UPDATE: Local Starbucks caught up in ‘technical difficulties’ affecting 8,000+ stores in U.S. & Canada

8:19 PM: The Morgan Junction Starbucks is usually open until 9 pm on Fridays, but not tonight – it’s closed early, and the sign cites “technical difficulties.” It’s one of more than 8,000 stores caught up in an apparent computer glitch of some sort that left their registers inoperable as of a couple hours ago. The company said the stores would close early if they weren’t already closed by the time this hit. No word yet on whether it’ll be fixed for tomorrow. (Thanks to the tipster who indirectly let us know about this by texting to ask why a TV crew was at the Fauntleroy/Avalon Starbucks drive-through. 206-293-6302, text or voice, any time!)

9:40 PM: Starbucks published an update on its website minutes ago saying the problem is “resolved” and they expect stores “to open normally” tomorrow.

18 Replies to "UPDATE: Local Starbucks caught up in 'technical difficulties' affecting 8,000+ stores in U.S. & Canada"

  • West Seattle Hipster April 24, 2015 (8:24 pm)

    Yay, nice to see that caffeine addicts won’t the feed the corporate beast tonight.

  • Cup O Joe April 24, 2015 (8:26 pm)

    Some Starbuck stores were giving away free drinks because of the technical difficulties.

    • WSB April 24, 2015 (8:34 pm)

      Have seen that in various reports but haven’t heard if that happened here. And of course, if anyone is looking for late-night coffee, we have at least a few indie shops open in West Seattle for a couple more hours!

  • JA April 24, 2015 (9:21 pm)

    The Starbucks drive thru on Avalon was giving away free drinks at around 4:45. Well played, Starbucks!

  • DBurns April 24, 2015 (9:33 pm)

    Wow – 8,000 stores?? So just Seattle then? Haha ;)

  • JEM April 24, 2015 (9:42 pm)

    Hipster, that corporate beast supports me and many other west seattleites so we can afford to live in this beautiful city and do cool hipster things.

  • WestSide45 April 24, 2015 (9:47 pm)

    I was working for a major grocery chain many years ago when the computers ground to a halt due to a system update. Not nearly as severe as this, however, people were only trying to buy food.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 24, 2015 (10:12 pm)

    JEM, I don’t bore you with my problems do I? Starbucks is the equivalent of McDonalds.

    • WSB April 24, 2015 (10:25 pm)

      Except that McDonald’s corporate headquarters isn’t within view of the West Seattle Bridge. We espouse local indie everything but also recognize the unique ties this corporation (and some others based in Seattle) has with the community because of that. Nonetheless, we would have published this about any of the multiple-outlet businesses in West Seattle if they’d had a computer problem shutting them down early. WS has five standalone SBUX by my count (and the future one in The Junction). Five Subways. Six Eight 7-11s. (“Only” three McDonald’s.) Please correct me if I’m missing something, this is strictly off memory. – TR

  • G April 24, 2015 (10:46 pm)

    Starbuck’s sells itself as a reliable, non-threatening place where you can access the internet, read or just sit and be alone, in company. I’m sure the stores don’t like people camping out all evening, but for lonely people in Seattle it’s a lifesaver. But it’s true that you can get better coffee elsewhere, in my opinion.

  • Kerwitty April 24, 2015 (10:54 pm)

    I stopped at the 4th AVE Starbucks by Costco at 9:30am. I took almost 30 min to get through the drive up line that had 5 cars when I arrived. They offered my sandwich for free because it took so long which wasn’t necessary but when I looked at my sandwich a few minutes later, my sausage, egg and cheese was just English muffin and sausage. The folks working the drive through seemed amused by the situation. The meeting that I was late for because of the 30 min wait, not so much.

  • kevin April 24, 2015 (11:05 pm)

    I guess counting change back to the customer is a lost art that is no longer taught.

    • WSB April 25, 2015 (12:00 am)

      I *think* what happened is that the registers just entirely went down, for cash OR cards. Having a way to manually record sales and take cash might not be a bad idea … a bit like the backup plans we had in the TV newsrooms where I worked; after everything went computerized, lineups and scripts, by the late ’80s, we still kept a few typewriters around and multi-carbon “script paper” so that if tech trouble hit, we could somehow get on the air short of writing everything longhand. Did have to deploy the typewriters a time or two, in fact. – TR

  • kristan April 25, 2015 (12:21 am)

    I manage a corporate store in Westwood Village and I promise, running a business and selling merchandise “by hand” with written receipts is ABSOLUTELY possible (we have to do it on occasion) and all my employees are trained to work a calculator and calculate tax. HOWEVER, it’s a slow process, especially for customers who usually expect speed as part of the service. To accept a credit/debit card, with no functioning technology, each card has to have funds authorized via telephone….it is just a mess. I think they avoided more unsatisfied customers by simply closing. Its what I always want to do when our electricity goes down.

  • evergreen April 25, 2015 (2:13 am)

    Just wanted to say that the staff at the drive-thru Starbucks, the one I go to, are super nice. Must be hard to work when the computers fail.

  • wscommuter April 25, 2015 (9:04 am)

    @west seattle hipster … You must live a remarkably pure – and apparently hip – existence, what with your disdain for corporations and all. Your clothes … food … shelter … nothing from any corporations?
    Or maybe you’re just a hip-ocrite …
    Starbucks is a paradigm for what a corporation can be. Flawed to be sure, but more socially responsible, and I’d just venture to guess, much more of a positive contributor to our society than most hipsters I know. But by all means, put on your fedora and feel superior.

  • WS michelle April 25, 2015 (1:07 pm)

    Just FYI all Starbucks employees were paid for their FULL shift regardless of when they closed.

  • jetcitydude April 25, 2015 (4:03 pm)

    I hope they changed their coffee brand during the outage.

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