Taco Bell Typo Causes 11 Overdraft Fees

A Vancouver man says he was overcharged by Taco Bell — costing him hundreds of dollars in fees. The man used his debit card to buy $15 worth of Taco Bell for his family. The receipt read the correct amount, and he says he didn’t notice that his card had been debited $150 until he started receiving overdraft fees for each item he bought after Taco Bell.

“We had it all budgeted out,” the customer told the local news. “We know exactly how much we spend. That knocked us in the hole.”

Soon, over $400 in fees had piled up.

“A $5 coffee was like $40 with the fee,” he said. “So every little thing we bought, it knocked us back $37 even further.”

Taco Bell refunded the $150 it mistakenly debited, but has so far refused to pay the 11 overdraft charges its mistake caused. It’s apparently still investigating and has not made a final decision.

UPDATE: Taco Bell just wrote us with some more information about how the story ended.

Our franchisee realized that his employee made an honest mistake keying in the amount, and immediately refunded the original $151.46 to the customers account. Here’s the part that the news coverage didn’t include: as soon as the franchisee learned about the overdraft charges on Friday, he paid for all 11 of them in full. In fact, he discovered that the bank would not clear the original $151.46 for at least seven days, so provided the customer with a check for the original amount.

Good work, Taco People.

Man Says Taco Bell Error Cost Him $400 [FOX 12]
(Photo:Morton Fox)

Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It boggles my mind that our cards let us continue to make purchases after the limit has been reached. I can understand though if the 150 was not debited for a couple of days and he continued to spend. Another thought though… how can he have a receipt for 15 and it go through as 150…. shouldn’t that all be linked together? Fraud??

  2. Admiral_John says:

    This should be a no-brainer… if Taco Bell’s error caused this to happen they should pay those fees, hands down.

    I think Taco Bell is owned by Pepsico, are they not? Maybe a Pepsi EECB is in order.

    • humphrmi says:

      @wchamilton: Taco Bell is owned by Yum! Brands…
      [www.yum.com]

      • cortana says:

        @humphrmi: Who is a subsidiary of PepsiCo

        • ameyer says:

          @cortana: Not so much.
          KFC spun off Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell in 1997, forming a company named “Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc”. Tricon changed its name to Yum! Brands in 2002.
          [en.wikipedia.org]

          Also, what are the odds that a Yum EECB isn’t appropriate since the restaurant is a franchise?

          • enki says:

            @ameyer: This happened to me when I canceled my Sprint account. The CSR assured me that my account was squared away. Sure enough, a few days later $150 was debited from my account by them. Thanks to the banks policy to debit from largest to smallest, all those $2 coffees and $5 lunches turned into $400 in overdraft fees. After a ton of calls, they eventually mailed me a check for $50…

    • Matthew C. Newton says:

      Taco Bell used to be owned by PepsiCo but they are now owned by Yum! Brands. Due to the previous relationship, all Yum! Brands restaurants have a lifetime contract with PepsiCo. You should contact Yum! Brands instead.

  3. coan_net says:

    I wish the article had dates. I mean I know some people will blow off the handle right away and go to the press without first seeing if the company will do the right thing….

    … as it says in the article, Taco Bell was going to look into it about paying the overdrafts. That is lets wait to see if the company will do the right thing before calling the “evil” or whatever The Consumerist already labeled the article.

    • metaled says:

      @coan_net: Or.. Everyone could make some “noise” and they won’t consider ripping off the guy. A nice letter being “concerned” about this, might make them do the right thing without putting the guy deeper in debt.
      BTW, they already refused it, they gave him back the original cost, then they blew him off by telling us they were looking into the overdrafts. This is where consumerist steps in, before it leaves the press and they can slide it under the rug with a “we made the man whole, what more do you want, maybe this guy should get an extra million bucks from us for our already corrected mistake..”.. If it’s out of the news, they guy has no chance of getting it back. And without the CRAZY overcharge, their is no chance of getting the story back in the news, even on the back (web)page. It wouldn’t be news, even if it is wrong.
      Let them keep the guys $400 another 30 days, it’s not like he needs it… Oh yeah, he budgets every cent, so no car payment or rent this month? I don’t think the comment is right in this instance, why should he suffer for a day longer for something they did. They ARE EVIL for ripping this guy off and telling him they may or may not make good on it!

      • coan_net says:

        @metaled: Can you let me know where you got your information from – I just read the article, and I did not really read as much as you are saying.

        From the article, what I got was the local store quickly refunded the error – and that they would have to get permission (from higher management) to possible refund the overdrafts that they caused – again, this is what I got from the article (which did not have much), so please share if you know of more information.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @coan_net: Because I am sure the bank is just going to allow you to wait for Taco Bell to make it’s decision.

      The bank is going to want it’s money. And odds are the bank is going to blame taco bell and offer no assistance. Taco Bell is going to say mistakes happen and we can’t be responsible for a banks unwillingness to fix fines after they reversed the original charge.

      In the end Taco Bell screwed up, but if they reverse the charge, the overdraft fees should no longer be valid. They should go away. I don’t think it makes sense for a bank to get paid tons of money over a mistake. Big business back dates things all the time. There is no reason the charge cannot be reversed and that the money shouldn’t be treated as if it was always there.

      • mac-phisto says:

        @Corporate_guy: the rule in banking generally is, whoever makes the mistake pays for it.

        that said, i’ve dealt with situations like this before & generally i will reimburse SOME of the fees & make the merchant reimburse the rest.

        the OP should know that merchants generally don’t reverse ANY fees without proof, so don’t expect taco bell to cut a $400 check until there’s proof (such as a bank statement) that proves the fees were a direct result of the mistaken charge.

      • Syrenia says:

        @Corporate_guy: I tend to agree with you. Yes, the error was Taco Bell’s fault, but is it their responsibility that the OP didn’t have a $135 cushion in his account? And how much of each fee is profit for the bank?

        In a better world, the bank would reduce the overdraft fees to what it actually cost them to process, and Taco Bell would reimburse that much, in addition to the $135 difference. (Of course, no bank would never own up to how much of a fee is cost and how much is profit.)

        I’m going to risk disemvowelment here, but if you cut it that close, maybe you should use cash instead of a debit card. Computers don’t make mistakes, but the people who use and program them sure do.

  4. Cornelius047 says:

    At the very least they should offer him a free roll of toilet paper and a bottle of Fantastik

  5. Segador says:

    From a legal standpoint, the OP has no leg to stand on. Taco Bell is responsible for their error, but they can’t be held responsible for the additional fees, and I’m not sure they should be. Opt out of overage charges. I learned the hard way after a similar incident happened to me.

    • mythago says:

      @Segador: On what do you base this legal opinion?

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Segador: No, because a 150 dollar charge is an unauthorized charge when you were only supposed to be charged 15 dollars.

      Restaurants assume most of the risk when they don’t require signatures on transactions. But as far as I know if you charge over a certain amount a receipt that needs a signature should print out. If they accidentally charged 150 bucks, then a signature should have been required. Did the customer sign something without looking? Was it a debit transaction which required no signature? If so, did the key pad display 150 bucks or 15 bucks?

      If the customer should have known the charge was off and blindly signed something or punched in a pin, then the customer should pay the fees. If not, taco bell should pay them.

      But in the end the bank really has no right to the fees. The later transactions should have been declined. The customer was hurt by the bank not declining the transactions. If they were declined the customer would have known of the error much sooner. The bank’s practice of allowing charges delays knowledge of any theft or fraud made against a customers account.

      If taco bell reverses the original charge, the transactions should all be processed as if the money was always there and the fees should disappear.

      • Skaperen says:

        @Corporate_guy: I totally disagree with you.

        The $135 difference between the $15 they should have charged and the $150 they did charge is merely the overcharge. All those fees are the DAMAGE caused by THEIR error. It’s a TORT.

        Reversing the charges does NOT magically undo all the costs to the banks of those fees (even though ACTUAL costs are lower than the fees charged, there are costs).

        Many banks do offer “overdraft protection” in the form of fees and interest. I have used that “service” before (knowing full and well I would be charged). I don’t use it anymore these days because they have jacked the fees up so high.

        Had the bank declined later transactions, that could have actually made things even worse. What if you are out of town and charging your (properly balanced) card to pay for a ticket to return home, and it declines then? THIS is why a lot of people want that overdraft protection the banks offer. THIS is why, in the end, the party responsible for causing a mess should pay ALL the costs of clearing it up.

        As for the customer responsibility for check the charge (as opposed to the receipt), I say maybe. At most that would be half the fees, because Taco Bell (their employee) ALSO has the responsibility to enter it correctly AND check it, too. Taco Bell SHOULD have a system that ties the credit/debit card charges directly into the cash register so the exposure to manual errors is limited.

        We should expect better from business. It’s is totally unacceptable for corporations to save money on the backs of consumers (e.g. just pushing the losses onto someone else).

        I did have a case like this once. A storage facility accidentally double charged my debit card. At first they wanted to just apply the extra charge to my next month. But that 2nd charge overdrafted (because I keep little more than what I need to pay out in that account). That was a $25 charge right then. It then also triggered other fees due to other charges overdrafting that were done before I found out about the double charge. In the end, my lawyer finally threatened to sue the storage facility for all the fees (came to over $250 when it finally settled down) and they finally agreed to settle for the whole thing.

        If I were the guy visiting Taco Bell (which isn’t likely … I love Mexican food, but I hate the crap Taco Bell is peddling), they’d better have that taken care of in just a few days, or they get to deal with my lawyer and pay HIS fees as well.

        • Corporate_guy says:

          @Skaperen: I have never found a person who wants over draft fees. You are a rare breed if you want a company to charge you money when someone else screws up a charge.

          No one wants this service. They force it on people because it makes them a ton of money. In this case 400 dollars for what amounts to zero work. Just a mistake from a retailer.

          • henwy says:

            @Corporate_guy:

            What it comes down to in the end is that it seems Taco Bell’s liability is the $135 it overcharged in this case.

          • consumerfan says:

            @Corporate_guy: Nobody wants fees but there are times when they can be useful.

            When I was starting out in life, I got paid very little and most of my paycheck went on rent. I shared a flat with a friend and his colleague. A temporary cash shortage could mean losing the apartment and my job. So I always kept an overdraft facility equal to one rent payment. And tried very hard not to use it.

            Later on, the fees rose but I stopped needing the facility a long time ago.

        • cecilpl says:

          I still don’t get all these “overdraft hell” stories, nor do I get why anyone would *want* overdraft fees.

          It’s quite possible to get a small line of credit ($1k) and attach it to your chequing account. That’s what I have, and when I buy $10 worth of groceries without money in my account, I pay interest at 5% yearly on the $10 until I get around to transferring $10 over from my savings account. Works out to 0.1 cents/day, a fee I’m more than willing to pay.

          This can’t be than uncommon, can it? Maybe Consumerist should do an article on it.

  6. Chumas says:

    Hate to say it, but the tried and true method of filing for a small claims court case and serving Taco Hell would probably clear this up in a hurry.
    That and if they don’t work with you out of court, the judge usually adds in an amount commiserant to the amount of BS you’ve had to deal with.

    • Herbz says:

      @Chumas:
      If Taco Bell doesn’t do something about it soon, I would have to agree with you. I’m sure any understanding Judge would find in favor of the OP.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Chumas: They may to choose to fight it. If this was a debit transaction with a pin number the pad that takes the pin number may have displayed the 150 dollar charge. If so, the customer technically agreed to the charge.

      If it was a credit transaction and the customer signed the slip that read 150 bucks, the again the customer agreed to the charge.

      The only way the customer is going to get taco bell to pay is if they required no signature on a credit card transaction or the debit pin pad does not display the amount. If the customer was able to see the charge before accepting it, the customer just screwed up.

      • EdnaLegume says:

        @Corporate_guy: whenever i’ve used my debit card at a fast food joint *(never taco bell mind you, so they may do it differently), I’ve never had to sign. If i go through the drive through, I don’t sign or enter a pin. If i go IN, I use my pin number, but IIRC, I don’t see the total on the debit machine, it’s just on the register.

        but I know if I use the drive through, i have no idea what amount they’ve entered. Usually I get a receipt. Usually….

  7. tande04 says:

    @wchamilton (don’t know why I can’t get threaded reply to work):

    They haven’t been owned by Pepsi for awhile. Its Yum! that owns them now.

  8. deejaypopnfresh says:

    if you explain what happened to your bank and taco bell admits it was their error the bank will usually not have a problem reversing the fees

  9. ikimashokie says:

    Sounds like a problem my friend is having witha local restaurant. Back in december they double charged her for her meal, causing her to have a bunch of fees.

    They haven’t even paid her the original second charge…

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Maybe Taco Hell will give him 35 sauce packets and an empty hot sauce bottle.

    I find it interesting that he budgeted a meal at Taco Bell. I’m not saying that from the perspective that he’s poor, or just cheap, but that some people literally feel as if they have to budget every single thing, including where they spend “eating out money.” But I’m not saying he did that, but I know some people who do.

    • Ratty says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: When you’re low on funds, yeah, you even need to budget if a fast food meal here or there is OK. I’m about to see if I have enough money to buy lunch out today.

  11. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Also…

    *cue “OP should’ve used a credit card* argument in 3…2…1…

  12. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    snowmoon: Are you saying he shouldn’t have taken his family to TB? Now that I re-read the post, it’s clear that the OP “budgeted” TB in because he has very little money, not like I had mentioned before about how some people are simply very meticulous. I’m not sure why I didn’t connect $15 and $150 with having less than $150 in one’s account. Yikes.

  13. Shadowfire says:

    snowmoon: perhaps they transfer enough into their checking account to cover the everyday purchases, and put the rest of their “bill money” into a moneymarket account. Way to attack the OP.

  14. GC says:

    I thought this article was talking about Vancouver, BC at first. I mean, that’s what I think if when people say ‘Vancouver’ anyway.

  15. jake7294 says:

    @snowmoon: Shush, you. It’s not his fault for using debit. I hate using cash, and I always prefer to use my debit. Something similar happened to me once and my CU refunded the fees.

  16. snowburnt says:

    @Segador:

    I think he definitely has a leg to stand on. He could try his bank first to see if they would understand and refund it (fat chance), but I think either small claims or EECB (if normal lines fail) would get that money refunded

    @snowmoon:

    1) Alot of people do…It could be avoided with proper use of a Debit card as well, he could have done an investigation with his bank to get those funds refunded as well…it’s worked for me.

    2) a) Way to blame the victim

    b) it’s true that $135 probably shouldn’t knock you into the red, but as the guy said, they are strictly budgeted and don’t have much room for error. Not everone lives with excess money from week to week. Maybe someone lost their job and they’re scrounging…these aren’t exactly the best of times. You know what they say about assumptions…

    • Brontide says:

      @snowburnt: “b) it’s true that $135 probably shouldn’t knock you into the red, but as the guy said, they are strictly budgeted and don’t have much room for error. Not everone lives with excess money from week to week. Maybe someone lost their job and they’re scrounging…these aren’t exactly the best of times. You know what they say about assumptions…”

      Typos happen, typos on Debt cards mean problems. If it wasn’t this it would have been something else like a temporary transaction that didn’t get purged from the system.

      Debt card + tight budget = disaster waiting to happen.

  17. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    Yo quiero my money back!

  18. snowburnt says:

    @snowmoon: One last thing, it’s not like they overcharged him 2 dollars for the wrong item either, they overcharged him 10x the amount AND gave him a reciept with the proper amount. They need to take FULL responsibility for what they did for such a gross act of negligence. That said, once they go through his bank records to find that he didn’t actually try to scam them, they probably will refund all or at least most of that money.

  19. ssaoi says:

    I’ll blame the OP. Everybody should know how the system works.

    When using a debit card, you are:

    1. Handing over access to your bank account to a front line employee.
    2. Hoping they take out the right amount.
    3. Getting your goods or services.

    That’s how a debit card works. If you are concerned about any of those steps, prolly shouldn’t use a debit card.

    p.s. I learned the hard way too.

    • mythago says:

      @ssaoi: And if the family got screwed on a credit card, here come the legions of screaming monkeys about how credit-card companies rip you off, only idiots rely on credit, Credit Card Issuer X is a known scammer, you signed the agreement that allows them to take your firstborn, blah blah blah.

      • henwy says:

        @mythago:

        It’s still better than a debit card. If, for some reason, your credit is so disastrous that no reputable company will offer you a credit card, then you should really pay with cash before you go with a debit card. It’s just a poor choice all around.

  20. greggen says:

    How I would handle this is to contact my bank and dispute the original charge, $15 was authorized, NOT $150. When the bank backdates the unauthorized $150 the 11 overdraft charges would be removed.
    No way would I let the bank have me deal with the merchant, or allow for a later credit to be applied.
    Debit cards do have some protections. One of those is being charged only for authorized transactions.

    • Ratty says:

      @greggen: There are a lot of fast food type places that will only make you authorize a charge if it’s over $25, and will just run your debit card as a credit card. Fast food really doesn’t let you authorize.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @greggen: A pin number authorizes the transaction.

      • Ratty says:

        @Corporate_guy: Find me a fast food place where you actually have to use a PIN. They seem quite elusive.

        beyond that, the receipt read $15. The display probably read $15 as well.

        • Corporate_guy says:

          @Ratty: In order to run it as a debit they HAVE to use a pin. They don’t require a pin when they run it as credit. But that means they are also taking a risk by not getting a signature. If the charge is disputed, they lose the money. Of course they probably also have cameras so they can get the face of the person who used it. But usually they have a price limit on the no signature receipts. After hitting like 20-30 dollars a signature is required. So if they didn’t have him sign for a 150 dollar charge, they are idiots and will be liable for all the damages.

    • foodporncess says:

      @greggen:
      Not true. I bank with Wachovia. I used my debit card to pay for my cleaning service one time. Other than that, I always left them a check.

      My cleaning service decides to show up on non-scheduled days for two weeks in a row. Both times, I sent them away and called the office to report it.

      Another week passes and my debit card is charged for cleanings on dates that never happened. I found out about this too late and was hit with a bunch of OD charges.

      I called Wachovia and told them these were unauthorized charges. They said that they weren’t, that the fact that I gave them my debit card # just one time was enough to authorize the charge. They wouldn’t do anything for me.

      I contacted the cleaning company and after some serious arguing, got them to refund the charges. Then, I had to call Wachovia back, and they reversed the OD charges with a WHOLE lot of persuasion on my end.

      Bottom line is whenever possible, don’t use your card. Pay by cash or check and you can avoid a lot of problems. I’ve learned the hard way as many others here have.

  21. ilves says:

    Depending on when the extra fees for all the other stuff they bought hit, I don’t know if Taco Bell would be responsible for only the overdraft fee from their specific transaction or all the ones after it.

    Either way, this is why I like to use credit cards and keep a healthy balance in my checking account just to be sure. Granted, I don’t know the posters situation so I don’t know whether thats possible or not, but if you’re using debit cards on a regular basis having less than $150 in the account is not a good way to go. At that point I’d probably resort to cash to make sure I don’t get screwed (I don’t think the situation is the guys fault, but at the same time protecting yourself is always better)

  22. katstermonster says:

    @snowmoon (still can’t nestle comments…)

    1) I do…and so do a lot of other commenters, it seems. Why charge a small purchase to a credit card if you have the money in the bank? Dumb.
    2) Do you remember anything about that mystical place they call college? I’m a college student who would be totally screwed if a 15 dollar purchase turned into a 150 dollar purchase…but I can afford to go to Taco Bell, as long as they don’t increase my purchase by an order of magnitude. Duh.

  23. Saboth says:

    This is why I don’t use debit cards. Having money lost/tied up from your checking account can create havoc with priority bills like mortgages or car payments. However, having money tied up on your credit card is just one chargeback dispute away from being resolved.

  24. ChemNerd says:

    While this was a terrible thing to have happen it’s kind of his fault. I mean if you’re living that close to the edge that $150 means the end of your money then what are you doing getting a $5 coffee? I just don’t get it.

    If you are that close you have to modify your lifestyle to reign it back in some. I’ll side with the arguments for him using cash or credit card, debt cards are one of the worst things you can use.

    • Hoss says:

      @ChemNerd: You’re making a lot of assumptions. He could be managing his checking balance to a minimum amount, transfering excess cash in an investment account. But if he is dirt poor — the fact that he may have bought lottery tickets, booze and Marlboros is none of my bees wax

    • Ratty says:

      @ChemNerd: Eating at Taco Bell is not exactly living a life of luxury.

  25. GayNerd says:

    I know his Taco Bell receipt said “15.00,” but he should also have been given a CC/Debit card receipt.

    It was certainly T’Bell’s fault for the initial error, but if OP didn’t ask for/didn’t look at the debit receipt, all the bounce fees are clearly his fault.

    Further, if it was a PIN based transaction, he had to hit OK on the little keypad, meaning it is 100% OP’s fault.

  26. SkokieGuy says:

    I find it curious how the receipt printed correctly. Most POS terminals perform the debit automatically, so if the transaction does not go through it is declined in real-time.

    Since the receipt printed correctly, I wonder if an employee (knowing it was a debit card) voided the transaction and rerung at a higher amount and pocketed the cash difference.

    • Michael Bauser says:

      @SkokieGuy: I’m wondering how an employee could ring up a $150 order at all. Most fast food restaurants use item-specific buttons — employees don’t enter “two dollars,” they enter “one taco.” The kitchen should have received an order for 10 times the number of tacos the customer wanted.

      Unless that store is using a kludge where the debit system isn’t wired into the register. The employee must be copying the amount over to the debit system by hand, so the customer has two receipts — one for the food, one for the debit transaction. That would explain it.

    • lauy says:

      @SkokieGuy:

      I was overcharged by Taco Bell once by $10.00. The manager told me they have a separate terminal that the card transactions are processed through in which the amount is keyed by the cashier. Not sure if this is true at all locations, but sounds like it was in this case.

  27. synergy says:

    I had this same exact thing happen to me. However, my bank dropped the fees when the merchant made their correction and I pointed out that if it hadn’t been for that error I wouldn’t have overdrafted. He needs to talk to his bank.

    • lauy says:

      @synergy:

      Exactly. As long as the customer has receipts to back them up, this is a Reg E situation and the fees should be refunded by the bank because they are not valid.

  28. TVGenius says:

    Wells Fargo themselves did this to me recently after making some changes to my accounts that they did incorrectly. I spent over a half hour on the phone, and a few hours at the local branch to get all the charges reversed.

  29. chrisjames says:

    So the bank shouldn’t be responsible for leveling $400 in NSF fees, one fee per charge? For Christ’s sake, if a cardholder is debiting against an empty checking account, then decline the transaction!

    Bank’s responsibility, not Taco Bell (besides the initial goof, of course).

    • foodporncess says:

      @chrisjames: Thank you! I spent 10 minutes in tears on the phone with my bank yesterday because of the fact that they won’t decline transactions and instead OD them. Granted it’s my fault, I shouldn’t have made the mistake in my register. I told them I didn’t want this OD crap. They told me tough, it’s not an option, and proceeded to explain the art of robbery, oops, I mean banking, to me.

      I’m going cash only from now on. I can’t take banks anymore, or idiot merchants, of who I’ve run into a few times as well.

  30. Vanilla5 says:

    I had something like this happen when L.A. Fitness took out two months of dues at one time. I printed out my statement, blacked out what was none of their business, and showed how they cost me almost $200 in overdraft fees and told them – Hey, YOU are responsible for this because of YOUR error. And if you don’t make it right, I’ll be going to the county prosecuting attorney who deals with people who pass bad financial transactions.

    They said they’d fix it – I made the manager type up a letter STATING that they’d fix it on L.A. Fitness letterhead and when I could expect payment. They seriously put a hold on my finances for nearly a week and a half.

  31. Anonymous says:

    When I worked for WaMu back in better times – it was bank policy that any overdraft fees that were caused by merchant error were to be reversed after the merchant corrected the problem.

  32. aguacarbonica says:

    I agree with everyone who says the OP should talk to his bank. Not because Taco Bell didn’t make the mistake, but because he will probably get more mileage talking to the bank.

    The bank did not really lose money in this transaction, and those fees were leveled as penalties. Taco Bell will be more hostile to paying the fees than the bank will be to dropping them because it stands to lose more. This is especially true if the Taco Bell restaurant has to pay it back rather than corporate.

  33. Ratty says:

    Don’t you have to PIN in for a debit card at pretty much every other kind of store, where they show you the amount and you OK it? The only time I don’t have that happen is when I run a card as credit OR if I’m buying a small meal. Sometimes I wish these places would make you OK the purchase like other merchants. There’s no way to verify they’ve charged you correctly.

  34. emilymarion333 says:

    @snowman – In this economy people do have to budget and do not always have a ton of money in their checking account. I always use my debit card….and yes I will buy a meal for $15 even if I only have $150 in my checking account.

    • Brontide says:

      @emilymarion333: Debt card + low balance = recipe for disaster.

      Use cash or use credit otherwise you are just asking for problems.

      • Skybolt says:

        @snowmoon: No one asks for problems. When someone screws you, they are responsible. There are things one might do to guard against these screwings, but if one doesn’t do those things, the screwing is still the responsibility of the screwer, not the screwed.

        I’m surprised no one has accused the OP of stupidity for not checking his account balance after each transaction. Because obviously, if someone is stupid or incompetent or dishonest, it is the responsibility of that person’s victims to fix it.

      • aguacarbonica says:

        @snowmoon:

        Are you actually serious? It is not enough for people to budget their money properly and spend within their limits. No, they have to be ULTRA-PARANOID and only use snowmoon-approved payment methods to avoid being incorrectly charged ten times the amount of the purchase they budgeted.

        Not everyone is rolling in cash. We don’t know that the OP isn’t, but even if he is: Sometimes people like to treat themselves to things, and for many reasons choose not to carry around cash. For all you know this person is living check to check and after they responsibly pay all their bills, all they have is $150 for recreation and savings. It is absolutely obnoxious to a)force your definition of a “low” balance on them when you don’t even know what their expenses are and b)tell them they can’t use legal tender because some Taco Bell idiot MIGHT make a typo.

        Ridiculous.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’ve actually had that happen to me too – by Verizon! Their response to me was that it was MY fault for not having enough in my checking account to cover a few fees (7)! I know I SHOULD keep at least $100 in my checking account for just such a reason, but that’s not always possible (especially the day before payday). Anyway, I fussed about it so much and threatended to go public unless they made everything right, that they finally did – after about two weeks!

  36. Sam Wille says:

    I know a lot of people that would be thrown off some if their $15 trip to Taco Bell turned into a $150 outing with $35 overdraft fees for every transaction you made after that.

    If Yum wants to be a good corporate citizen here, they should reimburse the family the overdraft fees their account has been hit with. The bank isn’t going to stand in and say it was an error – they processed the transactions accordingly and then likely re-ordered the charges based on dollar amount. The bank is going to say you should have looked more closely at the receipt. Yum is going to say they reimbursed the $150 and that is all they need to do. Somewhere, in the middle, is the consumer that armed with a budget wanted $15 in tacos.

    Have a heart Yum.

  37. EdenBabararacucudada says:

    @wchamilton (reply button not working, sorry):
    No, it is NOT for Taco-bell to pay. The bank made up out of thin air a bunch of charges which it declared a random innocent person to “owe”, based on Taco-bell’s faulty data. Taco-bell is not liable for these fictitious charges, NO ONE is. The loss does not exist in reality.

    Say I make a deal with you that if you ever call me, you owe me $1,000,000 in consulting fees. Someone borrows your mobile and dials the wrong number, accidentally calling me. Who owes me $1,000,000 in consulting fees?:
    a) you
    b) the person who accidentally dialed
    c) nobody

    People shouldn’t roll over and accept charges another company causes them to have, of course, but they shouldn’t just roll over and accept that typos or other technical errors can make hundreds of dollars in fees somehow valid, either.

  38. Amnesiac85 says:

    …are you privy to what kind of lifestyle that they’re living? For all you know this is just one of a couple spending accounts they have. Nice job blaming the OP, though.

  39. TouchMyMonkey says:

    “Normally, we hand them our card and trust them to swipe the right amount,” Merrill said. “And it doesn’t always happen that way.”

    Moral: Use cash. For those who were born after, say, 1980, it’s those green pieces of paper and little metal discs that you get at the bank when you go there to cash a check.

    Oops. I forgot. Most of you people don’t know what a check is, either. It’s those little slips of paper that give somebody permission to take issuer-designated amounts of money out of your bank account.

    The sheer awesomeness of various forms of electronic money (as described in that kewl commercial Visa did a couple of years ago) do not excuse the user from the responsibility of making sure the pimple-faced moron on the other end of the counter didn’t screw up your transaction. In fact, it probably increases the likelihood that such screwups might occur. Despite what Visa might suggest, the entire economy will not come to a screeching halt if you were to use one of those green pieces of paper to buy your unhealthy fast food instead of one of their nifty plastic cards.

    If you gave the counter-monkey a ten dollar bill, you would probably at least glance at your change before putting it in your pocket. Why do people assume people who can’t make change for ten dollars without the customer keeping them honest can execute an electronic transaction using a computer network without screwing it up?

    • Snarkysnake says:

      @HurtsSoGood:

      I could NOT agree more ! This guy followed the rules. He kept a budget and a record. He spent only what he (thought) he had. It is ONLY FAIR that the fruits of his labors be transferred electronically to his bank without any due process.It wasn’t $15 taco orders that built this damn country,it was hard working,entrepreneurial types like bank CEO’s that made us what we are.

      I don’t see what is keeping us from coming over to this guys house and protesting such a small,insignificant overdraft when big banks are hurting.

    • Brontide says:

      @HurtsSoGood: +1

      Using a checking account linked Debit card as a credit card transaction is by far the riskiest way to pay someone. First of all both the CC and the Bank are taking their “cut” of the transaction, any screw up and it’s immediately reflected in your account, and all someone needs is the CC numbers to drain your account.

      Credit cards are disconnected from immediate payment and have strong dispute mechanisms that don’t leave you destitute in the meantime.

      Debit card transactions require confirmation of the amount and entering a PIN code.

      Until checking account linked credit cards have a better mechanism for protecting my account I will *never* use one. I would rather carry around cash.

      Unfortunately common sense like this appears to be worthy of devowelment around here.

  40. crazydavythe1st says:

    The real problem is that debit cards need the same federal protections that are guaranteed to a credit card user. The second that a transaction is disputed, the amount needs to be credited back to the account and any overdraft fees need to be credited back to the account until an investigation is done. The good banks and credit unions already do this for the most part. When I was with WAMU and had a very similar problem, I was told straight up that they wouldn’t help me unless I got one of their credit cards. The branch manager told me they “couldn’t just extend credit to everybody to cover their debit card disputes”. I was told I would have to wait until the investigation concluded to get the money back (and then they ruled against me, even though I was clearly in the right – guess they wanted those three overdraft fees). I bank at USAA now (although I’m not sure how they would handle this type of situation, I’d bet they would at least credit the account). BTW, I know that USAA just extended their membership terms, so if any of y’all haven’t qualified before, you might check again.

    • Anonymous says:

      @crazydavythe1st: I also bank at USAA, and have had something similar, though less disastrous (and more my own fault) happen.

      As a result of an improperly timed debit charge (partly my fault), I wound up about $6 in the hole – but unfortunately I had five or six other paper checks and debit charges pending/in process at that time. They all came through, and they each incurred overdraft charges.

      Note here that I am not talking about overdraft PROTECTION – just plain “You’re overdrawn and we’re going to ding you for it.” NSF, insufficient funds, overdrawn. (This is for those tsktsking about the silliness of people who “choose” to “allow” the bank to charge overdraft fees: There’s no choice or option involved.)

      At that time, the bank fees were $25 each – plus each item got returned to its merchant (company, creditor, whatever), so I also had individual item fees from each merchant. So it was something like:

      $10 gas debit = $25 bank charge + $30 Chevron ret’d check fee
      $45 check = $25 bank charge + $27.50 electric company ret’d check fee
      etc.

      When I contacted USAA in a panic, they put some kind of a 48-hour hold on the account, so that any incoming items were not processed (incurring more charges), but were also not denied right away either. This bought enough time to contact the original debit-card merchant.

      When they confirmed that the merchant had not gotten confirmation for the charge at the time that they ran it, they reversed their own bank fees AND sent notices to each of the individual merchants, notifying them that the returned item #0000 on 00/00/00 for $0.00 was due to (? – maybe “third party error”? i.e. not their fault and not my fault), and requesting that the returned check fees be erased.

      A USAA representative followed up with me and when she found that two of the merchants were balking, she called them on my behalf. Ultimately, only one merchant refused to waive the fee. It took a couple of weeks, but it went from a several-hundred dollar SNAFU, to one $25-30 fee.

      USAA customer service is THE ABSOLUTE BEST I have encountered anywhere. Right now (for various reasons) I have checking and/or savings accounts with three credit unions and two banks other than USAA; I have no particular *complaints* with the customer service of most of the other inst’s, but USAA consistently goes the extra mile and works a little bit harder to make their customers happy.

  41. dragonvpm says:

    @snowmoon

    By the same token, tight finances + cash + pick pocket = recipe for disaster (with the added bonus of giving you no way to recoup your losses if you don’t catch the thief). Furthermore tight finances + CC + the shady ways CC companies often calculate finance charges = recipe for disaster.

    Basically any situation where you don’t have a lot of money is a recipe for disaster. I know people who use their debit card for smaller purchases instead of cash because it lets them control their spending and they avoid losing track of change or small bills (i.e. if you have some quarters or ones in your pocket, you’re a lot more likely to be tempted to buy the candy bar or soda from the machien).

    Looking back at your initial assessment that the OP is living beyond his means, I don’t think we can make that judgment based on <$150 worth of spending without knowing anything else about his finances. We have no way of knowing that the $150 wasn’t what he lad left over after paying off all of his monthly bills and maybe putting a little away in savings. Sure, he’s probably not rich, but I think you’re making too many assumptions about his financial situation to come up with any meaningful conclusions.

    • Brontide says:

      @dragonvpm: Using a checking account linked credit card is, for the general public, the riskiest way of spending your money. If by accident or criminal behavior someone else has a direct line to your checking account and all the problems to go along with it.

      • dragonvpm says:

        @snowmoon: If your crieteria for these things is “If by accident or criminal behavior someone else has a direct line to your” finances then pretty much everything out there is a bad bet for the general public.

        There are far too many incompetent people and criminals with an eye towards relieving the general public of their hard earned dollars. The question, at the end of the day, is which particular system or option works best for someone given the tradeoff between convenience and security. The key then is to make sure people know the pros and cons of the various options so that they can make the decision that best suites them.

        However saying that using a checking account linked credit car is the riskiest way that the general public can spend it’s money is short sighted. It may be the riskiest way for YOU to spend YOUR money, but not everyone will feel that the risk is that great, or that it’s greater than the risk of losing track of their spending.

  42. ironchef says:

    i’ve always hated debit cards.

    The risk of overdraft outweighs any marginal benefit for using a debit card. Credit cards are the only way you can spend via card without the fear of being nailed with overdraft fees.

    Plus you can earn points or money back using Credit Cards.

  43. pepelicious says:

    Let’s extend this a little further. What if the afflicted party had their car repossesed because of the lack of funds caused by Taco Bell’s overcharge? What if he couldn’t afford a doctor’s visit or a prescription and he ended up dead? Should Taco Bell be liable for this? You can’t just allow for one and not leave the door open for the myriad other potential circumstances.

    Taco Bell (at least the ones I’ve eaten at) gives me a receipt along with my food. My acceptance of that receipt is my agreement that the amount charged on the receipt is correct. He’s lucky Taco Bell refunded him the money they overcharged him.

    If he’s cutting his finances that close then he needs to be that much more aware of what’s going out of his account. My wife checks our bank account at least a couple times a day to see what’s going in and out so this type of stuff doesn’t happen. Moreover, if he’s getting charged $37 per overage, then it sounds like he has a history of going over his account.

    • billlnv says:

      @pepelicious: The receipt read the correct amount so he probably did not know there was an error until he started getting the overdraft fees. My bank charges $37 for overdrafts and I have never had an overdraft before. Each bank is different.

    • Ratty says:

      @pepelicious: I don’t think it indicates a history of overdrafting. Wells Fargo is $35 per transaction in overdraft, plus $10/day you’re in a negative balance. it may even be $10/day PER overdraft until it’s paid off. Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth.

  44. Jesse says:

    The article referenced stated that the customer’s receipt matched the transaction amount. That tells me that the error probably happened not on the POS side but while the transaction was being settled outside of the Taco Bell franchise’s control. It’s been known to happen. A couple years ago the payment processor for a gas station chain in my city erroneously double charged for outside gasoline transactions.

    Personally, I think the individual should petition his/her bank for recovery of the overdraft charges. This was obviously an unusual occurrence and I don’t think either side knew what was going on until it was too late.

  45. mrgenius says:

    I think the bank’s ridiculous overdraft policy is what’s to blame. I don’t think it’s Taco Bell’s fault that his bank decided to let 11 small purchases through so that they can collect all that cash from this guy. Yes, TB made a mistake, but they corrected their mistake expediently. I’d think you’d have to take up the banks fees with the bank. No way is a small claims court going to award damages to the OP versus Taco Bell.

    Now, if the BANK doesn’t refund them, my next call would be to the state Attorney General’s office.

    And, finally, $5 is a ridiculous price to pay for coffee regardless of how much money one has. This is non-negotiable.

    • orlo says:

      @mrgenius: I agree that the bank needs to make these charges go away. If not, close your account, and start a campaign against the bank online, in newspapers, and in person informing other customers about their abusive overdraft charges.

  46. ZukeZuke says:

    This is why I never use my debit card, only credit cards (w/cashback). But I agree w/the previous poster who said refute the charges on the bank’s end, he only authorized $15 not $150.

    And the elephant in the room – who the hell goes out to eat when they have less than $150 cushion in their bank account?!?!? Mac-n-Cheese is what, $0.50/box?

    • ZukeZuke says:

      @ZukeZuke: Not to mention a $5 coffee?!? I make six figures and even I feel like $5 for 1 cup of coffee is a ripoff… (and so do millions of others, seeing as how Starbucks is tanking right now and closing 300+ storefronts).

      Yes, I’m ranting. But when you’re poor (and I’ve been there = Top Ramen 10 for $1), you need to make sacrifices in lifestyle & learn to be cheap. I wish more people would learn this.

      Still, I hope the OP prevails against his bank…

      How does someone get this covered by a large market TV news station?

    • Ratty says:

      @ZukeZuke: What if he had spent $15 on groceries (including that $.50 Mac ‘n Cheese) and the Safeway (or wherever) had charged him the same $150? Would you be saying he ought to sift through garbage cans and not grocery shop when his account balance was that low?

      • failurate says:

        @Ratty: Well, he would get more sympathy of course.

        I think the OP was using the debit card credit card style, no PIN. I am looking to verify this, but I am fairly certain that using it that way is the only way to overdraft, if you use your pin, being similar to a cash withdraw, you would be accessing the online ATM network and stopped from over-drafting, as opposed to the offline credit network.

        Can someone tell me how wrong I am?

        He needs to take this up with his bank, as he didn’t authorize the charge that put him over, and that will be verified by Taco Bell’s correction.

        Also, if they charged $150 and then reversed $150… does that mean he got free tacos?

        • failurate says:

          @failurate: From the comments on the article, it looks like the Taco Bell hooked him up with some money. I hope they get some good publicity and more business to make it right for them.

        • Ratty says:

          @failurate: It doesn’t ultimately matter if he buys tacos or macaroni and overdrafts. I can argue “boxed macaroni is a ripoff–you can buy loose macaroni for $.30 a pound bulk and bulk cheese powder for $1.00 a pound.” There’s no reason to suddenly withhold sympathy because of that one purchase choice.

          The person budgeted for the meal, was charged 10x, and was left out a LOT of money because of that bit of incompetence. They were given a receipt that indicated they’d only been charged $15 and not $150. They based future purchases afterwards on that assumed account balance and who knows, it could have been primarily transactions the same evening before even going home and being able to check the current balance.

          as for whether you can overdraw or not on a debit transaction, I’m not about to risk $35+ on an overdraft to test it out.

  47. sean98125 says:

    Everyone should call their bank or credit union and tell them not to authorize any charges that would cause an overdraft.

  48. __Ken__ says:

    I dunno whom to “blame”. I admit it sucks, but shouldn’t one be checking the balance? A debt card is legal permission to put one’s hands in your piggy bank. I think if we think of it this way we’d be a bit more cautious.

    If you don’t check to make sure what’s done then isn’t that your fault you spent what wasn’t there?

    Also, the register receipt may have said $15, but I don’t understand how the debt card receipt could have said $15 yet charged $150. Was there another transaction? Or did someone not look at both? Or is this just not done where they are from?

  49. snowburnt says:

    @snowmoon (Stupid reply button doesn’t work for me):

    going with your logic, if he used a credit card it could go over his limit and he’d be hit with massive fees.

    It’s no win. I applaud the OP for budgeting.

  50. MrsLopsided says:

    ssaoi – your 3 points also apply to credit cards. The only option therefore is cash for everything.

  51. Margaret Powell says:

    After enjoying a starbucks drip coffee that ended up costing me 32 dollars, (when a check I forgot about was cashed) I’ve stepped away from my debit card :)

    Cash for these kinds of purchases is the only thing that makes sense to me now.

  52. BeerManMike says:

    The receipt is a contract, if it says $15 on it and he got charge $150 then he can easily take them to the cleaners. If it says $150 on the receipt, yes he agreed and its a contract but then there comes discrimination, etc.. into play. You guys are over thinking it.

  53. ShadowFalls says:

    Alas reply is still broken…

    I do think that snow moon shouldn’t be judging someone else’s lifestyle or requirements. But, the first bit was actually good advice. With all the data breaches, stolen credit card numbers, and accidental overcharges, using a credit card actually makes sense.

    In that regard, it gives you more time to fix the issue and your own money isn’t on the hook till it is taken care of. Remember I am not blaming for all those blame pointers. But if the OP had used a credit card, this matter would have become much more simplified than it has currently become. Can anyone actually deny that? I do understand that option isn’t available to everyone, and the cash option might be a good avenue to think about.

    If I do remember correctly though, Taco Bell, at least some of them, still uses the old pad system to enter the amount of the credit card transaction rather than the computer doing the whole action. All it would take is one stuck key or a slippery finger to screw it up.

    There still needs to be some real reform to the credit card system. I am not just the credit card companies themselves, but the processing system as well. There is nothing uniform about it, no official standard of processing, and no real security. When all it takes is a credit card and a signed slipped to use a card, that isn’t security in the latest. Now if the signature was compared with say, one you have on file and shown to be yours, it would be meaningful.

    In respect to how Taco Bell is handling it. If you had shown a printed online statement, that should be sufficient, otherwise they are just trying to not take responsibility.

  54. Jevia says:

    Yes, both debit cards and credit cards have the potential for “extra” fees if you go over your limit. The solution to that? Stop at your ATM before you eat/drink/shop and take out what you need for the next few transactions, $20, $40, $60, etc. Then only spend what you already budgeted for. If you are that tightly budgeted that you can’t afford anyone (let alone an idiot fast food worker) to make an error that will result in ‘extra’ fees, then you should rely on yourself to keep to your budget with cash.

    And please, I’ve not heard of anyone being “pick-pocketed” for their cash in the US in ages.

  55. Esquire99 says:

    I’ve never understood why companies refuse to pay back the overdraft fees, especially when the amount they mistakenly take is significant. Had they accidentally taken $18 instead of $15, I can see them resisting. But $135 extra is certainly enough to make it foreseeable that the customer would potentially encounter overdraft fees. In the legal sense, you’re generally only responsible for damages that are reasonably foreseeable; in this case, it’s clearly reasonably foreseeable that the customer would encounter overdraft fees if you take an extra $135 from them.

    While there are seemingly valid arguments about using a debit card, not being poor, etc., they don’t seem to excuse Taco Bell from being obligated to take care of overdraft fees that they caused. They could have reasonably foreseen the fees at the time they processed the transaction, and any potentially poor judgment on their part doesn’t change that.

  56. Brontide says:

    1) Wh ctlly ss thr Dbt/CC. Ths s xctly th srt f sttn tht cn b vdd wth prpr s f CC r csh.

    2) Th dffrnc btwn $15 nd $150 shld nt pt y nt vrdrft. f y lv tht cls t yr mrgns y cn’t ffrd yr crrnt lfstyl n mttr hw y jstfy t.

    • gaya2081 says:

      @snowmoon: Why should you judge how people handle their checking account? It could very well be a college student who only uses said account for food or they could put every extra cent in their savings account or it could be an account like my fiance and I share for just joint expenses (mainly food) we never put more than 200 in there at a time. We use it for food and when we go out to eat. This way its easier to buy groceries since I am usually the one buying them.

      • ideagirl says:

        @gaya2081: seriously!! I only keep enough $$ in my checking account to cover what I plan on spending. Everything else goes into savings. And my bank charges the OD fee even if my checking is linked to savings for OD purposes, so I refused that option.

    • joshua70448 says:

      @snowmoon: Blaming the OP much? They use a particular system to control their spending, so they’ve probably got money tightly budgeted into separate accounts. This was probably their discretionary money, so no, they’re not living above their means. As for your first point, maybe they don’t have enough credit history to get a card with a high enough limit to be useful, and maybe they don’t want to carry around cash and would rather just use a debit card (and maybe their debit card has a rewards program, like mine does). Remember, even with the $50 liability when your debit card is used fraudulently, it’s still better than when *all* of your cash is stolen.

    • mythago says:

      @snowmoon: Nobody cares what you think of the OP’s lifestyle. The error was Taco Bell’s, not his. Period.

    • Brontide says:

      @snowmoon: Yes, I was harsh and should not make assumptions.

      OTOH, the issue is still there. Using debt cards and having a low balance is a recipe for disaster. It was not a matter of if he got caught with his balance down, but when. This time it was an error on TB’s part, next time it may be that temporary transaction that didn’t clear in time, or some new.

      • Ratty says:

        @snowmoon: That’s all well and good, but the error is still not with the customer. Or would you like to pad the accounts of everyone who doesn’t have the $150 to spare? I have a chequing account I use almost solely for game subscriptions that only has an extra $30 in it. Where’s the cutoff for wiggle room? If I’m buying a few tacos for a meal, no, I should not have to anticipate needing an extra $150 above the cost of my meal available right then.

    • Skaperen says:

      @snowmoon: Not everyone can get a credit card, especially these days. Some CC companies have stopped issuing any new accounts regardless of credit history or income level. Debit cards are fine as long as proper protections are done (we need perhaps a few more laws to fully protect them and their users). Businesses need to be held fully accountable for their errors, and the exposures to errors caused by their inappropriate cost cutting (such as by not having the card charging mechanism automatically filled in by the cash register).

  57. WelcomeToMyWorld says:

    Stop picking on the OP! Hey I’ve been there, and I feel bad for this guy.

    I’ve had overdraft fees that were my fault, because of a stupid error, and pretty soon it doesn’t matter. The bank just keeps on helping themselves and hoping you didn’t notice.

    However, if you’re on good terms with the bank manager and if you explain that it’s not your fault, and if you ask nicely . . . sometimes they can make the overdraft fees go away. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

  58. KenJason says:

    Wow, I would say the bank should be at fault here. Doesn’t $400 in fees seem high to anyone? Go to the bank, they are the one leveling the fees.

  59. Shrew2u says:

    Reading the comments in the linked article, it looks like the OP was able to get all the overdraft fees paid by Taco Bell. Good for him – I would have hauled TB into small claims court, had they not made good on the fees their erroneous charge catalyzed. It’s one thing to be careless about spending, and then complain because a bank has a particular way of accounting for credits/debits. This guy was meticulous about his spending and got the shaft through no fault of his own.

    And really, this isn’t about the amount of the money OP had in the account. The business that is responsible for the error should do whatever is necessary to make the erroneously charged person whole again. In this case, it means paying the bank fees, which apparently TB did do. Good for them.

  60. orlo says:

    What’s the name of the bank? That’s the real story. They should be getting the negative consumerist press.

  61. SillyinPhilly says:

    Run for the border…

  62. feckingmorons says:

    The EFTA is governing here. The cardholder has to timely report the unauthorized charge (generally 60 days after his statement date). The charge will be reversed, and his bank should reverse any service charges incurred because of the the unauthorized charge.

    This is not uncommon and the bank should have no problem doing this. The cardholder need not deal with Taco Bell at all. If Taco Bell wants to submit a correct charge they may, but frankly they probably will not.

    It would have been wise to check the receipt before leaving the restaurant, but obviously the student knows that now.

    State regulations and laws may be more strict than the EFTA. The EFTA ( and your states UCC) are freely available at authoratative government websites.

    This is not legal advice, if you require legal advice seek competent counsel.

  63. Anonymous says:

    From my days working at “Big Bank” – something like this should be disputed at the bank as a merchant error, unless Taco Bell decided to correct this on their own after finding the mistake. If the bank corrected the error the bank would reverse the resulting overdraft fees. However, the way (most) banks look at it is that if the merchant corrects the error – the bank will claim that the merchant should refund the bank fees, and the merchant will say the bank should refund the fees. If the merchant already corrected it, it looks like a random credit. You might qualify for 1-2 fees reversed as a bank courtesy…it’s a bad deal. It’s stupid bank policy for you. I’m sure fees can be refunded with a bunch of hassle but it’s easier just to go to the bank rather than calling the merchant about an error :(

  64. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    My experience with both my former mega bank and my credit union is that after the refund is process to show that the charge is in error that they will refund the fees.

    Simple. Has this guy even asked the bank whom was unjustly enriched by Taco Bell’s mistake? Why should Taco Bell cough up when the bank ended up with the money.

  65. Nathan Nash says:

    Overdraft fees are really brutal every penny (small individual purchases) you go under they can get you for 35 bucks. At least that’s how my bank works.

  66. MikeVx says:

    A debit card that connects to your household bills account is a stupid thing to carry. Not withstanding all the other points made about legality, contracts and so forth, this sort of thing is a hassle and invariably chews up chunks of your time if nothing else. In addition, while you may be able to talk the bank into reversing some fees, some companies may shaft you without recourse for the blown payments caused by the overdrafts from the first overdraft, whatever the cause.

    If cash bothers you that much, open a separate account for using the debit card, and transfer money to it. This is what I have done. In the event of something doing odd stuff to the card, my household payments cannot be affected.

    Even with the debit card accounts, for me plastic is still strictly for remote payments, planned purchases where cash is not practical, and “Oops! I ran out of cash” moments.

    This may get me in some trouble with the staff, but if you use a debit card on your household account, you are partially at fault for the situation even when someone else screws up. To that degree, I will blame all posters who have non-debit payments bounce because of a debit card error. You know errors are going to happen, so why risk an expense chain that may not be fully recoverable?

  67. SidusNare says:

    I don’t know if someone has mentioned it yet, but even if they have I would reiterate. If I am reading this right, I think they deserve extra kudos because they did this right away, not in response to bad press.

  68. Anonymous says:

    No matter how much money he had in his account he went in there with his family to get food at $15 not $150 plain and simple. If he doesn’t get his money bank, small claims court will clear this up, there mistake cost him more money in the end.