Wow! Starbucks Accidently Charges $4,444 Gratuity

A couple in Oklahoma was charged more than $4,000 for two cups of coffee at their neighborhood Starbucks.

Here’s What Happened

The Tulsa, Oklahoma, resident paid using a credit card and said he selected the “no tip” option on the coffee chains’ computerized system and shelled out $11.83 on Jan. 7 for a venti Iced Americano and a venti Caramel Frappuccino with a single shot espresso for his wife.

Jesse and Deedee O’Dell said their tab for two coffees is normally around $10, but this time they were charged $4,456.27 on Jan. 7.

According to Deedee O’Dell, she noticed the charge a couple of days later while she was at the mall with her four children. She happened to use the same card to purchase something in a store, and to her surprise, it was declined.

The couple said they discovered that Starbucks had charged a $4,444.44 gratuity on top of their coffee order.

Couple Addresses the Massive Charge

Jesse O’Dell said he contacted the Starbucks district manager regarding the incident and was told there was an issue with the network.

The couple said that Starbucks sent them two checks equaling the total gratuity amount, but when they tried to deposit the checks into their account, they bounced.

“We contacted their {Starbucks] customer service helpline probably 30 to 40 times that day,” Jesse O’Dell said. “We got a call from a representative who said they are sending new checks. But as of today, we still have not received checks.”

According to the couple, they have filed a report with the Tulsa Police Department, and a fraud investigation began on Jan. 26, the spokesperson said.

However, in the meantime, their budget has gone away, along with having to cancel a family vacation because of the situation.

It Turned Into a Fraud Case

A representative with Starbucks said the company was aware of the situation and attributed the incident to possible human error.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said Friday in a phone call that the matter had been “resolved.”

“Detectives with our Financial Crimes Unit investigated the case and found the gratuity was added either by accident or by machine error. Detectives did not find any intent of fraud from the employees working at the time,” the statement said. The spokesperson added, “We are no longer investigating the case because it is our understanding that Starbucks is making a good faith effort to refund the customers and we did not find any evidence of fraud.”

“This is an unfortunate situation that is now resolved,” the spokesperson said. “There was an error made regarding a customer tip at a Starbucks drive-thru and we worked to address the situation as quickly as possible. Checks have been issued and were cashed by the customer on Monday, February, 6.”

“We had planned to take a trip but had to cancel and the tickets are non-refundable,” Jesse O’Dell said.

The couple urged everyone to check their receipts, but when it came to visiting Starbucks again, they had their reservations.

“This is something that has caused duress in our family, and hopefully, others don’t have to go through something like this,” Jesse O’Dell said.

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