Classic Taco Nite discount creates $9K debit

April 23, 2014
Santa Paula News

The old adage is “You get what you pay for” but there was no way a Santa Paula man felt the bill was justified when a trip through a local drive-thru eatery wound up costing him $9,790.

In all, about 150 customers who visited Santa Paula’s Del Taco last Monday and Tuesday found they had spent thousands of dollars for tacos, sodas, burritos and drinks, even if they had a discount.

Santa Paulan Ray, who asked that his last name not be used, thought he was getting a deal with a $1.44 discount on Classic Taco Nite’s six-pack of tacos, but it made nary a dent in his $9,790 bill.

What caused the glitch for those using debit or ATM transactions at the local Del Taco is still  being investigated according to a company spokesman who said the expensive technical error was on the part of the payment processor.

Ray placed his order April 15, the filing deadline for income taxes.

He drove through Del Taco, located on Hallock Drive, at 7:44 p.m. to place his $9.79 order, which was recorded correctly on the receipt.

When Ray paid the bill with his debit card all seemed well but the next day he got an expensive surprise.

“I went to purchase something and my debit card was declined,” and Ray said when he went to his bank, “They said there’s been this transaction,” at Del Taco for $9,790 that was pending that had shutoff his account.

He was one of the lucky ones: “It didn’t affect anything else, the money went back in about four hours later,” with the bank handling the issue, but nevertheless he remained troubled.

Months ago when Target announced its customer security had been breached Ray said he and his wife systematically updated all their credit card accounts to make sure they remained secure.

Now, with the inflated Del Taco transaction, “I’m disappointed that the bank,” a national institute, “let it happen,” without notifying him such a suspicious debit had been posted.

Said Ray, “I told the wife we’re going to go to a community bank that knows us and will notify us in case something like this ever happens again... “

And although Ray joked, “I ain’t going to eat there no more!” he said he had no problems with past visits to Del Taco.

The inflated purchases garnered wide media exposure: “Even my mother in Bakersfield,” said Ray, “heard about it!” 

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