Software issue at Nebraska Medicine charges $49k tip for lunch

Although quickly resolved, the tip left Debby Durham with something to chew on.
A Nebraska woman almost paid a much larger tip than she expected for what was originally a $14 meal.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 10:30 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - When Debby Durham stopped at an outpatient lunch counter at Nebraska Medicine late last month, she didn’t check the receipt -- but American Express noticed the bill and sent her a text.

“It said, ‘You have a charge of $49,445′,” said customer Debby Durham.

That’s a tip the register added to her $14 bill for two sandwiches and a fritter -- which made the lunch tab tough to swallow.

“It was during lunchtime and all these people wanted to have lunch and they were waiting for me to clear this, and they asked what’s stalling,” Durham said. “I said, ‘My $49,000 receipt here for my lunch’ and they thought I was nuts.”

Nebraska Medicine said in a statement that this was an extremely unusual event and “we apologize for frustration and inconvenience it caused.” The error was a glitch in software provided by an outside vendor, which was corrected within 30 minutes.

While Deb’s enormous lunch tab has been corrected -- her story got me thinking about all the gas receipts I’ve turned in -- and maybe I should be checking for unexpected charges.

Though quickly resolved, Debby says the erroneous $49,000 lunch tip left her something to chew on from now on.

“A very good lesson to make sure you look at every receipt,” Durham said.

Nebraska Medicine says this appears to be the only food customer to experience a huge overcharge. Staff is working to find out why the error happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.