On my commute to work today I learned a valuable lesson in mobile ordering, and I now have a suggestion for an update to the Starbucks Rewards app. The story itself is pretty straightforward: I was ten minutes from the office and decided to order my coffee ahead of time so I could pick it up right after getting off the train. I ended up accidentally placing my order to a location nowhere near my destination and thus wasted $6.
The Starbucks location I originally had in mind is right on the corner of the block where my office is, so this was a completely logical decision on my part. What was not logical or smart was me failing to confirm the location before I tapped “Checkout.” I immediately realized what I had done and Googled “How to cancel a Starbucks mobile order.” Guess what? You can’t.
The Starbucks customer service page reads, “Once your order has been placed it cannot be delayed or cancelled.” (Not sure why “cancelled” is in italics, but it is.) I want to believe that I am not the only person to make this mistake—I can’t be alone in this, right? Even now, I can hear the barista calling my name as my lonely little Grande Honey Almondmilk Flat White grows colder by the second.
It makes sense all app orders are final, and that Starbucks can’t just halt and reverse its operations every time someone makes the same mistake I did; it’s probably more worth it for them to finish making the drink and just set it on the counter on the off-chance someone does make it to the shop after all. But if the option to cancel can’t be built into the system, I do wish there was a way to sort of “pay it forward” on the mobile app.
Pay-it-forward chains can last forever, like when everyone in a Minnesota DQ drive-thru kept treating the next car to a meal, for 900 cars straight. At least if I were able to put a note to the barista in the mobile app that the drink should be given out for free, it wouldn’t go to waste and it would probably help prevent some kind of service backup. Considering the fact that mobile orders account for more than a quarter of Starbucks U.S. transactions, this might be an update to look into.
Am I overthinking this one, or am I onto something? Let me know in the comments.