Bonnie doesn't go to Starbucks anymore

05/28/2009 4:21 PM

By Bonnie McGrath

15 Comments - Add Your Comment

In case anyone is wondering why I am carrying only Dunkin Donuts cups home in the morning after I take my early-AM walk with my pals Janice and Mary and Carol and Wendy, itís because I had a fight with Starbucks.

It all started a few months ago when the Starbucks at Wabash and Roosevelt started asking me for a photo-ID when using my credit card. ďWhat?Ē I would say. ďIíve been coming here for years--since the day you opened your door. I live right across the street. You donít know who I am?Ē

The cash register barista, after a few go-rounds would say, ďOK.Ē And I would get my coffee. Geesh, what a lot of hot air for a couple dollars, Iíd think. The big bosses couldnít possibly be telling them to hassle customers like this.

(By the way, the reason I didnít have my ID is that I like to travel as light as possible on our power walks. A phone, keys and credit card is enough to carry. I donít want to keep track of my driverís license, too.)

In any case, a few weeks ago, I ordered my coffee and it came and I handed over my Amex and I was told to take a hike. My usual argument didnít work. Even after the coffee was poured they were going to let it go to waste, rather than let me have it, if I tried to pay for it with a credit card sans ID.

So I left. And I went to Dunkin Donuts on Wabash and ordered a large coffee with extra cream and I paid with my card. No questions asked. And it was delicious. And on my way home, I went into Starbucks and I pointed to my Dunkin Donuts cup and I said, ďFrom now on, theyíre getting ALL my business.Ē And I walked out. But not before another barista handed me a card with the managerís name on it and told me to call.

But I never did. I really like Dunkin Donuts.

Although occasionally, if I am downtown or in another neighborhood I have a Starbucks at another Starbucks. And never, ever has any other Starbucks asked to see my ID. And I havenít been going to any of them for years and I donít live across the street.

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By Spencer from Gold Coast
Posted: 09/02/2010 2:02 PM

I'm with you, Bonnie. I understand all sides of this, cash on a exercise trip seems to be wrong, small purchase with a 7 percent loss on the merchant side seems to be wrong. Why they didn't ask you to purchase, load, reload a Starbucks card on your credit card seems to be wrong! My finding this after a year seems to be wrong! I hope you continue to enjoy good caffeine where ever you wish.

By bonnie mcgrath from south loop
Posted: 09/14/2009 8:36 AM

just when i thought it was safe to resume a regular schedule at starbucks in the morning, lo and behold, a new guy asked me for my id yesterday morning. when i told him no go, he said, "sorry, i can't ring up your purchase." (my purchase was about $4--for a coffee and a bran muffin.) but lo and behold again, a long time barrista said, "no, no, it's ok, she's a long time regular." at which point the guy put my card through. but what if she hadn't been there?

By bonnie mcgrath from south loop
Posted: 07/27/2009 11:09 AM

In case any spies are out, yes! i did go to the starbucks at Roosevelt and Wabash three times recently: once when i had a coupon for a free coffee; once when i had a coupon for a free pastry; and once when i was running late, didn't have a chance that morning for coffee, had a headache and needed coffee to take with me to the hair salon. And guess what? I used my amex all three times--and no one asked me for my ID. Progress???

By bonnie mcgrath from south loop
Posted: 06/21/2009 10:07 AM

another thing i realized today that's great about my dunkin donuts on the 1200 block of south wabash: when they put my coffee in the cup and put the lid on, the coffee (and the heat) stays in the cup. nice and tight and secure. no green thingie, no little tiny open air hole, not to mention an open drink hole--or a lid that doesn't quite fit. the coffee doesn't end up all over my hand or on my shirt or on the ground. it stays in the cup until i get where i'm going...wherever that may be.

By claudea from united center
Posted: 06/17/2009 8:00 AM

I was just in Savahanna, GA and every merchant there asked for my ID with my Visa. I guest merchants all over are disregarding the conditions of their agreements. Every card should be like the Costco American Express and have the owner's picture on the card.

By Bob Wilson from South Loop
Posted: 06/17/2009 5:51 AM

I checked and found that Carpet man from Chicago is correct about the policy that expressly forbids merchants from asking for ID. I still like Dunkin Donuts better.

By Carpet man from Chicago
Posted: 06/16/2009 4:05 PM

Actually, Visa and MC have a policy that expressly forbids merchants from asking for ID.

By Bob Wilson from South Loop
Posted: 06/15/2009 3:18 PM

Personally I like Dunkin Donuts better. I really think that you should have some type of photo ID on you whenever you are out on the streets. Hopefully you will never be in the situation where there is a medical emergency where you have to be identified, but things happen. More and more companies are asking for a photo ID when a credit card is being used and many customers are thankful. I know several people that write Check Photo ID instead of their signature on their card.

By Jeremy from North Kenwood
Posted: 06/15/2009 9:06 AM

Wow, Bonnie... Merchants would be in trouble big-time if they started accepting credit cards based on "face recognition". Fact is, Starbucks should have always been asking you for your I.D. What makes you so different from everyone else? Many of us take it personal when we are asked to display I.D. for purchases, especially if we are routine guests at particular establishments. However, we need to think about the ramifications if merchants required no I.D. at all!! Fraud would be rampant.

By Fahmeeda from Bronzeville
Posted: 06/09/2009 8:17 PM

Presenting I.D. can be a hassle, but something to consider. I remember once I had not used one of my credit cards in a couple of months or so. I got a statement with 4-5 charges in the range of $1.01 - $6.00. I didn't even know businesses would accept credit card transactions for such small amounts. Anyway, I checked and discovered, to my surprise, that my credit card was missing.

By webdiva from SW side
Posted: 06/06/2009 6:15 PM

Like anyone who bothered to steal your ID would actually use it for something as cheap and prosaic as coffee ... hey, stolen IDs are a big business, and if anyone's going to use a stolen ID, it's going to be for something really big ticket, not Starbucks. That's if they don't just turn around and sell it. Your Starbucks freaked for no reason -- and they're probably congratulating themsevles for their fake virtue when they haven't got a hope in hell of stopping any real criminals that way.

By Jim from South Loop
Posted: 06/04/2009 2:06 PM

I doubt anyone is wondering about which coffee cup you are carrying. Or why you don't carry an ID with your credit card. If this is such a big deal why don't you just get a Starbucks gift card? It really seems that it comes down to your outrage that the Starbucks folks didn't recognize the great one.

By DB from South Loop
Posted: 06/04/2009 1:48 AM

Wow! Yet you require my email to post comments. Ironic. What ever happened to all your rants about personal accountability? You should be thanking Starbucks for doing what all businesses are required to do and say thank you! Credit card fraud is a huge problem and if all vendors followed required legal steps, like the 5 seconds it takes to check your ID, this crime could be curbed and reduce financial burden on police, legal, credit card company, and cardholder resources after the fact.

By Susan from HP
Posted: 06/02/2009 9:42 AM

I'm with ya...changed my habit too!

By Judy Marcus from Palatine
Posted: 06/01/2009 1:20 PM

It's really dumb that they're aksing for your ID, but maybe they've had trouble with a lot of stolen credit cards...The sales people at the card shop where I go (and pay CASH!) always ask for my phone number, and I always tell them, "No."