We’re Americans. We usually are pretty good at voicing our opinions. However, when we don’t voice what we want, we do what every American does when we are not happy with something. We sue.
Take the lawsuit brought against Starbucks about the amount of ice in Starbucks iced drinks. I know I am not alone in how stupid this case is. What lawyer would take such a ridiculously frivolous case? The solution to the problem is simple. Ask for less ice. Just open your mouth when you order your venti, non-fat, mocha, extra shot, coconut milk, iced latte. “Light ice please.” You have no problem giving nine other instructions with your Starbuck’s order, you can’t ask for less ice? The Starbucks order is a verbal event as it is, but somehow asking for less ice for this customer was too much. I guess she was just too tired after the mouthful already given. Give me a freakin’ break.
The Chicago woman who filed the $5 million dollar suit must really spend a fortune at Starbucks to feel that she is owed $5 million dollars. That is a lot of chilled beverages, even by Starbucks pricing. Ice is a key ingredient in drinks that are called “iced beverages.” It is part of the recipe. The question is how much. Starbucks operates in pretty much a “have it your way” style of business. The complicated ordering is the model for make your drink anyway you want it, that would include with less ice. You just have to say you want it that way.
I try to imagine the conversation in the law office. “You want to sue because you couldn’t speak up and say you wanted less ice?”
“That’s right, I give twelve other directions for my drink, but by the time I finish my order I’m just too tired to ask for less ice. So now I feel like I’ve been getting ripped off for years and want $5 mil to make up for all I’ve lost. They should be able to read my mind. It’s their fault I don’t have the energy to ask for less ice.”
“You’re right, it is their fault. It’s exhausting remembering to ask for my coffee the way I want it. How can anyone remember to ask for that one more thing. I never thought about it that way. Sounds good, I’ll take the case.”
I hear the wind blowing around between the ears of this lawyer and their client, after all, it is Chicago.
Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley, said the lawsuit is “without merit,” in an email statement.”We are aware of the plaintiff’s claims, which we fully believe to be frivolous and without merit…If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it.” That’s right, all you have to do is ask. I’m sure though the thought of going through all of that again is just plain exhausting. At least it is for this woman.
Sadly, weird lawsuits against food companies are commonplace. Cases where teenagers sued McDonald’s for making them fat, to the guy who sued a beer company because fantasies in commercials came to life and didn’t happen in real life happen more often than we know. Please! Between the opportunistic people, greedy lawyers, and media buzz that winds up surrounding these types of idiotic, brain wasting lawsuits, we look like a nation of dumbasses. Oh wait, in many ways we are. The judges that don’t dismiss the frivolous suits immediately are guilty of perpetuating a system where lawyers think this may be a big win for their coffers regardless of their merit, as well as encourage the idiots who bring them to a law office in the first place.
Some lawsuits may help improve quality or protect consumers against fraud. However, this is certainly not one of them. If only we could add a shot of common sense to the Starbucks tongue twisting linguistic gymnastics for our iced or hot caffeinated beverage of choice we may get somewhere. I’m afraid that is asking too much. Common sense doesn’t appear on any menu. So use your words America. Ask for what you want and don’t sue if you can’t, that should be your fault, not theirs. But hey, this is America, apparently nothings your fault.