Coffee giant Starbucks will no longer appease dissatisfied customers with free drink certificates. According to Starbucks Melody, the chain is phasing out its Customer Service Recovery Coupons — which entitled unhappy customers to a free drink on a future visit — and replacing them with a coupon that gives patrons $4 off of their next purchase. While the old coupons were made of paper, the new version is a plastic card that looks similar to the Starbucks rewards card.
Starbucks Melody points out that there a few advantages to this new card for the coffee behemoth: Because they are plastic, the coupons are now much more difficult to counterfeit, and because it is a discount that can be applied to the whole purchase, perhaps customers will buy other items that result in a sale. The largest advantage for Starbucks may be that the new discount prevents enterprising customers from ordering over-the-top gonzo drinks.