Starbucks "Free Pastry Day" Fail - Nothing to See Here
Mar. 23rd, 2010
11:20 am - Starbucks "Free Pastry Day" Fail
Today was Starbucks' "Free Pastry Day". The idea being, free pastry of your choice with purchase of a drink, up to 10:30am.
I'm a very good customer of Starbucks, and generally I find their customer service to be very good, and their promotions to be mercifully free of fine print that takes away apparent advantages. Today, unfortunately, this was not the case.
- Me: "Hm, I'd like an Apple Fritter please."
Barista1: "It's everything except Apple Fritters. Everything in there. Oh, except the bagels."
Me: "Um, uh, ok... Ur, is it just what's in the cabinet or do you have other stuff?"
Barista1: "We have more of some pastries. What would you like?"
Me: "Ok, how about a Chocolate Croissant?"
Barista2 [butting in]: "Unless they have it at the drive-thru, it's not available." 
Barista1 [to barista @ drive-thru]: "Do you have any chocolate croissants?"
DriveThruBarista: "Let me check--yes, we do."
Barista2: "Are they on the left or on the right?"
DriveThruBarista: "They're on the right."
Barista2: "Those aren't free, then."
... and then I found that they screwed up making my drink, ignoring a directive marked on the cup. Talk about a bad morning.
I am a very good customer of Starbucks. This was at my local store. If they're going to have a "free pastry day" promotion (and not even just for walking in like, e.g., Ben & Jerry's free cone day--with purchase of a drink), they should not make it a frustrating experience for their customers. It should be a painless, happy experience both for existing customers and potential new customers.
This is on top of the fact that yesterday I got a drink at a different Starbucks, in Redwood City, and discovered upon arriving at the office that they had made the wrong drink for me.
Apparently this is not my week for Starbucks.
 Available for free, that is. They have additional supplies of pastries with which they re-supply both counter and drive-thru. Barista1 seemed like she was willing to go to the supplies, but Barista2 who butted in was being officious.