Just a short lesson on what a refill is at Starbucks: I think this is valuable information for many people!
If you order a Starbucks tall latte, and then want Pike Place Roast as a refill, the answer is “yes.” I should clarify, the answer is “yes” only if you have stayed inside the store. Once you leave the store, when you return, you will be paying full price for your beverage again. The refill price is available only for same store visits. The refill only becomes free if you are paying for your beverage with a registered Starbucks Card, at the green level of benefits. And there is no refill price for any handcrafted beverages. Iced tea, iced coffee, and hot brewed coffee all have a refill price available to them. In other words, if I drink a grande Frappuccino, stay in the store, and want grande iced passion tea as a refill, then I should be charged the refill price for the passion tea, not the the full price of the iced passion tea. However, there is no way to order a Frappuccino as a refill.
I bring this up because I noticed (thanks to a comment in another blog article!) that Starbucks has finally updated their website to truly clarify the refill policy. This had been in an area, where in the past, the website had had ambiguous language. Thank you Starbucks for this! Here’s the official Starbucks page on the refill benefit.
In previous articles, I have talked about the theories behind the refill policy. As many people know, iced coffee, iced tea, and brewed coffee are beverages that are low cost to the business. Furthermore, those who stay inside the store are more likely to linger and purchase food or other items as well. Also, it makes no sense to tell customers, you must only purchase the lowest cost beverages to be able to receive the refill price. In other words, there’s no logic to saying that a customer who spends a premium for a handcrafted drink may not receive a refill because he or she didn’t start out with a cheaper beverage. And of course, there is never a refill price for drive-thru customers.
And you really do have to stay in the store to get a refill. If you have left the store, and you return later in the day with your cup, the baristas should tell you there is no refill price available.
Hope that my readers find this helpful!