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Starbucks, You Have Got To Be Kidding!

Maybe I'm stupid, but I don't understand the point of retraining all of your employees in the niceties of customer service and focusing anew on the quality of the product...by locking out all of your customers during a normal business day. I worked for a big corporation for a long time, and our many, many training sessions, seminars, conferences and God knows how many other stupidly named classes never interfered with the job at hand: you know -- taking care of the customers! I avoid Starbucks coffee because I don't like it. It is over-roasted and very plain. But in a pinch it is a convenient place for some pretty good baked goods and hot cocoa for the little brats. But it has to be open for me to spend my money!

5 Responses to “Starbucks, You Have Got To Be Kidding!”

  1. This came from an article in a NJ paper with the headline “Starbucks to begin sinister Phase 2 of Operations”: “Starbucks has completed the coffee-distribution and location establishment phase of its operation, and is now ready to move into Phase Two,” read a statement from Cynthia Vahlkamp, Starbucks’ chief marketing officer. “We have enjoyed furnishing you with coffee-related beverages and are excited about the important role you play in our future plans. Please pardon the inconvenience while we fortify the second wave of our corporate strategy.” Those living near one of the closed Starbucks outlets have reported strange glowing mists, howling and/or cowering on the part of dogs that pass by, and electromagnetic effects that cause haunting, unearthly images to appear on TV and computer screens within a one-mile radius. Experts have few theories as to what may be causing the low-frequency rumblings, half-glimpsed flashes of light, and periodic electronic beeps emanating from the once-busy shops. In addition, newly painted trucks marked with the nuclear trefoil, the biohazard warning symbol, and various mystic runes of the Kaballah have been spotted rolling out of Starbucks distribution warehouses.

  2. I dunno. It struck me as a brilliant idea.

  3. Peets Rules!You have this weird fixation about Starbucks. Maybe they put something in their coffee that gradually turns people into zombies, who will drink only Starbucks.

  4. nope, no mind control, no drugs, no fixation, and i’m not a starbucks fanboy (although i drink their coffee…and i also enjoy Peet’s – thanks for the tip!), i just think it was a brilliant business move. explain to me why it wasn’t and i might be swayed. 3 hours of short-term missed sales? denying people coffee for 3 hours? something tells me they’ll weather this storm, and their customers will forget by, oh, the next day.

  5. The short-term sales are, as you pointed out, trivial. But what puzzled me about the decision was the heavy-handed way they went about it, and the implicit message that Starbucks isn’t doing it correctly, and that things need to change. It has punctured the carefully cultivated sense that they could do no wrong, that all Starbucks stores were on the ball, making the best cup of coffee (or double mocca-half-skim-half-soy-light-foam-hazelnut-cappucino). Had they asked me, I would have said to play up the training as part of a rollout of some new product or system. That way the customers would hopefully believe that the product was going to get better, rather than the current perception that the product is broken, and they are scrambling to fix it. Of course on your blog you pointed out that “[P]eople are idiots. the internet, unfortunately, is very good at making that very clear.” Maybe my comments are just another example of that!

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