Although it's the first week of May, the weather has been chilly in the Northeast and the demand for iced coffee at the local coffee shops hasn't really taken hold yet. In the news, however, the story spread quickly that a woman in Chicago is suing Starbucks because they put too much ice in her iced coffee. At a weekly meetup with other local business owners, our discussion quickly turned to the lawsuit and what the woman must be thinking. One of the other owners even printed out a copy of the Complaint, with notes and highlighting, and wanted to sit down with me and dissect certain things in the document.
What struck me from the discussions was that these business owners didn't approach the lawsuit the same way I had in my mind. Most of the media stories seem to focus on the absurdity of the claims or the unnecessary resort to the court system when the woman could have simply asked them to put more coffee in her drink.
Instead, these business owners were (probably correctly) focused on the perception that is built up with their customers and the importance of delivering their product as advertised. To a person, they all would have preferred that the woman inform them and then provide a new iced coffee with less ice rather than being sued (of course, who wants to be sued?). But the discussion turned to the importance of perception of their product and business and the trust that they build with their customers, both loyal ones and first timers.
There are always multiple sides to a story, especially with a public litigation aimed at a large corporation, but it helps to really look into the entire story to see what other angles are at play.