Starbucks' lawyers are working overtime these days: Back in March the coffee giant was sued for selling "underfilled" lattes, and now a copycat lawsuit has been filed claiming the company is ripping off customers who purchase iced drinks.
The class-action suit "claims Starbucks' cold drinks are almost half ice and the coffee chain misrepresents the fluid ounces of its popular, and profitable, iced coffee and tea beverages," Courthouse News reports, accusing the company of fraud as well as breach of express warranty, breach of implied warrant of merchantability, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.
Starbucks' tall, grande, venti, and trenta sizes are advertised on the menu as 12, 16, 24, and 30 fluid ounces respectively, but lead plaintiff Stacy Pincus says purchasers of iced drinks are actually receiving much less than that due to the ice in the cups. "... a Starbucks customer who orders and pays for a Venti iced coffee, expecting to receive 24 fluid ounces of iced coffee based on Starbucks' advertisement and marketing, will instead receive only about 14 fluid ounces of iced coffee," the complaint filed in U.S. district court for Northern Illinois reads.
Additionally, the suit also notes that iced drinks are priced higher than their hot counterparts (a grande coffee is $2.10 versus a grande iced coffee for $2.65, for example), saying, "Essentially, Starbucks is not only underfilling its Cold Drinks compared to how they are advertised, but it is charging a premium price for them as well."
The lawsuit wants anyone who's purchased an iced drink from Starbucks in the past decade to be eligible for class status, and is seeking more than $5 million in damages.
Reached for comment, a Starbucks spokesperson said, "We are aware of the plaintiff’s claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it."