Costa Coffee are my latest pet hate for Dark Patterns.
When you go to a Costa they do the same thing the country over… “Would you like Medio (Medium) or Massimo (Large)”… as if the “Primo” (small) doesn’t even exist as an option. Obviously good selling technique for them but to me it is irritating as most people don’t look on the board to see there is a smaller option, or don’t believe it exists as it wasn't offered. This combined with the incredibly small writing means that only the most diligent customers actually get to “choose” the smallest (cheapest) option. Good for Costa but bad for the customer.
Oh and then there is their Coffee Club… “The Costa Coffee Club is our way of showing some love to all you Costa coffee lovers out there. It's free to join and a great way to get something back - simply for enjoying the food and drink you love…” which should say after it “AS LONG AS YOU DON’T WANT A COFFEE AT A MOTORWAY SERVICES”… which for us rural folk is where we drink most of our coffee!
What is so “dark” to me is that all their staff are trained to be misleading. In times when honesty and integrity of some of the world’s leaders and leading brands (is there a difference anymore?) are being challenged it seems perverse that companies are training their staff to be less than completely honest.
So Costa Coffee – when I have a choice, I seek out honest independents… and when I don’t, I’ll have mine “Primo”…