Man Accidentally Pays $4,000 Tip for 2 Cups of Coffee

The most expensive coffee run.

Jesse O'Dell and his wife, Deedee, are Starbucks aficionados who spend at least 10 dollars a day on coffee—but their caffeine habit ended up costing them a huge amount of money. The couple from Tulsa, Oklahoma, were horrified to discover a regular coffee run turned into a financial disaster after they discovered they paid a $4,444.44 tip. "Typically, we do almost every day for the last 16 years. We get 10 dollars worth of coffee," Jesse told Fox23 News. "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." Here's how they discovered they paid a huge tip and why it took so long for the situation to be resolved.

Their Card Was Rejected At the Mall

Fox23 News

Deedee was at the mall with her four children when she tried to pay for something and her card was rejected. "I tried it again because I know for a fact I have the money in the account for sure," Deedee says. "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."

The Most Expensive Coffee Run

Fox23 News

To her shock, Deedee realized the size of a tip. "For this to happen was just a real shock. I know for a fact I didn't do that but sure enough, it was there in the charge," Jesse says. "We do give good tips but nothing like that. And from there the real hell started."

Starbucks Spoke With the Man

Fox23 News

Jessee and Deedee immediately called the Starbucks helpline to find out what was happening and get their money back. The local district manager blamed a computer error. "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," Jesse says. Starbucks assured the couple two checks were being sent in the mail to cover their charge.

The Starbucks Checks Bounced at First


When the O'Dells attempted to cash the Starbucks checks, they were rejected. "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," Jesse says. "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 got a call from one of the representatives in Seattle. They assured us that they are sending new checks but as of today."

The Family Vacation Is Canceled

Fox23 News

Jesse and Deedee say their family is on a tight budget, at the loss of money caused issues for them. "When that budget's gone away, we just kinda don't know what to do." The family had to cancel a vacation due to a lack of funds. "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 says. 

New Checks Arrived


The situation has since been resolved, with new checks issued on January 31 and reportedly cashed. Customer error or not, Jesse says when it comes to tips: "I would highly recommend number one, check your receipts, ask for a receipt, get a receipt."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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