Video: Starbucks error results in double charges

msnbc.com news services
updated 6/9/2009 8:26:10 PM ET 2009-06-10T00:26:10

Starbucks Corp. accidentally charged as many as one million customers twice for their purchases over a recent two-day period, but the company said it recognized the error and has worked to reimburse all impacted customers.

Starbucks spokeswoman Trina Smith said all U.S. and Canadian customers who used a debit or credit card on Friday, May 22, and part of Saturday, May 23, were accidentally charged twice for their purchases. The settlement processing error affected about 1 million transactions, Smith said.

The Seattle-based coffee company said it began working to resolve the problem as soon as the banks opened on Tuesday, May 26, after the Memorial Day weekend. She said customers should have seen a credit applied to their accounts by May 29.

Smith said this is the first time she is aware of this type of error affecting Starbucks customers.

"It was a computer glitch," she said.

If it happened to you, you might not have noticed. While the receipt showed the correct amount, double that amount was taken out of affected customers' accounts when the store settled the transaction at the end of the day.

Starbucks then credited the accounts for the accidental double charge.

Sara Blagg, who bought coffee that weekend at a store in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood, noticed the double charge and then saw the credit on her bank account online.

"I think it's very important to check your bank balance, and as soon as I saw the two charges, I was very quick to make sure one of them had been credited," Blagg said. "If it hadn't been credited, I would have immediately called my bank and had them take care of the second charge."

Starbucks says they've had some customers call whose accounts were not fixed.

If you have questions, call Starbucks' customer service.

KING5's Lori Matsukawa and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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