Dunkin' Donuts scalds Starbucks over loyalty program changes

Starbucks customers aren't happy over changes to the company's loyalty program. Dunkin' Donuts also let the rival chain know how it feels on Tuesday.

Dunkin’ Donuts took a shot at Starbucks on Twitter on Tuesday after changes to its rival’s rewards program prompted unhappiness on social media and criticism in news outlets.

One day after Starbucks revealed its new rewards program, Dunkin’ Donuts posted a tweet offering fans a free beverage if they enroll in its own Perks program.

Starbucks revealed its revamped rewards program on Monday, stating that the changes were inspired by its "number one customer request: More stars awarded based on what you buy, no matter how often you visit."

Under the current program, 12 visits earn a customer a free drink or food item. However, under the new plan, which will roll out in April, a regular coffee customer would have to visit about 30 times to get a free treat. Bigger spenders benefit, as customers can accumulate more "stars" based on dollars spent. Starbucks outlined all the changes in detail on its website.

Some customers said on social media that if the changes are implemented, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Yet even after the backlash from consumers and major media outlets such as CNN and Forbes, Starbucks stuck to its guns on the new program.                                           

"By evolving our loyalty program to reward customers on both frequency of visit and total purchase – as well as unlock new ways in which customers can earn stars both inside and outside of Starbucks – we will increase the overall value of the program as customers will be able to earn stars just as fast, if not faster, than they currently do today," a Starbucks spokesperson told PRWeek via email on Tuesday when asked how the chain is responding to complaints.

Here’s what customers have said about the Starbucks loyalty program changes on social media.

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