Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Starbucks computer bug disables 8,000 US stores

AP, SEATTLE

Starbucks Corp says a computer outage that affected registers at 8,000 company-operated stores in the US and Canada has been resolved. The coffee chain said that stores were expected to open for “business as usual” yesterday.

The company said the outage affected 7,000 stores in the US and 1,000 in Canada. It did not explain exactly what caused the outage, which began in the early evening on Friday on the East Coast and in the late afternoon on the West Coast.

In a statement, the company said the failure was caused not by hackers, but by a problem during a daily computer system update. The problem also affected the chain’s Fresh and Teavana stores.

The company offered free drinks to customers before saying stores that had not already closed for the evening on Friday were closing early.

Customers found some stores closed and others offering free coffee. In Phoenix, Arizona, some stores blocked off the entrance to their drive-thrus.

At a Starbucks store in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, customers were told staff members could not process orders. However, they were being offered coffee at no charge.

“I’m not going to complain about a free cup of coffee,” said Suveer Sharma, who was getting a caffeine fix before he headed on a weekend trip to Idaho.

“Went to my local Starbucks,” Tom Bryan, a customer, posted on Twitter, the New York Times reported. “Their registers are offline. Their solution? Drinks are free until they fix the problem. #customerservice #win.”

At a Starbucks in Phoenix, customers drove away angrily after seeing closed signs.

“I have a sleeping baby in the back and I’m waiting for a prescription,” said Claudia Larson, 40, of Scottsdale. “I wanted a coffee! I’m bummed!”

Additional reporting by NY Times News Service

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