This “Quick Vote” is on the front page of CNN right now.

Congratulations, Starbucks, on your excellent PR stunt. As for CNN, you have lost your damn mind. [CNN]


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  1. Michael Belisle says:

    Maybe the poll writer needed advice.

  2. badgeman46 says:

    Im Ahmadinejad-esque style, I think its safe to say that the end of starbucks is in the very near future. I love coffee, I am a coffee afficianado. I can honestly say that Starbucks is the worst cup of coffee ever. 6 bucks for burnt coffee. C’mon! Starbucks has taken its pretentiousness to rediculous levels. If you look carefully, you will find that nobody orders a coffee at starbucks. Its latte-mocha this, or triple shot french vanilla. Never just a straight cup of Joe. The one time I went in there I had to ask the waitress to get me a coffee flavored coffee. Yes! They are waitresses! Is that kid in a paper hat serving your burgers a Chef? Nope! C’mon! Wake up and smell the coffee!!!

  3. peggyhill says:

    I did just fine… HAD THEY DONE THIS this morning, they would have bought the farm.

    Im not buying the fact that they need to retrain people on how to make espresso.

  4. matto says:

    They are being trained on the secret new Macbooks and secret new 3G iPhones

  5. tcolberg says:

    Where is the poll option to just GO WITHOUT for three hours?

  6. soulman901 says:

    Seriously, does CNN really think people really give a flying sh*t about this crap?

  7. chrisfromnl says:

    Visit another coffee shop 10% 17256
    Hide under my desk 9% 15846
    I don’t go to Starbucks 81% 143917
    Total Votes: 177019

    Only 19% of the voters go to Star Bucks.
    I guess the majority of Star Bucks frequenters are hiding under their desks.

  8. @chrisfromnl: and they didn’t bring their keyboards with them.

  9. nequam says:

    @badgeman46: I buy just a regular cup of Joe at Starbucks all the time. It costs $1.94, not 6 bucks.

    One who calls him/herself an aficionado is really just an ass. And you’re one who can’t spell.

    You can “honestly say” it? What the hell, do you lie the rest of the time?

  10. GC says:

    @nequam: It’s just coffee. Damn. It’s not that big a deal.

  11. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    Why are they closing for three hours?

  12. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Hey, even if you’re CNN, you can’t be serious all the time. Besides, they’ve still got miles to go before they reach USA Today’s level of moronacity in regard to polls.

    No, moronacity isn’t a word, but it should be.

    Oh, and I survived the Starbucks closure by buying a $1.39 cappuccino at the corner gas station, and I’m still alive to tell about it!

  13. kenblakely says:

    I know Consumerist likes to slam companies for almost anything they do, but I think this is a lot more than a PR stunt – it’s a message by Starbux’s new CO. Think about it – closing 7100 stores for 3 hours had to cost a bucket of money in lost revenue. It was a bold move.
    I for one like Starbux a lot. $2 for a cup of coffee *is* a tad expensive, but it’s GOOD coffee, it’s served in nice surroundings by someone with a smile on their face, and if I don’t like it they’ll gimme more. Refills are only $0.50. And no, I’m neither a Starbux employee nor a shareholder.

  14. youbastid says:

    They didn’t close to retrain their employees. It was so they could begin “Phase 2.”


  15. PinkBox says:

    Come on… it was only three hours. Most people tend to get it early morning anyway. :P

  16. Sherryness says:

    As far as CNN goes, this is an SEO thing. I write occasionally for a content provider, and this was a very big call today – Starbucks shutting down and what were the hot local choices. A “hot search topic.” That’s all. CNN wasn’t duped – they were tryin’ to score!

  17. chocxtc says:

    I don’t drink starbucks, I mean ten bucks. And please do not call them baristas. LOL

  18. HaloZero says:

    I don’t drink starbucks because I don’t drink coffee. I’m young, I have energy. In your face time!
    (Too Obnoxious?)

  19. chrisfromnl says:

    I perked my own pot this morning for like $0.10(ish), and the icing on the cake was that the refill was free!

  20. jeblis says:

    Well at least the poll works


  21. chiieddy says:

    Point isn’t that they closed for three hours is that every media outlet reported on that they were closed for training which was “unprecedented” and that their competitors where discounting drinks during that time. Everyone won! Free advertising galore! SB closed during a slower time of day too! How many people have caffeine before bed (besides myself and my husband who treat ourselves to Starbucks occasionally after a ballroom dance lesson, because it’s usually pretty empty at 8 or 9 pm).

    I can bet pretty confidently the competitors didn’t lose much money in their discounts and Starbucks didn’t lose much in sales.

    P.S. I got Starbucks yesterday at 7 pm because there was a partner outlet in the Target near us, still open. Oh, we just treated ourselves before the lesson this time. :-)

  22. strangeffect says:


    I ordered a coffee there yesterday.

    Anecdotal: the only evidence that really counts.

  23. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @HaloZero: Oh, don’t worry, eventually you too will become old and need lots of coffee. Enjoy the youth and energy while you can. Mwuahahahahahaha……

  24. Islandkiwi says:

    This pr stunt did not deserve the headlines it got. So they closed the stores for a few hours for “retraining”…why provide the company with so much free advertising over such a non-story?

  25. hypnotik_jello says: = News? That’s news to me.

  26. dandd says:

    My wife bought some starbucks for me yesterday and as always it was horrible! But I am willing to admit that their coffee is on par with many of our local owned coffee shops. (BTW I’m a coffee drinker, not coffee based dairy drinks)

    For coffee drinkers that want good COFFEE flavored coffee, try out Brioso. They fresh roast it in their stores. When you walk in the smell alone will curb your coffee craving.

    ** Has anyone tried BocaJava? I keep hearing about it on the radio, but haven’t gotten to trying it yet.

  27. Angryrider says:

    Well I survived by not drinking coffee my entire conscious life. Huzzah. To think I was this close to buying a $1 espresso at my local DD.

  28. Nytmare says:

    @kenblakely: A “message” to the citizenry by a corporation is the very definition of PR.

  29. arch05 says:

    @badgeman46: Don’t be too much of a dick there, now.

  30. yesteryear says:

    starbucks is a crappy company. can’t everyone just face facts? just because you get your 390 calorie/48g of fat fix there everyday when you order your glorified milkshake doesn’t mean that they aren’t the same company that just happened to open a coffee shop on the same block as every small locally owned coffee shop in america about 7 years ago – effectively shutting down about 80% of them. i just thank god that i live in a town where people care about stuff like that – the independent coffee shop here is packed until it closes at 11pm on weekdays and weekends while starbucks is usually just full of homeless people cashing in on those 50 cent refills. @badgeman46: you’re right – us plain coffee drinkers (or even those of us who order americanos) are the ones that truly understand how awful starbucks coffee is – it tastes like burnt ass.

    semi-related story: a friend of mine works there and not only do they not let you keep your tips (they split all tips for the day and pay them out on the employee’s paycheck – meaning they are taxed AND you don’t get the extra tips you deserve for working the AM shift vs the 3-8 shift)… on her first couple days on the job she was pouring coffee from one of the tureens for an hour when her manager noticed which one she was using and told her she’d been serving the scouring/cleansing agent to customers. i guess it looked and tasted like starbucks because no one came back to complain. ha!

  31. lovelygirl says:

    @yesteryear– OMG! surely you jest! that’s terrible :(

  32. Counterpoint says:

    The Toddy – cold-brewed coffee w/o bitterness or a lot of acidity — it’s the fuuuture. ;)

    Seriously though, I used to get Caribou all the time @ $3-$4 a drink. Now I buy a pound of fresh roasted beans (Dunn Bros isn’t bad for that) for ~ $10-$15, and make concentrate with the Toddy that only takes ~ 90-120s to heat up in the microwave in the AM.

  33. rawsteak says:

    see the cool thing about this is that they’re going to come out with “new expresso” and people are going to hate it, and they’re going to fill out petitions and even boycott starbucks until they bring back “old expresso classic” and then they’ll be super popular again!

    wait, where have i heard this before… ?

  34. ideagirl says:

    @nequam: Nice respons…hard for you to go three hours without yer java, huh?

  35. mthrndr says:

    @badgeman46: I don’t recall anything on the menu for $6. For that, you have to do something crazy like a octuple espresso with 800 flavor shots or something like that.

  36. mthrndr says:

    @yesteryear: uh…tips are supposed to be taxed. How horrible of a company to try to stay legal.

  37. badgeman46 says:

    I’m just saying that it appears that the main reason people frequent starbucks is to be pretentious and buy whatever pretentious drink, or pretentious music is for sale. To me, Starbucks seems a little smarmy, like the guy who tries to pitch you a timeshare in Aspen. Sure someone spends 25 bucks for a coffee and a James Taylor CD, and perhaps he feels like he is affluent yuppie scum, but that is the intent of Starbucks. I’d much rather spend a buck fifty at dunkns, or even less at a as station that carries reputable brands like Green Mountain, and buy that James Taylor cd at a local record store and actually be rich at the end of the day, rather than feel it.

  38. drjayphd says:

    @mthrndr: Oh, come on, who lets facts and reality get in the way of a good “ha ha Starbucks MORE LIKE EIGHTBUX” crack? :P

  39. I hate to bear facts, but the poll is not scientific. It has a major selection bias ( readers). You cannot use it to say anything about the population at large because of self selection (only readers) and income bias (only people who can access the Internet). Get over it.

    Starbucks is not in decline. They are not going anywhere anytime soon. A large number of people do not believe they sell $6 or $10 or $100 coffee or that it tastes burnt. If you don’t like their coffee, you probably like thin coffee. There is a difference between dark roast and burnt. You probably also prefer milk chocolate. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. It’s okay. I like a good dose of cream in the coffee and some sweetener. It’s okay. They’re not going anywhere.

    This is a BRILLIANT PR move. If you like them, you are going to be convinced that they are going to be better. If you are iffy, you might give them another try, since they are refocusing on the coffee. NBD either way, they win.

    PS- if you would buy a latte from McDonalds, well, that’s all I have to say on that.

  40. Badgeman: keep your love for James Taylor’s unique blend of whatever the hell he does to yourself. I drink the Bucks every now and again. I like the product. I might be yuppy scum, but I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to James Taylor. (Honest confession: I am a starbucks customer and I recently wrote in to Kansas City’s new reformatted classic rock station saying they should keep the James Taylor and Elton John to a minimum. I suggested they fill the void with Rush, AC/DC and Van Halen. They brighten up a classic rock station).

  41. EYESONLY says:

    @yesteryear: I can take or leave Starbucks, for the most part, but FYI there was an interesting piece in Slate a few months back, about how the opening of a new Starbucks very often helps improve business at Mom-and-Pop shops. Obviously this isn’t the case every time–there have certainly been smaller stores driven out of business by Starbucks–but the trajectory isn’t as obvious as it seems like it would be.

    Soon after declining Starbucks’s buyout offer, Hyman received the expected news that the company was opening up next to one of his stores. But instead of panicking, he decided to call his friend Jim Stewart, founder of the Seattle’s Best Coffee chain, to find out what really happens when a Starbucks opens nearby. “You’re going to love it,” Stewart reported. “They’ll do all of your marketing for you, and your sales will soar.” The prediction came true: Each new Starbucks store created a local buzz, drawing new converts to the latte-drinking fold…