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Dunkin' Donuts Customers Express Fury Online at Pricer Rewards Program The Boston-brewed coffee chain almost doubled the amount you need to spend in order to get a free beverage through the rewards program.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Inflation's latest victim? Dunkin's reward program.

The company announced last week an overhauled rewards program, called Dunkin' Rewards. (It used to be named, DD Perks and was beloved by customers for its relatively generous rewards structure.) But the new changes to the program have sparked anger on social media.

Dunkin's new program, promised, "more food and beverage rewards, increased flexibility on when and how guests choose to use their points, and an all-new Boosted Status, a special loyalty tier for Dunkin's most dedicated fans," per the press release.

But, parts of the new program make getting rewards harder. And, as Redditors are wont to do, they dug into the details, particularly on the subreddit for the company on the app.

The new program's benefits are an attempt "to feebly try to justify the sky-rocket beverage ripoff," as one user on the site wrote.

For example, under the old system, for every dollar you spent, you got five points, and it was 200 points — so, about 40$, with a limit of one per week — to get a free beverage coupon.

Under the new program, a beverage that's not just iced or hot coffee costs 700 points, and even though customers now earn 10 points per dollar spent, that still means you need to spend $70 to get a free drink.

"They really think their customers are stupid. Well, we'll be in Starbucks lines, now," another Redditor wrote. Some took the company to task on Twitter, to which it responded:

Some also cracked jokes:

One longtime Dunkin fan who did not want his name printed but provided a screenshot of his Dunkin' loyalty profile (he has over 13,000 loyalty points) told Entrepreneur via Reddit that he is switching to an at-home machine.

"I have a Dunkin's sweatsuit. I used to be a Dunkin' loyalist. But I've since switched to a Nespresso Vertuo machine," he said, adding that he also feels the quality of the food and drink has gone downhill this fall.

Writer Magdalene J. Taylor (one of the first to do so) pointed out this trend on Twitter.

One or two people on Reddit said they were heading to competitors. Another told Entrepreneur that he would miss one perk in particular, the free birthday drink. It "is just salt in the wound," Tampa-based retiree Mike Matthews said via phone.

Matthews added he first went to Dunkin' in the 1980s in Oradell, New Jersey, and got free drinks with a punch card. "But, I am very disappointed, because now, I am going to have to spend a lot more money for my coffee," he added, just when inflation is hitting his wallet.

The company pointed to new perks in the program via email, such as having more options for what to spend your points on.

"Change is always going to be an adjustment, but in the long run, Dunkin' loyalists will benefit even more," said Scott Murphy, head of of the beverage and snacks category and president of the company, in an emailed statement.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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