WEST HOLLYWOOD—A customer at a West Hollywood Starbucks is suing the company for denying him a cash redemption for the remaining $1.70 balance on his gift card on Thursday, March 12.
The plaintiff, Robert Paskey is suing for punitive and compensatory damages, as well as a court order that Starbucks provide cash redemptions for gift cards having a balance of less than $10. He argues that the company is required to do so by law.
Paskey made a purchase at a Starbucks located on the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard on December 26, 2019. The clerk denied his request for a $1.70 cash redemption on his gift card explaining to him that the sales software system did not provide for cash redemptions for card balances less than $10.
According to the suit, the online cash redemption policy was implemented by Starbucks last September, a month after the expiration of a 2009 injunction issued by a Shasta County judge mandating that customers be permitted to obtain card cash balances of less than $10 in stores and that a notice of their rights be conspicuously posted at the locations.
“It therefore appears that Starbucks will not comply with (the state Civil Code) unless explicitly required to do so by court order…,” the suit states.
Paskey is seeking a class action status for his lawsuit stating that the number of gift cards circulating with a value of less than $10 is “quite large.” According to Starbucks website, cash redemptions for cards with less than a $10 balance can be obtained online, but a request must be made and a 7 to 10 day wait is required. According to the lawsuit, the policy is not posted in stores or on the back of gift cards to better inform customers.
Customers should not have to undertake “independent online research projects” to determine their rights, the suit states.
Since Starbucks gained its popularity in the 90s, customers and employees have filed lawsuits against the company. Complaints filed against the company range from false advertising, sexual harassment and discrimination.