A Starbucks employee went viral in a now-deleted TikTok for his story about a customer asking for a refund for a $2 tip they accidentally added to their purchase.
“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,” Joaquin says.
The video quickly caught the attention of fellow Starbucks employees and TikTok users, who offered advice and their opinions on the matter.
Joaquin explained in the video that he had never refunded a gratuity before and was having trouble doing so. Despite struggling with the task, he expressed that he felt it was a minor issue, saying, “it’s $2, dude. It’s not that serious.” The video soon became a platform for users to share their views on tipping and the importance of every dollar.
Some TikTok users expressed that they would never ask for a refund of a tip, no matter how small the amount. They noted that every dollar counts and that a $2 tip can make a difference for the recipient. One user even shared a personal story of accidentally giving their tattoo artist double the intended tip and felt that it was their mistake to rectify.
On the other hand, some users took the side of the customer who requested a refund. They argued that everyone has different budgets and financial situations and that $2 may be significant to some people. Some users offered that the customer may have needed the money for gas or a small treat they had budgeted for.
In September 2022, Starbucks introduced the ability to tip using credit cards, which received mixed feedback from both customers and employees. Some employees confessed feeling awkward about suggesting a tip for what is essentially fast food.