Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Undeniably The Worst Starbucks Branch Ever... Starbucks at Southpoint SM City Iloilo

Like most of you, I love Starbucks. Although somewhat expensive, the fact is, they have the friendliest and most helpful staff, the tastiest coffee, and the extra whipped cream. Who doesn't love the free extra whipped cream? And I thought that this was applicable to all branches of Starbucks. In fact, I've never known a Starbucks to skimp on ingredients...or whipped cream.

And no, I am not talking about the whipped cream that's blended into the coffee. I just want the extra fluff on top of my Frappuccino!

Starbucks' Raspberry Blackcurrant Blended Juice and Mocha Frappuccino
But I was wrong. There's actually one branch which just plain sucks at making Starbuck's prize-winning coffees. To add to the frustration, they don't do "extra whip". They just charge you for it while most branches (all branches I've gone to), give this as a typical freebie.

To cut to the chase, I will never ever EVER go to Starbucks at Southpoint SM City Iloilo EVER AGAIN! Why? Because of the following reasons:

1. Starbucks at SM City Iloilo skimps on ingredients. 

Their coffee neither taste as strong nor sweet as the ones in NCR branches. My top three examples... Starbucks Marquinton (love the extra strong coffee taste), Starbucks Eastwood (a little sweet but still fine) and, my personal favorite, Starbucks at Katipunan Ave along Ateneo (extra whip filled to the brim of the Frap's cover).

Hey Manager! This is how extra whipped cream is supposed to look like. And it's freaking free in all the other branches you aren't working in!
Starbucks Green Tea by Terry Johnston, CC BY 2.0
Is it too much to ask the same level of taste and quality from Frappuccinos of the same store name? Doesn't Starbucks pride itself in keeping quality and service at its finest?

I won't be attacking the lack of telephone numbers/ hotlines in the receipt... But how am I supposed to make a complain?
Oh wait... here it is!

Southpoint SM City Iloilo        
Southpoint SM City Iloilo, Benigno
Aquino Ave., Manduriao, Iloilo, Iloilo
(033) 333-34-90
Add-on shot for a premium ingredient... Sure!
I can't wait for the time to come when Starbucks starts to charge its customers additional for using their electricity and Wi-Fi. Although I doubt that'll happen in NCR, I won't be surprised if it does at Iloilo.

2. They charge you for "Extra Whip on Top". 

Yes, dear friends. Starbucks at SM City Iloilo charges extra for extra Whipped cream which has always been free in all the other branches. This is the second time I've been charged for Extra Whipped Cream. The first time (same branch), the manager explained that "Double Whip" does cost additional since whipped cream is blended in the drink and on top of the fluff. Extra whipped cream on top, however, (which is often confirmed by the cashier or barista) is FREE- no matter how many Frappuccino blended beverages you've ordered.

This is how Starbucks Frappes should look like. No extra charges involved, unless you want an entire espresso shot!

According to their Shift Manager Ms. KLQ, they DO charge extra for premium ingredients. And since whipped cream is a premium ingredient (obviously another ingredient they want to skimp on), then an additional 20 php is added to your bill.

Thank the coffee gods the condiments are free!!!
And to further agitate me, she adds that it will only be charged once for the two coffee-based blended beverages where the whipped cream will be split in half. Does this mean people who request for "no whipped cream" get a 20 php rebate on their payment?

I didn't know Starbucks has been opened for franchise! It truly sounds like a businessman's imposition rather than the beloved store group people from different nations have adored. Apparently, it's not enough that you're paying 180php for a Venti Frappuccino.

3. Something is definitely wrong with Starbucks SM City's whipped cream.

Let me give you a recap of that, their Frappuccino isn't as tasty, they charge an additional 20 php for Extra Whipped on Top (a typical freebie in all other Starbucks branches), and their whipped cream isn't smooth or fluffy (To be honest, you're better off in Coffeebreak. And I'm not even a big fan of theirs anymore!).

Coffeebreak is one of Iloilo's pioneer cafes. And the whipped cream on top of their Frappes are perfect.
I'm supposed to think this is okay? It's not smooth and fluffy. Something is wrong with this Starbucks branch's whipped cream.
Perhaps it's because the staff of Starbucks SM City Iloilo has yet to experience the taste and level of service other branches are currently offering. Heaven forbid I'd get the excuse that this Starbucks is in the province! I know Ilonggos are better than that.

This is how the Starbuck's Whipped Cream should look like.
coffee tiramisu cappuccino by hirotomo t, CC BY-SA 2.0
Perhaps it's because they have yet to internalize what Starbucks embodies.
It has always been, and will always be, about quality.
-Starbucks Mission Statement
Perhaps the managers are just plain too busy  to impose strict quality control.

Perhaps they're too busy to compare their service with other Starbucks branches that they're confident enough to say that anything extra costs extra (probably except cream, sugar and anything in their condiments table).

Perhaps its because no dissatisfied customer has ever confronted them yet.

I don't know. One things for sure, I will never EVER EVER EVER go to Starbucks at SM City Iloilo ever again.

Starbucks Philippines
bad Starbucks experience
Starbucks coffee
Starbucks whipped cream
Read More