CHICAGO -- A federal lawsuit claims Starbucks regularly overfills its cold drinks with ice instead of using the advertised amount of coffee or other liquid in its plastic cups.
The lawsuit was filed last week in Chicago on behalf of Stacy Pincus, a local woman who accuses Starbucks of misleading consumers. The lawsuit alleges that an iced beverage advertised at 24 ounces contains about 14 ounces of fluid, and that ice isn't a fluid or beverage.
"A Starbucks customer who orders and pays for a cold drink receives much less than advertised — often nearly half as many fluid ounces," the lawsuit states, adding that the practice is "by design and corporate practice and procedure."
Starbucks said the lawsuit is without merit.
"Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage," Starbucks spokesperson Jaime Riley said Monday. "If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it."
The lawsuit seeks class-action status, which could allow it to cover customers for the last decade. Among other things, the lawsuit seeks damages, restitution and attorneys' fees.