Similar to last year’s Chipotle #meatfinessing rant—which accused the company of skimping on proteins—two Californians are convinced that Starbucks has been cheating customers all along by leaving space at the top of each beverage. In their eyes, this under-filling amounts to fraud. 

According to Grub Street, Siera Strumlauf and Benjamin Robles filed a lawsuit claiming that Starbucks “has saved countless millions of dollars in the cost of goods sold and was unjustly enriched by taking payment for more product than it delivers.”

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The couple point to processes that Starbucks put in place in 2009, when baristas were given new milk pitchers with fill lines that fell short of the advertised volume. Law360 outlined the legalese in more palatable terms:

“Perhaps most significantly, the pair contend that the cups Starbucks uses for its 12-, 16- and 20-ounce lattes can hold exactly those amounts if they are filled completely to the top brim. But as a rule, Starbucks employees are instructed to leave a quarter-inch of space from the top of the cup. From a logical standpoint, that means that no cup Starbucks uses could possibly contain the alleged serving size, and every drink is filled less than the amount advertised.

If that irks you on a philosophical level, you should also realize, as Grubstreet points out, that the company doesn’t count foam as volume either, because foam is measured by mass. So if that foam goes under the edge of the brim, you’re missing out on all sorts of levels.

Starbucks has responded, claiming that their beverages are all made by hand, and therefore are open to variance in size. 

[via GrubstreetLaw 360]