Starbucks charges customer more than $4,000 in TIPS for two cups of coffee: Sent him checks as repayment – but they bounced, forcing him to cancel ‘once in a lifetime’ family vacation over lack of funds
- A Tulsa man says he was charged more than $4,000 in a tip for two cups of coffee at Starbucks in Oklahoma
- Jesse and Deedee O’Dell said they spent hours on the phone with Starbucks after the coffee chain charged them nearly $4,500 during a January 7 stop
- The O’Dells were forced to cancel a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip after the refund checks they were sent bounced, leaving them calling Starbucks repeatedly
An Oklahoma man was charged $4,000 in tips for two cups of coffee at a Tulsa Starbucks and had to cancel a ‘once in a lifetime trip‘ as he and his wife struggled to get their money back.
A picture of the receipt showed the nearly $4,500 bill for two coffees, with should have cost $11.83. That would have been the total if not for a mysterious $4,444.44 tip.
Jesse O’Dell says he and his wife Deedee quickly reached out to Starbucks after they realized the error and were told it was a system error that caused the incident.
Officials for the popular java franchise told the O’Dells they would be sending checks to cover the costs. The Tulsa couple, however, say they spent a day calling customer service ’30 to 40 times’ after the checks bounced.
The O’Dells also say they were forced to cancel a vacation while they waited to get their money back and filed a report with the Tulsa Police Department over the situation.
Deedee (left) and Jesse O’Dell (right) were charged nearly $4,500 during a routine trip to Starbucks
This is the receipt given to the couple, showing how they were charged $4,444 dollars in a tip
At the time, Jesse said he selected the ‘no tip’ option during checkout at the drive-thru. ‘I know how to press buttons. I didn’t press that button,’ he said.
‘If it wasn’t the barista then it’s definitely your network, which is a really big issue,’ Jesse told McClatchy News.
The couple didn’t realize they had been charged until days after the January 7 pickup.
Deedee told starbucks-charged-them-nearly-4500-2-cups-coffee/”>KOKI that she only noticed the charge after the card was declined while she was shopping with her four children.
Immediately, Deedee and Jesse began frantically reaching out to Starbucks.
Jesse said they called the local store and the district manager and were assured it was a mistake and that they would issue checks immediately.
The first round of checks, however, bounced.
‘We contacted their consumer service helpline probably 30-40 times that day,’ Jesse said. ‘They assured us they are sending new checks.’
In a statement to DailyMail.com, a Starbucks representative said it was a typo on the checks that caused the funds to not go through.
After repeated attempts to get their money back, they filed a complaint with the local police department while they waited for the new checks.
The case has since been closed and the couple have been issued new checks which were cashed on Monday, February 6, a Starbucks representative said.
Despite Starbucks correcting the error, the couple was still forced to cancel their family vacation after losing their budget.
‘When that budget’s gone away, we just kinda don’t know what to do,’ Jesse said.
The family was planning to take a trip to Asia, where Deedee is from.
This is the Tulsa Starbucks that accidentally charged the couple
TheO’Dells said they didn’t even notice the charge until several days later. Jesse said he had pressed ‘no tip’ when prompted in the drive-thru
The first two checks Starbucks sent the couple bounced, however
‘My wife is originally from Thailand and grew up in the States. We had planned to take a trip to the country as a family on January 27 but had to cancel and these tickets are non-refundable,’ Jesse said.
It’s unclear if Starbucks’ checks covered just the cost of the tip or if they received anything extra related to the incident.
Jesse and Deedee are now urging others to be vigilant when visiting a Starbucks.
A Starbucks representative who spoke with DailyMail.com said the company worked ‘quickly’ to right the wrong and attributed the situation to possible human error.
‘This is something that has caused duress in our family and hopefully others don’t have to go through something like this,’ Jesse said.
The couple had been planning a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to Deedee’s Thailand
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