Oklahoma Starbucks Charges Couple $4,000 Tip for Two Cups of Coffee, Forcing Them to Cancel Family Vacation to Thailand

The two coffees should have cost $11.83, but the charge for them came to almost $4,500, according to a receipt image shared with local media.

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An Oklahoma man was charged a whopping $4,000 in tips for two cups of coffee at a Tusla Starbucks, compelling him to cancel his "once-in-a-lifetime trip" as he and his wife struggled to get their money back. Jesse O'Dell says he and his wife Deedee were charged nearly $4,500 for two cups of coffee after they visited the Starbucks store on January 7.

The couple said that the coffee should have cost $11.83 but they ended up paying almost $4,500. Starbucks later acknowledged that the inflated bill was a result of a system error but by that time it was already a bit late for the couple who had to cancel their trip.

The Shock of Their Life

Jesse O'Dell
Jesse O'Dell and his wife Deedee O'Dell were charged $4,000 tip for just two cups of coffee at a Oklahoma Starbucks Twitter

Jesse O'Dell claimed that on January 7, when he went on his routine coffee run, he spent roughly $10 on a venti caramel frappuccino for himself and an iced Americano for his wife. The two coffees should have cost $11.83, but the charge for them came to almost $4,500, according to a receipt image shared with local media.

If not for a strange $4,444.44 tip, it would have been the final sum.

A copy of the receipt given to Jesse O'Dell shows $4,456.27 charged for two cups of coffee Twitter

The father of four didn't immediately check his receipt, so he was unaware of what had transpired. But when his wife Deedee attempted to use her credit card at a mall and it was refused, she discovered that a 4-digit charge had been made for the drinks, according to WNEM.

The O'Dells were informed by officials of the well-known java franchise that checks would be sent to cover the expenses.

Jesse claimed to have chosen the "no tip" option at the drive-thru checkout counter at the time. "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.

Starbucks Caramel Cocoa Cluster Frapuccino

Jesse O'Dell claims he and his wife Deedee contacted Starbucks after realizing the mistake. When they contacted Starbucks, the company said that a system error was to blame for the incorrect and inflated receipt.

Deedee told KOKI that she failed to see the charge until the card was refused when she was out shopping with her four kids.

Unnecessary Harassment

Deedee and Jesse immediately started frantically grabbing for Starbucks. Although Starbucks agreed to refund the amount by sending them checks, the Tulsa couple claims that once the cheques bounced, they called customer service "30 to 40 times" in a day.

Jesse O'Dell
Jesse and Deedee O'Dell had to cancel their family vacation to Thailand after they saw the inflated Starbucks receipt Twitter

"We contacted their customer service helpline probably 30 to 40 times that day," Jesse said, claiming that they were compelled to cancel a trip while they awaited a refund and that they reported the incident to the Tulsa Police Department.

The first checks bounced due to a misspelling, a Starbucks representative told the New York Post, adding that a fresh batch of checks had been delivered and cashed. The official claimed that Jesse had submitted the enormous tip himself when placing the order, which contributed to the mix-up.

Jesse disputes the charge, claiming that a district manager informed him there was a network problem.

The couple had reported the incident to the Tulsa police, but after the good checks were presented, the matter was closed.

Starbuck Coffee Potter Building New York Pixabay/Christian Hardi

In case what occurred to Jesse was not a one-time mistake, he also warned other clients to keep an eye out for unexpected costs on their own invoices.

The family was particularly upset because the incident compelled the family to cancel a family vacation for which they had purchased "non-refundable" tickets to Deedee's native Thailand.

"This is something that has caused duress in our family and hopefully others don't have to go through something like this," he said.

It is not known if the family finally managed to go on their planned vacation after the checks were cashed.

This article was first published on February 10, 2023