If you haven’t heard already, Jonathan Wells has his very own “The Way I See It” cup at Starbucks, and upon writing the company an irate e-mail, I received two responses. Here’s the first, which is essentially a meaningless form letter which is the equivalent of saying “I’m sorry you got offended at the perfectly reasonable statements of Dr. Wells (which do not necessarily represent our company”;
Thanks for taking the time to comment on “The Way I See It.” This is a new program where we invite outside contributors to write something for the back of our to-go cups.
Because the goal of “The Way I See It” is to encourage discussion and exchange ideas, your contribution to this dialogue is not only welcome – it’s vital. Whether you agree or disagree with what’s been said, we hope you appreciate the overall spirit of the program, which again is to encourage discussion and the exchange of ideas.
Part of our mission statement is to “embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business.” We believe that this program is one of the ways that we can express this part of our mission statement. While Starbucks does not necessarily endorse the viewpoints of the individual authors who appear in “The Way I See It,” we think their contributions to the marketplace of ideas is a way to respectfully encourage intellectual diversity.
If you have any additional comments or questions please let us know.
Starbucks Customer Relations
The second one was a bite more personal, although I have yet to hear back from the customer relations official about whether my complaint will appear on the website or not (oddly enough, the link he sent me only gave me an error page… hmmm….);
Hello, Brian —
Thanks for taking the time to comment on “The Way I See It.” Because the overall goal of our program is to encourage discussion and exchange ideas, your contribution to the dialogue we are trying to foster is notonly more than welcome — it’s vital.
With regards to your comment on The Way I See It #224 by Jonathan Wells, I’d like to do two things. First, since you were asking about a counterpoint to this particular cup, I wanted to call your attention to the quote by David Quammen that we are featuring at the same time Dr. Wells’ cup runs.
The Way I See It #220
Evolution as described by Charles Darwin is a scientific theory,
abundantly reconfirmed, explaining physical phenomena by physical
causes. Intelligent Design is a faith-based initiative in rhetorical
argument. Should we teach I.D. in America’s public schools? Yes, let’s
do it – not as science, but alongside other spiritual beliefs, such as
Islam, Zoroastrianism and the Hindu idea that the Earth rests on
the giant turtle.
— David Quammen
Author. His books include The Song of the Dodo and The Reluctant Mr.
Secondly, I’d like to see if you would be interested in having your original response posted on our web site. As part of the “Way I See It”, we have a “letters to the editor” section where customers can respond to the things they’ve read in our program. (You can see previous letters at http://www.starbucks.com/retail/thewayiseeit_letters.asp.)
If you would like your response to be considered for posting, I need to
ask you a few things.
First, I need your permission to post. I’d also like permission to make
any necessary grammatical corrections to the piece, which I would send
to you before posting.
Second, I need some contact information (an address and phone number)
to verify your identity. Your contact information will not be posted, nor will it be used for Starbucks marketing purposes.
I must explain there is no compensation involved in this, beyond the honor of having your response posted. Also, your permission does not necessarily guarantee that your letter will be posted — it simply moves it into the queue for consideration. We will publish as many letters as we can on the web, but due to the volume of responses we can’t publish
everything we receive.
Please let me know if this will be agreeable to you. I hope to hear
Thanks and all regards,
Starbucks Creative Group
So, other than letting my little rant go public, it doesn’t seem like Starbucks cares what’s on their cups, not believes they can be held accountable for it. I’m not a customer of theirs, but if nothing else these exchanges have, for myself at these, solidified the reality that Starbucks sucks.