- Starbucks customers received late-night notifications for the chain’s Happy Hour deal – which starts at 3 p.m – on Thursday.
- One customer compared the experience to “drunk-texting.”
- Mobile ordering and tech are a crucial part of Starbucks’ future as the chain has struggled to grow traffic.
Many Starbucks customers got a late-night message from the coffee giant last night – and they aren’t too pleased.
Dozens of customers took to social media to complain about a notification for Starbucks Happy Hour – which starts at 3 p.m. – that they say they received late in the evening, long after they wanted to visit the coffee chain.
— grant ruby (@grantruby) April 13, 2018
Rare @Starbucks fail – got this notification for 3pm happy hr at 8:11pm. Hmm, not a timezone thing, phone was on and no change to notifications, must just be a bug. @retailgeek did u hit happy hr? pic.twitter.com/sg4vkCB9lA
— scotwingo (@scotwingo) April 13, 2018
— Sam Moffatt (@pasamio) April 13, 2018
“I just got a pop-up notification from the Starbucks app telling me that happy hour is at 3PM today,” one person commented on Starbucks’ Facebook page. “It’s currently 9:30pm. So is the app inviting me to something I already missed 6 hours ago or is it 17 1/2 hours early for tomorrow?”
— Ken Warner (@kenwarner) April 13, 2018
— Arpit Gupta (@arpitgupta) April 13, 2018
@Starbucks your app shouldn’t be sending me pop up notifications at 12:19 AM. This is obnoxious. Unless you e suddenly become the amber alert, I shouldn’t be seeing that mermaid on my phone.
— Resigned Turtle ???? (@TheBookDream) April 13, 2018
Customers said that they recieved the notification as late as 1 a.m. in a situation one customer compared to “drunk-texting.” Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson, for example, recieved a text at 12:26 a.m. ET.
@ Starbucks both of these notifications were after 3 pm but thx anyway pic.twitter.com/byR5LDT3H7
— ???? (@14xmcgh) April 13, 2018
— S A Y L I N K (@saylinkmusic) April 13, 2018
— Mike Fazio (@MikeAFazio) April 13, 2018
“As part of yesterday’s Happy Hour offer, some customers may have received a notification later in the day than intended,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Business Insider. “We’ve identified and resolved the cause and apologize to our customers for any confusion. “
In late March, Starbucks announced plans to bring back its popular Happy Hour deal.
The revamped deal includes beverages beyond Frappuccinos and has a greater emphasis on mobile deals, as customers are notified of updated events and offers via their mobile apps or email. In a statement, the company said that the evolution of the promotion “is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to strengthen digitally enabled customer relationships.”
That makes it a bigger problem when Starbucks’ app malfunctions – as it seems to have done on Thursday night.
Starbucks has long maintained that tech is crucial to its future. While the chain has struggled to increase traffic over the last year, most of its same-store sales growth has been from customers ordering via mobile as part of the Starbucks Rewards program.