How 45cents became 1,733,025.71 in Washington State

Starbucks at the end of a scam? Oh, wait, that's just our court system

Today I received a letter from Starbucks.  In itself this wouldn’t have been too odd. But at the top said Settlement Of Class Action Law Suite, yes, that was the odd part. I couldn’t figure out why Starbucks of all companies would be having a class action suit, and I hadn’t heard anything in the news, but remember the first Starbucks down on Pike Street Market, I started to get a little curious, and so decided to read further. I have always considered Starbucks a front-runner in the areas of community involvement be the community a small fishing village in Northwestern Washington, or downtown Los Angeles, their corners are a little cleaner, their customers are smiling a bit wider, and their coffee brewing first thing in the morning is a smell that would make any coffee, tea or espresso lovers mouth water. Starbucks is one of those companies whom I feel has a model business plan. Leaders in their market, one of the first if not the first who came out with a Fair Trade Agreement with their Third World venders, providing a decent working wage for both those whom they buy coffee beans from and those they employ to service it, and employ folks they do. Starbucks currently employs 149,000 people. That’s just employee’s so that doesn’t count all the farmers around the world whom they purchase from providing income, into their communities,in the 55 other countries they do business with. It also doesn’t count the the (STARBUCKS)RED program that accounts for more than 18 MILLION daily doeses of medicine they give away. It doesn’t count their Ethos(r) water program, or their yearly ‘Starbucks Global Responsibility Report which includes Youth Action, the Starbucks Foundation, Create Jobs for USA Program, their Climate Change, Green Building, Water, Energy and Recycling and Reducing Waste Programs. It also doesn’t include their Ethical Sourcing, which I mentioned earlier and a whole Wellness program which supports the efforts to improve health of the communities they are doing business in.

Worlds Most Ethical awarded by ethisphere to Starbucks 6 years in a row.Yes, I would say you really have to watch out for these criminal masterminds going to such lengths to fool the public into passive submission as Starbucks rakes the communities pockets clean, resulting in the class action lawsuit which brought against these earth-loving-environmentally-friendly-globally-aware-health-conscious-modern-day-scoundrals. Why, they only won the “World’s Most Ethical Companies”  award from the Ethisphere Institute for the last six  years in a row! How dare they bamboozle the public like this!  My cat has worse ethics, and he’s a good cat.-LookingLeft

The law suit/Consumer Litigation,  names four industrious hard-working American Attorney’s: Bonnie Kurnick Jonah Cannon, James Kaen, and Rachel Wassel as the persons bold and strong enough to file this litigation, not due to some obscure but proper global trade agreement, not due to someone behaving improperly toward a youth as we hear about so much these days, not because they were running some illegal human-trafficking division through their global trade routes, no this scoop was even bigger, or rather it cost more.  Yes, these four industrious average american attorney’s brought civil litigation to the front door and into the living room of the man who single-handedly  revived the ceramics capital of america. Why you ask?  I’m glad you asked that, I’ll explain to you why: because some customers who bought “scooped’ 1/2 pounds of coffee didn’t realize they had to pay 45cents more per pound so is that a 45cent up-charge, or a 27.5cent up-charge?  ( It was always written clearly on the blackboards in the  Starbucks I went in. Of course we are talking a cramped blackboard, but it was there!   The Civil Litigation covers no health hazards because there aren’t any. The litigation covers no scandle because the founder of Starbucks  is quite honestly, the one man I can think of that both Democrats and Republicans would fall over each getting into line behind him as their next president, but he’s way too ethical for politics, and unfortunately for us real average Americans.   I’d be proud to have him as my president. He makes jobs, he forges life-time alliances, he creates trades, and employs everyone, the money he can’t spend he gives away and to top it off, he makes money hand over fist.  AND HE”S ETHICAL ABOUT IT unlike some industrious litigators who by the way, will be raking in a measly 25% plus 12,000 for costs, plus administrative expenses of providing notice, and claims process, not to exceed 49,000. and so in total  these 4 upstanding citizens will receive $494,256.43 for protecting us too-dumb-to-read-a-sign rest of us.

PLEASE SOMEONE OUT THERE HAVE AS PICTURE OF STARBUCKS CHALKBOARD WITH THE DAMN 45cent FEE ON IT.

I’m starting to hear the lions roaring in the background, so I need to be moving on rather quickly, before I go, just real quick, the link: We’re all invited to speak before the Judge at the hearing if we’d like to make a statement for or against this litigation.  If I go and ‘get a little mouthy’ will anyone bail me out from my contempt of court charges? Yeah, yeah, I heard those hyena’s that time.. moving right along…

So hurry, hurry step right up folks and  write to the Honorable Marsha J. Pechman’s Chambers and file your rebate for a maximum of $10.00 you might get back.    Oh, and since this covers the years 2007-2011 (but only the scooped beans, in the 1/2 pound sale.)  they are not going to require your receipts, just your sworn statement with approximate dates  if you can remember and are willing to sign under declaration of purgery that you are approximately correct.

I entreat you to stop and think of the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of Dollars this is Costing us ‘poor-too-dumb-to-read-a-sign-or-ask-when-we-are-over-charged’ Americans  and the triple that it’s costing Starbucks which will result in what??? That’s right, .. If this suit goes through we’re all going to be paying $5.00 for a decent cup of coffee.

I’m practicing constraint today, or I could really start on a Rant about this.  How we are required to be able to understand the 12000 pages of Health Insurance regulations for our policies, how we’re required to use multiple-operating systems, communications services, handheld and portable devices along with programming our damn VCR’s  and to vote men into office and send our young people off to war, but those damn chalk-boards nail us every time.

God Bless America.

May 3rd, Judges Court Room, Seattle Washington, be there or be left out :)

No, this link is not to donate for my anticipated contempt of court fee’s, it’s just a petition, I figure if we could get a few million signatures that perhaps someone might listen to reason.  I’ll wait until  March to start with the I’ve-got-to-work-on-my-restraint-but-better-to-be-prepared-for contempt of court fee’s. Donations will  kindly be  accepted then.

Additional statistical references used in this commentary  found at Statistic Brain
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6 responses to “How 45cents became 1,733,025.71 in Washington State

  1. Do you remember an ad campaign a few years ago called Red? The Gap was involved, as was Virgin, a bunch of other companies I can’t recall, and then Oprah came on board. It was for Aids money to Africa. A portion of all sales went to supply meds to African Aids victims. Sales of the companies involved skyrocketed. Over 100 million was spent on the ad campaign. Who knows what the profits for individual companies on the band wagon were, but in the end 18 million dollars went to the cause. Granted 18 million is a considerable sum. The point is – they spent over 100 million on advertising! Do you think they would have done that out of the goodness of their hearts? Charitable and ethical associations are money makers. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.

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    • Interesting you should comment on that, since I believe there are more Non-Profits opened, or schedule to open this year than in any other time. but “Giving is In” Why don’t they raise/give it to pay off the national debt? no offense intended and I support more than a few myself both promotionally and financially. But you are without a doubt right, people sometimes think a non-profit means everyone works for free.. No, that’s not the case at all, and good CEO’s make extremely good money. Of course nothing like the exec’s over at AIG’s and a few others. A total of 75 top exec’s that raked in over 5Million this last year in bonus, interestingly, these are the same who have yet to pay back the american public.So much for “No Salary/Bonus” until those monies are paid out. We let crooks like this off the hook, and prosecute a company like starbucks? #I’msoAshamed to be an American sometimes I want to play ostritch

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  2. I think your opinion of Starbucks,its charity work and its labor practices are overly granola crunchy. Starbucks pays low wages ,has a low level of health care coverage, screws around with its employees hours and dangerously under staffs stores. Instead of showing how munificent the CEO is by distributing alms to the poor he could start by fully compensating his employees. Charity like most other good things should start at home. I find it distressing how it turns out what your article seems really concerned with is how much your daily late’ will cost YOU. http://www.starbucksunion.org/about-starbucks-union/why-are-starbucks-workers-joining-union

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    • Wow, Brian I am very sorry you feel that way. Like I mentioned above I did expound on Starbucks virtues a little over-much because I wanted to show that law-suites like this are frivolous. They do nothing but cost the tax payer on both sides of the coin, both in consumer products and in expenditures which our taxes are paying for. Next time we see something like this, the Attorneys could be going for your friends store who happens to add a quarter surcharge to all transactions which use a debit card. I’ve been charged a few times for that and didn’t know it at the time. Starbucks is a corporation and in my mind, pretty much evil by definition, always caring more about the bottom line than their workers, well, as a small business owner I was too, I mean concerned more for my bottom line than my employee’s lives, but that’s what I’m supposed to do, because if I don’t watch the bottom line those whom I employ wouldn’t be employed anymore. So Evil Corps might be by definition, they are a necessary evil and Starbucks model sure beats the hell outa walmart.

      The only people making out in this instance is the attorney’s. Just fyi, I drink a 6 shot doppio with 1 inch of hot water, and One ice cube added. Not a latte person myself :)

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  3. Living just arcos the border I too remember Starbucks first coffee carts in downtown Seattle. It’s mind boggling how they were able to take over the world since that first latte outside the Bon Marche. Nostalgia aside, on to the bad news….

    I don’t like Starbucks. I agree the class action is ridiculous, without question a silly bit of litigation. That said, don’t fool yourself. These are savvy businessmen, and the designation of world’s most ethical company translates into sales. Starbucks coffee isn’t very good, their business plan is genius, and anyone who thinks they have anything other than their bottom line in mind is crazy. They are about branding and money. I work in the hospitality industry, several years ago the manager of the hotel where I was Food and Beverage Manager insisted I look into serving Starbucks coffee exclusively in the hotel. He insisted that the brand name would boost sales. I argued that the local fair trade company that supplied us with exceptional product and service was a more favourable option. Reluctantly I contacted Starbucks and was floored by their arrogant position and requirements. In exchange for the privilege of serving their coffee we would have to pay $20,000 for their espresso machines. I should note that without exception, not a single other coffee company required payment for equipment; in fact they all provided equipment free of charge.
    I absolutely refuse to utter the words Grande or Verde! Starbucks has turned ethics into money. I go out of my way to avoid their shops.

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    • I remember too, We we paying about 60 cents for a cup of coffee in a restaurant and no one had “heard” of espresso then, All of a sudden Starbucks opened at the market (Pike Street Market was their first store in I think 1971 or so) I remember because I’d left Washington, and went somewhere in my travels, down south or up to Alaska, one of the two, then came back for a visit and all of a sudden WAM, there’s a cart on every corner and then some. At first I was Appalled!! How anyone could charge such an amount for a cup of coffee. Having also been in the hospitality industry I can pretty much guarantee you the cost of what goes in the cup to be any where from .06-16 cents per serving. Of course that was the last time I performed a ‘cost per serving’ (cps) for a menu analysis which was some time ago. I hear it still costs less for what goes into the cup than the cup itself, and most certainly less than the cup/lid, stir sticks and additional sugars/creamers, cup holder, napkins and whatever else someone might add. Which is, of course, before the costs of labor, rent, insurance, electricity, security systems, computer systems, refrigeration units or heating units, garbage cans, liners, toilet papers, cleaning supplies, cleaning services, service/maintenance agreements on all of the above, Plumbers, Electricians, hand-soaps, and dispensers, and god-forbid do not leave the toilet-paper and cleaning supplies off your estimates or you’re going to find your bottom line estimates vs. actual off by at least 8-12%. Oh,and lets not forget the numerous number of subscriptions to everything from the NY-Post to the local fiver and all of this is before any type of additional benefits, community services, local group fee’s like the Chamber of Commerce or Business Woman of America which is what now $400.00 a year to join. I’d talk of the costs of Trade Journals but I’m still in mourning.

      I got off on a bit of a rant here and I apologize for that. You brought up such good issues, and some very good points that I would like to discuss further, in a different post focusing on Branding, and To Brand or Not to Brand, which is a very important subject these days. Everyone talks about “you must” but never talk about when you should and when you should not and why.

      Oh, btw, I agree most corps are evil, I fight against them everyday. I absolutely 100% agree and admit I went a little overboard on expounding the virtues of Starbucks, This is the first of a type of Satirical piece I’ve ever written and I appreciate your feedback. My goal was to show how ludicrous this type of law suit is and how it will affect the average american’s everyday lives in the years to come.

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