Discount or not?

Peet’s has a great system for its coffee card; when you put at least $20 credit on it, you get a $1 discount. Not much, but a token that, at least for me, is a good way of saying ‘Thanks’.

However, adding credit at the same time as buying coffee seems fraught! I’m not sure whether it is basic arithmetic skills (or lack thereof) or some problem of the processes. Let me elucidate; I usually discover that I need to add credit to my card when it is short of the amount to pay for my coffee. Seems straightforward, but it never is. For example, I’m short, say $2.35; I’ll say “please add another $30 as well”.

Simple? Apparently not. I have had all variations: they add $30, then take the $2.35 from the card: they give me two credit card slips, one for $30 and one for $2.35: I get a credit card slip for the total of $30 plus the items I bought – so what happened to the amount that was on the card before they tried to charge it (“We put it back on the card”). And so on.

It seems simple to me to do what is requested, but I admit to having grown up in a corner store – and we worked the counter with the rest of the family – and so, doing the change equation in my head was a basic skill. And doing it under pressure of an awkward customer too!

But I gave in. So this time I bought my coffee and then, separately, added $20 to my card. “So you’ve added $21?” I ask. “No”, he says, “you only get the discount if you add money when buying coffee.”


Give him his due, he did immediately give me the card for $1 off my next purchase.

But what a weird and wonderful system………….

And, in case you think I’m picking on Peet’s, I’ve had most of the problems with my Starbucks card too. Including, this week, when I was told there was no credit on the card. I NEVER carry a zero value card, so I know it’s wrong. But what can I do? The manager said “Register the card.” I asked if she had tried – I have and gave up. I was registering it as there were free iTunes for doing so – so I was very motivated. But the web form would not accept the data it was asking for….. No matter what I did.

She assured me that if I called “they” would help me and were very good. I haven’t done so, but will report back when I have plucked up the calm to go through this!