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Colorado woman charged $5,700 for cup of coffee at Denver-area hotel

After 2 months, Lisa Angello can't get a refund
aurora woman refund for expensive coffee.png
Posted at 6:12 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 22:16:36-04

DENVER — Not a morning goes by that Lisa Angello doesn't regret a cup of coffee she ordered on Christmas Eve at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado.

"Every single day, I think about it," Angello said. "I went to the Gaylord with an out-of-town guest so that we could go and take her children ice skating. It was a cinnamon dulce latte."

Angello did not even stay at the hotel, but ordered the coffee from the marketplace convenience store inside.

The next Monday, she received an alert from her bank, USAA, about an insufficient funds fee.

"I have never had an insufficient funds fee before. I'm very, very careful with what money is in there, how I pay my bills," said Angello, who at first thought her debit card must have been skimmed. "Then, I realized that $5,705.70 was the dollar amount put in twice. $5.70 and $5.70. That's a 'trip to Paris' cinnamon dulce latte."

What she thought would be a simple refund has turned into a more than two-month nightmare of phone calls and emails with USAA and the Gaylord Rockies.

One email shows a Gaylord supervisor apologizing, writing "I am sorry about this situation and hope to rectify it soon with your bank."

The supervisor wrote that the accounting team had processed the refund on Jan. 22.

But her records show that USAA never received that refund, and while the bank initially credited her account for the $5705.70, they took the money back out of her account last week.

"No one has my back. I'm caught between USAA and Gaylord, and no one's listening," she said. "I want my money returned to me. This has been so stressful."

Neither USAA nor Gaylord would speak on camera.

"USAA has been in contact with our member and we are working with the merchant to resolve the issue," a spokesperson for the bank said.

"We take customer concerns very seriously and work directly with guests to address issues," a spokesperson for the hotel said. "If necessary, we also provide appropriate documentation to third-party financial services or institutions to facilitate customer resolutions. As a matter of privacy, we do not comment on specific guest issues."

Angello said that after reporters started asking questions, she received a response from USAA.

"Within a couple of hours from you contacting them, I received money back into my account as a provisional credit. So I'm actually back into the black where I can pay my bills," she said. "And it doesn't even matter whose fault it is anymore. I just want it rectified. I want it made right."

This story was originally published by Jaclyn Allen on KMGH in Denver.