Two California residents have filed suit against Starbucks Corp. for allegedly cheating them out of a full latte. According to the suit, Starbucks lattes were found to be under filled by approximately 25 percent, and that the baristas follow recipes that consistently deliver drinks with 25% less volume than what customers order. “We are aware of the plaintiffs’ claims, which we fully believe to be without merit,” a spokesperson for Starbucks released in a statement. “We are proud to serve our customers high quality, handcrafted and customized beverages, and we inform customers of the likelihood of variations.”
The popular coffee company offers three sizes for most of its drinks: a 12oz Tall, 16oz Grande, and 20oz Venti. When measured, a 12oz Tall measured between 6-10oz, resulting in a lost value of $2.02; a 16oz Grande measured 12oz, a lost value of $1.03; a 20oz Venti measured 15oz, a lost value of $1.15. The lawsuit states that in 2009, Starbucks purposefully began under pouring lattes due to the rising cost of milk. Milk comprises most of a latte, with the only other liquid being an ounce or two of espresso. The recipes call for the cups to be filled to a quarter inch below the rim, and because they aren’t big enough to accommodate the promised amount of liquid, customers do not receive the actual amount listed on the menu. According to the lawsuit, by under-filling its lattes, thereby shortchanging its customers, Starbucks has saved millions of dollars in the cost of goods and was unjustly enriched by taking payment for more product than it delivers, which also claims fraud and false advertising.
Starbucks isn’t the only popular chain to face allegations of cheating customers. Sandwich chain, Subway, just settled a lawsuit accusing it of shorting customers an inch on its Footlong subs. The settlement included $525,000 for legal costs, and an award of $500 for each of the ten plaintiffs in the case. Subway is also required to use a measuring tool to ensure each sandwich is either six or twelve inches, as promised, and sandwich length inspection is required as part of its inspection process, and will incur penalties for violations.
If you are victim to false advertising, and feel you are not getting the full value of what you paid for, the product liability lawyers of Hodes Milman Liebeck can provide you with the assistance you need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.