The amount of ice in that Starbucks venti iced coffee may make for a watery pick-me-up, but it certainly isn’t illegal, according to a federal judge in California.
A lawsuit — dismissed last week by United States District Judge Percy Anderson — accused the company of duping customers out of enough beverage by advertising drink sizes to include both liquid and ice.
Starbucks “systematically defrauds its customers by advertising its cold drinks as containing more liquid than they do by ‘underfilling’ its cups with liquid and then adding ice to make the cups appear full,” the suit alleges.
Anderson’s subtle burn when he dismissed the lawsuit is especially worth noting:
As young children learn, they can increase the amount of beverage they receive if they order ‘no ice,’” he said. “If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking that when they order an iced tea, that the drink they receive will include both ice and tea and that for a given size cup, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered.