Thanks goodness for Java chip add-ons

I’ve been a Gold-card carrying loyal customer of Starbucks ever since they started the Starbucks reward.

Recently I got a message from Starbucks saying that my stars will expire soon with 12/11/2021. December 11 — that gives me about a month. OK cool! I have sufficient time to redeem all my free drinks — about 600 stars (or about $70) worth! But it was in dummy format (dd/mm/yyyy) and not muddy (mm/dd/yyyy) format.

So with only a couple of days before expiry, I was a man on a mission to redeem my free drinks.

I went to Starbucks to get my morning coffee and thought “Hey, I should also get one of their breakfast sandwiches!” The breakfast menu there costs SGD $7.50 and the Starbucks rewards allows you to redeem in denominations of SDG $10. So I told the barista to just forget about the $2.50 remaining and just charge me $10 for the breakfast set menu. After pressing lots of buttons on the POS terminal, she said she can’t. 🙁 The system wouldn’t allow her to cash out a $7.50 transaction with a $10 (virtual) voucher.

Why, That’s Fantastic (WTF)!

I tried to reason with her and tell her that I am perfectly fine with losing $2.50 on this transaction. She understood perfectly and agreed that it was a reasonable request, but it was just that the “SYSTEM” wouldn’t allow her to do so. So here comes Java chip add-ons to the rescue.

The Java chip add-on cost 70 cents. So we added 4 servings of Java chip add-ons to make the total $10.30 and I although I had to actually pay 30 cents, I thought it wasn’t too bad for a free breakfast set meal. I just felt bad for the long queue of customers waiting for my transaction to complete 🙁

And “NO”, I did not actually drink my morning coffee with 4 servings of java chips in it! That was just a fake transaction to fool the SYSTEM.

The moral of the story…

  1. Situational awareness is important! You are in Singapore dummy! (ddmmyyyy) Even after living here for 9 years, I’m still confused with the date format.
  2. Let’s try to build systems that work for people rather than have people adapt so that the system will work.
  3. Don’t save up for a rainy day — you may not be able to enjoy what you save up.

Does anyone want a free coffee? My points expire tomorrow so hurry up!

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