Imagine heading to your neighborhood Starbucks on a Saturday morning to buy two cups of joe for 10 bucks, but then being charged a tip for over four thousand dollars. “We do give good tips but nothing like that," said Jesse O'Dell.
UPDATE - 2/10/2023 | 11:11 a.m.: After the reimbursement checks bounced, Starbucks told FOX23 that new checks had been reissued and sent to the O’Dells. A day after the story aired, on Feb. 7, the O’Dells said that they received two more checks totaling $4,444.44, the tip amount charged to the O’Dells credit card for two cups of coffee. For three days, the couple held their breath as the checks remained in pending status. Jesse O’Dell confirmed that the checks have officially cleared as of Friday morning.
The couple is now in the process of rescheduling their family trip, which they had to initially cancel due to the unexpected charge.
Imagine heading to your neighborhood Starbucks on a Saturday morning to buy a couple of cups of joe for 10 bucks, but then being charged a tip for over four thousand dollars.
That’s exactly what happened when Jesse O’Dell popped into the Starbucks on the corner of East 90th Street and South Yale Ave around 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 7.
“Typically we do almost every day for the last 16 years. We get 10 dollars worth of coffee,” said Jesse. “I ordered the Iced Americano and my wife, she always gets the Venti Caramel frappuccino with the extra shot and it’s usually around nine to 10 bucks. An extra shot might raise it up to like $10.75.”
A couple of days later Jesse’s wife, Deedee was at the mall with their four children. She happened to use the same card to purchase something in a store and to her surprise, it was declined.
“I tried it again because I know for a fact I have the money in the account for sure,” said Deedee. “I do it again and again and again until I realize you know what, this is very embarrassing. So I walked out the store and I told them I’ll be right back and I checked my account.”
Deedee discovered that Starbucks had given Jesse an additional charge of $4,444.44.
“For this to happen was just a real it was a real shock. I know for a fact I didn’t do that but sure enough, it was there in the charge, " said Jesse. “We do give good tips but nothing like that. And from there the real hell started.”
Jesse contacted the Starbucks district manager regarding the incident.
“He told me there was an issue they were having with their network I’m not sure if it’s a localized issue or if it’s a national issue but that’s just what I heard was it was a sticky button issue,” said Jesse.
Starbucks then sent them two separate checks equaling the total amount of, $4,444.44.
When the O’Dell’s received the checks in the mail they deposited them into their bank accounts.
“But after a day we get a call from the bank and they said the checks bounced and we’re like how can Starbucks not have the money,” said Jesse. ”We contacted their customer service helpline probably 30 to 40 times that day and just blasted every new case that we could just until we could hear from somebody and we did we got a call from one of the representatives in Seattle. They assured us that they are sending new checks but as of today we still have not received checks.”
Jesse and Deedee have four daughters. He says the family lives around a budget, “and when that budget’s gone away we just kinda you know don’t know what to do.”
The family also had to cancel a family vacation because of the incident.
“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,” said Jesse.
It’s been about a month since the transaction and the O’Dell’s still haven’t received any checks from Starbucks with their refund.
FOX23 reached out to Starbucks regarding the incident. A representative responded and said that they didn’t have a whole lot of details on why the charge occurred, or why the checks sent had bounced, but confirmed that Starbucks was aware of the situation which was attributed to human error. The representative stated that the company had been in communication with the O’Dell’s about the reimbursement and that the issue had already been resolved. The O’Dell’s should be receiving the checks in the mail any day now.
Jesse claims they have not heard from Starbucks since they were told that new checks would be sent.
“We’re hoping that when the checks come in, everything clears and everything’s fine but this is something that has caused huge duress in our own family you know and hopefully other people don’t have to go through something like this,” said Jesse. “I would highly recommend number one, check your receipts, ask for a receipt, get a receipt.”
Jesse now has his own receipt that proves he purchased two of the most expensive coffees in the world.