Problems at Kaladi Brothers Coffee locations cause trouble for customer bank accounts
Anchorage customers of the Kaladi Brothers Coffee chain have observed problems with delayed charges in their bank statements, and even having their accounts overdrawn, after an error caused transactions to be held as "pending" for over two months before they all processed at once.
All customer purchases at the Sagaya or Brayton KBC locations from March 25 until May 10 didn't actually process through. Instead, they were held until the error blocking their way was removed, at which point they were processed all at once, company officials said.
So if a customer purchased several coffees on a card during that period, the charges were recorded, but never went through. Until May 10, when they were charged all at once, causing some customer accounts to be hit with overdraft fees.
Tim Gravel, president and co-owner of the Alaska-based coffee company, said that it was all due to single transactions that created a blockage in their point of sale machines at two of their locations.
This amounted to all purchases made between those dates getting "held up" in a processing state, and then, on May 11 all getting processed all at once.
According to Gravel, at least one customer's account was overdrawn due to this issue, and possibly others. He said Kaladi Brothers paid for their overdraft fee.
Gravel said that no one knows what exactly occurred with the transaction that stopped all following transactions from taking place. He described it at as a "zero charge transaction" that immediately held up any purchases people made at those stores afterwards.
It wasn't until a customer noticed several "grey pending transactions" on their bank statement, and inquired as to if they would ever be charged, that the coffee company was made aware of the problem.
After that, according to Gravel, an IT employee cleared the error, and all the transactions made during that time frame were all processed at once, causing problems, especially for those that could be near over-drafting their accounts.
Gravel said part of the problem that made it last all the way since March, was a lack of awareness on the corporate side.
"There's no notification back to us when a transaction holds things up," Gravel said. He explained that due to shuffling of staff, no one was making the usual check to ensure that transactions were processing properly.
In a prepared statement, KBC writes that "[KBC is] working with customers to assist in waiving any overdraft fees that may be incurred by this." Gravel said some banks, after being notified of the issue, have waived the fees altogether.
They say anyone who observed similar problems with their accounts can contact the company for assistance via phone or email at 907-644-7401 or firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.