFUSED. AND A GOLD CARD WOULD ACTUALLY BE GOLD.  AS IT IS NOW WITH 2CARDS FOR DIFFERENT THINGG AND TERMS ONLY LAWYERS LIKE MELODY AND CARDIPUI AND ANY OTHER LAWYERS OUT THERE ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT FULLY UNDERSTAND ALL THIS.

Steve1
11/3/2008 12:00 PM

WHAT'S THIS "ANONYMOUS" STUFF MEAN?  THAT WAS ME STEVE1 NOT ANONYMOUS.  WHAT'S GOING ON????  I HEARD THAT DREADED BEEP AND KNEW IF I DIDN'T POST MY COMMENT QUICK IT WOULD SLIP IN CYBERSPACE'S BLACK HOLE OF NO RETURN SO I CLICKED ON "POST" BEFORE I HAD TIME TO PROOF READ IT.  PLEASE FIX THIS SITE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve1
11/3/2008 12:14 PM

HAY WHAT'S GOING ON??  THAT IS NOT ANONYMOUS, THAT'S ME STEVE1.  I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO PROOF  READ MY COMMENT.  PLEASE FIX THIS SITE NOW AS IN IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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