Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Starbucks is giving out free coffee because an update wrecked its computer system

Published May 16th, 2017 12:58PM EDT

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Some Starbucks locations across the US are temporarily giving out free coffee to customers, as an update has put the point of sale systems out of order at some locations. According to dozens of users on Twitter, affected locations are either closing doors, or “taking care of customers” in a very excellent way: free coffee for all.

The story was spotted by thirsty TechCrunch writers in New York, who discovered that their local Starbucks was affected and giving away free drinks. A quick search of Twitter confirmed what was happening: an overnight update bricked some of the chain’s point of sale systems, making it impossible for stores to accept credit cards.

Some stores apparently shut down, but others stayed open to give away drinks. Starbucks confirmed in a statement that “As part of our normal course of business, overnight we worked to install a technology update to our store registers in the U.S. and Canada. A limited number of locations remain offline, and we are working swiftly to resume full operations in each of these stores.  The stores will remain open during this time and, as always, our partners are prepared to take care of our customers to ensure they have the best experience possible.”

“Our partners are prepared to take care of our customers,” in this case, means free drinks. The move is obviously meant to keep caffeine-craved patrons happy and awake, so it would be a decidedly jerk move to make a special trip to Starbucks, just to see if the drinks are free.

This story is also your daily reminder of the number one rule in technology: always backup before an update.

Chris Mills
Chris Mills News Editor

Chris Mills has been a news editor and writer for over 15 years, starting at Future Publishing, Gawker Media, and then BGR. He studied at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.