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Starbucks customer dis-service

SBux SuxSo as some of you know, my daughter has severe allergies and has anaphylaxed several times, including once on an airplane as we were landing in Tokyo. Given this history of trips to Emergency Rooms, we try to make sure we are prepared and cautious about eating out. We do not let her allergies stop us from doing things as a family, such as eating out, we simply make sure we find out if it’s safe for her to eat (what ever IT may be).

Consequently, we found ourselves at Starbucks and was unsure about the ingredients of their Vanilla Creme Frapuccino. One person told us it was dairy free and another told us it wasn’t. We were in a rush so I didn’t have an opportunity to look at the ingredients on their mixes, which is what I’d done before. I went to their website to ask the question about allergens. Here is the text of the auto generated email:

— Original Message —
From: “Ody Granados” <odyg@mcw.edu>
Received: 10/15/10 4:41:39 AM MDT
To: <sbxinfo@buf.sitel.net>
Subject: allergens

Could I please have ingredient list for both strawberries and creme frap and the vanilla bean frap? I have a daughter with a dairy allergy and wanted to make sure neither had any allergens. Thanks.

=========================================================

Name: Ody Granados
Address: xxxx x xxxxx xx Whitefish Bay WI 53217 US
Event Date:
Event Time:
Store Location: Whitefish Bay

—— Please do not remove your unique tracking number! ——
<<#XXXXX-XXXXXX#>>

I thought it was a reasonable request. As you can see, I specifically mentioned the allergy issue. Apparently, Starbucks disagreed with my assessment that it was a reasonable request.

Hello Ody,

Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

Unfortunately, the information you are requesting is proprietary information, which we are unable to divulge. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thank you for your interest in Starbucks Coffee Company. If you have other questions or comments regarding our site, please feel free to respond to this email, or call us here in Customer Relations.

Warm regards,

Emily P
Customer Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company
800 23-LATTE (235-2883)
Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)

If you would like to share your thoughts about your experience with Starbucks Customer Contact Center, please click on the link below to participate in a short survey.  Your comments will be used to ensure that any future experiences with Starbucks Customer Contact Center meet your highest expectations.

What? Are you FUCKING SHITTING ME? I can waltz into any store and ASK FOR THE MOTHER EFFING INGREDIENTS off the box. So, being of sound mind, I fired this off as a response:

You are shitting me, right? Can you just tell me if there is milk, whey, milk solids, etc? You do realize this is a HEALTH ISSUE right? As in my daughter can DIE? And you’re worried about  proprietary information?

I will go to the store, ask to look at the ingredients on the box and find out that way. Then I will post this dialog on my blog and tweet about how unhelpful Starbucks customer service is. And I will never visit another Starbucks again…

Congrats. Your unhelpfulness has lost you another customer

Ody Granados

So, as promised, I am blogging about it. I will forward this little link to FAAN (Food Action and Anaphylaxis Netowrk) just to make sure they’re aware of these issues. Alterra, Caribou, Stone Creek, Uberdork Cafe, here I come. Please be more helpful than Starbucks. Warm regards, Ody.

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