The Jonathan’s Card social experiment is over. The experiment proved that someone will always come along and ruin anything that’s fun. Since July, the entire world has shared one Starbucks stored-value payment and rewards card, which originally belonged to a guy named Jonathan. People from all over bought coffees using the card, sneaked part of its balance over to their own cards, refilled the card, and followed the card’s fortunes on Twitter. It’s all over now: Starbucks deactivated the card on Friday evening over fraud concerns. Specifically, an automated script that steals from the card.
As we reported yesterday, a guy named Jonathan generated positive buzz for Starbucks by opening up his gift card to the public, allowing users to use and contribute to it at will. According to a coffee industry blogger, the card may be a viral marketing campaign geared to net the company priceless amounts of good publicity.