Starbucks’ rewards program, which allows customers to earn “Stars” for each purchase, has hit a snag as some users reported negative balances in their accounts. According to reports from Business Insider and other sources on April 29th, some users of the Starbucks app were shown a negative balance of Stars, which are used to redeem free drinks or other products.
The company confirmed that it had “retrieved” Stars from certain customers who had used a leaked promotion code last month, which offered 200 free Stars to those who had attended an event on April 22. Starbucks added that the code was only intended for the specific customers who had attended the event and apologized for any inconvenience caused.
The promotion code was shared on the online community Reddit, and many people reportedly used it before it was deactivated. Some customers who used the code claimed to have earned negative Star balances, even after having redeemed their free drinks. One Twitter user expressed frustration, saying that they had “received 200 Stars and got a free drink, but now owe -76 Stars.”
Starbucks’ Rewards program has over 30 million members in the US, and the company credits 1-2 Stars to customers’ accounts for each dollar spent. This has prompted some criticism, with customers saying that it takes too long to accumulate enough Stars to redeem them for a free drink.
Starbucks faced further backlash earlier this year when it updated its Rewards program, requiring customers to earn 100 Stars to redeem a free drink instead of 50. Despite this, the company’s Rewards program remains popular, and many customers continue to use it to earn Stars for their purchases.