Calif. customers hit with expensive Del Taco bill

SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — What was supposed to be a cheap bite at Del Taco turned out to be small fortune for some Southern California customers.

About 150 people who ordered this week at the Mexican-style fast food chain in Santa Paula, 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles, were mistakenly charged thousands of dollars for burritos, tacos and soft drinks.

Customer Michael Cole said he was surprised when he was charged $4,050 for one CrunchTada Pizza and two beef tacos. He discovered the error Friday when he tried to withdraw $20 from an ATM and was denied.

"I don't even think I've spent that much in the last five years," Cole said.

The cause of the technical error was unknown, but it affected ATM and credit-card transactions at one Del Taco restaurant.

"The processor is aware of the situation and has contacted banks involved," Del Taco spokesman Brian Devenny told the Ventura County Star (http://bit.ly/1i4Sqt8 ). "They are working together to get these charges reversed as quickly as possible."

Devenny said all charges will be refunded.

Another customer, Dino DeLaO, said his wife paid $10.20 for a meal and ended up being charged $10,200. DeLaO said the mistake caused his mortgage check to bounce, and he was afraid it would affect other bills.

Austin Dillon said it wasn't hard to erase the charge. He bought $4.26 worth of food earlier this week that turned out to be $4,260.

"It's kind of obvious because it was Del Taco," he said.

As for Cole, who was billed $4,050, he still thinks highly of the food and service at his local Del Taco.

"It's not going to deter me from coming back," he said. "I'll probably use cash from now on."

___

Information from: Ventura County Star, http://venturacountystar.com