A Starbucks customer’s bold request for a tip refund has sparked heated debate.
In a TikTok video, now with over 237,000 views since it was posted on Sunday, Starbucks barista Joaquin De La Torre recalled the time his coworker asked him how to refund a customer $2 — because they’d accidentally selected the gratuity option while paying with a credit card.
“I’ve never refunded gratuity before … So I’m trying to give him a Service Recovery card — I have no clue what I’m doing,” the coffee shop worker explained.
“For, like, ten minutes I’m trying to figure this out because the Service Recovery card is not working. So, we’re both standing there, and in my head I’m just thinking, it’s $2, dude — it’s not that serious,” he continued in the viral clip. “Like, I get we all have different budgets, but it’s also like, it was never that serious.”
Hundreds of people commented on the video, sharing dismay as well as sympathy over the awkward experience.
“I would DIE before asking for $2 back,” one person wrote.
Some argued that if the customer can’t afford to tip $2, they shouldn’t be buying expensive drinks.
“Everyone being like ‘$2 adds up’ [but] if you cant spare TWO DOLLARS you don’t actually have the money to be buying fancy drinks,” they commented.
“You should’ve given him $2 from your wallet then. Make it quick. Or even the till. Or the tip jar. There’s lots of options if it’s not that serious,” someone else advised.
The option to tip by credit card at Starbucks was introduced in September 2022, with mixed reviews from both customers and employees — the latter of whom admitted they feel embarrassed to suggest a tip on what is, essentially, fast food.
The Post has reached out to Starbucks for clarification regarding their policy on tip refunds.
Research shows that digital tipping options indeed usually result in customers leaving a tip, ranging from 18% to 30% and higher. Neverthelss, some say they refuse to tip for fast food and self-serve experiences, which they’ve labeled “guilt tipping.”