Is Ordering Drinks Without Ice Just A Scam To Get More Delicious Beverage?

I like to order my cold drinks (especially soda) without ice, because–shocking revelation–I don’t really like ice. I didn’t realize that all of these years, I’ve been running a massive scam on the eateries of America, weaseling extra beverages out of them with my innocent request. That’s what a barista at a Borders store accused JD of doing when he ordered an iced chai with no ice. She gave JD what he describes as “half a cup of lukewarm chai” (pictured). New Borders policy, or was she a vigilante anti-ice crusader?

JD writes:

Something really bugged me about my Borders visit last night.

I went to Borders at around 9:00pm Friday night looking for a book to use my 40% off coupon on. I’ve gone to Borders a lot, spending $100s easily in the past couple years and have never really had a bad experience. My book browsing trip mostly begins with a stop at their café where I usually get a medium cold chai, no ice. I ask for no ice because watery milk and chai just doesn’t taste good. Apparently, this barista thought I was trying to cheat the system and get more chai. When she finally called me over to get my drink, I was handed what the attached picture shows: half a cup of lukewarm chai (don’t they keep that stuff in a fridge behind the counter? Apparently not).

I thought maybe she had forgotten to add milk or something, so I asked why it was so empty. She said, very simply, deadpanned even, “That’s what you get when you ask for no ice.” I asked why that is and her response was, “We usually fill it up all the way with ice.” I walked away baffled, spent a couple minutes sipping my double-Dixie cup sized drink before abandoning my shopping trip altogether. Furthermore, I went to Barnes & Noble across the street and had a much better experience (their café didn’t charge $4 for half of what I ordered).

Now my problem here isn’t with the barista. I’m sure she was just following orders to watch out for people who try to get more liquid by asking for no ice. This policy must be new, as I’ve never, ever encountered it at any café I’ve ever been to. I do NOT agree with Borders policy of only giving you half the product you order, whether or not you ask for no ice. Had I seen a sign that said, “WARNING: All cold drinks are only half-sized” I would’ve saved the $4 and bought the book I was originally going to get. As it is, I’m done going to Borders and will stick with Amazon and B&N for my future book purchases.

Thanks for reading. Happy consumering!

What do you think? Is JD trying to scam innocent retail establishments out of chai, or was the barista kind of a jerk?


Comments

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  1. Blinden says:

    I think there is a difference between soda (which is typically free refills for a single visit) vs something more pricey like whatever the heck this beverage is.

    I generally get my pop without ice because I drink it over a long period of time and the ice just melts and makes it watery grossness, but this is a bit different I think.

    • sleze69 says:

      When you order a drink, it should be filled to the top whether or not it is filled with ice.

      The only exception is wine and brandy.

      • jmhart says:

        I suppose you think beer shouldn’t have head on it either?

        • mowz says:

          I didn’t think I would ever see this argument outside of BA or RB. I do think beer should have head on it, but it should not be counted as part of the liquid. If a bar advertises a pint of beer for $X, then pour me 16 oz of beer in addition to the head. They should be using one of those over sized pint glasses with a 16 oz mark on the side to show that 16 oz has been poured. One of the biggest scams bars are pulling is switching from those 16 oz glasses to those 14 oz glasses that look like 16 oz glasses (more glass on the bottom and a bit less tapered) without informing the consumer. However, if a bar does not specify the amount of the pour, then it’s up to the consumer to ask how much beer you’ll get for $X, sans head.

        • Pax says:

          At least the head is PART of the beer.

        • Antediluvian says:

          You are correct! That’s actually true: beer should NOT have a head on it, and pints need to be filled to the proper level:
          http://consumerist.com/2008/06/now-its-serious-shrink-ray-hits-beer.html

        • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

          beer glasses (at least legitimate ones) have a line to which you fill the beer to, and head above that line is both acceptable, and preferred. filling a beer poorly is immediate grounds for the patron to pour it on the bar and walk out.

      • donkeydonkeypublicbathroom says:

        Not necessarily. Many drinks sold at a corporate franchise are measured and the “how-to-make” listed in a little recipe book. For example, that drink may be XX ounces of chai tea, XX ounces of milk, xx ounces of caramel, and XX ounces of whipped cream…which all happens to fit in the cup when filled with ice. I don’t think the employee that made the drink did anything wrong; just following procedure. As for saying they should “fill the entire cup”, that’s silly when it comes to a specially made drink.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Please let me know at which bar you work…my drink is Macallan 21.

      • jackbishop says:

        Not in my experience. Whiskey (and other forms of hard liquor often taken neat or on the rocks) has a standard serving size which is a long way from filling up a standard old-fashioned glass, even when displaced by a generous quantity of ice. If you only take your whiskey in a shot glass, maybe not, but in my experience whiskey is frequently served in an OF if neat, and always in an OF if on the rocks (likewise for arack/ouzo/other names for the same beverage).

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Agreed. Soda is dirt cheap. Fancy drinks are more a “concoction” and require specific ratios of different items. But I do find it hard to believe he received the amount of liquid that comes with that drink. If he did, Borders is clearly stiffing people for their chias.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Except this is the difference between *whoooosh* and *pour* *pump pump pump* *stir*.

        It isn’t like Borders or Starbucks baristas are slowly pouring the syrup down the back of a spoon to ensure it doesn’t mix with the drink.

    • craptastico says:

      i agree, this is more like ordering a cocktail at a bar and asking for no ice. they’re not just going to go ahead and pour 7 shots into it for you.

      • skepticalpleb says:

        But if he ordered it hot and just let it cool down for an hour he’d get twice as much for the same price.

        • thisistobehelpful says:

          When I worked at Borders there was a regular who’d order a hot drink and a cup of ice. Completely ensured she got what she paid for.

      • Griking says:

        This is a valid point as well. I think a lot has to do with what we as consumers are trained to expect. We’re trained to know that we’re only going to get one shot of alcohol in our glass whether we want ice or not. However we’re also trained to expect that a cup of soda be filled to the top with soda regardless of how much ice is in it. Chai from a barista is a gray area in the middle I guess and our experiences will vary depending on where we are.

      • knoxblox says:

        Rebuttal: There are two differences.
        First, 7 shots of alcohol turns simple inebriation into obliteration. 7 shots of chai turns a caffeine buzz into a headache.
        Second, alcohol manufacture is a longer and more complicated process than chai production, I believe, and brewing chai poses less harmful risk than brewing alchohol. The higher price is understandable in my mind.

        Due to the fact that chai is much less expensive to brew, I would think that “a little extra” shouldn’t be enforced as stringently, especially since this is an amount that has been slowly taken from us as consumers over the years (think grocery shrink ray). Restaurants no longer serve a bottled or canned beverage along with a cup of ice as they used to in the old days, and crushed ice was developed with the specific intent of taking up the air space in a cup that was usually present in a cup of cubed ice, leaving less liquid to sell. Iced water is still cheaper than soda or tea in general, so crushed ice replaces more actual product. Which is in itself an irony, because the intent is to sell as much water along with the tea or soda as a complete product instead of soda/tea as a product with ice added.

      • Zenrabbit14 says:

        Yeah, but if I order a medium iced latte with no ice I’d expect to only get the 3 shots of espresso and then fill it up with milk OR if it’s policy to only have a certain amount of milk, at least put it in a smaller cup. If I order a gin and tonic neat I don’t expect it to come in the same size glass as on the rocks.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Yeah, I think I agree…not sure. I feel like OP should have been warned beforehand that this was going to occur.

      What’s up with it not even being cold, though? Was the chai brewed hot, but the milk was cold? I was under the impression the “chai” was a flavor syrup they dumped into the milk.

      • reishka says:

        I’m pretty sure the chai is the same chai that is in the boxes that they have on the shelf for you to buy (the “just add milk” kind), so the chai should either be room temperature or cold (you’re supposed to store an open box in the fridge).

      • Big Mama Pain says:

        When I worked in the Border’s cafe, it was the Oregon chai powder that was mixed with water. We would make a big pitcher of it, keep it in the fridge, and heat it up if someone wanted it hot or pour it over ice if someone wanted it cold. And we had lots of customers that would ask for it with no ice. I always felt it was a little douchy, but it’s not my chai, so I don’t care. I had a lot of co workers who developed a total attitude problem toward customers, and this sounds exactly like something one of them would have done if they got a hair across their ass about it.

        • qualia says:

          Why is it douchey? I drink my drinks over the course of an hour or two, and beverages are usually already cold enough. I just don’t like ice except in water. Plus, as has already been mentioned, most of the sizes for hot and cold drinks are the same, so it’s not like you’re using an unreasonable amount of tea.

          I don’t understand people who insist on walking around annoyed.

          • Firethorn says:

            I take it a step further – when I was in Europe I got in the habit of drinking most of my liquids at room temperature – water, soda, whatever. Never been a coffee/tea person so that didn’t come up.

            As I don’t like watered down drinks, the ice is unnecessary at this time.

            Want fun? It’s like -38F at the moment, and they still add ice. ;)

    • Salty Johnson says:

      Well the thing is that (at least at Starbucks) the iced version of any drink is the same price as the hot version. They’re the same drink, except one has less drink to make room for ice.

      • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

        Okay, except for the part where the iced beverage cups are much larger than the regular ones.

        • MoreFunThanToast says:

          But not by much, I doubt the amount of drinks shown in the picture would fill a medium hot drinks cup.

        • thisistobehelpful says:

          No, only the large is a different size. Venti iced drink is 24 oz, grande is still 16 and tall is still 12.

    • banndndc says:

      an iced chai without the ice is called a chai (which is what he got). unlike a fountain soda the ice is an integral part or ingredient of the drink. the only possible complaint in this situation would be if he paid more (or less) than the price of a chai.

    • Brian Cooks says:

      Yeah but chai is tea……coffee is bean juice. It costs so little to make a ton of it anyway. They’re charging you probably 10x what it cost to make.

      • Mary says:

        There’s labor costs and transportation costs and stuff too to work in to that equation. I realize there’s still probably a huge markup, but it’s not just a case of “I bought a bunch of tea leaves and now the customer has tea!”

    • trey says:

      if they are selling a 16oz drink in a 16oz cup and you order it with ice then you will receive about 12 oz of liquid. is that fair? are you starting to see how stupid the headline is. if they advertise a certain amount of liquid in a cup that holds that amount of liquid then that is what they owe you. they have been doing this for years and now when the issue comes up consumerist wants to make it sound like asking for no ice would somehow be a “scam”. well the scam here is that these restaurants have been doing this for years, and knowing that, wouldn’t it be safe to say the these restaurants have really been scamming us?

      if i purchase a 16oz drink and you give me 12oz with some ice is that the restaurant scamming me, or should i expect to receive less than advertised because they want to add too much ice.

      which do you think is fair?

      • Krang Krabowski says:

        Well this argument is perfectly valid, but remember the price may actually be referring to the container. the drink is in a 16 oz container, whether it has ice or not the price would be the same. i think this is all about how you wanna interpret in the end i think the glass should be full regardless. half filled is not ever a good policy.

  2. MamaBug says:

    For the life of me I can’t remember where this was, but I remember being charge 10 cents for asking for no ice because “I was getting more drink”. I want to say it was a fast-food place in Baton Rouge, but don’t hold me to that. I think that the mark-ups are stupidly high as it is, and asked for it to be taken off- it was.

  3. PTB315 says:

    Fountain soda is so cheap it doesn’t matter whether you get ice or not. Obviously coffee is more expensive, but this strikes me as something that’s just going to upset customers.

    However, the legend is that some restaurants do a terrible job cleaning their ice machines, making them a source of illness. I believe that’s what happened locally at our Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, NY. We had a big outbreak a couple years back that involved symptoms similar to food poisoning.

    For that reason, I really think it shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t want ice.

    • Bativac says:

      When I worked in foodservice back in college, our ice machine had mildew throughout the incoming water line, and algae in the bin that held the ice. I noticed it the first time I actually looked inside the ice machine and, alarmed, I notified management. They told me “ahh, that happens all the time” and said not to worry about it. Even the health inspector laughed it off!

      I had to make an “anonymous” phone call to get it cleaned. So I would call this more than a “legend.”

      • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

        BRAVO for making that phone call! That area thanks you, i’m sure.

      • txhoudini says:

        Off the topic… There is a consumer reporter in the Houston area who was famous for his “Slime In the Ice Machine” reports. Once a week on the local news he would come on and report what his secret shoppers found and whether the restaurant had cleaned the machine since. Pure public humiliation tactics but apparently a lot of people tuned in only on the day he was on.

        • scouts honor says:

          RIP Marvin Zindler.

          That guy was a trip.

        • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

          He said it like this: “SLIIIIIIME in the ICE MACHINE!” It was like his catchphrase.

          As an aside, Zindler was also the reporter that got the Chicken Ranch, the famed house of ill repute, shut down.

    • womynist says:

      Not the Dinosaur!!! I’m disappointed to hear that. I think it’s the only thing i miss about Syracuse.

      • PTB315 says:

        I don’t remember hearing a definitive reason or source of the illnesses, the ice machine could have just been something I heard through the grapevine. A blog that noted the incident said it was a norovirus, not bacterial:

        “Noroviruses can be spread by people not washing their hands or surfaces not being properly sanitized. The exact cause of the Dinosaur outbreak, however, could not be pinpointed, health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow said.”

    • Nogard13 says:

      Fountain soda is actually cheaper than the ice. I worked at a Subway where the owner was so cheap that he would calculate the cost of making and keeping the ice and decided that it was cheaper for us to put as little ice in the cup as possible, unless the customer requested more ice.

      I can’t imagine the price of fountain soda has increased to the point where it is now more expensive than making and refrigerating the ice.

      • erinpac says:

        Would the refrigeration be that much less when skimping on ice? You still have to keep the ice you have cold, even if it’s making new ice less often.

    • ltsupervisor says:

      I regularly read the local health inspection reports printed in the local paper. I stopped using ice machines years ago–they’re filthy.

  4. Thyme for an edit button says:

    WTF… some people like ice and some people don’t. Regardless of ice preference, Starbucks should fill to the size the customer ordered.

    • WhoIsPurpleGoo says:

      i’m pretty sure that the plastic cups used for iced drinks are bigger than the paper cups used for hot drinks at most coffee places.

      if you ever order an iced drink at starbucks, you’ll see markings on the side of the plastic cup, which lets the barista know where to stop with the liquids.

      if you order a 16 oz. drink, should they give you more than that because you don’t want ice?

      • Thyme for an edit button says:

        Yes, they should, unless they want to alienate customers. If it is such a huge crisis, they can serve the ice-free drinks in a special cup and try to communicate to customers that they are still getting the same amount of drink, not that they “get less” because they don’t want ice.

        • WhoIsPurpleGoo says:

          it’s not a crisis to anyone but the person who can’t figure out they’re getting the same amount of liquid, just without ice.

          it makes zero sense to fill up the cup just because the customer doesn’t want ice. Again, if you order a 12 oz. iced drink and i give you a 12 oz. drink but serve it in a 16 oz. cup, you’re not getting ripped off.

          • obits3 says:

            Ice becomes water. Water is a liquid, so you are not getting the same amount of liquid. By agreeing to give me a 16oz drink without ice, you are agreeing to give me a 16oz drink.

            • ssaoi says:

              Try this same logic at a bar. Not going to work there either.

              • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

                Minor difference. At a bar, the measure of the alcohol being sold is completely seperate from the ice. If you order 2 shots of whiskey, and you want a shitload of ice, you’re welcome to get it in a pint glass full of ice, but you can be reasonably assured that there are two shots of whiskey in that glass. If you order a pint of beer, you can likewise have it in a larger glass if you like, but it will be a full pint of beer (I’m going to skip over the possibility of your bartender scamming you).

                However, in non-alcoholic drinks, if the drink is sold as a 32oz/large/whatever, for example, it’s still called a 32 ounce drink whether you get a lot of ice, light ice, or no ice. The drink is being sold based on the size of container, not the actual measure of product. Not the same way a bar works at all.

                • Snowball2 says:

                  By that logic, isn’t it the people who GET ice who are getting shafted? They are NOT getting a whole 32 oz of liguid. I seem to remember from physics class that water volume expands by 9% when frozen. So even when the ice melts into (extra) liquid for your drink of choice, you would still lose 9% of volume, translating into 30 oz (16 oz of soda + 16 oz of ice which would lose about 2 oz after melting) vs. those who get the full 32 oz without ice.

            • kalaratri says:

              So they should add 4oz of water?

      • Marshmelly says:

        so ice literally makes up HALF of the cup? I find that hard to believe (and if its true, then its a huge ripoff). I can understand if they only filled it 3/4 of the way, but to not fill 50% of the cup is ridiculous and cheap.

        • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

          Unless it’s made more concentrated than the final product, to accommodate the ice.

        • WhoIsPurpleGoo says:

          go to starbucks and ask for a few of the plastic cups and find out.

          i assure you that the plastic venti cup is significantly larger than the 20 oz. that you’re paying for.

        • PhineasNanerpuss says:

          Speaking as a longtime Sbux barista, iced drinks are generally about 1/2 by volume liquid and 1/2 ice. Iced venti (or large for you english speakers out there) cups are 24 ounces instead of the 20 ounces of a large hot cup, you also get an additional shot of espresso and pump of syrup (when called for) for the same price as the hot drink.
          I’m not going to get drawn into the “zomg thats a ripoff” debate, because thats the consumers preference.

          That being said, I would (and have) done generally the same thing but would have asked the customer if they wanted just extra room instead of the ice (sometimes people add ice later on) or if they wanted the cup filled, whereby it would be an additional 40 cents. (Starbucks registers have an “add dairy” button for the addition of over 4oz of milk.
          And even then I Would have likely just filled the cup for free, cause I’m a big softie.

          pps. ice or no ice, the milk should be kept refrigerated so thats not cool.

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        Actually, a 16 ounce cup holds 16 ounces, whether it’s a cold cup or a hot cup. My experience with the coffee places is that their cold cups are the same size as their hot cups, just made out of plastic instead of paper.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          My experience is that they are not. A tall drip, which my husband gets, is considerably smaller than the tall Frappachino, which I get.

    • DewBerry says:

      This was at Borders.

    • obits3 says:

      This happened at Borders, so the Coffee place was not a Starbucks.

      • chiieddy says:

        It was a Seattle’s Best which is owned by Starbucks if you want to get specific. All Borders Books cafes are Seattle’s Best.

        • pot_roast says:

          And they’re staffed by Borders employees who couldn’t care any less. That’s important to take into consideration here.

          • exbarista says:

            I worked at a Borders just out of college, initially as a bookseller and then as a barista in the Seattle’s Best Cafe. I genuinely liked most of the customers (there are always going to be assholes regardless of where you work, in retail), but the managers at my store — one of them in particular — went out of the way to make everyone miserable. Most of my coworkers were awesome people who loved bookselling, but then Borders started on its current path of understaffing and micromanaging, and believe me when I say management at my store made it their business to ensure that the recipes in our Seattle’s Best Cafe were followed to the ounce. Just before I quit (roughly a year ago) they made us start using measuring cups to ensure we weren’t giving the customers too much product. I’d been a barista at an indie coffee shop before this, and knew the recipes by heart — and it’s not that hard to eyeball measurements in a standard sized cup, so I found this insulting on top of the understaffing (or sometimes obviously incompetent staffing) they chose to do. I was often made to work Sundays alone, or close alone on Sundays, which is against Seattle’s Best policy. Although I never took any of this out on my customers, believe me when I say that the employee in this story was likely doing what she needed to do to keep her job.

            If I had a piece of advice for the OP, it would be: don’t shop at Borders. By using their coupons, you are literally feeding the beast. They put out so many coupons because they *know* no one would shop there otherwise, IMO. Oftentimes my employee discount on top of sale prices meant that I was still paying more than I would anywhere else.

            Borders sucks. Seattle’s Best makes pretty good coffee, it’s unfortunate that they chose to be chained to Borders.

            Oh, and to the person who said SBC and Starbucks are the same — they’re not. SBC is owned by Starbucks in name only –SBC doesn’t use the same recipes or practices. They’re still completely separate brands.

      • INTPLibrarian says:

        Same difference. Borders has Seattle’s Best Coffee which is owned by Starbucks.

    • Smashville says:

      Fuck Best Buy, too, while we’re throwing around names of unrelated businesses.

    • skylar.sutton says:

      No, they shouldn’t “fill the cup”.

      The beverage is made by following a recipe: For (1) medium sized chai add x cups of ____, plus z teaspoons of ___, etc, etc.

      So what he received was exactly “1 medium chais” worth of beverage. Had ice been used, the cup would have looked more full.

      • Azzizzi says:

        That would have been a better explanation. “I followed the recipe.”

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        Not only that, but some places I’ve worked have made beverages such as that, or iced tea, purposely more concentrated to make up for the ice dilution. So there’s a reason they’re on ice.

        Also, he’s upset because it was luke-warm, but why should Borders keep a drink that’s going to be served over ice cold for this one customer who doesn’t want ice?

        • DylanMorgan says:

          “Also, he’s upset because it was luke-warm, but why should Borders keep a drink that’s going to be served over ice cold for this one customer who doesn’t want ice?”

          Because both ingredients (Chai concentrate, milk) should be refrigerated for food safety reasons. Regarding the relative costs on these things, the most significant part of the cost here is the barista making it. The chai concentrate is cheap, as is the milk, and while those *are* more expensive than a soda, all are less expensive than the cup they are being served in. I’ve worked at plenty of coffee shops and have been asked way more ridiculous things than for iced drinks with no ice in them. Policy was always to accomodate these requests, at no charge if there was not a specific charge listed on the menu.

      • RobSmalls says:

        Exactly right. This is like bitching that your Whopper is too small because all you wanted is meat and cheese.

      • watchwhathappens says:

        so what’s really being displaced here is common sense and personal service, since everything’s done by ironclad corporate handbook?

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      That would physically impossible. Ice displaces liquid. A person who asks for their drink with “no ice” and expects the cup to be filled is gaming the system. And for the record, I dislike the “no ice” crowd. I suspect they are cousins of the “on the side” people.

      • guspaz says:

        If the consumer is gaming the system, then the stores are gaming the system by adding ever increasing amounts of ice to drinks while prices go up, not down.

        Filling a cup with ridiculous amounts of ice is only intended to trick consumers into thinking they’re getting more product than they actually are, and ripping off consumers should never be rewarded by blaming it on the consumer.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          Sorry, but if you’re a customer who orders an “iced chai, no ice,” there’s going to be a certain amount of acceptable eye-roll. Should the “barista” treat the order like one would in a bar and shake it vigorously over ice in order to cool it down before serving? How exactly would one expect to be served an iced drink without ice in it?

          • crashrider says:

            :-)

            Cheeseburger Combo, minus the cheese please!

            • Rena says:

              My school cafeteria always asks if I want cheese on my cheeseburger and fries with my (burger+fries+drink) combo.

          • Owls Are Raptors! says:

            I always ask for that, and employees at Starbucks are usually very kind about it. Of course, I’m not the kind of person to have a demanding attitude, so that might be part of it. I simply say “now I know this sounds silly, but I’d like a large iced chai with very very very light ice.” That way I get enough ice to where it’s technically iced, and there isn’t enough ice in there to make it nasty later.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        The OP did not buy half a cup of liquid and ice is only meant to keep it cold, it is not part of the equation of a receipe. I have found in recent years that restaurants are the ones gaming the system by stuffing ice from bottom to the top of the cup so that less liquid is needed to “fill” the cup. With some drinks from BK, etc I may get as little as five drinks per medium soda before the cup is empty and all I have is ice. As little as ten years ago only a handful of cubes were put into cups but now it seems the cups are jammed full. Most soda fountains have cold liquid dispensed so little ice is needed in the first place. Restaurants have no business charging customer’s for a “no ice” beverage”.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          yup, when i worked at BK [15 years ago] standard procedure in training, including diagrams in the training manual, included filling the cup to 1/4 inch from the top edge with ice.

        • Twonkey says:

          You wanna talk about gaming the system? We asked for a medium drink with no ice at McDonalds and got a small cup of soda hidden inside the larger one that we paid for.

        • frosteternal says:

          “[ice] is not a part of the equation of the recipe.” This is incorrect. Similar to cocktail recipes, some coffee/tea formulas are designed to be over ice.
          Ask any bartender about whether ice is “optional” – it is not.
          The coffee-shop chai mixes tend to be over-sweetened concentrates that require dillution by ice or hot milk.
          I DO think the OP should have been topped off with milk – or easier still, just topped off their own drink at the “cream and sugar” bar.

      • Verdant Pine Trees says:

        That’s nice. I ask for no ice because (as said upthread), I’ve seen the “Slime in the Ice Machine” reports Marvin Zindler used to do.

      • Michaela says:

        What is wrong with ordering something on the side?

      • JennQPublic says:

        I usually request no ice, because I don’t like ice. Aside from how filthy most ice machines are (gross!), ice gets in the way when I’m trying to drink directly from the cup, and sometimes it makes my teeth and/or brain hurt. When I order water, I order it without ice as well.

        I also ask for sauces and dressings on the side, because the restaurant will inevitably put too little or too much on my food. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to add it myself.

  5. eccsame says:

    So the guy walked across the street to the Barnes and Noble and bought another drink without ice? That’s a lot of chai.

  6. soldstatic says:

    Personally I scam the system intentionally. Some things like this makes sense to not want ice for taste reasons. I always get my soda from McDonalds or whatever without ice because I get more soda.

    With the cost of syrup at 1 cent or so and a mark up of 200% at most places, just give me my no ice drink.

    Most places you could just as easily swing by for a free refill on your soda anyway so it really just saves you trips.

    • Anonymously says:

      I agree. I ordered flavored water, not flavorless water, and I want as much of it as possible.

    • alaron says:

      Where do you get 3 cent sodas? That’s awesome!

    • savageboredom (formerly Benguin) says:

      I’ll be honest, I tend to ask for no ice to get more drink. But when they fill the whole damn cup with ice so I get three sips out of my “large” they’re trying to fuck me from the get-go so I feel justified turning it back around on them.

    • Rena says:

      As I see it, I’m ordering a cup of something, I expect a cup, not half a cup.

  7. SkokieGuy says:

    I can’t agree with the statement: “I do NOT agree with Borders policy of only giving you half the product you order, whether or not you ask for no ice”

    JD rec’d the correct amount of product. Had ice been added it would have filled the glass, but the quantity of drink wouldn’t have changed.

    I suspect if you poured the contents of a medium (no ice) into a large cup (filled with ice) it would fill it up. Therefore, if JD got a full no ice cup, he is essentially getting the a larger size beverage at the smaller size price.

    While most places will give you the additional beverage, they are under no obligation to do so.

    • Jeff_Number_3 says:

      Agreed. If I order a BLT without lettuce or tomato, I don’t expect the amount of bacon to be trippled to make up for the lack of volume.

      Ice is part of the order in a Iced Chai beverage, nothing wrong with ordering it sans ice (as long as you don’t complain about it not being cold), but the beverage is X ounces of A, and Y ounces of B. Hold the B and you still get the same amount of A.

      • amhorach says:

        That’s certainly one way of looking at it. Another is that the beverage is C ounces total, so if hold the B you should get more of the A.

        I guess it really comes down to how the establishment is defining their sizes. If they define it 16 ounces but use a 24 ounce cup to hold the ice in addition to the beverage, you’d be correct. If they use a 16 ounce cup and add ice, you’re really getting what you pay for if you hold the ice.

        • Link_Shinigami says:

          Actually, due to displacement, he probably got less than he would have with ice. Just saying

      • Melbelle says:

        Agree with you both! I’m sure the ratios of ingredients for each size is standardized as well, so if the barista makes a 16 oz or whatever drink the same as usual and doesn’t add the ice, this is what you end up with. Which is totally fine.

      • f5alcon says:

        a bacon sandwich, that sounds great like a heart attack waiting to happen

    • pulsar0510 says:

      Honestly hoping neither of you are in any positions where your sense of logic holds sway over another persons life. Ice is only part of drinks into which it has been crushed (i.e. Frozen Margarita, Slurpee, etc), the term “iced” does not imply that ice is part of the drink, merely that the drink is cold. Furthermore I have no interest in whether the cost of ingredients is making the store enough profit.
      “Chai is expensive”?
      I don’t give a fuck, fill up the cup.

      • yusefyk says:

        “Furthermore I have no interest in whether the cost of ingredients is making the store enough profit.”

        Yes, but. The store does. So they can refuse your request if you give f— or not give a f—.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        LOL,,

    • ktjamm says:

      I think there is a difference between a mixed drink, and a big mac.

      When you order a big mac, you can order it without onions, pickles, etc. and you will get just that.

      When you order a drink, soda or otherwise, you order by size. Small medium large, venti, etc. The expectation was that the size of the glass be filled with the beverage of your choice.

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a full glass, unless they tell you up front that they can’t fill the cup based on your order.

      • Griking says:

        If you order a Big Mac without pickles they don’t make up for the lack of pickles by giving you more meat. If you Order a Big Mac with no pickles or onions you’d still be charged for an extra slice of cheese. If you order a product and ask for it without something that usually comes with it then the end result is that you get less.

    • mikeP says:

      I agree. If you order a drink at a bar with no ice, do you think they will fill up the glass and give you double or triple the booze? No way.

    • dg says:

      Actually – maybe he didn’t get the right amount of product. If there’s a qty in oz’s or ml’s on the sign, then that’s what the OP should get… But nevertheless – the Barista was a surly fuck, I got tired of the attitude by those nitwits, and bought my own espresso machine for home…

    • krunk4ever says:

      For those who are arguing that she should have received more drink, would you be okay if the barista filled the remainder of the cup with water? You’ll have a full cup, but a diluted chai.

  8. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I don’t get ice because if anyone here has played paintball, you know how cold the CO2 tanks get and how cold the air is coming out. If you couple the almost dry ice temp of the CO2, the 50-60 degree cold water, and the room temp syrup, you get soda that is only slightly higher than ice can make it.

    • steveliv says:

      same here… the soda comes out of the fountain cold, why add ice and water it down. I was at Sonic’s once and ordered a drink with no ice. When I pulled up to the window, the lady said that she added ice to the drink so it wouldn’t be warm. i didn’t bother explaining about co2, etc, and she gave me a another cup with no ice. I usually get no ice when i am taking a drink to go, or if there are no free refills, otherwise i don’t have an issue with ice.

      • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

        Maybe you’ve been lucky enough that the soda actually comes out of the fountain cold, but that is far from a reliable thing in my experience, regardless of whether it has the right carbonation levels.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          If you are getting hot/warm soda, then someone has the hot water line hooked into the machine.

    • kjherron says:

      I doubt the CO2 adds any chill to the soda. The CO2 tank could be ‘way in the back of the store, connected through a long pressure hose which isn’t normally insulated. There’s plenty of time for the CO2 to warm up between the tank and the dispenser.

      Most soda dispensers use the ice bin to cool the soda as it’s dispensed. The bottom or side of the ice bin will be a thick aluminum plate with passageways bored lengthwise through it. The water and syrup flow through the plate on the way to the spigots. The ice chills the plate and the plate chills the liquids flowing through it. This is why most soda dispensers have integrated ice bins.

  9. slyabney says:

    I can’t imagine why he got so mad at the store that he had to write a letter without talking to management at the store. I think in this case, the barista didn’t like him asking it for no ice so did whatever she wanted. He never questioned anyone else in the store or followed up to see if this was some new policy. He ASSUMED it was and wrote the store off altogether.

    I think JD should call the store or stop by and talk to a manager about his experience at the store before throwing Borders away. He might even get a refund for his drink! And perhaps the employee will also get a refresher on customer service skills.

    He should also stop bad mouthing a policy he thinks is in place without any verification. Did anyone bother to see if this was real or just really bad customer service?

    • Echo5Joker says:

      Yeah, there’s that one great and often unasked question, “Really?”

    • ajlei says:

      As a Borders employee (and part time “barista”), I can say a couple things:

      1) The tea concentrate is not stored refrigerated until it’s opened, so it’s very likely that the barista opened a new container for this drink. If a customer asked for no ice and I had no refrigerated tea concentrate, I would have said something to the customer along the lines of “this will be gross”.

      2) Everything is measured out in ounces. A newer barista might have been torn–does she risk what is essentially theft to fill the cup, or does she follow the recipe to the T? Clearly, she went with the latter.

      3) The OP going on about Borders “policy” of only offering half a cup is absolutely absurd. It was a judgment call on the behalf of the barista and she unfortunately chose wrong.

      Now, if someone came into my store and did this consistently (as this guy is apparently wont to do), I’d say something about how it’s considered theft on my part to make this person a double-sized drink.

    • will_o_wisp says:

      I agree, really bad customer service, not store policy.

  10. rpm773 says:

    The line is drawn between fountain-type drinks and mixed or blended drinks.

    Soda, iced coffee or tea from a dispenser: Fill it up to the top

    Drinks measured and prepared by a barista, or a bartender for that matter: You get what you get…don’t expect it to be filled to the brim.

    I don’t know what the OP ordered or how it was prepared.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      You raise a good point. On blended coffee drinks, they have a certain recipe. A blue scoop of this, so many ounces of that. Essentially each drink is a recipe, and there’s no easy way to size up to accommodate the occasional no ice request.

      Also, do we need to make fun of JD’s description: “iced chai with no ice”.

    • FerretGirl says:

      You know, that’s a good point. I originally thought that they’d given him half a cup to rip him off for asking for no ice but now it all makes sense. You’re probably right, the recipe to make the drink takes into account that there will be ice in the cup so it’ll fill less of the cup.

      • The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

        Chai is tea. It is brewed ahead of time. It is not made to order. He ordered iced tea (albeit a specialty tea) without ice.

        • baquwards says:

          chai tea isn’t the same as iced tea, there are other things like milk added to it, so it is more of a “recipe” type drink, rather than just something brewed in bulk and poured over ice.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      I agree. Generally those mixed coffee or tea drinks are measured out as so many ounces of this ingredient and so many of that one, poured over ice to make it cold. That’s probably what’s in the cup…and asking for no ice and then complaining about the drink not being cold enough. Really? Come one, of course it won’t be as cold without ice, even if the things are in the fridge.

      Soda is one thing as it’s cheap and if a place offers free refills on it, asking for no ice isn’t causing that much of a loss for the place. Asking for no ice in a drink that generally has ice in it and isn’t something that has free refills means you will get less.

  11. cabjf says:

    It’s not really an iced chai without the ice. It’s different with soda. Ice isn’t part of the name and isn’t always added when drinking it. In the case of iced coffee and coffee like beverages, the ice is actually what makes it cold to begin with.

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      Yeah, but you can strain it. I guess Borders is unlikely to have a sieve, but it’s not difficult to ice it in one container and pour it off into the serving glass. I worked in a southern-style restaurant as a kid, and that’s how we fixed our afternoon pick-me-ups: pour coffee over ice, strain chilled coffee into a second cup using a fork, mix in simple sugar with the fork, add Coke syrup. It took about 30-45 seconds.

    • webweazel says:

      Or ask for “very light ice”. Let it get good & cold, then dig out the cubes into the trash with your fingers or a spoon. It seems to me, and I think others here are saying the same thing, the ice is inherent to the beverage. In this instance like asking for a scotch on the rocks, hold the ice. Doesn’t quite work out the same. Perhaps asking for a different TYPE of beverage will work better. I don’t know chai, so I can’t suggest anything.

  12. dbeahn says:

    Uh huh. And overfilling cups with WAY more ice than anyone would ever put in themselves at home is NOT a scam to get more money from customers for less product.

    I don’t like ice either, but if you order an iced something (like a latte) without ice, that’s a bit off. Chai is not typically served cold (AFAIK – my understanding is that it’s brewed like tea) so even a no ice guy like me expects ice in that kind of drink.

    Either way, the barista SHOULD have told the customer that no ice would mean a lukewarm, half full cup.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Chai means tea. Lol….no wonder people say “chai tea latte”. That phrase makes me shutter in it’s triple redundancy.

      • Narmical says:

        I can see how Chai + Tea could be redundant. but “Latte” means “with steamed milk”. Just say “i want chai” and you get no milk at all.

        • ajlei says:

          Actually a lot of people will just order “a chai” and expect it to be a chai latte.. I guess “chai tea” would mean steeped tea.

          • JulesNoctambule says:

            Chai means tea, so a ‘chai tea’ would be a tea with tea in it. Also, masala chai — the spiced, sweet chai with milk most Americans mean when saying ‘Chai’ — is always made with milk, so ‘chai latte’ is redundant.

    • joetan says:

      What did he think he was ordering? That’s grossly redundant seeing the person asked for a drink that has ice as an ingredient with no ice.

      This can almost be a prank. Like ordering a supreme pizza hold the toppings.

      • drizzt380 says:

        Actually, he ordered a cold chai tea without ice. Consumerist said he ordered an iced chai tea, not him. This should be simple as both the ingredients of the tea are supposed to remain refrigerated.

        Now, whether you are on the ice or the no-ice side, I think the true crux of this situation lies in a different area. He went up to the barista, ordered his drink, which was a certain size with a certain amount of ounces but without ice. I didn’t see the size, but lets say its a 16 ounce grande.

        He ordered the 16 ounces of cold chai without ice. The barista took his order and his money. Thats where this became the barista’s fault. They didn’t say no, we can’t provide a cold chai without ice. They accepted his order, and after they had his money they tried to change the terms of the agreement. The terms being a grande(or 16 ounces) of cold chai without milk.

    • Griking says:

      This was the first thing that I thought when I read this article. It sounds like Borders got angry because they thought that the OP was trying to do to them what most retailers have been doing to us for years. I absolutely believe that most restaurants fill a glass to the top with ice because they know that they’ll be able to give us less product that way.

    • savageboredom (formerly Benguin) says:

      That’s my rationale. If they were giving me a reasonable amount of ice in the first place, I wouldn’t have a problem with receiving less product. But they put so much damn ice in those cups that there is very little volume left for actual liquid.

      You try to screw me over, I’ll try to screw you right back.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      ‘Chai is not typically served cold (AFAIK – my understanding is that it’s brewed like tea)’

      You’re correct — it’s brewed like tea, because it is tea. That’s what chai means: tea. Masala chai, a spiced, sweet chai with milk added, can be served hot or cold and is what most people in America tend to mean when they use the term.

  13. ThatsWhatSheSaid says:

    a few years ago when i worked at a pizza place, i had asked the owner who ive known my whole life how much a box of the soda syrup costs, if i remember correctly he told me about 40-50 bucks for the case of cola syrup from which he could get several hundred cups of soda from…so do the math easily a few hundred in profit from just soda its self, if someone doesnt want ice, the company isnt loosing money, the mark up on drinks its absolutely insane!

    • Southern says:

      Actually, when you factor in the cost of the soda (which is roughly somewhere between 1-2¢ per Oz., or say, 50¢ for a 32Oz Soda), + the cost of “Free” Refills, the employee, electricity, rent & other overhead costs, the profit margin on a soda is a lot lower than many people think.

      With just 1 “Free” refill, that $2.00 soda has already cost the restaurant more than $1.00.

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        That said, though, the cost of making the ice is in the same neighborhood as the cost of the syrup. So with sodas, anyway, ice or no ice is pretty much a wash.

      • stevenpdx says:

        Your numbers are pretty close. A five-gallon “bag-in-a-box” of syrup costs about $45-$50, and it produces 3200 ounces of “finished” soda (assuming a 5:1 ratio of water to syrup, which is the standard mixture).

        So each ounce of soda costs between 1.4 and 1.6 cents. Your 32 ounce soda costs about 48 cents for syrup, maybe a penny more including CO2, and a few cents more for cup, straw, and lid.

        Now, consider that most people fill the cup with 1/4 to 1/2 ice, which displaces the equivalent volume of soda. Now that soda cost is bewteen 24 and 36 cents.

        My local movie theater sells this drink for over $5.00!

  14. SixOfOne says:

    To answer the OP’s question about the chai being refrigerated, yes, it should. I’ve bought the overpriced Starbuck’s sweetened chai before and a cheaper store brand version; both say to refrigerate after opening.

    • kalaratri says:

      Do they brew it in store (it is spiced tea afterall) or do they pour it from a container?

    • chiieddy says:

      In store they have a pump for chai and it’s on the counter top. It’s a specific formula that’s meant to be thinned out by ice provided. It’s not the same as purchasing it from their retail section.

    • ajlei says:

      Actually, while it is stored refrigerated after opening, when it’s unopened it’s kept unrefrigerated. And with chai it’s totally easy to go through more than one container a day, especially a Friday.

  15. nbs2 says:

    I usually get no ice because, as the OP and others point out, watery grossness. That being said, if I am going to be consuming the beverage quickly and can get a refill, I have no problem with the ice.

    Also, at the single serve machines, I will get some ice in the cup, swish it around to cool the cup off a little, dump the ice, and then get the beverage – I like the cool beverage in a semi-primed cup, but I don’t need the watery result.

  16. Tim says:

    It seems to me that if the menu says “X price for Y volume of Z drink,” you should have the right to get exactly that, not Y minus ice volume.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      But they say large, medium, small, etc… only the cup list their volume, and that doesn’t mean then have to fill it to the top.

  17. keepher says:

    My teeth hate ice, hate it. So I always order mine with little or no ice.

    I can always tell them to keep their drink and then post about it on Consumerist and watch to go viral.

    • rdm says:

      Yes, I can’t take drinks anything colder than room temp (if I’m eating anyway) – my stomach can’t handle it. So I always order without ice… not to try to take advantage of anyone, it’s just how things work for me.

    • wheeitsme says:

      Exactly. I have sensitive teeth.

      And I don’t like what I see as the loss of flavor from freezing cold drinks.

      That said, most servers have let me know when my request will lead to a warmer drink or a loss of volume. And I don’t change my order once they let me know.

    • sayahh says:

      Go with this story: “My great-grandma was killed by ice(berg) on the Titanic, that’s why I can never have any ice in my drinks.”

  18. ktetch says:

    I’m a no-ice person. I don’t like it watering my drink down, and I’m British, I grew up without ice most of the time. Heck, I even drink my beer room temp.

    (One of the major things for ice is it numbs your tongue, reducing the ability to taste)

    My wife’s the opposite, she goes through a 16lb bag every week (we have an old freezer without automatic icemaker)

    • Venus Blue says:

      Yay! I always get picked on for drinking my beers room temp. Glad I’m not the only one :)

    • Bob says:

      I had British ales and they do taste better at room temp (around 18C/65F). German and American beers don’t taste so well that that temp and should be drank at around 3C/36F. The difference is that British ales are top-fermented and European and American beers tend to be bottom-fermented. Something about the difference in the fermentation processes required different temperature ranges for it to work.

  19. Alex says:

    When I get iced chai, I always ask for ‘lite ice’. It was a trick suggested by a Starbucks barrister actually. They always fill the cup all the way up.

    And for people who say that ‘no ice’ is only valid for soda and not ‘more complicated drinks’ — iced chai is just a pre-made chai mix and milk. Hardly a difficult order. The level of effort required to make iced chai is less than your precious double frapp no whip with caramel….

    I’ll agree with the OP that watery milk and chai is a bad combination. I’ll have to try getting my next iced chai sans ice and see what they do.

    • amgriffin says:

      Are you saying that the barista had to make an extra effort to make it lukewarm because the chai mix is refrigerated. If so, that was truly a passive-aggressive barista.

    • regis-s says:

      It has nothing to do with how complicated a drink is to make. It’s called portion control. Prices are set according to the cost of a given amount of product. If an iced chai is supposed to be 8 oz. of tea and 8 oz. of ice, they’re not going to give you 16 oz. of tea because you don’t want ice.

  20. amhorach says:

    The reason drinks should be iced is to keep them colder for longer. I get iced coffee with very little ice all of the time. I swill my morning coffee, and want it chilled, but not cold. If I’m sipping a beverage over the course of an hour or so by the pool, I add ice to it.

    Then there is the matter of taste. If an establishment’s drink is mixed with the expectation of adding ice, it should be more concentrated so that the melting ice brings it up to regular strength in terms of taste. I’ve been in places that water their drinks down so much that adding ice to them pretty much kills the flavor entirely. I’ve been in places where they use crushed ice and have the concentration of syrup (or whatever) in their drinks a bit higher so that they still taste good after the ice is added. I’ve kind of learned about these differences through trial and error.

    The bottom line is that I’m much more likely to patronize a place that serves a delicious drink the way I like it.

  21. kunfushuss says:

    I started asking for ‘no ice’ when I noticed how much ice places like McDonalds and movie theatres put into their cups – they fill the cup full with ice, and then fill in the cracks with soda. There are a whole bunch of things wrong with this, primarily that the ice immediately starts melting, making your soda taste like water within a few minutes.

    If the ratio of ice to soda was lowered so this wouldn’t be as bad, I’d allow them to put ice in. There’s probably a study in the works – what’s the perfect amount of ice for the average consumer to be happy? Not too warm, not too watery, but as much ice as possible to save the restaurant the cost of that much syrup.

    • paul says:

      Exactly. Rally’s fills it up to the top with ice. In a medium you get about 2 or 3 sips before the soda is gone and all you’re left with is a giant cup full of ice.

      When I go inside a fast food place and fill up my own cup, I usually only put enough ice to cover the bottom of the cup. If I’m taking it to go and it’s a hot day I might fill it up halfway, but never ever ever do I put in as much ice as the restaurant workers.

      Also notice that when you dine at places with waiters, they don’t give you as much ice as fast food… presumably because it’ll require them to make more refill trips?

  22. ubermex says:

    I’m torn. The barista is right that he’s getting more if she fills it up all the way, and subtracting the ice really is JUST subtracting the ice and giving you half a cup, BUUUUT, she did it in a really really rude way that’s just unacceptable.

    • Jemaine says:

      I agree! I really doubt it’s half a cup too, he should have gotten 3/4th’s instead of half; at least that’s what it looks like in the photo. It was probably a $3-$4 too, meaning not worth half a cup; but I have gotten really cheap lately and only buy fancy coffee drinks if I am given a gift card to said place. I would have probably slammed the drink on the counter or threw it at her for being rude about it. Some people just don’t like ice, I don’t like it either, I’m a sipper, and with sipping comes watery beverage, BUT I have ordered an iced coffee or two and I usually drink it up before the ice melts. JD could have just got it, and dipped out the ice with a spoon. I still think it’s more than half without the ice. Hope I make sense. [=

  23. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    I prefer my soda at very cold temperatures. If I get a couple of ice crystals floating, I feel it is cold enough. I prefer to get ice in my drinks, so it will remain cold until the last sip. When I was in Ireland, it was hard to get my daily Diet Coke rations WITH ice, and I really didn’t care for the temperature!

    That said, in this case, this was a mixed beverage, probably with pre-determined quantities of each ingredient, intended to be poured over ice to chill the mixture and fill the glass. Not surprised his iceless drink was warm and not to the top!

    • baquwards says:

      I really don’t understand why people from other countries think it is strange to want a drink cold. To me lukewarm diet soda is pretty bad, well almost any soda is. Being very cold helps water that isn’t the best more palatable.

  24. Pinkbox says:

    I disagree with the posts saying that it was ok to fill the cup halfway because the cost of coffee/chai is more expensive than soda.

    If you order a hot chai, you pay around the same price and you definitely will get more than what was pictured above.

    • femiwhat says:

      This! I can’t believe it took this long for someone to point this out. That barrista is full of crap.

    • GuidedByLemons says:

      This is an extremely good point that I hadn’t thought of. Thanks for bringing it up.

  25. Jacquilynne says:

    When it comes to things like sodas where markup is absurdly high, and the most expensive part of your drink is the paper cup it is served in, I’d say yeah, fill it up without the ice. But with things that involve significant quantities of milk, those absurdly high markups may not be as absurd as they seem, and the ice is calculated in as part of the recipe for the cost of making the drink. Then, I dunno — I can see both sides being reasonable on that one. On the other hand, most coffee places have freely available milk sitting on a counter, so they can’t be hurting that much over the cost of milk.

  26. curmudgeon5 says:

    Isn’t the problem that the chai is made with a specific amount of chai and a specific amount of milk? In order to fill up the cup, they would have had to mess with the proportions, using the proportions for a large instead of a medium or whatever. He actually got exactly what he ordered. The barista may have been a snot, but this guy feels entitled to more than he paid for.

    • SixOfOne says:

      The proportions are usually half chai and half milk, maybe a little less if you’re adding in a shot of flavored syrup. It really isn’t that hard.

      • ajlei says:

        There’s actually a thing called shrink that employees have to avoid. It’s like theft. :P

        • shangyle says:

          Yep. The Japanese restaurant I used to cook for would ride my a$$ if I used a single drop more teriyaki sauce on an order. “Shrink” this and “shrink” that. When you factor in the cost to the restaurant of course it makes sense. Overhead is restaurants is insane. There is a reason why the majority of new ones fail in the first year. They have to measure their expensive items VERY VERY closely.

  27. Murph1908 says:

    I prefer fountain pop over bottles, but I’ll avoid getting a fountain pop unless I control the ice.

    I can understand why Borders does this. The customer got the same amount of drink as he would have if he ordered it ‘normally’.

    The company has to weigh the costs and benefits of potentially alienating customers, and customers have to weigh their options on whether the think they are being shafted or not.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      I’m with you on the fountain soda. I have a certain level in a cup that I feel is the “right amount of ice” for the drink. Servers tend towards the “too much ice” camp, although occasionally they put in too little and the ice is gone before I finish my pop. And god forbid the fountain ice maker is broken, I notice that this invariably means the soda is not only warm, but comes out flat too. Blech. Ice is good.

  28. Speak says:

    I forget what TV show / Movie these lines are from but I remember it happened:
    Manager: If someone asks for less ice, we give them less soda.
    Worker: So if someone asks for no ice do we give them no soda?

    It sounds like the barista was schooled by the same manager as in the quote.

  29. SanDiegoDude says:

    I always ask for “light ice” on my iced coffee drinks (just did this morning in fact) and almost never run into problems. I haven’t tried no ice yet, but honestly when I want iced-coffee, I prefer it cold, not room temp which the “pre-ice” iced-coffee is, so a light smattering of ice on the bottom of the cup is a necessity for me.

    I remember reading somewhere that it costs all of about 3 cents per gigantic cup of soda, and I can’t honestly imagine coffee being much more considering everything is bulk purchased. The markup on beverages is stupid high anyway.

  30. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    While I think the barista was wrong to give the OP a reduced cup’s worth of drink simply because of an ice preference, the OP should have handled this differently in my opinion.

    I’m sorry, Consumerist readers, but going on Consumerist to complain about poor service is not the only or always best solution. In this case, I think the OP should have spoken with a manager. Worse still, now that time has passed, there’s almost no way she’ll get a refund.

    I say the first line of attack is always the local manager. Work your way up to the Consumerist article and EECB later, once you’ve exhausted the more local routes.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      I agree. I think folks should persue and exhaust other avenues before going straight to Consumerist. The OP should have talked to the manager, and THEN gone to Consumerist – either with a “I talked to the manager and he/she blew me off” story, or “I talked to the manager, and they resolved the issue x, y, or z ways.”

  31. curmudgeon5 says:

    Isn’t the problem that the drink is made from a specific amount of chai and a specific amount of milk? In order to fill up the glass without ice, they’d have had to change the proportions, probably giving him the proportions they’d use for a large instead of the medium he’d ordered (or whatever). While the barista does sound like a snot, this guy feels entitled to something he didn’t pay for.

    If you ask for your burger with no pickles, you don’t get more burger to make up for it.

    • scabrian2 says:

      Exactly! Chai is an assembled product. You’ll notice most places also have ounces listed next to small medium or large. I know for a face that the medium size at Starbucks is 16oz, and the cup itself is over 20 to make up for the ice. I’s assume that Borders (Seattle’s best) is pretty much the exact same. Go fill the rest up at their condiment bar. I know other people do.

    • thewildboo says:

      THIS. I can’t believe how many people are agreeing with the OP. A “medium iced chai” is a pre-measured amount of drink served over ice. Taking the ice out doesn’t change the amount of chai you ordered. Consider it a rude awakening of how much you are paying for so little beverage.

  32. Thornhill says:

    As others have said, there’s a difference between soda and other drinks. Tea isn’t exactly cheap, and milk definitely isn’t. If I order my bourbon straight instead of “on the rocks” I don’t expect to get twice as much liquor because bourbon has a non-negligible cost. It’s the same thing.

    • redrover189 says:

      That’s not necessarily an accurate comparison. When you order a bourbon on the rocks, the price of the drink is based on the amount of bourbon (two and a half shots, or so).

      These coffee places base a lot of their coffee drinks on ounces – hence the “venti” (a 20 oz. drink). I’d be a little peeved if I asked for a venti chai and found that it was only 7 oz chai and 13 oz. ice. But it’s not like they’re going to come up with a larger cup, to accommodate 20 oz. of chai and some ice.

      Someone below brought up the good point that often, these types of drinks are blended so that they become like chai “slushies” – and much like a margarita, the ice is a part of the “experience”. Just like a cappucino has foam on it (actually, I don’t drink coffee – is it a latte that has foam? or a cappucino?) and the foam takes up some of the “volume” of the drink. If you asked for it without, you wouldn’t get more coffee.

      However, completely aside from the drink debate, the barista sounded a little stank. I think the OP went a little overboard in writing to the Consumerist – if he was such a loyal and happy customer of Borders, you’d think he’d want to mention something to the management, as they might have fixed everything for him.

      • everythingsfree says:

        Yeah, but there is a difference between an iced drink and an iced blended drink, which is what you described. I work at a coffee shop in a grocery store, and luckily we have guidelines but they are not super strict. So no one told me to fill a cup with ice and then add the cold coffee/tea/chai. So I fill the coffee first, and leave room for me to add whatever amount of ice the customer wants plus milk if they want it. But there are definitely places that make you add the ice first so you fill a full cup which gives you a really small amount of whatever drink you are getting.

        The ice blended drinks are a whole different animal, as you usually have to add a ‘binder’ which is a sweetened powder so a lot of the flavor comes from that. to get a drink like that the right consistency sometimes you are getting way more ice than the price demands.

  33. elwoodxrl says:

    The last time I rolled through a McDonalds drive-thru and ordered one of their $1 sweet teas, I got a cup packed full to the brim with ice. If I would have taken out the beverage I would have had about 6 ounces of tea. It was about 5 sips and it was gone. Perhaps no ice is the way to go.

    • kalaratri says:

      Then you would have gotten a very warm Sweet Tea. McD’s (at least when I worked there) brewed the sweet tea hot and only ‘chilled’ it to room temperature with a scoop or two of ice in the holding container.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      Try saying “Light ice” or something when ordering. Perhaps this will remind them not to dig an entire cup from the bin…

    • Griking says:

      Act for it with little ice then. McDonalds doesn’t care since they charge $1 for a cup of iced tea regardless of what size it is. And besides, if you walked into the store instead of going through the drive thru you could have filled your cup yourself at the drink island and put in as little ice as you wanted.

    • barty says:

      I’ll hand a cup back to an employee if it is jam packed with ice, particularly if it is at an establishment that does not do free refills. I don’t mind a little ice, but some of these restaurants have been getting out of hand with the amount of ice they require employees to put in a cup. All to add another 2-3 cents (if that) to their bottom line.

  34. joetan says:

    The problem is that this product is made from crushed ice which if you take it out it’s not the same drink. You don’t get 40oz of coffee if you order an iced coffee hold the ice.

    Also if you ordered ice cream warm are you going to complain when you get a glass of milk delivered?

    • maztec says:

      Exactly! It is nice to see someone here makes sense and understands how the drink is made.

      On the other hand, I love my ice. To me, whatever I get as a drink is just flavoring for the ice…

  35. CookiePuss says:

    I never had an iced chai but I have had iced coffee where the ice was finely crushed to give it the consistency, and of course to chill it. I don’t think I’d like it as much if it didn’t have ice.

    When I was a kid I used to ask the ice cream place to put a few more pumps of the artificial banana sugar sauce in my milkshake and they never had a problem. It cracks me up, fast food chains will put 8,000 napkins and 2 tons of ketchup packs in your bag but balk at no ice. Heh.

  36. Shmoodog says:

    Anyone who agrees with the idea that ice is PART of the drink you are paying for is incorrect.

    And, if a store wants to give you half of what you pay for without ice, that should BE ON A SIGN.

    Otherwise, you are getting ripped off. It’s that simple.

    • Pinkbox says:

      Agreed 100%. If you order a hot chai/coffee, it is around the same price and you’ll get more than half of a cup full.

      • thewildboo says:

        you’ll get it in a smaller cup is what you’ll get. As pointed out above, the amount of drink you are ordering and paying for is set – the cup is designed to fit that PLUS the ice, so ordering it without the ice is going to look like “half a cup” but you are getting the same amount of beverage. Normally you’re basically getting the ice for “free” if you compare to the price of ordering it hot, so saying you don’t want doesn’t mean you suddenly get twice as much chai for free.

    • scabrian2 says:

      Maybe the sign should read, all 16oz beverages are served in a 20oz cup to make room for ice?

    • redrover189 says:

      But that’s like saying when you order a smoothie from Jamba Juice (or a margarita from a restaurant) that ice isn’t part of the drink. Many times, drinks like these, you have the option to either get them blended or have it “on the rocks”. I’d argue that that is part of the drink’s experience.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      Agreed. The Barista was having an obviously bad day, wanted to take it out on someone. Bad call for the barista, no doubt. Unfortunately, she should have explained he was going to get jipped if he ordered it that way, and ‘played insider’ and i’m sure he would have appreciated it and even given her a better tip.

      Some people should not be in the Service Industry.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      But…if it’s an “iced” drink then it is part of the drink you are buying. This person ordered and iced chai with no ice. They got the same amount of liquid that is in the iced drink, just not the ice. The hot chai comes in a smaller cup than the iced ones. I can’t find it for Seattle’s Best but if you look at Starbucks site, the calories in the iced chai latte and the hot chai latte are the same for the 16 oz. size. That implies that both contain 16 oz. of liquid but I can tell you that the cups are different. Sorry, but I think this person got the ounces they paid for, it was just in the cup size designed for ice since, well, it’s an iced drink. If they don’t want ice don’t order an iced drink.

    • wetrat says:

      EXCEPT, that it’s ICED chai.

      As an example, if you go to a restaurant that has real iced tea (not from a fountain) and you try to get your tea without ice, it will be lukewarm! To brew tea, you heat it up. To make it ICED tea, you pour it over ice.

      You would be correct in the case of a fountain soda, where the syrup is mixed with cold water. But in the case of a brewed beverage like chai, the beverage is hot to begin with, and it only becomes iced when you put it over ice, making ice an essential ingredient in iced chai.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        You logic about the ice in iced chai fails the iced tea test. Shh! Nobody tell Snapple or Arizona Iced Tea they are doing it wrong.

        But if they are indeed using chai concentrate, and letting the ice even the flavor out, then that would explain a few things.

        I am a Starbux tazo chai junkie. But I tried the iced version just once before deciding it sucked. The consistency of the drink varies from start to finish, which isn’t long – a few sips into it, and you’re done.

        I’d rather drink my chai hot, or order it hot and stick it in the fridge when I get home.

  37. zandar says:

    If I were a barista making a normal cold chai latte, I would take the chai mix, add ice and stir. if you request a cold chai latte with no ice, how exactly is that to be achieved if not with ice?

    I don’t think it’s a matter of economy- you’re blowing their minds by asking for something not on their radar. Expect erratic results, at best.

  38. anonemouse says:

    Sounds like a barista on a power trip. Never had the problem myself.

  39. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    ..I think people just don’t want their ice to melt and water down the drink, hence making it quite disgusting. Wow – most of the time, I refuse to even buy a drink—nothing but liquid sugar, and I lose weight avoiding such products.

  40. tinyhands says:

    Why would the barrista care whether or not the customer is scamming the company? The barrista makes minimum wage regardless of how much of a 5-cent item he uses. On the contrary, making the customer happy is the only way to increase his earnings, via the tip jar that they practically shove in your face.

  41. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I’m not typically to say “The customer is always right”, but this is ridiculous. You pay for a drink and an experience, and he got half of both.

    But did he even bother to write to a manager before blasting this off to the Consumerist? Sometimes I feel like people come crying to this site before they even bother trying to rectify it on their own…

  42. chiieddy says:

    Iced tea and coffee beverages are formulated to include the ice. Coffee, for example, is double brewed when poured over ice. When going to a Seattle’s Best (Border’s Books Cafes are all Seattles Best) or Starbucks (same company), they fill the cup to the fill line and add ice. That’s what your barista did here, she just didn’t add the ice. You got what you paid for.

    This isn’t like soda where you are getting cold beverage out of a machine either. I know Starbucks & SB keep their beverages on on the countertop and not in the fridge, so they’re not going to be cold if you don’t ice them.

    • FS1 says:

      This is pretty much it. Borders and Seattle’s Best are getting really intense about cutting costs these days, and managers at the book stores are required to verify waste logs, portions used, etc. several times a day. The OP got the exact amount slated for that drink, and without ice it doesn’t fill up the cup like it would with ice.

      Still, it probably could have been handled or explained better by the barista. A simple question to the manager would have probably allowed for an override and they would have comped another portion to the drink as a one-time courtesy. Problem solved.

  43. BradenR says:

    I have refused to allow ice added to my drinks. It’s not that I want a full glass of whatever but because I don’t want the “extra ingredient E Coli” Aapproximately four years ago, ice machines tested positive for E Coli in close to half of the samples.

  44. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    ” “That’s what you get when you ask for no ice.” I asked why that is and her response was, “We usually fill it up all the way with ice.””

    Wow. ‘That’s what you get” — Love it. That must be why I never go to any coffee/Baristas. I’ve apparently saved myself a lot of trouble.

  45. Narmical says:

    At the fast food restaurants in Europe, where soda is wildly expensive for some reason, the inside of the soda cups has two lines, one for “with ice” and one for “with out ice”.

    It is very obvious that ice takes up space, however, half the cup, I’m not sure.

  46. brinks says:

    When I get any kind of iced coffee/tea, I ask for less ice because I KNOW that tiny amount of chai in the picture is all you get. When you order something hot, you get a full cup. When you order it iced, you get what seems like 90% ice. Seriously…it’s like 5 sips. You get way less.

    The barista is technically in the right…but was an absolute jerk about it. You can’t charge someone $4 for a 1/3 cup of lukewarm chai and an attitude and not expect a complaint.

    • Kibit says:

      Especially since if you ordered a hot chai you would get more chai for the same price as iced.

  47. Bob Lu says:

    If it is soda,I seriously doubt whether the ice is cheaper than the syrup and carbonated water. As for iced tea or coffee that can be a different story.

    In Taiwan, when you order a cup of iced tea or coffee without ice, most of the stores just make the regular size iced tea/coffee/drink than filter out the ice cubes. To me it looks pretty fair.

  48. econobiker says:

    Ask the Europeans why they don’t like ice in drinks and you’ll understand…

  49. 72Riv says:

    First of all, I’ve never seen a cafe sell a “cold chai”. It is always an “iced chai”. Ice is in the name of almost every cold drink served in a cafe.

    But, to avoid “confusion”, if a particular cafe is so concerned with the ice vs iceless costs, they should have separate menu listings: Iced Chai (with ice), $4; Iced Chai (iceless?), $6.

    It is about as logical to order a cheeseburger, request it without the cheese, pickles, onion, lettuce and tomato (cheaper ingredients… but you don’t like them anyway), and expect them to add more meat to it to make it as tall as the regularly prepared sandwich (with cheese in the name).

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Considering that the consumer receives far less product when ordering a drink iced than when ordering the same drink hot, your analogy isn’t very good.

  50. chrisexv6 says:

    I ask for no ice for two reasons:

    1. more drink, but more importantly:

    2. Im getting a cold drink thats been cold for who knows how long. I will drink it long before it becomes warm, even without ice. Why let the ice melt and water down the drink?

    I think the only time Ive ever expected to hear “we need to charge you extra for no ice” is at the movie theater, because they overcharge for everything anyway, but Ive never had to.

    • VermilionSparrow says:

      If you drink it fast enough that the drink doesn’t get warm, you’re drinking it fast enough that the ice doesn’t have time to melt unless the drink was already warm to begin with.

      • chrisexv6 says:

        Really?

        If the ice is frozen (32 degrees) and the soda is not (which Im guessing is true) the ice starts to melt the instant its added to the at-least-slightly warmer soda, no?

  51. Berrygirl says:

    By this same rationale, if someone asks for extra ice, do they get a discount?

    I order my drinks without ice because a significant number of places will overfill the cup with ice and I get a dixie cup size amount of soda in a bucket of ice. I don’t feel like getting ripped off. I’m paying for X ounces of soda, and I’d like X ounces of soda.

    The last time I went into a Dunkin Donuts, I asked for my iced coffee without ice because I wanted to chill it at the office, and I was told that it would be extra. That was the last time I went to DD.

  52. jo3lr0ck5 says:

    I ask for my drinks with no ice! except when they have alcohol then I ask for a little ice…I don’t like ice in my drinks, they are usually cold enough with no ice plus you get more for your money.

  53. Brian says:

    Here’s the problem…no matter how logical the clerk was being, this only makes the store look bad. So now there’s a discussion about them being cheap, etc. Personally I do see some justification here, but rather than take a stand, most businesses, especially corporations, would prefer to shut the customer up.

  54. Rocket80 says:

    Sorry but the OP has no case here. I’m sure the drink recipes are broken down in terms of ounces and ratios and I’m sure the barista followed that. Just consider if this post were about a Long Island Iced Tea, would you still claim she deserves a ‘full’ glass ? I doubt it.

  55. Gstump says:

    I bring my own ice from home thats why they call me… Soggy Pockets!

  56. MustWarnOthers says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but saw the results of the poll.

    There is absolutely no possible way to rationalize that a customer should be slighted the amount of liquid they ordered, depending on how much ice they want.

    Until stores display a disclaimer on their menu or nearby, stating that part of the price of the drink goes towards ice, it should be assumed that the size you buy should be filled to the exact fluid ounces which the particular size designates.

    If anything, Consumers have been doing businesses a large favor by not giving a shit about the ice content.

    If you order a 20 fl oz medium, you should get 20 fl ounces.

  57. JRB says:

    I once ordered a drink in Outback with no ice, they brought a drink in a smaller glass then when you order with ice. There excuse was similar, since you did not want ice, you get a smaller drink. i think that and this are both rip offs and told Outback that and think JD should have done the same, actually in JD’s case they should have told them to give the money bak and keep the drink. The drink would have had to be thrown out and that would cost them even more money.

  58. P_Smith says:

    First remember the study done by a high school girl and others on how tainted most ice is at restaurants? I’d rather have my drink without filth, thank you.

    Second, I hate straws. I’d rather drink out of the cup or glass, which is harder to do with ice. There’s also the issue of wasted plastic from straws, and the fact that a hundred people (most with unwashed hands or picking their noses) have been pawing that straw container all day.

    Yuck.

  59. MustWarnOthers says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but saw the results of the poll.

    There is absolutely no possible way to rationalize that a customer should be slighted the amount of liquid they ordered, depending on how much ice they want.

    Until stores display a disclaimer on their menu or nearby, stating that part of the price of the drink goes towards ice, it should be assumed that the size you buy should be filled to the exact fluid ounces which the particular size designates.

    If anything, Consumers have been doing businesses a large favor by not giving a shit about the ice content.

    If you order a 20 fl oz medium, you should get 20 fl ounces.

    The only people who would argue otherwise are typical douche bag devil’s advocate internet commenters.

  60. ChuckECheese says:

    That cup looks less than half full. Notice from the shape of the cup that the lower half is narrower than the upper half. It is sad that a $4 drink has what appears to be more than 8 oz of ice.

    Some of these drinks are made by adding chai-flavored concentrated syrup to milk, and others are pre-made and poured from a carton. I have no idea what the food cost on these things is, because I have never purchased them. Anybody know?

  61. glennski says:

    I don’t agree with exactly how this was handled, but some of the stuff from the letter just made me scratch my head. He was surprised that he got lukewarm tea…pretty sure the ice is what makes it cold, which is what you didn’t ask for.

    For tea, a specific amount of liquid is used in conjunction with how ever many tea bags they use for a single serving. Flavor issue, so you would actually have to use more tea per serving just to make it, which would add to the cost.

    • kjs87 says:

      I think he was confused because he said he’d ordered it the exact same way multiple times before and this is the first time he’s encountered a problem. If I ordered this for the first time and it came out that way, I’d tell myself, “Can’t expect any better, wish I’d had warning.” If, however, it was the tenth or twentieth time, I’d be surprised that it was suddenly different.

      • glennski says:

        good catch, missed that fact on first glance. That does change the scenario quite a bit.

    • Kibit says:

      With most Chai teas at places like Seattle’s Best and Starbucks, the drink is mostly milk and water with a few pumps of the Chai concentrate added. So for a tall Starbucks Chai it is about 1/3 to 1/2 water and the rest is milk with either 3 or 4 pumps of Chai concentrate. The milk should be cold from the refrigerator, the water they use is cool to cold and the Chai is at room temperature. So the drink without ice should already be cool to cold, it really doesn’t need ice at all. If his drink was lukewarm then the water must have been that temperature and/or the milk.

  62. MercuryPDX says:

    didn’t realize that all of these years, I’ve been running a massive scam on the eateries of America, weaseling extra beverages out of them with my innocent request.

    NO WEAZING THE JUICE!!!!

  63. dayturnal says:

    having worked as a barista in a past life, I know that to make “iced” beverages such as an iced chai, ice is actually required. Most of these are 1 part condensed beverage, 1 part ice so when the ice melts into the “lukewarm” condensed beverage, it creates a tasty, cold drink. So yes – soda is a different game compared to coffeehouse drinks, since soda does not need to be diluted.

  64. Cicadymn says:

    “Dean, do you know what this is?”
    “Uhh, a big grinder?”
    “A Supersized hero?”
    “BEEP BOOP BLOP”
    “NO! This is here to make people buy 5 cents worth of SUGAR WATER!”

  65. Andy S. says:

    I seriously cannot believe that this is even a question.

    When you order a food or beverage item, you are paying for the ingredients and the work required to prepare the item. I think we can all agree on that.

    So when you ask for that same food item, minus one ingredient, that’s what you get. If an iced chai at this establishment is 60% ice by volume, and you order it without ice, you’re going to get a cup that’s 40% full. That’s just common sense. If you order a hamburger without the bun, they don’t throw in an extra patty of beef just to fill up the space that would otherwise be occupied by the bun.

    • MustWarnOthers says:

      The only possibly way what you said makes sense is if the Establishment had some type of documentation about the ingredients of the drink in question.

      When you order a burger from a restaurant, they tell you that the burger comes…”Flame broiled 1/2 lb patty, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion”. Or they have a small note about which toppings come on the side. If you don’t want a tomato, they don’t include a tomato and you understand that. You don’t expect there to be more lettuce.

      Drinks are drinks. A Coke is just coke. An iced chai is just chai mix and milk, with SOME ice.

      Unless they start designating somewhere exactly what proportion of ice comes in the drink (which they don’t do, or won’t ever do, because it is extremely stupid), you can’t screw the customer just because they don’t want ice.

      Ridiculous some of you people.

      • RobSmalls says:

        What’s ridiculous is your assertion that any national corporation just half-asses their recipes and lets whoever is preparing the food use whatever portion sizes they want. Of course they measure this stuff out. How do you think they figure out what the drink costs to make, and what to sell it for? Do you really think “the Establishment” hasn’t done the math on proper portioning, or that they don’t train their employees what the amounts are supposed to be?

  66. Smashville says:

    The picture shows the problem. Clearly he’s holding it wrong.

  67. Jennifer says:

    The article asks “New Borders policy, or was she a vigilante anti-ice crusader?” The shopper says “I’m sure [the barista] was just following orders to watch out for people who try to get more liquid by asking for no ice.”

    How about calling Borders and asking? They could tell you if it’s a new policy or not. They could tell you if this barista was acting on her own or not. Your readers might find that information useful.

  68. ecvogel says:

    I got a drink there he made it then there was a tiny bit more space so he put some more ice in it. So everything there must be well measured. That’s ok. I know other places that are not soo stingy and will take my business there.

  69. cortana says:

    What should be done is you make the drink normally, WITH ice, then strain it with a bar strainer. The customer gets their proper amount of drink (not full to the brim), but it’s ice cold as it should be.

  70. cottercutie says:

    I always order my drinks with light ice because they fill the cup, the ice melts and turns my drink into a watery mess.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      This is the precise reason I order drinks packed with ice. It keeps the liquid colder for a longer period and you get less meltage as a result. I also go to Sonic or McDonald’s when I’m just getting a drink for the road because they use foam cups for their larges and those keep drinks cold forever.

  71. backinpgh says:

    Happened to me once at a McDonalds…I actually was “scamming” them to get more tea, if only because they totally fill the sweet tea cups with ice and give you maybe 6 ounces of beverage. So I asked for mine without ice and she went on this whole lecture about how it was impossible, it’s all electronic, I can’t tell the machine to put in no ice, if I tell it no ice it will actually put DOUBLE the ice, and all this nonsense.

  72. smo0 says:

    I know a lot of “coke no ice” people… but I usually don’t come across people who like their starbux or w/e with no ice….

    I see a lot of discussion about these drinks measuring x amount of A and x amount of B….

    Tell me… (maybe this has been brought up maybe not, I didn’t read all of the comments on this one)

    What if you order the same size drink hot?

    Exactly bitches…. FACE!

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      It comes in a smaller cup since most places serve small, tall, dieches, whatever. A tall iced drink is not the same size as a tall hot drink. They don’t guarantee a certain number of ounces, they follow a recipe that she didn’t want them to follow. She wanted them to give her more product than another person who ordered the same drink iced would get.

      Oops, wait, it’s a guy. With all of the whining and bitching I thought JD was a girl.

      • smo0 says:

        It’s not off by much. If I order a venti hot vs a venti cold… the cup is nearly the same size… I’m positive I’m getting much less with a cold drink because it’s half way filled with ice…. it may not be exactly the same… but what is in that cup up there… is not right.

  73. JoeTaxpayer says:

    My local Starbucks – The large (whatever they call it) is the size of 2 smalls, but far cheaper. I once asked for a large and “extra small cup” thinking they’d give me a plastic 5oz water cup.
    She rang up a large, and at the other end I was handed two small drinks.
    My daughter and I rarely get the same drink, but that day, I was sold on the kind attitude of the barista. These are the little things you don’t forget.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      My husband and I do this (the barrista actually suggested it) and it saves us lots of $$$.

  74. MrAP says:

    They didn’t short him. The drink on the menu is half liquid/half ice. He asked them to only give him half his order, and gets mad because they didn’t sub in a more expensive item (the tea as opposed to the ice). Ice is PART of the order of an ICED drink. Perhaps some places are nice enough to substitute ice for more drink, but they don’t HAVE to, nor should they have to put up a warning sign about it. It’s simple logic. Would he rather they told him that they couldn’t leave out part of the order and he’d have to pick the ice out of his drink instead?

    This would be like ordering a pepperoni pizza hold the pepperoni and then being confused when you get a cheese pizza out of it.

  75. brianisthegreatest says:

    Don’t you pay for n number of ounces of drink when you buy a drink?

  76. JackieEggs says:

    Three words…. Cold, sensitive, teeth.

  77. itsgottabeodin says:

    I had this happen years ago at a movie theater. I ordered a small, but without ice. (I’m not a fan of ice either, but when your drink is 75% ice and only 25% soda… its going a bit far!) The man said he would have to charge me for a large. When filling it up using one of those pre-measured machines he had to press the medium button and the small button twice! A bit absurd, IMO.

  78. SJPadbury says:

    1) If you change the policy (which they did, because he has ordered this product in the past) you make sure to tell people that you’ve changed it, not just hand them something different than what they’ve gotten in the past.

    2) The customer in this case should have responded with “either do it the way you used to, or I need a refund.” and been a general pain in if they refused.

  79. pastthemission says:

    It’s lukewarm because there’s no ice in it. If you ordered an iced latte with no ice it would be lukewarm because hot beverage + cold milk = lukewarm.

  80. leemikcee says:

    For the record, some of the “on the side” folks have specific health conditions requiring extreme care not to eat the wrong foods. I am one of them. Not by choice.

  81. teke367 says:

    When I bartended, you definitely had some scammers asking for no ice, then complaining the drink was too weak, or too small. Some drinks (I don’t drink chai, so I don’t know about it in this case) are measured out, so when somebody ordered a rum and coke, no ice, or less ice, either we’d use an 8oz rocks glass instead of the 10 oz rocks glass. If they insisted on the normal glass, they’d just get more soda. With or without ice, they were only getting a shot of alcohol.

    BTW, soda while marked up high, generally doesn’t make restaurants much, if any money. Through refills, waste and other expenses due by soda (straws, coasters, filtration) usually restaurants (at least the ones I worked in) were lucky to break even on soda.

  82. Karee says:

    I am definitely in the minority, I order my soda EXTRA ice. They’re so big, and I want them to stay cold all afternoon while I sip it. I don’t mind it getting watery, I figure it makes it less calories? lol

  83. nkash001 says:

    I’m sure the barista was just following orders, but that said, that is a pretty stupid policy. Technically you might be getting more beverage than the average consumer, but I can’t imagine it’s a very common occurrence that people ask to hold the ice. Is it really going to put that much of a dent in your supplies/profits to just fill it up? Not to mention the damage it can do to your business’ reputation. Bad customer service travels quickly via word of mouth.

  84. dansinch says:

    How about the original scam of filling cups with ice so you get less drink to begin with. Most places give you way more ice than you need for this very reason. If I order a 24oz drink I should be able to get 24oz of the actual drink. I’ve never seen a menu that says “includes 10oz of ice and 14oz of soda”

    • MustWarnOthers says:

      Exactly. This is the only logical objective way to look at the situation.

      All other arguments are simply people playing “debate team” when they’re supposed to be doing work.

  85. kjs87 says:

    That’s a little ridiculous, but I think this one’s on the OP for not asking for a manager. If it had always been fine in the past, the problem is either with the employee or with management. If it’s with the employee, that employee needs to be trained on how to make it when asked for no ice. If it’s with management, they’re not going to know anything’s wrong if you don’t bring it up.

    Either way, that drink to ice ratio makes for a disgusting amount of water mixed with milk. I wouldn’t want it with ice either.

  86. Jen says:

    What about the lack of whatever you are drinking because they give so much ice that there isn’t much room for the coffee in the first place? I always ask for half the ice as usual.

  87. Jar by the Door says:

    I started ordering exclusively “no ice” when I saw a poster inside the kitchen at a Rally’s/Checker’s drive through. It showed employees how much ice to fill each cup with, and it became obvious to me that no matter what size you order, they give you proportionally the same amount of beverage, because of how high the ice level is. I figured if they were trying to get more money out of me for the same amount of beverage, I would get no ice and actually get my money’s worth.

    That being said, I never get coffee beverages without ice, because they generally the size difference isn’t that much anyway, or they only have one size of iced coffee.

  88. kutsuwamushi says:

    Really?

    Iced drinks typically come with a lot of ice. This is why, at least in my shop, they also came in a bigger cup: to make room for the ice.

    Customers who ordered an iced drink with no ice would get the same amount of drink as customers who ordered it with ice, meaning that their cup wouldn’t be full or that it would be smaller. If we filled the cup they’d essentially be getting a size upgrade for free.

    Also, things without ice typically aren’t as cold. “Lukewarm” makes me think that maybe they reused the milk from a hot drink, though–which is a total no-no.

    I don’t see the rip-off unless it really was made shoddily to “punish” a customer they assumed was gaming the system.

  89. Cantras says:

    I’m assuming starbucks is a little different here, but to use mcdonalds as an example — a lot of the coffee-based drinks are made by machine. If you want an iced mocha with less ice, your drink will not be full. And if someone ordered it with no ice (for some reason I would not understand, but I have had someone want to order an iced hot chocolate so let’s presume this hypothetical someone is stupid) they’d get it not very full at all, and possibly kindof warm — it has to be hot for the coffee to brew, sillies. It’s then poured over ice to make it “iced.”

    It’s possible, similarly, she has a set amount she’s supposed to dispense per drink.

    But seriously, you’ve seen the box they keep it behind the counter in. You can get it at the grocery store, and make a gallon of it for the price you paid for that drink (iced or no ice, as full as you want). I ordered a chai, saw that it was milk and then chai concentrate from a box, and kicked myself for not just getting it myself. If you have to have your chai fix so badly you’d go to another store and pay for it again, you probably go through it fast enough that it won’t go bad.

  90. lihtox says:

    I think it’s okay for them to serve the same amount of beverage, the way they did, but this should be official policy (it sounds like she’s been there many times before and gotten a full cup without ice), and the baristas should be trained to explain that policy to people when they order, not when the drink arrives. If the baristas are being left to interpret “no ice” on their own, then that’s a failure on the part of management.

  91. Bob says:

    Actually I think that it is against the law if they sell you a 32oz drink for x price and charge you more for not having ice. i can’t remember the case but a high school student successfully sued his school for some tiny amount of money because their concession stands at the basketball games charged more for a 16oz drink without ice than one with ice. Something Federal Standards and Measurements that stated that if you say you sell 32oz drinks at X price it must contain 32oz of drink unless the customer agrees to something different. For instance I can’t price my 32oz bottles of water for $1.29 and charge you $1.79 for the 32oz bottle of water you are buying because most of my bottles of water are nearly empty and you pick one that happens to be the full.

    Now if you are buying a “small” drink of some indeterminate and inconsistent size, I believe that is different story.

    • lihtox says:

      But a lot of places don’t advertise their drinks by the number of ounces they contain, but with descriptions like “medium” or “large” or “venti”. And if for some reason the restaurant is forced to have a definition of “large” as being “24 oz” (for example), that doesn’t mean they’re going to serve it in a 24 oz cup.

  92. chimpski says:

    This has happened to me before. I got into it a little bit with the fast food employee. A very little bit, becuase it was just some kid doing what his manager told him to do, or at least what he thinks his manager told him. I refused the entire meal, got my money back, and told everyone in line they should think twice about eating here. Walked across the food court and got a drink with no ice, filled to the brim.

  93. Red Cat Linux says:

    Isn’t it more that they are trynig to scam customers by adding all that ice?

  94. chimpski says:

    I won’t be getting my drinks from here anymore.

  95. peterabbit46 says:

    Ice is a way for businesses to make money. Look at the side of a McDonald’s cup close to where the paper overlaps and you see 3 lines. The lowest line is the ice line when customer requests “light ice” the second line is regular serving of ice and the top line doubles as the “extra ice” and the fill line. if you ask for no ice, you should get a full cup unless the employee does NOT do it manually. The soda fountains have predetermined amounts for each cup size including ice. If there’s no ice, it won’t fill up unless the employee does it themselves. Good luck in future drinking!

  96. MoreFunThanToast says:

    I’ve been asking no ice for my to-go order of yogurt green tea lately, with the intention that I will get more drink instead of a cup filled with ice and half of the tea. By the time I get home the ice would of melted and the tea would already be watered-down.

    I worked in a drinks place for a couple of years when I was in high school and people would sometimes ask for cold drinks without the ice, we always gave them a full up, and almost all of our tea is mixed to order. It’s not that difficult to adjust the recipe. IMO the barista is just being hateful.

    Also, years ago when I was in a McDonalds in Shanghai, they offered these large Pepsi glasses that you can buy to “collect” and they only filled it half way with sodas when people asked for no ice. I always thought that was shady.

  97. angienessyo says:

    Pft I’m a barista at Starbucks and I don’t charge people extra if they do no ice. And yes, I fill the cup up. If we’re supposed to charge extra they certainly don’t train us to do it because at the stores I’ve worked at I’ve never seen someone charge extra or fail to fill up the cup.

    Now if we wanna talk about playing the system, a lot of people will come up and buy 1-2 shots of espresso and want it in a venti cup of ice and will then take the drink over to the bar and use all our half and half. *Those* people I will charge extra because they’re trying to get a venti breve latte for like half the price. A little cream is cool, I don’t care. But when you’re literally using up a large chunk of a container of half and half for your drink that’s not cool.

  98. Talisker says:

    What ever happened to the phrase, “I’m not satisfied with this. Please give me my money back.”?

  99. spadefoot says:

    What the store did in this case seems totally reasonable. It may well be crappy customer service, but it’s certainly not unreasonable or dishonest.

    I drink mostly unsweetened tea at fast-food places, and one thing that drives me nuts in when they don’t put ENOUGH ice in the tea. The tea is often room temperature (or warmer if recently brewed) and it really needs a chock-full cup of ice to come down to the right temperature.

  100. MarkSweat says:

    Report them for potential health code violations if the milk is not being stored cold. They are apparently “gaming the system” on food storage regulations.

  101. hypodermicart says:

    As a barista myself I think both sides have valid points to an extent.

    I am sure this was no crazy vendetta on the baristas’ part. More than likely the barista is going by a policy that the company has, although she could have handled it in a more appropriate way. i do not think the request of no ice was offensive to the barista personally.

    If you pour a room temperature drink (or even a chilled drink) over ice, it will still melt the ice a little, so if you fill a cup up halfway with ice, and then add liquid to it, some of the ice will melt right away. Conversely when you order a hot drink your milk actually expands! So the liquid amount that goes into an iced drink versus a hot one is the same. For example: You order a 20 oz hot chai tea, you add 5 oz chai mix, 5 oz milk, then steam, milk expands during the steaming process to fill a 20 oz cup (this does not include foam). You make an iced chai using the same ratio of chai mix and milk as i showed above, and add ice. In my cafe, if someone orders a drink with no ice in it, I will fill it to the top, since this is what they expect, but the logic still hold in what I mentioned above. Just like someone else mentioned, if you order a BLT with no lettuce or tomato, you do not expect extra bacon.

    i really do not think there is a crazy conspiracy about ice. it is just ice that you add to make the drink cold and to keep it cold.

  102. OnePumpChump says:

    If that’s how much actual beverage was in a regular one, then I think the ice is the scam.

  103. OwenP says:

    My wife’s an SBC barista; I’ll have to ask her if this makes sense at all. She keeps her chai at home in the pantry, but it may be because it’s in an unopened container.

    You got a bad barista. They exist. My wife often has to tell people at other SBC locations how to make the drinks she orders. There are some people that take the job seriously, learn what needs to be done, and strive for customer service. There are other people that are only behind the counter because they need a paycheck.

    Sounds like you hit one of the ones that learned the one way to make a drink and doesn’t want to put up with anyone asking for anything different. There’s no company policy regarding drinks without ice.

    One thing to note: SBC is a separate company, and it’s silly to punish Borders because you got a bad barista. Borders has no more control over SBC than Exxon has over McDonald’s, even though some gas stations have McDonald’s inside.

  104. OnePumpChump says:

    If that’s how much actual beverage was in a regular one, then I think the ice is the scam.

    Also, yeah, way to go pissing off a customer with a beverage in their hand in a store full of relatively expensive and easily damaged merchandise which is particularly sensitive to moisture. TOSS. SPLASH. DAMAGE.

  105. dunaja says:

    I have been ordering an iced tea (no ice) from McDonald’s ever since they started their $1-for-any-size-drink promotion. I get a LOT of iced tea for my dollar. I don’t mind lukewarm tea in the least, but if it’s a particularly hot day, I may throw a couple of ice cubes in it when I get home, after I have drank enough to make room. I don’t know why people don’t realize that it only takes a couple of cubes to cool your entire drink.. you don’t need a cup packed with ice and 1/2 ounce of liquid.

    It’s not a matter of ripping off the store by ordering no ice; it’s a matter of the customer getting ripped off with ice. For this bookstore to have the audacity to serve half a cup because she didn’t order ice is outrageous. They had been scamming countless customers prior to her walking in by serving “drinks” that are 95% ice, 5% drink. This woman’s order doesn’t even begin to make up for it. If you order a Sonic beverage and immediately scoop out the ice before it melts, you will find yourself left with an empty cup, wondering where the beverage is. I swear, they throw some flavoring over a cup of ice and call it a drink there. In Texas, it melts so fast that people don’t notice they actually ordered a sugary cup of ice.

  106. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    They generally have premeasured amounts that they put in each cup so that the sizes are uniform. She got exactly the same amount that any customer who ordered the drink with ice would have gotten. The fact that she expects more and is angry that she didn’t get more than what everyone else would get makes it sounds like she really is trying to run a scam. I think what happened is that she was playing the system and got busted so she’s pissed.

    And, why do people always throw out how much money they spent as though it makes them entitled to getting extra?

  107. yagisencho says:

    On those rare occasions when I order a fountain drink, I request less ice but half the syrup. Or more specifically, I ask them to fill the cup halfway with plain soda water. In my case, I *do* want the drink to be watered down, but never by ice.

  108. intensefroid says:

    I don’t understand why people are looking at this exactly backwards…besides not wanting ice for whatever reason you have, stores purposely are cheating YOU by adding ridiculous amounts of ice so that they can chintz as much as possible on your beverage.
    You think it’s fair to pay for an entire cup packed with ice and 3oz of beverage?
    Do you have to justify yourself for not wanting ice in a cold beer? Why do you have to justify yourself for not wanting ice in another already cold beverage?

  109. rickatnight11 says:

    Do I as a consumer expect my drink to be filled to the brim when I order it? Yes.

    Do I think a store should be forced by law to do this? No.

    If I order a drink with out ice, and it arrives half-full, I will refuse to pay for the drink. I’ll go somewhere else. That’s how the market system works. If you don’t like it, complain and refuse to give the company your business. They will be forced to change their practice or go out of business.

  110. Mihkel says:

    I see a lot of people getting soda without ice and then say that they get more. What? You only get like 5mm of more soda, jeez. I like ice because it keeps the drink cold not warm. Although I wouldn’t like if someone gave me a half-filled cup. Ice only fills it up so little more. That barista was a real jerk, some people just likes to be assholes.

  111. doomsdayZen says:

    I got a funny look the last time I was in England and asked for ice in my drink. Ice in a beverage is not typical there.

  112. What’s your problem, Kazanski? says:

    So if I order a 16 oz blended coffee drink versus a 16 oz iced coffee drink I should immediately expect less drink in the latter? This is bullshit. Fill it up or don’t advertise a certain sized drink and give the consumer less.

  113. DovS says:

    How does the clerk know how high to fill the cup when there is no ice? How much ice do they really use?

    Let’s assume that they normally start by putting ice in the cup before adding the drink. Since ice is chunky and has lots of gaps between pieces, you would need to fill the cup well past half the height of the cup with ice to achieve a volume equal to half the cup.

    They probably add the ice last for mixed drinks but, if you saw them first adding the ice well past half the height of the cup, would you feel you were getting a fair share of drink? Of course not.

    A big part of customer satisfaction is making the customer think that they are getting a good deal on a good product. So you don’t show them how little you pay for supplies, you don’t show them how much markup you charge, and you especially don’t go out of your way show them how little of the product you are actually giving them.

  114. sugarplum says:

    Sometimes I order ‘extra ice’ so the universe should balance out (but that’s usually on tea or soda). But the milk in the Chai should have been cold. If you notice coffee/tree drinks being made at most places, they add ice last so it’s a certain ‘mixture’ of one thing to another. I assume that is how this drink is made and they would have to alter the amounts to fill it up without ice.

  115. Bullpenny says:

    I have worked in customer service for years and would never do something like this. How hard would it have been for the barista to just fill the cup? It’s not like it’s coming out of her pocket.

    I really don’t think that people who order drinks with no ice are ‘scammers’.

  116. calchip says:

    For me there’s one big issue here that goes beyond how much chai and milk were used.

    Starbucks and other coffee bars are not selling the flavored water that comes in their little cups. They are mostly selling an experience, a service, a mindset. People pay $4 for at most, 25 cents worth of raw materials because they like going to these coffee bars.

    The customer couldn’t possibly drink enough $4 chai drinks to ever lose the company money. The earlier poster commenting about Big Macs with no pickles or extra onions or whatever… it’s the same thing. One burger might cost a cent or two more than another if extra pickles or more catsup or whatever is used, but it all balances out.

    What this barista completely missed was that in exchange for saving the company maybe 12 cents on that customer’s order, she alienated a customer that might otherwise have come back, conservatively, once a month for the next 5 or 10 years. So… 12x $4 = $48 per year, or $480 lost over the course of 10 years by one thoughtless action.

    Unfortunately, it is probably not the barista’s thought. The store manager, and perhaps even the district manager, get it drilled into their heads that MARGIN is the overriding issue. The whole concept of customer loyalty, which is the difference between success and failure in the retail business, is usually lost.

  117. raqieh says:

    I’m a former Starbucks barista and I’m pretty sure these drinks are all made the same (being the same company and all) and that the cup sizes are the same.
    A medium hot drink is 16oz. An iced one is around 11-12oz (I just measured one of the cups I have) and the rest is ice. They are the same price. A large hot drink is 20oz, an iced has 15-16oz of liquid.
    An iced chai is made with pumps of Tazo chai syrup and milk. The chai syrup is kept on the counter. It is not refrigerated. Milk should be kept in the refrigerator but many baristas will leave the plastic gallons on the counter to help in making drinks faster. Sometimes the milk sits out for a couple hours (we were instructed not to leave it out for more than 4 hours but even store managers that I knew could not adequately answer questions about the food safety laws/rules behind it.)
    So that explains why the beverage was not cold. Even milk that isn’t left out for long won’t be ice cold.
    According to Starbucks pricing adding extra pumps of syrup (as long as it’s the same syrup that is already in the beverage) and less than 4oz of milk costs nothing. I can’t imagine the rules are much different at Borders. This is just a case of a cranky barista or some manager who likes to make up their own policies.

  118. Geoff says:

    Let’s say that’s a 16oz cup. Everyone is paying for 11oz of product and 5oz of ice, estimated. If you don’t want ice, then you subtract the 5oz of ice and you’re left with the 11oz of product. I fail to see why you should get an extra 5oz of drink.

    I can’t walk into McDonald’s and say “Hey, leave off the lettuce, tomato, and pickles and throw on an extra patty for the same price.” That’s not how it works. Sure, they’re saving money on all the vegetables that you aren’t eating, but if you want a double, order a double and pay for it.

    This is how the world works. If you don’t like it, you should probably re-evaluate your life.

  119. nodaybuttoday says:

    I’ve never had an iced chai before, but I know that when I have an iced white chocolate mocha, the ice is what cools is down, otherwise it’s luke warm. Not sure if that is because of the espresso? Anyway, I think at a place like Borders they are trained to put in a certain measurement of ingredients when preparing drinks, the barista probably didn’t know how to convert the lack of ice.

    And also, I agree with one of the other commenters, I do sometimes like my drinks with no ice if I am not going to drink it right away and the ice just waters it down.

  120. odarkshineo says:

    My dad hates ice…drinks his soda warm…isnt afraid to drink a warm beer… we were at Carowinds in NC/SC and he orderes a soda asks for no ice the woman tells him they aren’t allowed to do that. That was probably 10 years ago, but at 5.00 for a 20oz I imagine its still the same…

  121. JANSCHOLL says:

    Is this a Starbucks issue or a Borders issue? I had problems with Borders for years, and just took my business elsewhere. I have never been in a Starbucks and in fact, the local one closed up, so maybe there is an issue with Starbucks.

  122. crashfrog says:

    Ok, look; you can get it cold with ice, or you can get it without ice at whatever temperature it’s already at.

    You can’t have both. If you want a cold drink order it with ice! Food service employees can do many things but they can’t violate the laws of thermodynamics.

  123. chaosnoise says:

    Funny, the thing is when I worked at a movie theater (small local one not a big chain) I did all our inventory and costing stuff. It worked out that the ice was the most expensive part of the drink. That’s including the cup, straw, lid, syrup, water, and CO2. Running icemakers 24/7 isn’t cheap.

  124. DeeJayQueue says:

    I seem to remember somewhere reading that the electricity and time needed to make and store the ice ended up costing more than the CO2, syrup and water to make the soda, so ordering your drink without ice actually saves the company money. And, they have to keep the fountain chilled within a certain tolerance anyway to prevent bacteria growth in the lines, so you end up getting a cold drink anyway, just not super cold.

    The exception to this is tea, or sweet tea, which is brewed and not necessarily “infinite” at all places. Some McDonalds’ will pitch a fit over that, some won’t.

    However, this is not soda or regular iced tea we’re talking about here. This is a “coffee drink” concoction that is made according to a recipe. That recipe has a certain yield, which when followed, will fill the cup. This includes ice, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, whatever else is in there. When you omit an ingredient, you can’t expect them to alter the recipe to yield more.

    I think the honest, best thing to do is to change the signing convention for the drinks we order. Instead of ordering a “32oz Drink” which only has 20oz of beverage in it and 10oz of ice, they should advertise “Drink in a 32oz cup.” or “20oz Drink Plus Ice”. That way we know what to expect, and we don’t feel shafted when we order a soda with no ice and get 2/3 of a cup.

  125. TheSDBrat says:

    Not being a chronic consumer of fountain or coffee drinks, i can hardly speak from a rabid consumers point of view. However, on the occasions that i DO purchase a drink, i ask for NO ice cuz the drink is already cold enough for my tastes – NO scamming on my part. That being said, if a vendor has the policy of selling a no ice product at half the volume as whats being advertised, there would be an ugly confrontation upon handing me a huge cup thats half full. If the vendor wants to single out the no ice customers, just let them know, UP FRONT, to expect far less product than whats being advertised. Transparency is good for everyone – just let me know what to expect and allow ME the chance to decide if i wish to make the purchase.

  126. asummonedmuse says:

    Seattle’s Best Coffee is owned by Starbucks and are almost operated exclusive from Borders stores.
    They have their own dress code, policy and rules. It is and always has been part of their policy to not serve drinks without ice – but they’re not supposed to do what the barista did here. She should have explained the policy and asked if he would have liked the drink served as it is supposed to be or he’d like a different drink.
    So the barista here was just being a jerk – epically since most people would have just done the silly drink without ice!

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      So the barista was being a jerk because someone wanted a large drinks worth of chai while they only wanted to pay for a small? And the whole ice thing is a bit weird. How can you get an iced drink with no ice? They aren’t ripping people off with ice, they are giving people what they ask for because ice is part of an iced drink.

  127. damngregg says:

    From my experience as a Barista and later as a trainer/manager, it comes down to the simple drink formula. Typically these places have pre-measured equipment, specific for each drink.

    If someone orders a medium, you use the equipment and measurements for a medium. For almost all of the iced drinks we sold, the ice was the final ingredient, after all the other ingredients were measured. People seem to forget that the ICE is part of the recipe, hence the name of the drink “Iced Chai Latte”.

    Think about it this way, in a medium drink with ice you get 16 ounces total beverage, maybe 12 oz drink and 4 oz ice & a large drink is 20oz, 16oz drink & 4oz ice. If you demand a medium with no ice, filled to the top, you’re getting the 16oz of drink you would have gotten in a large. Why shouldn’t you have to pay for what you’re asking for?

  128. chaosconsumer says:

    It has been two decades since I had a job that I had to serve people fountain drinks, but I remember not liking the people who asked for no ice. It was clearly a scam to get more product. The soda would foam worse as a result and the cups would lose their center of gravity and would be more apt to tip over.

    But as much as I hate the “coke no ice” attitude it was rarely worth getting in a fight over it. The Barista needed to ignore the need to put an entitled customer in their place, and serve the product as requested.

  129. NumberSix says:

    I like the iced and hot chai a lot, and though I was getting short changed on the iced version too. But then I I realized that the fill line on the larger grande iced drink cup is the same volume as what you’d get if the liquid was poured into a slimmer grande hot drink cup.

    The bigger cup is just designed to hold lots of ice.

  130. junip says:

    This is obviously just a miserable employee who hates their job and wants to take it out on any customer who asks for any kind of alteration to their drink. I’ve been a barista before, I recognize the behavior. (but that doesn’t mean I endorse it of course)

  131. Mary says:

    I have extremly sensitive teeth, and so ice is sometimes painful for me. Ice cold drinks can also be painful.

    I’m not trying to cheat anybody, I’m trying to enjoy myself. Normally I’d say give me a little less to make up for it, but in this case? That’s just stupid. I worked at a Borders Cafe, though before they all changed to Seattle’s Best. I never would have done this to a customer.

    That said, most of our iced drinks were made hot and then poured over ice. Not sure how I’d do it without. I wouldn’t think of this as iced chai but cold chai. Whatever the case, there was more than enough stuff to go around at my store and more than enough waste at the end of the day where I wouldn’t mind giving a customer half a medium drink.

  132. magnetic says:

    I get so. damn. cold. when I drink ice water. This leads me to the awkward act of ordering iced tea without ice.

  133. qualityleashdog says:

    I’m a no-icer. And I want a credit for what I’m saving the dispenser for not using ice. Let’s see, figure in the electric to manufacture and maintain the ice, the water required to make it, the maintenance on the ice machine, stocking the ice, what do you figure I’m entitled to? I smell a class action here!

  134. jayde_drag0n says:

    filling my entire glass full of ice so that i get LESS liquid is the scam.. not me requesting less so that i get the fair amount. Sorry barista stfu.. you’re scamming me.. i’m just preventing it

  135. jedifarfy says:

    I work in a cafe and when a customer asks for no ice, I fill the stupid cup all the way. I myself prefer little to no ice since: 1) the stuff is usually stored in the bridge (fyi – the chai is stored in the fridge for the most part, but can sit out for a bit if put in a container with a pump), and 2) I have very cold sensitive teeth and would rather not be in pain.

    The barista’s attitude was uncalled for and JD should have complained to the manager.

  136. heyoldstyle says:

    Do you get a credit or discount if you request extra ice? What if you ask for no onions or no tomato on your sandwich? I’ve never gotten a credit from having items withheld at a food joint. Screw em. Put the drink on your credit card and dispute the charge I they refuse to give you what you ordered & paid for.

  137. kujospam says:

    If they didn’t say what size drink it was then no, they did not short you. If all it says is small medium large, then there is no screwing going on. If it said 32oz pepsi then it better be 32 oz of pepsi. That’s like complaining that your cheese burger isn’t as big because you ask for no lettuce, pickle and tomatoes, and ask for more meat because of it. I generally hate most toppings on hamburgers, but do I expect a cheaper price because of it? Not any longer. I stopped when I grew up.

  138. yosemitemtb says:

    By the time they pay for the ice machine, water and power to freeze it, they probably make more money when you order without ice.

  139. FrankReality says:

    I don’t like crushed ice, it makes my teeth itch (or so it seems) and I don’t like how quickly crushed ice waters down the beverage. I prefer a stingy amount of cubed ice, or just drinking it out of a ice-cold can.

    I’d consider the choice a small amount or no ice an equalizer for the many times I’ve been ser ved a beverage that was more than half crushed ice.

  140. ChoralScholar says:
  141. elislider says:

    the only fast food place I attend and get a beverage at with any amount of frequency is Taco Bell, mostly because they have Baja Blast which is awesome. I always get a medium Baja Blast with no ice, and have never been heckled. plus i usually go later at night when an extra-cold drink is not generally preferred, and plus I live in Oregon where its not routinely very hot outside, so iced soda has less of a purpose. but yes, beverage markups are absurdely high and I prefer my beverages ice-less anyways. when i get a soda inside and fill it up myself, i put in maybe 3 chunks of ice just to extend the length of coldness of the drink for a few more minutes without diluting the flavor

  142. Carlee says:

    I usually ask for light ice when I get iced lattes at Starbucks. I don’t like the ice because it dilutes the drink (I usually drink the latte over a couple of hours).

    If a person doesn’t want ice, they should get more drink. Is it fair? Sure, why not. Some people want lots of ice, some people want little. It probably evens out. Even for drinks like coffee or tea.

  143. AvaSoumis says:

    Don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but here’s a way not to “rip them off” and to get what you wanted….

    Order the amount of liquid you wanted, say 16 oz chia, as hot chia, just don’t steam it (or microwave it, if that’s what they do, ick)

    Then you get the same amount of ingredients, right size cup, just not poured over ice. The small coffeeshop I worked for used chia syrup, which was left out like all other syrups, but the milk was refrigerated, so it should still end up pretty cold.

    Voila.

  144. FrugalFreak says:

    Looked more full. We aren’t paying for a cup to appear full, we are paying for product quanity. I NEVER get ice because if I pay $1.50 for a drink, I’m dang well going to get my moneys worth. We the consumers do not like the system of paying more for less. either serve decent quanity or get out of the business.

  145. SilentBob says:

    I don’t think this would be an issue if they informed you that you’d be receiving an unfilled cup if you order it without ice.

  146. KeithF says:

    I actually experienced the opposite more often then not while I lived in Europe. Asking for ice, or extra ice usually earned you a frown. “You Americans, with your desire for ice-cold beverages!”

  147. cheviot says:

    Um… When you buy a drink, you’re buying a specific amount of beverage combined with a certain amount of ice. The cup is sized specifically to hold both.

    The customer asked for the drink without the ice and they provided it, the same amount of beverage they would have gotten otherwise, just without the ice that makes the cup more full.

    I fail to see a problem here.

  148. Blind Cynicism says:

    Soda is different from iced teas and coffee (coffee based drinks). Often, the teas/coffees are brewed at a higher concentration because ice is being added to the final product, which eventually dilutes it. If I ask for no bun on my burger, should the burger joint give me more beef patty and cheese because my burger is now “smaller”?

    This guy got no less/more iced chai than someone who ordered one with ice, just a warmer one.

  149. Giveaflying says:

    If there were free refills on your Chai then I would understand but with no free refills you pay for the measured drink. I often get the Tazo Iced Tea from starbucks with no ice. And they also only give you two thirds of the cup.

  150. El Matarife says:

    How would you get an iced chai with no ice? The drink is warm to begin with.

  151. v12spd says:

    I had a similar experience, but exactly the opposite reaction from the waiter. I was at Cheesecake Factory in Cambridge, MA. and ordered a fresh raspberry lemonade with no ice. The waiter initially asked me to confirm that’s how I wanted it, then said most prefer it with the ice, but he would be more than happy to oblige. He came back with a very large cup full to the brim, I took a sip and it was fresh, and delicious, but bordering on warm/hot. In short, it tasted gross without the ice. He came back to check on us, and I sheepishly asked for some ice, and he said that he didn’t want to force it on me, but was quick to get me a second glass with just ice in it, and poured half the drink into the ice filled cup. He saw that, and said that if I liked he could keep bringing me fresh ice so that it wouldn’t be melted when I transferred from one cup to the next. Let me be clear, there were no free refills for this drink, but he kept them coming all night, and charged me for one, and went above and beyond despite it being my explicit direction to avoid the ice.

    I prefer my drinks with no ice because I take forever to drink them, they get watered down and don’t taste as good. If someone handed me a regularly iced drink, without ice, I’d expect them to give me the size I paid for, full to the same line it would be with or without the ice, and that’s been my experience everywhere I go.

  152. Andro says:

    No, ordering drink and getting a cup-full of ice drizzled with beverage of your choice is a scam.

    I usually ask for “light on ice”. Because, really, I wanna drink my drink, not slurp ice-diluted drink for 3 mouthfuls then gnaw on ice cubes.

  153. Sparty999 says:

    wow… I have a problem that he/she wasn’t blaming the barista… That’s just a flat out bitchy thing to do… and not to warn them before she gave him the cup (if it was policy) was BS as well… As for being warm… ordering iced coffee/tea without ice is kinda douchey.

  154. Random Guy on the Internet says:

    If you are paying for the cup to be filled with liquid whatever, then technically you’re paying by the ounce, and not how long the barista feels they need to pour. Whether the cup is filled with ice or air, it doesn’t/shouldn’t matter. This is the basic principle on why cups are different sizes. The barista just sounds like a douche nozzle…

  155. YdoUthinkURright says:

    Like most of these posts, this is a customer service issue. The fact that this person walked away without asking to speak to a manager and find out if this is in fact the policy on no ice orders is stupid and fearful. Borders is in no way obligated to give this person more drink just because they didn’t want ice, but they would likely do it to retain him as a customer. Let’s face it anyway, a $4 Chai must have enough profit margin to let this one person slide on their “slick rick” order.

  156. JulesNoctambule says:

    I’d like to know how much a hot chai costs and how many ounces of product the customer receives per size versus the same for the iced chai with a full ‘serving’ of ice. I have a feeling there’s a big difference in the latter.

  157. Gman says:

    I write this reply sitting at Starbucks drinking my iced venti soy chai (with vanilla). A few points worth noting (specific to Starbucks).

    Iced drinks come in bigger glasses, possibly to accomodate the additional volume from the ice that will be added. There are distinct fill lines on the iced glasses, which seem to provide guidance for chai, milk, and such. I have not performed volumetric measurements to see how much of each component is included in my 20 oz glass of joy.

    If I asked for no ice, I would not expect them to fill the ice portion with more liquid any more than if I ordered my burrito with no rice and beans I would expect more carne asada and avocado in exchange.

  158. Megladon says:

    I also ask for no ice wherever i go. I cant even ask for very little or some ice, as they seem to think that my cup of drink must make it ice cold on a 3 day trip to the other side of the world or something. Seriously with the cost of the stuff being so inexpensive i dont see why they have to be so cheap with it. Taco bell was the worst. A few years ago when I realized this, they had round bits of ice, the cup was filled 80% with ice, and i got maybe 4-6oz of drink from a large. Sure the other places dont use round ice, but they still fill it up atleast 60%. Keep your ice and give me an extra 2 cents of drink.

    If you think this is the fast food peoples only magic trick, watch what they do with french frys. When the fry person scoops frys into the box they’re holding the box on the front and back keeping it from expanding, when the fry box leaves their hand, the box assumes its natural shape, the frys settle, and now you have 1/2 to 3/4s of the frys you ordered. I have called them out on this before, for some reason the manager didnt like it when i asked her if she ate half my frys on the way to bringing it over to me.

  159. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    A girlfriend of mine is the manager of a Starbucks and she said that her staff serves ice-less “iced” coffee and tea drinks fairly regularly. She also said that it had never occurred to her that people were trying to get “more” drink since the iced versions cost more than the hot versions and the hot versions contain no space fillers.

    Although she did note that ice-less “iced” drinks can be lukewarm because they are often made with ice being added to a hot product.

  160. Kibit says:

    Looking at Starbucks web site, (Borders is Seattle’s Best, but I didn’t see any drink size info and Starbucks owns them anyway) the drink sizes are the same for hot and cold drinks. Tall 12 oz, Grande 16 oz and Venti 20 oz. There is also and Iced Venti size listed that is 24 oz, but I haven’t seen it in the store.

    So when I order a tall hot chai, I get 12 ounces of beverage. The same should be true when I get a tall iced chai since it is also 12 ounces, at least give me 10 ounces.

    I ask for little to no ice when I get a chai, one because I don’t like watered down chai and two because they do fill the cup so full with ice that you maybe have 4 ounces of drink in your cup and you are still paying at least $3.00 a cup with all that ice. (I looked for the exact prices online, but they were hard to find) I haven’t had any issues asking for light or no ice and my drink is still cold without the ice. (The barista should be using cold milk from the fridge and not lukewarm, sitting on the counter for 10 minutes milk.)

  161. AugustaCassiopeia says:

    Considering how insanely high the markup/profit margin on drinks in any restaurant, its criminally stupid for them to do this crap.

  162. shelly says:

    Having worked many, many years in the service/retail industry, my money is on “vigilante barista”. I highly doubt this is store policy as it would only cause to upset and anger customers, who will spread the story as has happened. Methinks the barista feels a little too high & mighty & if her employer finds out, she’ll probably get a talking to.

  163. ccuttriss says:

    As referenced earlier in the comment thread, I ask for ‘lite ice’ whenever I order a cold drink at Starbucks (or similar establishment). An iced chai after about 10 minutes of driving becomes a ridiculous catastrophe.

    If I order an Iced Chai I’m not ordering 8oz of Chai, I’m ordering a Grande Ice Chai. It is a reasonable expectation for the entire Grande-sized cup to be filled with beverage.

    If I ordered a cold chai in a ‘hot’ cup I would still expect to receive a full cup of Chai.

  164. burgeab says:

    What we have here is, a failure to communicate.

  165. BytheSea says:

    Ice gives me migrains, so I don’t like it. Sometimes the baristas at starbucks tell me they HAVE to put in ice or the drink won’t be an “iced” whatever, so I say, “Okay, but just a little, please,” and they put in just enough to make the drink cold. I watch them, too — the ice is to cool off the boiling espresso or chai tea.

    Barista was rude. Should have explained that the drink can’t be made that way and offered something else or to make it another way. Baristas are customer SERVICE people, not just machines – that’s what that stupid tip jar is supposed to be for. A half filled cup isn’t acceptable. OP should complain to management and get some coupons.

  166. forkandbowl says:

    most restaurants advertise a size for their drinks in ounces. Nowhere does it state that “x ounces of drink will be in the form of ice”. If I order a 22oz drink and get less than 22 ounces I would say that they stole from me.

  167. superberg says:

    I’m okay with a little ice, but places tend to go overboard and load your cup up so that it’s like 60% or more ice. That’s ridiculous.

    Furthermore, some places (like the otherwise-great Wendy’s near my house) see to water down their drinks. In these instances, by the time you’re halfway through the drink, it tastes like dirty water.

    The real scam is drink prices. I remember working at Borders in late 2002 — employees could get 27-cent(including tax) beverages if they brought their own cup. Of any size. The company even provided each employee with a free mug in order to push them toward taking advantage of this.

    Even coffee beverages have a pretty low cost compared to their actual price. They’re more expensive than soda, certainly. But they also cost three-five times as much on the consumer end.

  168. SGT. E. G. ROCK says:

    * I managed a fast food place, a few years back,
    ( let’s just say the one with the horrible king guy)
    and when we sold the ” Mocha Joe Iced Coffee ” …
    I had a heck of a time with those customers asking for “NO ICE” and
    YES..It was to get more beverage ! The problem unlike ordering a shot of whiskey,
    where a ‘shot-is-a-shot’, not more or less..regardless of the size of the glass.
    We made it in the back with a big gallon container of hot coffee,
    and numerous squirts of chocolate syrup.. and put it in the fridge overnight.
    When filling the glass, there WERE marks on the cup where the ice should be LOADED to,
    before you fill the rest of the cup.
    People who asked for NO ICE got two thirds or more of the Joe Mix in their cup.
    It didn’t bother me until one day, a lady who got one every morning, “SANS the ICE”, then
    proceeded to ask my counter girl for a spare cup, filled it with ICE from the soda fountain station AND then poured half in this iced cup. And then proceeded to add ICE to the original cup.
    i argued with management about this.. but they had no suggestions..
    and regardless of what you might say, the profit margin was extremely high on those drinks.
    Even with this lady’s antics.
    F.Y.I. There are 380 calories in 1 serving of Burger King Mocha Joe Iced Coffee.

  169. lawgirl502 says:

    What a pus*y- you don’t have to bawlz to say NO to the drink? You PAY for how ever many ounces the cup holds. You DON’T pay for half of that you idiot. Don’t waste my consumerist time again with this nonsense. By the way, why do we care that you went there to buy books, that you are some fricken high rollin’ book buyer, using your coupon? Who gives a sheeeottt

  170. Moosenogger says:

    If I buy a drink I expect it to fill the cup it comes in whether there’s ice or not. If I order a large drink with no ice, I expect to get a large sized drink with no ice. It’s what I paid for. What I’m not paying for is a half-filled Large-sized cup. If that’s unacceptable to the business, then they’re the ones trying to profit by “gaming the system” and giving the customer less product for the same amount of money.

    The only exception is a drink that requires ice in order to settle correctly. (I.e. As the ice melts it adds to the drink.) Tea + Milk does not require ice to drink and enjoy, so you shouldn’t have to pay the price of two “Normal” drinks in order to get a filled cup.

  171. KaralynK says:

    My husband always asks for drinks with no ice at a restaurant unless it’s a fast-food place where he can put his own ice in. His issue is not that he hates ice, but he doesn’t want a cup FILLED TOTALLY FULL of ice that then melts and makes his 2 Tbsp of soda watered down. He tried ordering less ice for a while, but that never worked, so he’s taken to just ordering no ice and then stealing some ice out of my water if he needs it.

    Since we do this at sit-down restaurants where you pay for the drink and then get free refills I don’t feel like we’re causing anyone any harm, and the waiter who remembers that the refills have no ice gets a good tip.

  172. mandy_Reeves says:

    yes, but most times iced coffee is double strength brewed in order to compensate for the ice melting later. So maybe he is getting the same amount of chai in theory, since its possibly double strength but less water or milk?

  173. MrsLopsided says:

    I bought an ice-coffee at a Sonic Burger drive-thru that was ALL ice. Two sips and it was gone before I pulled out of the parking lot. I complained to the manager who said “you ordered an ice coffee – and there’s the ice.” It wasn’t even real ice that you could suck on – it was little pellets of something that hadn’t melted an hour later.

  174. MrsLopsided says:

    If it is a fountain drink they should fill it all the way up. If its a manual-labor mixed-drink then it should be portion sized – same portion with or without ice.

  175. cocodash says:

    What a load of bullsh*t. If that’s the case, then it should work in the reverse as well: People like me who frequently ask for “lots of ice” should be given a discount on the beverage that has been displaced by the extra ice.

  176. I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

    Mr. Krabs agrees. Be lucky you get a straw, napkin, and bag for free. Not to mention that nifty bulb lid.

  177. Derek Balling says:

    Most places I’ve seen will advertise a “large” as, say, “a 32 oz. Coke” or “32 oz Ice Coffee”. In which case, you’re more than justified in saying “I want my 32 ounces of beverage, with nothing else getting in the way”.

    But when they that they simply give you “small”, “medium”, or “large”, then what they do inside that cup is up to them. Perhaps, to them, a “large” is 20 oz of beverage and 12 oz. of ice, and you’ve opted for “no-ice”. That’s perfectly reasonable for them to do, absent the product being advertised with a volume-measurement.

  178. jenjenjen says:

    The scam is the amount of ice they put in these drinks in the first place. You do not need the cup completely full of ice to make the drink cold. They are simply giving you the cheapest thing (water) and thus giving you less of what you ordered. Iced coffee drinks are the worst. Not only do you get less coffee, but you pay more for it even though water is cheaper than coffee. You only need a quarter of those ice cubes to make the coffee cold.

  179. chowder11 says:

    Ice is not just to fill space. It keeps the drink cold, and sing a lot of ice keeps ALL of the ice from melting. A small amount of cubes will melt and water the drink down. How would it be fair if some customers got more beverage because they didn’t want ice in their drinks?

  180. A.Mercer says:

    Ok, if this is true (that asking for no ice is scamming the business) then any business that puts in too much ice is scamming the customer. Many places I get drinks from cram that ice in there so there is very little drink. 3 sips and it is gone and I had the super gulp monster 55 gallon drum.

    Another thought, by volume which one is costing the store more money? Ice is cheap but it does draw quite a bit of electricity to produce and keep frozen. A fountain drink is pretty cheap too. I wonder if there is a significant difference when you look at them by volume.

  181. Andyb2260 says:

    The last time I stopped at Taco Bell(this was a couple of years ago and was the last time I stopped at Taco Bell)I went through the drive-thru and ordered my food and a large soda with no ice. Well, they put ice in my drink, but since there were a number of cars behind me I didn’t make that big of a deal about it, I mean how much ice could there be? So when I got home, I opened the drink and started scooping out the ice. When I was finished, the soda that remained in the cup barely filled the tapered “cup holder friendly” bottom of the cup. Yes, my tasty fizzy drink was about 2/3 ice.
    I’m sorry, but if a large drink is included in the meal, and a large drink is 30oz I should get close to 30oz of drink, not 10oz of drink and 20 oz of ice.

  182. privax says:

    I’m sure there needs to be a recipe that the barista is required to follow (i.e one part coffee, two parts milk etc) where as with say soda from a fountain dispenser if you ask for no ice you’re almost certain to get it filled to the top (now whether it’s cold or not that’s the risk you have to be willing to take if you really need the extra liquid. – I have yet to have a cold beverage without ice if it ever came from a fountain)

  183. guroth says:

    When you order a “Venti” iced coffee drink you are not getting 20oz of coffee, you are getting a set amount of coffee (say, 14oz) put into a 20oz cup filled with ice.
    Ordering a Venti iced coffee without any ice will result in the same 14oz of coffee put into a 20oz cup, except with no ice, so you get what the submitter got.

    If you order a mixed drink at a bar, you get a glass about half full of alcoholic drink, and half ice. If you order the drink with no ice, you don’t magically get twice as much alcohol, you get a half full glass.

    The only situation where I would consider it normal to receive a full cup in lieu of a cup with drink and ice, would be soda from a soda fountain because the difference between 15oz of soda and 20oz of soda is about 3 cents.

  184. mystery79 says:

    Wow, that’s pretty ridiculous. Some people have cold sensitivity issues w/ their teeth and would prefer not to have ice. My dad used to order it w/ out ice all the time and that’s why.

    I know some fast food places have automated machines where it fills the pop to a predestined level (3/4) and the worker will usually top it off, although a couple times in the drive thru they didn’t. I chalked it up to they were really busy and didn’t mind all that much, however it does show how much ice your drink really does take up.

  185. Niebby says:

    I’ve actually been accused of something similar to this at Sbux since I don’t like them watering down my iced tea. I generally ask for “no water” with my iced tea, so therefore am actually getting twice as much tea….but I simply don’t like my tea watered down. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for what I like.

    And walking across the street to B&N and boycotting Borders altogether might be somewhat of a waste seeing as the two booksellers are actually owned by the same company.

  186. coren says:

    Is a hot chai the same as a cold? Is the cold just the hot served over ice?

    If both are true, borders (or this employee of) is the one who fucked up.

  187. Ro says:

    I’m not a coffee drinker… but wish to add my two cents:
    SONIC (fast food burgers) should be held criminally responsible for the unethical practice of utilizing CRUSHED ICE (filled to the brim) with any soft drink ordered. They’ve done this type of practice forever. I’m not cheap – but I do hate to be cheated when the cup only contains 1/3 liquid (easily verified), Thanks Sonik (sic).