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Rantz: Local college student shamed by Progressive barista for ordering milk

Ryan McGregor's cup. (Ryan McGregor)

When Ryan McGregor transferred from Everett Community College to Northern Arizona University, he probably didn’t expect to have to deal with the crazy Seattle-style politics anymore. A recent trip to Starbucks changed all that.

McGregor, a Snohomish native, says he visited the local Starbucks on campus when the barista scolded and shamed him for ordering a latte with milk, instead of a “milk alternative” like almond or soy.

“Because I wanted dairy milk in my drink I was treated like a horrible person and tried to be embarrassed by the employee out loud … even further this was written on my cup,” McGregor said on Facebook. The accompanying picture showed a Starbucks cup that said: “Ryan who likes cow milk.”

Days later, McGregor is still shocked.

“I was… given a really strange and extremely judgmental look,” McGregor told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “I asked him what the problem with that was, and he just continued to look at me.”

“It was just mind blowing. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me.”

Is it at all possible that the barista was joking and giving him a hard time in jest?

“Absolutely not,” McGregor says. “From the tone of his voice from the beginning to once I said I did want dairy in my coffee. He became demeaning and just honestly angry.”

He reported the bad customer service experience to Starbucks and received a $10 gift card and promise that they’ll look into his complaint. Attempts to contact the campus Starbucks were fruitless, the manager not return any calls.

For McGregor he plans to use the gift card for one final Starbucks trip where he’ll buy an especially-milky beverage.

Update:

A Starbucks representative reached out with the following comment:

At Starbucks, we look forward to creating a warm and welcoming environment for all of our customers, and this is clearly not an experience we wish for any of our customers to have. We have reached out to the customer to learn more about their experience and how we can make things right.

This is an appropriate response. Good on Starbucks for tackling the issue.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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