One Customer Devised A Scheme to Get Free Starbucks For a Year and His Barista Was Not Amused

It sounds like a great plan if you want to be known as 'that' customer

A man tried to cheat Starbucks' free drink policy by registering 365 rewards cards with different birthdays.

Free Starbucks for a whole year sounds too good to be true because it is — unless you want to cheat the system.

Kitchenette by Jezebel features a series of stories called “Behind Closed Ovens,” based on emails from readers describing their experiences in the restaurant industry. One Starbucks barista shared his story last week about a customer who thought he could get away with receiving free drinks.

Brad Halsey, the Starbucks barista, said that the customer purchased 365 gift cards and registered each one of them with a different birthday so he could receive a free drink every day of the year. According to Halsey, the customer pretended that his app was “just malfunctioning,” but in reality, he would get a free birthday drink every day.

“If he was a nice guy, I might not be so irritated,” Halsey explained to Kitchenette. “But he’s not a nice guy.”

In addition to annoying his barista with the clever (if somewhat involved) trick, the customer further irritated Halsey by crafting his own complicated drinks, drawing lines and arrows and instructing Halsey and his colleagues to make his free drink to exact specifications. He asks for two pumps of white mocha, five pumps of vanilla, heavy whipping cream added before the espresso, and more.


We’ve reached out to Starbucks to determine the veracity of the story and the viability of the scam. In the meanwhile, if you want to use this method to get free Starbucks, you’re welcome to give it a shot... but you may very quickly become “that guy.”