business news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB reader Chris Utz had some thoughts about Starbucks:

I’ll admit to occasionally enjoying the guilty pleasure of an expensive cup of Starbucks.  If I’m dragging myself through the airport and need a boost, a sugar-blasted Mocha or a depth-charge (an extra espresso shot- for the tragically unhip) usually does the trick.  I give a significant number of $25 Starbucks gift cards during the holidays every year, to colleagues, administrative assistants and valet car-parkers.  It’s easy and doesn’t require deep thought.  A pocket full of cards means you never forgot someone and one can always use any extras.
Starbucks is gaining a negative  image perception lately, at least for me.  No not a problem with racist baristas, but with snooty baristas, who get particularly haughty if customers request medium or large, instead of properly saying Tall or Grande.  I always tip well, but I’ve seen a sneering demeanor if those ahead of me don’t tip or only drop small coins in the jar.  Personally, I’m finished buying Starbucks coffee and gift cards.  I will have to make a decision about something new to give this year.

If Howard Schultz runs for president, Starbucks can expect to lose another huge chunk of former customers, considering how politically polarized this country has become.

I have no doubt that this is your experience. But I must say that I rarely run into this problem, and I go to Starbucks all over the country, all the time.

Regarding the CVS deal that will have the US Postal Service providing last mile delivery services for the retailer, one MNB reader wrote:

There is some risk to allowing the USPS to handle the last mile. My experiences are anecdotal, but have happened to me frequently at two addresses, both in Seattle, in the heart of Amazon country.

Our first address was similar to a street name a block away…we constantly got USPS deliveries of boxes (not mail) for the other street and them us. No amount of discussion with the USPS management, at several levels, could resolved it.

Our second address has NO similarity to any address in Seattle, so when the same thing happened, again our boxes (not mail) being delivered multiple houses away (same street name, drastically different numbers…like 3 digits vs 4 digits), we again reached out to the USPS with no help…although after 3 months it seems to be slightly less frequent.

During both situations, Amazon Prime, pizza delivery and Uber drivers never had even one problem. So I asked my mail person about it and she said it was typically contract personnel that did Amazon deliveries…and of course, who you got and what they knew impacted accuracy.

So…the lesson on the last mile, whether you are the pizza gal, the Amazon guy or the USPS…the quality experience only comes from good, well-trained, customer-focused, reasonably compensated personnel. Which is hard to accomplish if you don’t own it!!

Regarding Movie Pass, MNB reader Lisa McDonald wrote:

My kids purchased my first 3 months on Movie Pass and if I see a movie per month I’m still ahead (Monthly fee is $10.00 – average movie near me is $11.50) so I continued my membership.

It’s convenient and I don’t have to plan more than 30 minutes ahead.  Recently 2 out of the 4 of us has been asked to snap a pic of the ticket – they’ve evidently had some fraudulent behavior.
I find myself going to the movies MORE than in the past and I don’t think twice about it.


My son in Chicago feels the same way … and he sees way more movies than I do.
KC's View: