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February 2, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Car coffee cup

Coffeecuplabel Mark Crummett writes in:

We carry this car cup at our store. It seems to be a hot beverage cup for use in a car, but according to the label, it can't be used for hot beverages! Go figure.


what kind of a store is it?

Posted by: gmangw at February 2, 2006 12:10 AM

Maybe it's some special ( type of cup which is unable to support hot liquids.

Posted by: Trent Chernecki at February 2, 2006 12:47 AM

And the really sad thing is that cold beverages such as beer or a vodka tonic taste really crappy in those plastic travel cups.

Not that that has ever slowed me down too much...

Posted by: myheadhurts at February 2, 2006 01:00 AM

This is really disconcerting. I can't beleive they printed the warning right on the cup. Why?

Is it such an incredibly cheap cup that it will melt with any above average temperature liquid?

Or was it made in a state where the legislature madated that all warnings have to be printed directly on all products.

It seems like it would not be cost effective to do so, even if it is just sticker.

And while I am at it, why don't they use a specific temperature? What does 'hot' mean?

enough for now

Posted by: Josephc4 at February 2, 2006 04:04 AM

This is, of course, CYA. No one can sue them for damages sustained from using hot liquids in their products.

Posted by: DaveC426913 at February 2, 2006 09:27 AM

See, it't the word "beverages" that is confusing people. what you need to do is take your food, puree it, then put it in the cup.

Posted by: Riblet15 at February 2, 2006 09:28 AM

Just covering their asses. Doubt it would really melt completely, but maybe a bit of plastic on the surface would. Maybe it would melt at more than 100 degrees. Maybe someone will spill a bit of coffee on themselves and attempt to sue everyone in sight.

Posted by: Reed at February 2, 2006 09:33 AM


I have a bottle of HOT sauce that has a warning- "NOT A FOOD ITEM" and "DO NOT USE ON FOOD"

I'm fairly sure they're just there for show, but it's still funny.

Posted by: Jim King at February 2, 2006 11:32 AM

C'mon. I don't see this as broken or particularly outrageous.

They've made a cup for a specific purpose and they're telling you not to use if for another purpose. It may be a somewhat silly thing to do but that would seem to be their perogative.

Posted by: Steve at February 2, 2006 11:33 AM

Steve, just what purpose did they have for this cup? To me it looks like a coffee cup. Any cup with that type of lid screams "I am a coffee cup." If you drank anything other than a hot drink from this cup, people would stare at you wondering why you were using a coffee cup.

Posted by: WillF at February 2, 2006 12:03 PM

Steve, show this product (without the label)to any reasonable North American and ask them what it is, and chances are they're gonna answer, "Coffee cup". So why make a product "for specific purpose" and then disguise it as a product made for another specific purpose? I'd call that broken.

Posted by: E.T. at February 2, 2006 12:05 PM

Umm, yeah, what WillF said ...

Posted by: E.T. at February 2, 2006 12:11 PM

yeah- the disclaimer is broken; but maybe they know how bad the lid/seal is and hot liquid busting out all over the user is a known effect of the cup; in which case its nice that they're warning you not to use for hot stuff. The cup; label and seal mechanism are all broken; so is the manufacturer

Posted by: smartypants at February 2, 2006 01:23 PM

This reminds me of the 'Selling It' feature that's in the back of every month's Consumer Reports magazine. This month they have a selection of ads where the picture and the text all disagree. For example, a picture of little kids playing with a hot air balloon and the text says "For teens", 2 guys riding in an ATV and the text says "Don't ride with passengers". This month there's also a great separate feature in the magazine about impossible to open product packaging.

Posted by: Alex B at February 2, 2006 01:56 PM

Maybe it is for cold coffee. Anyway, at least there is no warning against using it for cleaning paint brushes.

Posted by: Steve h at February 2, 2006 03:37 PM

The label even says that it's not dishwasher safe. Since when was any kind of "drinkable" cup considered not dishwasher safe?

How are you to clean it? With your tongue? To wash it out in the nearest river stream? To wash only with your bare hands in COLD water? Perhaps I'll just run this cup through the car wash instead.

If it was a fast-food plastic, wax or styrofoam cup, then obviously you wouldn't wash it. Though some plastic cups that aren't dishwasher safe kindly print their disclaimer on the cup bottom rather than a worthless sticker that most people would want to peel off (and thus forget).

It may or may not be broken, as it may be technically correct if the materials used may cause these conditions. But then again, this item reeks of horrible product design for the very same reasons.

Posted by: Z at February 2, 2006 05:09 PM

>>>what kind of a store is it?>>... I can't beleive they printed the warning right on the cup. Why?

Actually, it's on a label.

Posted by: Mark Crummett at February 2, 2006 09:31 PM

Hey Z:

I know what you mean by washing the cup in cold water. If you dipped it in hot water only the handle in your hand would survive. Not much good for cold beverages then. Deffinetely broken!

Posted by: Mat-Tris Fluff at February 3, 2006 12:03 AM

Sorry to mention the dreaded "McCoffee is Hot Case" but it's because of some person who had no idea coffee was hot that labels like this are needed. (And I'm glad to see the Wendy's finger people are being prosecuted.)

Posted by: Poindexter T Quakenfuss at February 4, 2006 07:58 PM

I think Steve H wins the random award on this one... cleaning paint brushes?! Maybe I missed something...

Posted by: ambrocked at February 5, 2006 11:58 AM

Sorry to mention the dreaded "McCoffee is Hot Case" but it's because of some person who had no idea coffee was hot that labels like this are needed.

That's a complete and utter distortion of the facts of the case. But hey, these days it's all about truthiness, right?

Posted by: D.F. Manno at February 5, 2006 02:57 PM

Hot beverages can be placed in this cop as long as they are no longer hot.

Posted by: Yaos at February 5, 2006 05:33 PM

Manno, a portion of my comment was sarcastic. They lady was fumbling with the coffee cup and spilled it on herself. She was quoted in several places as saying "she didn't know the coffee was going to be that hot". ANY coffee is hot. As much as I hate McDonalds, I don't think she should have gotten a dime. Now if she was served using this cup then maybe it would have been a different story.

Posted by: Poindexter T Quakenfuss at February 5, 2006 05:42 PM

PTQ (and anyone else who "knows" about the McDonald's coffee case), I suggest you read

Briefly, everything you've heard about the case is likely wrong. And warning labels on the cup would not have helped McDonald's case at all.

Read it.

Posted by: E.T. at February 6, 2006 05:13 PM

um hello? i hope the poster is reading this.

have u ever thout that the cup was a counterfit or maby some freak decided to put a lable on the cups as a prank or something.

Posted by: Confused Shoper at February 9, 2006 08:17 AM

That must be a really, really cheap plastic to melt at the temperature of hot coffee. Styrofoam works well with hot coffee, so why wouldn't it?

WARNING: May melt when used for hot beverages. May shatter if used for cold beverages. Flammable at room temperature.

Posted by: zero??? at February 10, 2006 06:43 AM

Perhaps I need to find whichever brands of nuts here say "WARNING: contains nuts" (duh!), or - worse - "WARNING: may contain nuts" (so, equally, it may not?)

Posted by: root@localhost *is* a valid address, dammit at February 11, 2006 10:48 PM

I think that "WARNING: may contain nuts" means "WARNING: may contain nuts[other than those listed in the ingredients]"

Posted by: Sean P at February 13, 2006 10:17 AM

Argh... I have a theory as to why the warning is there. I've had one of these cups, and after using it for [hot] coffee once it took on the smell of the coffee, permanently. This was okay for a while (since I only used it for coffee), but after a couple of days the smell started becoming very odd and plasticy. No amount of cleaning would get the smell out. I'm convinced that the hotness of the coffee (and maybe the acidity) was leaching something out of the plastic and somehow degrading the container...

Even if I'm wrong, I stopped using the mug mainly because the smell was starting to become very irritating...

Posted by: juice at March 14, 2006 12:17 PM

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