A "venti" iced coffee from Starbucks costs roughly $3. But according to one woman in Illinois, customers are barely getting half their money's worth.
TMZ reports that Stacy Pincus is suing Starbucks for $5 million because the company’s venti iced beverages contain too much, well, ice. Venti drinks (that’s Starbucks speak for “large”) are supposed to contain 24 ounces of liquid, but according to the lawsuit, most cups contain only 14 ounces because of an over-abundance of ice cubes.
“Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage," the company said in a statement, adding that Starbucks baristas are instructed to re-make orders if a customer complains.
According to NBC News, the class action suit was filed by Pincus on "behalf of any customer who has bought a cold drink at Starbucks within the past 10 years" and hinges on whether or not ice truly constitutes a beverage. Seriously.
"The word 'beverage' is defined as 'a drinkable liquid.' Ice is not a 'beverage' by definition. Accordingly, Starbucks actually gives the customer much less beverage in the cold drinks they order and pay for," the lawsuit reads. "Starbucks' Cold Drinks are underfilled to make more money and higher profits, to the detriment of consumers who are misled by Starbucks' intentionally misleading advertising practices."
Starbucks has been facing legal action over its hot beverages recently, too. In March, two customers filed a lawsuit against the company claiming the coffeehouse chain “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.”
The cold coffee case is just the latest installment in a series of lawsuits leveled at restaurants this year. Last week, a lawyer in Texas threatened to sue a restaurant for running out of his favorite soup. A pub owner in the UK just got prosecuted for serving a pint of beer that was two tablespoons short of a full pour. And even though Stella Liebeck’s hot coffee suit was settled over 20 years ago, Starbucks and McDonald’s both continue to receive countless complaints from customers who spill scalding cups of Joe in their laps.