Teavana -- If you don't want to buy something, too bad.

587 Replies

Yes, they can be like that. I found out the smallest amount of tea still costed $25 and I had to tell my mom we needed to leave right away. Afterwards I explained why….. She understood. I’d go with Stash or Yogi or Celestial Seasonings.

Basically anyone but these idiots

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Mitch said

The first time I went in to a Teavana (before I really started drinking/worshiping tea), the lady tried to push a giant $10 tin and 90$ of tea on me. LOLOLOL. I told her that was too expensive and managed to somehow get her down to 27$ worth of tea (probably about 4 oz) plus the tin. She made me feel like I almost HAD to buy the tin and that ridiculous amount. Luckly, I didn’t let her get the best of me and told her that it was too expensive then left.
I went back a few weeks later and there was a really nice woman at the counter. I asked her for some of the Blueberry Bliss tea. She scooped about 4 oz in and she asked if that was good, so I told her a little bit less, and she gladly gave me about 2 oz. She asked if I had/wanted a tin because the tea stays fresh longer, but she also informed me the bags were free. I took the bag. She was great and I always go to her in the store.
Some of them are just too pushy and try-hard for those quotas…

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Maria said

I recently went into Teavana to pick up some earl grey creme, which I had bought from them before. I knew how much I wanted and knew that they were pushy, so I went in with ready set boundaries. Well, it was almost closing time, so there was nobody at the mall. The person behind the counter opened the big canister of tea and let me smell it. Lo and behold, “Starbucks” has made some changes to the teas. In the case of Earl Grey Creme it was the blue cornflowers were replaced by yellow cornflowers. I informed the person behind the counter that it was a little upsetting that they had changed the look of the tea, but as long as it tasted the same I did not care. Now, this Teavana has never offered to go drinks as far as I know (I was aware that some Teavana’s have a to go brewing station). Anyway the guy behind the counter asks if I would like to try some, so that I know it tasted the same… Long story short, he ends up charging me for a “regular” cup of tea, without ever suggesting that this “taste” would cost money – something to the tune of 3 bucks.

Worst part it, the tea does not taste or smell the same as the last batch I had bought (and I was able to compare them side by side with what was left of the earl grey creme at home). BLARGH!

Chizakura said

Augh, that’s upsetting. At my Starbucks, I always help coach people not to use the word “try” when suggestive selling, ’cause otherwise that causes confusion because “try” sounds like “free sample.”

Sadly, that seems to be Teavana’s tactic as far as I can tell from all these stories. Blatant trickery. I’m never setting foot in one, that’s for sure.

But it is blatant mis-selling no?

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Parrot said

NEVER again.. Brought my Teavana tin into the store.. I was told I needed the tin to buy more tea. Then they tried selling me more tea than I wanted. When I told them “no” I was told I could NOT have my tin back! I nearly had to call the police.
If they gave away free tea.. I still wouldn’t take it.
Horrible sales practices.

They took away a tin you had already purchased after you didn’t want to buy extra tea? Uh, just making sure I read that right.

Zeks said

O_o Did they actually return your tin ?

Why does this not surprise me?

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I bought some oolong there once, (it was horrible), I asked for the big tea tin because I had other plans for it. I realized it was expensive but that was fine because I was going to use it for something else. He asked how much I wanted and I said 2oz. He filled the big tea tin all the way up and it rang up has over 100$! I said no I just wanted 2oz, he said “I was just showing you what it looked like”. Ok whatever that’s fine. He started taking tea out a little at a time. “Is this ok?” I always said “is it 2oz?” after 15 minutes of this I finally got frustrated and left with like 2.9oz of tea and paying like 50$. Do not go there!!

What an unpleasant shopping experience that must have been. Good grief. I wonder if Teavana takes into account, at all, that when people are shopping for a luxury item, like tea, they want to have a fun, relaxed time picking it out. It’s stressful to have to repeatedly tell a salesperson “no, I only want two ounces.”

Aaaaaaaaaargh tea is not a luxury item, its a basic commodity

They have marketed it to be something more than it is.

So around 100g of oolong is 50 dollars, about £30? Good god

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Hopefully now that Starbucks has bought teavana maybe teavana stores will adapt starbuck’s more laid back customer service.
I’m not sure if Starbucks taking teavana over is a good thing or not, but I’ve always liked the employees and atmosphere at Starbucks.

Chizakura said

I work at Starbucks, and while it’s easy for me to say that I don’t see eye to eye with a bunch of their policies, I definitely feel that Starbucks could improve Teavana if they choose to.

While I am required to upsell, it’s nowhere near the amount of aggression as Teavana. It’s just ordinary standard, “Want a banana loaf with that? Okay, no problem,” attitude like any retail. Plus from what I’ve heard of from employees of Teavana, we’re treated way better. It’s not perfect, but it’s way better.

Sometimes bad experiences are local issues more than company issues. The Starbucks locations here always make it difficult to get a simple cup of coffee. I am lucky if the house brew is regularly available, but heaven forbid I want the feature dark roast of the day. It’s never brewed when I am there. So I ask (they never offer) if they can’t do a pour-over and they look at me completely flustered like it is a difficult task (some even say they don’t know how). Brewing a new pot is also out of the question because they don’t re-brew anything after noon. Meanwhile, the next person in line orders a fancy have-a-drop-of-coffee-with-your-dessert beverage and 10 or more minutes are devoted to their often severely custom request. One big case of “are you SERIOUS?” Oh Well. LOL.

Chizakura said

Wow, my store is so not like that, and it frustrates me hearing of your experience, because we get some people up in arms at the get-go because they’re expecting an experience like what you have. I just wish every store had a team as good as mine. We’re always the ones suggesting pour-overs to the customers, and we have pots of coffee (including the dark and blonde) all day. We stop brewing blonde at 6PM but offer pour overs, and we keep both pike and dark roasts until closing at 11PM.

Plus to be honest, I go out of my way to make sure everyone gets a good experience. Rude people don’t get special treatment because I’m scared they’ll go off. If they go off, they’re the idiot at the end of the day, not me. =P

I wish the staff like at the store you visit would stop giving us a bad name. =/

I’m never able to be one of those cranky customers. I just leave with my head down. My husband on the other hand is the customer you don’t want to mess with! It is so embarrassing to be out with him in public sometimes. I have to remind him to chill more than once.

I’m also not able to be the rude one on the customer service side of things as I am scared of offending anyone and besides that, it makes me happy to make others happy. Seems so simple, you’d think. Anyway, I’ve been to good Starbucks too, it just depends on the location, individual personalities, over all persona of locals. I’ve never been one to blame the whole for the actions of a portion of it.

I don’t know what’s up with Teavana, though. I’ve never been to one, but it seems they have a bad reputation everywhere. They must really drill that obnoxiousness into the employees during training or something. (^o^)

Chizakura said

The fact that you aren’t the rude customer is appreciated.

Honestly, when rude people leave, we make fun of them in the back room. xD Whenever we get a really nice person, we happily talk about how nice a person they were and how it made a day of rude people so much better.

But honestly, I’m so done with customer service. I always try my best to make everyone happy, and more often than not I get treated like I’m something below human. Fun times. sigh We do our best to laugh it off and continue on, but it’s getting harder.

Uniquity said

When I worked at Subway in high school the thing I appreciated most was when customers would sympathize with me after someone let loose in store. Several times I had an irate customer berate the staff for anything they could come up with (somehow I was in charge of the evening shift, despite my youth). When other customers would come up afterward and say how impresed they were with how we handled the dituation I would calm down much faster. We’re all human. :)

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I’ve never had a bad experience at Teavana, so hearing all of this is really new for me :( it’s likely a store-by-store situation, but I’ve been to several different ones and they’ve always been really courteous and polite to me. I’ve been to a few in the San Diego area and also one in Seattle.

I’ve never had them be any pushier than any other store like that. I mean they’ll offer other teas or tins or something, but all I have to say is “no” and they’ll listen. Maybe it helps that I tell them right away what I’m looking for and what I’m not interested in; I don’t like blends so when I go into a Teavana I just right off the bat tell them I’m only interested in straight teas.

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Gene said

I’ve had only a couple of positive experiences with Teavana, but then I’ve only been there a couple of times. I firmly, but politely, let them know that i was simply looking around, and when i was in need of help, i’d ask for it. Further, when i did buy tea i made sure they understood I wanted only the amount for which i asked. 2 oz meant 2 oz!

I guess they realized they couldn’t bully me into submission, and respected that.

I haven’t been back to Teavana not because of customer service issues, but because of tea quality vs. price issues.

I’m able to purchase tea of a better quality at a lower price over the internet. I have lots of tea in my cupboard, I could not have afforded it all at Teavana prices!


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Mrs. Tea said

I’ve only been to Teavana twice and I haven’t had an issue. I simply go in there knowing what I want and when paired with my bitch face and firm voice, I leave without issue. However, I’ve discovered some Internet sellers that have converted me to them; so, the only time I will go to Teavana is when I want some of the sweet teas that I like.

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There’s a Teavana in the same mall as the SF Lupicia – I pass it every time I make a Lupicia run. There’s always someone looking terribly desperate outside, loudly and energetically trying to get everyone to take a sample and come into the store, it’s cringeworthy. I just smirk, hold my messenger bag jam packed with new Lupicia close, and walk on by… it always felt skeezy, and with this thread I now know why.

Chizakura said

You’ve made me awfully curious about their teas, I must say. You talk about them quite a bit, so I’m super intrigued! Time to do some research :D

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