How A Mistake Caused Someone To Pay Over $5,700 For One Coffee

Colorado's largest hotel had a rough year in 2020. The Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center was closed for at least three months last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic (via The Denver Post). So the resort's Marketplace convenience store must have been thrilled to receive a payment of more than $5,700 for a cup of coffee on Christmas Eve. Talk about a holiday bonus! Except, the woman who purchased the cinnamon dolce latte at the Gaylord wasn't trying to buy the world's most expensive espresso drink (via Denver7). As it turned out, the barista entered the drink's price twice, resulting in a charge of $5,705.70 to Aurora resident Lisa Angello's debit card. Angello didn't notice until her bank notified her of an insufficient funds fee.

It's hard to pay for other essentials such as a mortgage and car notes if you're going to spend four figures on a latte. Clearly, a refund was in order. We don't know exactly how Angello juggled her finances, but it did take nearly a full month for the Gaylord to refund her the $5,000-plus. (No word on whether they asked whether she'd like to leave a tip.) But Angello's bank never got the money, so after initially crediting her account for the overcharge, they took the money back out.

The coffee buyer waited more than two months for her $5,700 refund

Don't you love it when those consumer-protection segments on the local TV news can cut through the red tape and solve a viewer's dispute with a business after all previous efforts had failed? Contact Denver7 got involved in Ms. Angello's case in March. They drove out to the Gaylord to order a coffee and ask some hard-nosed questions: Didn't a single customer spending nearly $6,000 in your shop raise any red flags? Didn't it seem a little strange that, on Christmas Eve, one of your baristas suddenly yelled, "I'm rich!" and ran out of the store, never to be seen again? (OK, that didn't really happen.) Denver7 also hounded Angello's bank, USAA, which said they were working on the problem. Then, just a couple of hours after the TV news had contacted USAA, the bank put the money back in Angello's account.

This story has a footnote that didn't get a lot of attention in the Contact Denver7 segment. This little twist doesn't appear in the online story and is only briefly mentioned at the end of the video report (via YouTube). The refund the Gaylord processed in January would have gone through if Angello hadn't canceled her debit card, claiming fraud. Angello would have been better off keeping her card because the case of the $5,700 latte wasn't fraud. It was more like a typo.