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Shady Customer Scams Starbucks Into Giving Him Free Coffee for a Year

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Everyday is this guy's birthday at Starbucks.

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Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Poor Starbucks barista Brad Halsey. Every day he deals with the world's most infuriating customer — a man who has found a loophole to Starbucks into giving him free birthday coffee every day for a year. In a confessional post on Kitchenette, Halsey recounts how this evil genius allegedly purchased 365 Starbucks gift cards and "registered every one of them online with a different birthday so that he gets a ‘free birthday drink' EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR."

Not only is this regular's method plain old fraud, but he also demands a pen so he can personally transcribe the intricacies of his vanilla white mocha in "lines and arrows" all over the cup. Here's the full order from Halsey:

"Two pumps of white mocha here, then add five pumps of vanilla. That should take us to this line here where you're gonna add cold heavy cream up to this ridge should be halfway between this line and this line. Make sure to add the heavy whipping cream before the espresso, it changes the taste if you do it out of order. Then add your four shots, three regular and one long shot. That long shot is important, since you guys reformulated your machines, it's been Hell trying to get my drink right. That long shot helps balance it. Then stir it for me, Mister Brad. Now do me a favor and add ice to the top there and it'll be easy as pie. I'm not picky so don't worry about shaking it or anything like that."

The whole exchange is supposedly topped off with an exact explanation of how to ring up his order, presumably so he's not charged the full value of his drink. The man then explains that his Starbucks app is "malfunctioning," so, "I'm going to use my free birthday reward to pay." A Starbucks spokesperson tells Eater that the customer's method is technically not allowed: "We are aware of this customer’s misuse of the Starbucks Card program. We are investigating this matter as our card program terms prohibit such schemes."

Starbucks has policies in place to combat scammers trying to work the system for free drinks, but sometimes a clever customer skates through. In July 2014, a customer set a Starbucks free drink record with a 60-shot Frappuccino, which was quickly broken by a massive 160-ounce drink in October. Of course, for those who want to stick with the legal route, you could always pray to the coffee gods for a computer outage.