Starbucks Customers Feel Burned by Surprise Price Hikes

Starbucks (SBUX) customers in New York this week could no longer pay for their venti mochas with a five-dollar bill after a 20-cent price hike brought the cost with tax to $5.06. In Seattle, the company's home, a grande mocha is now $3.91, up 10%. In Washington, D.C., an upgrade to new loose-leaf tea bags also meant an upgrade in prices: A 50-cent hike to more than $2.00 for a mug. What's more, the company ended its 10% discount for "Black Gold Card" rewards members on the day after Christmas, leading many loyal customers to complain that demand for Starbucks coffee "is not inelastic."

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