How Starbucks (DIS)respects Our Troops- Updated x 2


FINALLY! A response from the manager! I responded to him and let him know my Daughter in Law has shipped out to Afghanistan and he is to relay all info to me and I will pass it on to her! Thanks to all who have been e-mailing and passing this around! We WILL get action!


Dear xxx,


Thank you for advising me of this situation.  I would like to investigate this further, could you have your daughter-in-law contact me by email, I just need to find out when the visit was (what day and the time of the day) and which Starbucks, we operate three at the airport.  From that information I can find out who the cashier was.  I would also like to send her some coupons she can use in the future.


Thanks for writing,




My daughter in law has spent the last two months doing a combat skills refresher course in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan. She was fortunate to get a weeks leave to come home and see her family before she heads out to GoatF*&kistan. Her flight home left out of Indianapolis International Airport and the military way is to have everybody at the airport at oh dark thirty. She arrived at the airport and cleared security and wanted a coffee. She had plenty of time before her flight so proceeded to the Starbucks outlet. WHERE-

A Starbucks employee wearing the Muslim required head garb refused to accept her good American cash. “Debit or Credit” seemed to be all she could say. No cash accepted.

NO CASH? Excuse me but does our money not say “Legal Tender for all debts public and private”?

I have some questions. Does this company have the right to refuse American money on American soil?


Was this employee perhaps just disrespecting a person dressed in the uniform of our country’s military?

I have sent an e-mail to Starbucks headquarters. Perhaps you all can help me. Here is the info from the receipt- will you e-mail or call the manager and help correct this injustice?

Starbucks A

Indianapolis International Airport

date of purchase 5/28/2011

(I assume this next is the employees name and I have edited it out- so as not to be sued when they tell me this never happened) Thanks for the tip Uppity!

Manager Steve G Thomas

Phone 317-241-6224 ext 11

His e-mail

Hell of a way to start your leave on Memorial Day weekend no? I will NEVER purchase a Starbucks product again.


Well at least Nunly got a reply from the store manager- me? NOT. I e-mailed him as I want to have a record of what he says.


I did get a reply to my e-mail to their corporate customer care center asking for more info. I called and spoke to a person who sounded like a twenty something year old.

He went to great lengths and repeated over and over again that Starbucks does not own that unit.

OK then- it is a franchised unit. As if that excuses the problem?

We went round and round with that- with me asking if that somehow made it ok. He explained that not accepting cash is not a Starbucks policy but they have no control over the franchisee.


At that point I politely lit him up. I let him know I had worked in the restaurant industry all my life- and I understand very well how franchising works. Yes they most certainly do have a degree of control. For example- Starbucks franchisees can not go to the local grocery store and buy generic store brand coffee and pass it off as Starbucks (though in my opinion it might taste better).

I made it very clear that it is STARBUCKS name and reputation on the line and that even franchise employees represent Starbucks.

The young man on the phone told me “the airport” owns the unit. I believe hmshost owns it- and hmshost is an airport food sevice company. Let him go on the internet to figure it out. I already knew that.

Which brings us to the end of the conversation. I let him know that even though I am over the age of thirty I have a Facebook account and know how to use a blog. I let him know there will be a HUGE stink if I do not hear from someone at the corporate level about how this is going to be addressed.

He THEN took all the info I have from the receipt and I expect to be hearing from the district manager within the next 48 hours.

Going up the line now.

I will keep you all posted.


31 Responses

  1. The first thing I thought of was that the sales person may not have been good with figuring out American currency, but then I tried to look on line and get the answer to: Does Starbuck’s accept cash payments? I could not find one place on the Starbuck’s websites that even mentions cash! They tell you how you can pay for it with an iPhone app, or a Starbuck’s card but cash is never mentioned! WTH?

    I’ve only had Starbuck’s once in my life but it was so bad I swore I would never go back. Really…that stuff is swill. I also won’t buy the Starbuck’s coffee beans, tried that..swill.

    I’m not so sure this was anything against Americans by a Muslim, it looks like it might be company policy. I never even thought of it because I rarely use cash, I use my debit card instead.

  2. I never buy Starbucks. So many people give them credit for offering their employees so much that I researched it a few years ago. Hah. Their insurance is bs for the kids in the lower rank and file. If the kid has a serious problem, tell me how much $2000 p/yr coverage is going to get them? I’m sure that they are one of the large companies that got an ObamaCrapCare waiver.

    Starbucks puts up a great front, but it is far from the pretty pic that everyone paints it to be.

  3. So hard to accept the fact that this happened to a member of the Greatest & strongest organization on the face of the planet…WHILE she was in uniform, on duty – regardless of wether or not she was about to start her leave . She should have been able to pay for whatever she wanted with American legal tender…Starbucks should be required to post a sign saying they do not accept cash payments at the front door so people know they have this absurd policy before they make the mistake of entering!
    It’s only my opinion, but with the profit margin of that swill serving corporation, they could afford to GIVE ALL members of the Armed Forces FREE PRODUCT ! Their product is SWILL, brewed from sewage & they should be boycotted!

    • AMEN Sister! Who the hell do these people think they are? Boycott Starbucks!

  4. The last time I went to Starbucks (Last summer) I paid cash-for-swill. $5.50 for a frozen cup of burned coffee-flavored bubbles mixed up with crushed ice.

    We’ve got your back, mom. Email is a-goin’

    Starbuck’s should be ashamed.

    • Thanks on the e-mail! I hope they get inundated with calls and e-mails! And I agree- their coffee is gross.

  5. Either the employee was dispensing her brand of business, or Starbucks has a new policy of virtual/electronic commerce. Makes no sense. What a sendofff! Your poor DIL wanted just one more small creature comfort from home before heading out to the wilderness(cup of coffee, albeit from Starbucks), and instead she got some bizarre transaction/interaction.

    If this is Starbuck’s thing, then cash should stay in the consumer’s hands. If this is an errant employee, she should be taken to task.

    • If it is the employee- one would hope she is disciplined. If it is Starbucks, someone needs to remind them they are doing business in the United States of America and should accept American cash!
      Having spent most of my life in the restaurant business I can hear all the excuses- none of which I am willing to accept!

      • When my daughter came to visit yesterday I asked her if she ever went to Starbucks and if the accepted cash from her or only a debit card and she said she paid both ways and never had a problem. When I told her about your situation she wondered if it was an “airport policy” but nevertheless, she did think it was very strange. I also wonder why it is that military in airports cannot get free coffee…even if they kept it to basic coffee…not the Frappuccino stuff?

        I noticed yesterday that American Airlines was pushing their ads about giving our service men and women special treatment because they deserve to be treated with respect. Too bad more business (and people in general) didn’t think this.

        (Although I am proud to say that at Cellular Field –White Sox ballpark- at every game there is a “hero of the day”…a military personnel who is honored and receives a standing ovation before the Star Spangle Banner is sung).

  6. (tap, tap, tapping foot)
    Waiting for a reply from Starbucks in Seattle or from the unit manager.

    Should I receive a reply I will update the post.
    Don’t hold your breath though.

  7. PMM- Did you try phoning the manager or just e-mailing? I was just about to send out my e-mail when I came back here to check on progress.

    On my way to aol….will let you know if I hear anything from them.

  8. Wow, that’s nasty. My son works at Starbucks part-time (in between his music gigs), and anyone who refused money according to him, would be disciplined. He’s worked there for 6 years and that has never changed. I couldn’t get all the details about disciplinary action, as he’s touring in the west and had to get back on the road.

    I’ve been reading a site for awhile, and thought you might be interested. It’s a woman who moved from the city to the country several years ago and is growing veggies and raising chickens and goats for her family, and for a CSA in which she’s a member.

  9. I just got an e-mail from the guy who runs the place. Here is his answer…

    “Good rule of thumb is not to believe everything you read. The post is untrue, we are a cash business. We are always taking care of our military and I am a supporter of HVAF, Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation”

    I assured him that I knew you, personally, PMM and that I do not believe you were not telling the truth and suggested that perhaps his employee is not familiar with store policy. Trying to stay as polite as I can, in spite of the fact that he basically called you a liar, PMM.


    Will let you know if I have any further responses.

    • I have not yet had a reply to my e-mail BUT I am not surprised at the response he gave you. He is trying to weasel out of a boat load of trouble. My Daughter in law does not lie and neither do I as you well know. This man and his employee have a lot of explaining to do. I will keep everybody posted. Glad you got the guy to respond to you- he has yet to reply to me. lol

  10. Glad you are pursuing this, PMM!

  11. Keep it going, I sent the post to all of my email friends. They are a rowdy bunch of Golden Girls that will continue the circulation.

  12. Mom, maybe you should call the local news stations in Indianapolis and tell them this.

    Also, my husband goes to Starbucks a lot, not becuz he is a fan, but becuz he loves coffee and drives around a lot around L.A. everyday and there is usually a Starbucks available. He says he pays cash 90% of the time.

    What a jerk that manager is! Although the employee is probably lying.

  13. What I meant was, the employee probably denied it to the manager, but he should’ve been smart enough to figure that out.

  14. I hope this gets sorted out. I’m pretty sure this relates solely to what was going on in that airport Starbucks on that morning — which doesn’t mean no one should be held accountable.

    On my last deployment (Iraq/Afghanistan ops), my family members at home kept me supplied with Starbucks beans for the officers’ mess grinder-cappucino machine (our pride and joy, let me tell you). As often as not, when they told the Starbucks employees who the beans were for, the manager doubled their purchase for free.

    Recently, the Starbucks in my area had a promotion going in which customers could add $3.99 to an order and send a big bag of beans to the troops.

    Sounds like HQ needs to get its act together.

    • Glad to hear that- it sounds from your comment that this is a case of a single employee messing up.
      Thanks for your service!

  15. Well…I guess another option would be to get a military friend dressed in their uniform and go to the same Starbucks in the airport and go to the same employee and see what happens…getting it all on film if possible. That would take coordination, checking to see when she is working etc. But if caught in the act, it would be interesting to see if the manager would be so quick to defend her.

    I can’t help but wonder if it was the employee who waited on DIL showing her disdain for American soldiers, just as you’ve said. This may not be corporate policy, but if that was any kind of manager, he would investigate this thoroughly.

  16. Has it occurred to anyone that the reason the Muslim at the counter would not take her money was because she was a american woman and in the military. That was probably two strikes where the Muslim was concerned. I’ve been in many many airports and have had coffee from every single airport I’ve visited and I have never ever heard of a business in a US airport not taking cash. I think Starbucks knows this was a case of discrimination and is just trying to avoid it.

  17. I agree with “theoptimistconserative”. It seems that these posters have already made their mind up by jumping to conclusions. As an American, I am ashamed of the Muslim comments on these blogs -sounds like you are the racists here. With hot heads like you, it is no wonder the world is so messed up! Do you wake up each morning to see what you can stir up without even fully understanding a situation before you open your mouth to spew it all out?

    • As an American, I’m ashamed of those who are too blind to see that there are some Muslims out there who are anti-American, especially anti American military. Wake up, and smell the coffee.

    • Racist? That was the 2008 buzzword. You better report back to obama headq1uarters and find out what brush you are to be tarring us with this time around.

  18. As an American, I am ashamed of the anti-military, anti-decency comment of the troll upstairs. He sounds like a racist, and a hot head, maligning his own fellow citizens and military personnel without even knowing or understanding the situation, or any of the people involved. He also tries to spin the comment of another military person to make it sound as if they agree with one another. This is why our country is so messed up, but then, we already knew that.

    • Amen Socal.
      As I replied to the troll above- racist is the 2008 buzzword of the obots. They need to come up with something new as they have over used “racist” so much it no longer has any meaning.

  19. Proud Military Mom – any updates or replys from the store in regards to your blog?

    • I will keep everybody updated. Waiting to hear from the district manager.
      As for the manager’s offer of coupons- she is to use those exactly WHERE in Afghanistan?

  20. What a jerk of a Starbucks manager – thinks it’s just another day for you, family and especially DIL. It turns out this video has been around since Nov 9, 2009, so I would not be surprised if you’ve already seen it, PMM. But it is a keeper, and there’s a related series there.

  21. Just checking in on you, hope you’re ok. Will send an e-mail off to you soon. Take care, PMM!

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