Starbucks Skimps on Hot Drinks, Too, Class Says

     MANHATTAN (CN) — On the heels of a class action over ice-heavy iced drinks, another class says Starbucks cheats customers by not filling their hot beverages up to their brims.
     Brittany Crittenden filed a class-action lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday, accusing the largest coffee retailer in the world, Starbucks, of routinely under-filling their espresso-based beverages because of a policy that forbids filling drinks to the rim.
     Crittenden alleges that, in March of this year, she was overcharged $0.58 for the two missing ounces in her Tall Chai Tea Latte, and was overcharged $0.73 for the missing three ounces in her Venti White Chocolate Mocha Latte.
     Starbucks uses the sizes Tall, Grande and Venti to indicate sizes small, medium and large. Starbucks represents a Tall to be 12 fluid ounces, a Grande to be 16 ounces and a Venti as 20 ounces.
     Crittenden’s lawsuit claims that espresso drinks are only the advertised volume if they are filled completely to the rim. She says “Starbucks’ policy prohibits baristas from filling any hot beverage up to the rim of the cup.”
     “Defendant has overcharged plaintiff and class members, and continues to do so, without warning plaintiff and class members that Starbucks espresso beverages contain less ounces per serving size than defendant otherwise advertises,” the 18-page complaint states.
     Crittenden sued the Seattle-based coffee company on six counts including breach of warranty, deceptive business practices, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.
     She seeks a trial by jury as well as damages and equitable remedies under statutory and common law claims for herself and members of the proposed class.
     The lawsuit defines class members as “all persons or entities in New York who purchased latte and mocha beverages from Starbucks stores located throughout the state of New York from 2010 to the present,” and suggests in the lawsuit that the class could include millions of people.
     Starbucks was sued in a consumer class-action lawsuit in Northern Illinois Federal Court two weeks ago, facing claims that their popular iced beverages are being overfilled with ice. The liquid component of iced drinks allegedly measured just over half of a cup’s contents.
     “We are aware of the plaintiff’s copycat allegations. This lawsuit is equally frivolous,” Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges said, referencing the Northern Illinois lawsuit in a response to Courthouse News’ request for comment on the New York case. “Our lattes and mochas are handcrafted in accordance with our customers’ preferences. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it.”
     Starbucks’ allegedly underfilled lattes were also the subject of a San Francisco class-action lawsuit filed in March.
     Crittenden is represented by Brittany Weiner of Imbesi Law in Manhattan.

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