The Great Italian Soda Overcharge

There are many things I hate in this world, but there are few things I love more than an Italian Soda with cream! The first time I ever ran into this delightful combination of syrup, club soda, and half and half was in 10th grade at this farewell dinner for 10th graders at my school, and it was amazing. A friend told me to order it, and the rest as they say, is history. The friendship totally became a bygone of highschool, but my love of Italian Sodas continues!

Of course the sucky thing about Italian Sodas, well any beverage really, is that they are overpriced. You can’t help but think how cheap it is to make the concoction versus how much you are paying for it…well, that is until I discovered Barnes & Noble Café. At the Barnes & Noble Café, which proudly serves Starbucks Coffee, you can get an Italian Soda, a large Italian soda for the bargain price of $2.15! I was over the moon, that is such a steal…I mean at $2.15 for a large that is cheaper than 10th grade prices! ☺

Even though this is a great deal, there is one small wrench in the Italian Soda works at the Barnes & Noble Café. When I ordered a week ago the price came to $2.65 plus tax. Before my brain clued in about this price difference between $2.15 and $2.65 I had swiped my card, had my drink in my hand, and all the 100% cane sugar from the Italian Soda syrup was rushing to my brain and I couldn’t think…sad, just sad. Glancing at my receipt later on I noticed something about “Breve” on it, I had no idea what that meant! I don’t speak fake pretentious coffeehouse Italian, and whatever Breve was it cost $0.50. The 100% cane sugar high had worn off and I was now suspicious about this mysterious Breve.

On my return trip to Barnes & Noble this weekend I ordered my usual, when they asked me if I wanted cream in it (as if that should even be a question!) when I said “Yes!” my brain went back to the Breve line on my old receipt, so I had to ask the question I hate asking sales associates “do I have to pay extra for the half and half in my Italian Soda?” Of course the answer was yes. But, to make this whole $0.50 cent charge, i.e., 23% of the cost of the drink (yes I did the math), even more ludicrous the Barista was willing to put whip cream, which I did not want on the Italian Soda for free, but not substitute half and half for whip cream for free.

It is just these sort of nonsensical up selling tactics from huge companies that really annoy me. I really hate to be that person that who examines my receipt and points out stuff that doesn’t make sense, mostly because I always think people are looking at me and thinking, “hey that person is super cheap!” But I hate being charged for nonsense! I really, REALLY, hate it! This $0.50, 23% of the cost of the drink charge, really makes no sense because THERE IS AN ENTIRE CARAFE OF HALF AND HALF sitting there on the little counter near the sugar and IT’S FREE FOR ANYONE TO USE! THERE IS A CARAFE OF FREE HALF AND FUC&#@%HALF!

Now that my psychotic break is over. I just don’t know which pisses me off more, the fact that I can get whip cream in my drink for free and not half and half, or the fact that there is two liters of half and half sitting in carafe free to any Café patron, and they want to charge me $0.50 for it. This is the equivalent of Spirit Airlines selling you an airline ticket for like $10, but oh by the way you have to pay an additional $20+ for a seat on the plane! This charge would only make sense if they allowed you to stand the entire flight.

My thoughts on this Breve situation keep wavering in between, “stop being cheap the Barista is just doing their job, accept it and move on” and “WTF, I am not making any donations to Barnes & Noble for absolutely no apparent reason!”. Either way there is just something in me that rebels at the idea of paying that $0.50. It’s probably my middle class upbringing, you know the fact that I never owned a piece of clothing, before I started buying them for myself, that wasn’t 50% off the ticketed price, but something in me just balks at this blatant overcharging.

What it boils down to in the end is, that either way, I have to be in a wedding to be in like 6 months, I shouldn’t be drinking any sort of Italian Soda with or without cream. However, as long as I am destroying my diet I ought to do it in as fiscally responsible a manner as possible! ☺

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