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Tim Hortons customers frustrated with defective cups

Twenty Tim Hortons customers across Ontario have come forward with photos and stories of defective cups that collapse or split a short time after the coffee sits and saturates the cup.

The influx of customers eager to share their experiences came in response to a CTV News Toronto article Tuesday on an Ontario man whose coffee collapsed 15 minutes after it was purchased, prompting Tim Hortons to investigate the issue with its supplier.

Customers voiced similar issues at locations across the province, on a variety of dates, as recently as this week and as far back as August in one case.

For some, the cup collapsed along the vertical seam, and for others, it split horizontally at the bottom section.

Catherine Nasiopoulos, a loyal Tim Hortons customer who has one or two large coffees from the establishment per day, said her cups have collapsed more than 15 times in the last two months, driving her to start bringing a portable mug.

A Tim Hortons customer in Sarnia, Ont., takes a photo of a coffee cup after it split along the seam (Credit: Beverley Lawrence). It happened the same way each time, the Stouffville, Ont. local said. At least 10 minutes after purchasing, the bottom of the cup became saturated and popped open at the vertical seam causing coffee to spill everywhere, she explained.

In February, Nasiopoulos filed a complaint with the Tim Hortons head office and received no response. “It’s funny because when I complained to the store where the coffee was purchased, they told me they never heard of any issues,” she said.

Beverley Lawrence and her husband bought extra large coffees at a Tim Hortons location in Sarnia, Ont., in November.

A Tim Hortons coffee coffee cup purchased in Scarborough, Ont., on March 5, 2024 (Credit: Doreen King). After about five minutes, her husband’s cup opened at the seam and the entire coffee spilled onto his lap and legs. “Only the fact that he had on thick track pants and shorts underneath saved him from a bad burn,” Lawrence said.

She called the Tim Hortons customer service line, filed a formal complaint, and never heard back.

Just this week, Doreen King said she bought a coffee in Scarborough, Ont., and began to drink it in her car before work. “I lifted the coffee from the cup holder with my right hand and then switched the coffee to my left hand. The coffee started to pour on my left leg. Luckily I had my window down and immediately held it out,” King said.

A Tim Hortons coffee cup in Oakville, Ont., that a customer bought on route to work.

Tim Hortons Communications Director Michael Oliveira told CTV News Toronto that of the millions of hot beverages served in recent days, they have received a “few reports of similar issues.”

“We are working closely with our suppliers and restaurant owners to ensure guests continue to get the experience from Tims they deserve and we apologize to any guests who were served with a cup that fell short of our standards,” Oliveira said. 

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