In September 2020 Pret launched its drinks subscription service in an attempt to combat low lockdown sales. The £20 per month deal offers members up to five hot or cold drinks every day, with a minimum of 30 minutes between uses.
But recently, the chain has received as many as 5,000 complaints about the deal, mostly regarding the lack of availability of cold drinks such as smoothies and frappes. The claim is that by mid-afternoon, cold drinks are usually unavailable and many branches have stopped them entirely.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told Pret to review their offering, and that "their ads should not state or imply that the service was available in all store locations, or that it covers their entire range of products if that wasn't the case".
This news comes just four months after the widespread staff strikes due to pay cuts in August this year.
Aside from customer complaints, former employees are also complaining about the subscription, some describing the increased pressure as “unbearable”.
One former Pret barista said, “the blending machines can’t take it”. Another described colleagues simply turning the machines off as it takes 90 seconds to prepare a smoothie.
The company, however, claims that less than 1% of complaints about the subscription are due to a lack of cold drinks.
They said, "It's been incredibly popular with Pret customers. We continue to work with shop teams to ensure they have what they need to keep team members and customers happy."
The same month Pret launched their deal, Leon offered a similar one for £15 a month, but quickly had to stop to help their teams during difficult times.
For a more uplifting story, read about the pub offering free Christmas dinner to anyone who’s alone on the 25th.
Image from Pret Instagram.