July 18 2007 by Ellen Roseman
I always pay attention when I get two almost identical complaints within a few days. So, I wrote a column last week about a problem at Second Cup. It seems the small and medium cups for cold drinks are almost the same size, but the medium costs 40 cents more than the small.
Second Cup’s head office told me different stories. The problem was caused by old cups that should have been retired a year ago, when the 360-outlet chain acquired a new logo and changed its cup sizing system. There was also an issue with the small cups, which were actually 18 ounces (not 16 as ordered). When filled to the top, they were close to the medium size (20 ounces).
This week, I did what my two readers did. I bought a small strawberry lemonade and a medium chocolate chiller, both delicious, and drank the contents. Then, I filled them up with water to see how much they held. The interior volume was virtually the same, but disguised by the shapes. The small is short and fat, the medium tall and thin.
I thought this was an interesting story about economic justice. A large Canadian company is pulling one over on customers by selling the same cold drink in small and medium sizes that are not discernibly different. But some readers thought it was trivial and not worth mentioning. I got litres of feedback about this (see comments below). It seems everyone is an expert when it comes to coffee cups.