My Coffee Card app fail

Many Seattleites harbor a sharp disdain for the coffee megacorp, despite it’s birth in our very own treasure trove, Pike Place Market.  However, from my world travels in formative years I have a deep fondness for that green logo that assures me of quality coffee and an inspiring atmosphere whether I am in Seattle, visiting relatives in Naw’lens, or exploring ancient ruins around Antalya (one of the most amazing experiences of my life).  I spent a year studying abroad in the UK during my undergrad and while coffee is making swift inroads into the great isles, outside of the coffee shops folks don’t seem to realize that instant coffee is sacrilege of the worst kind (and yes, while I haven’t tried it, I consider the Starbucks Via line of instant coffee deep betrayal).

Living in a distant suburb, I don’t have frequent occasion to visit Starbucks, and we have some fantastic independent shops in the area. Nevertheless, I decided to try Starbuck’s “My Coffee Card” app.  Epic Fail.

I have seen this app in action in the past and been truly excited!  I actually wish there was a way to do a similar thing with regular payment cards.  Just push a button on the secure app and your phone displays a barcode that the cashier can scan and presto!  Being a fantasy I haven’t spent any time considering the security implications of this, or the complete lack of control over spending habits that would ensue.  But hey, a gal can dream, right?

So why did this app fail?  Two very simple reasons

  1. The app would not connect to my account.  This could be because I don’t have a Starbucks gift card saved on the account, but that doesn’t add up logically.  I triple checked my login credentials using but… to no avail.
  2. There is no way to buy a new card through the app.  Even though the payment functionality is there so you can add funds to an existing card (supposedly, according to the app info on Google Play) if you don’t have a physical gift card in your hands, the app is a waste of megabytes.

So, what could fix this app?  Really, the app should function as a gift card without requiring the user to have or buy one in the physical world.  Seriously, Starbucks?  As the kittehs say:  I am disappoint.


4 thoughts on “My Coffee Card app fail

  1. That is a tragic caffeine failure! I agree that it’s weird that you can’t set up a load a totally new card in the account without having a physical card first. I tried doing that once (just because I wanted to load a new design (yes, silly, I know 🙂 and experienced the same thing.

    I will say though, the linked account issue does make sense to me. The app is an extension of your online account (which has to be set up first) to make it easier to manage your preferences and earn rewards. Have you already registered a card to your name online?

    • I have been interested in this app for a while too, after I keep seeing people use it in the store, and I’m sorry to hear “youz disappoint”! I agree that the app should take place of the card, and that seems like an oversight on Starbucks’ part to make it required to have a card before you’re able to really take advantage of the app. I wonder if it has anything to do with Starbucks wanting you to physically go in to a store to buy a card… maybe they have metrics that say people tend to purchase more initially that way? Who knows, but, like you, I am looking forward to the day when this functionality is available on all types of payment cards. Though, losing your phone would practically be financial suicide… DISLIKE!!!1!!

      • I suppose if you had a fingerprint unlock feature it could work well: if the fingerprint doesn’t match you only get non-essential emergency services type of deal. But yes, until something on that level is ubiquitous having a similar app for credit card or-heaven forbid!–debit cards would be a HUGE risk.

  2. When you are on the road trip, the Starbucks to you is just like the gas to your car…Seriously! I’ve download that app,too. I use it pretty much just for finding new flavors and checking nutritions of the food and drinks. I didn’t find that flaw until I got a physical gift card. Last week, I purchase a google offer of Starbucks by phone, but just cannot redeem it right away via my phone because I cannot log in my account!! Even I got it done on the website, that moment was still pretty annoying.

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