customer says worker asked her to pay for another customer's order

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‘I can’t pay for this coffee’: Dunkin’ customer says worker asked her to pay for another customer’s order in drive-thru

'I'm paying with a company credit card, and I'm only authorized to purchase donuts this morning.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Jul 10, 2023

A Dunkin customer said a worker tried to get her to pay for a police officer’s cup of coffee following an order mix-up.

Madeline Thornton (@travelin_madeline) stitched another TikToker’s video to recount her experience at Dunkin’. In the video she stitched, a McDonald’s customer shared how she was put on the spot by a worker who asked her if she wanted to pay for a cop’s order behind her. The TikToker said that after she declined to pay for the officer’s $17.42 order, the employee appeared “disgusted” and remarked that other customers usually elect to cover the cost of cops’ meals. Thornton’s drive-thru experience, however, appears to have been the result of the Dunkin’ worker incorrectly attributing the officer’s order to her own.

“I went through the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru to order a couple dozen donuts, and when I got to the window to pay, the lady just kind of mumbled something about my total. I handed her my card. When she came back with my card, she had a cup of coffee with her. And I was like, ‘Oh I didn’t order coffee; I ordered two dozen donuts,'” Thornton recalled. “And she just kind of looked at me weird and was like, ‘Well, why didn’t you say something when I told you your order was $2 and something cents? And I was like, ‘Honestly, I didn’t hear you. I’m sorry, but can you please refund this charge and then charge me for the actual donuts.'”

Thornton said the Dunkin’ worker seemed reluctant to refund her for the cost of the coffee, highlighting the drink was for a police officer. “She said, ‘Well the person who ordered this coffee is a cop.’ And I was like, ‘I can’t pay for this coffee still. I’m paying with a company credit card, and I’m only authorized to purchase donuts this morning.'”

@travelin_madeline #stitch with @Samantha ♬ original sound – Madeline Thornton

Thornton said a manager had to get involved. “After some back and forth with her manager and me, I was finally able to get the refund on the coffee. But it was a close call. Definitely a close call,” she recalled.

Thornton’s video was viewed 718,000 times in a day. One commenter thought it was ridiculous for the Dunkin’ employee to expect Thornton to pay for the police officer’s coffee, referencing a signing bonus for local law enforcement officers in their area. “The job posting for police in my town currently offers a $5,000 signing bonus. They can buy their own damn coffee,” the viewer said in a comment that was liked over 11,000 times.

Others questioned if the “mix-up” was intentional considering the worker knew the coffee was meant for a cop. “Sounds like she knew the cop had the coffee order but she was trying to make you pay for it AND your doughnuts?” one questioned.

Recently, a McDonald’s customer said an order mix-up prompted an employee to ask her to pay for another guest’s meal, despite it costing more than the food that she ordered. In that instance, a manager also had to step in to remedy the mix-up.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Thornton via TikTok comment and to Dunkin’ via email.

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*First Published: Jul 10, 2023, 12:12 pm CDT