A local family is asking for help from WJLA’s “7 on Your Side” after their credit card was charged a $5,448.69 tip on a $24.97 cafe bill at Reston’s Life Time Athletic.
Pallavi Srivastava and her husband visited Life Time in April. After taking a tour of the facility, they stopped by the gym’s café, WJLA says. They ordered two black bean burgers and a chicken curry wrap. The total came out to $24.97 with tax of $1.50 and tip.
But when they saw the bill from the credit card company it noted a tip of $5,448.69.
Srivastava said Lifetime told her the server accidentally entered his employee ID in the space for the tip amount.
Here’s what happened next, according to WJLA:
Lifetime promised to correct everything, but the next day they called back saying, “Sorry we gave you back too much money.”
Lifetime asked if she would be comfortable giving them back the credit card so they could recharge the entire amount and then refund it again.
By that time she had interest and late fees and the deadline had passed to dispute the bill with their credit card company.
Then came another call from Lifetime Fitness telling her they had already closed the financial books and couldn’t process the refund.
They referred her to Lifetime’s corporate offices. Four months later she and her husband are still fighting to get the charge cleared off their credit card bill.
So she contacted 7 On Your Side.
“When we said ABC7 News is getting involved, that’s when suddenly we get a call back from this lady who says we can do it,” she says.
7 On Your Side contacted Lifetime’s management. They admitted it was human error and have taken full responsibility. They say they’ve been working with the family’s credit card company and are promising the full refund by the end of the week.
Photo: Accidental big bill at Life Time/Credit WJLA
Life Time members received the vague e-mail on Wednesday and had many theories on what the problem could be.
It turns out a member’s child who played in the Kids Academy on Monday and Tuesday had been diagnosed with scabies, says Life Time Athletic Reston General Manager Jorge Hernandez.
Scabies is a highly contagious skin condition caused by microscopic mites, so Life Time had to call in an outside contractor to steam clean the entire childrens’ area, Hernandez said. The cleaners scoured the place Wednesday.
“I think it is cleaner today than the day we opened,” he said.
Life Time opened its 100,000+ square foot luxury facility in Reston last September.
Photo courtesy of Life Time.