Starbucks being sued for too much ice in drinks

Chris Hondros
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Starbucks To Raise Prices On Select Drinks, And Lower On Simple Drinks

Chris Hondros
NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: A couple has iced coffee drinks at a Starbucks Coffee shop in lower Manhattan August 21, 2009 in New York City. Starbucks, America's dominant coffeehouse chain, is changing some of its prices, raising them for elaborate specialty drinks and cutting prices for some others. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

- A lawsuit filed against Starbucks claims there's too much ice in its cold drinks.

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Stacy Pincus of Chicago filed the $5 million lawsuit on Wednesday, with claims that the coffee giant falsely advertises how much liquid is in its cold beverages.

“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,” the lawsuit says. "(The company) is advertising the size of its cold drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they purchase a cold drink -- and deceiving its customers in the process."

It continues: "The word beverage is defined as a drinkable liquid. Ice is not a beverage by definition."

Pincus says Starbucks advertises its cold drinks by fluid ounce but that the numbers are only accurate after ice is added to the drink.

According to the lawsuit, a venti-sized cold drink is advertised as having 24 fluid ounces but only includes 14 ounces of the actual liquid. The rest, the suit says, is ice, sometimes leaving customers with only half the amount of drink they expected upon their purchase.

But Starbucks says the claims are "without merit."

"Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it," said Jamie Riley, a spokesperson for Starbucks

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages on behalf of everyone who has purchased an iced drink from Starbucks since 2006, Vox reported.

A lawsuit filed in March alleged Starbucks underfills its hot lattes by "approximately 25 percent."

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