A former football star turns to 3 On Your Side for help after getting charged more than once for a big order of gift cards.

(SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Nick Lowery has quite the story. He's a retired NFL kicker who's played for 3 different teams over his career and was even inducted into the Kansas City Chief's Hall of Fame. "Well, I'm the all-time leading scorer with the Chiefs,” he told 3 On Your Side. “So, it's a real honor, especially after we just won another Super Bowl after 50 years."

But Nick has another passion besides football. His foundation, with help from others, supports something called "Champions for The Homeless." In fact, several times during the year, Nick has an event where the homeless are fed, given clothes and able to talk to current and former NFL players from around the League. "The athletes themselves show respect to the homeless and in turn it's this constant message of we haven't forgotten you. You are important," he said.

It's during these events Nick and his NFL buddies hand out food and drink gift cards to the homeless, including cards to Starbucks. "We give them (volunteers) cards for $5 and $10 to give to people at the table just as an opening gift just to say 'How are you?' and create positive energy like 'What's your story?'

But, back in April, Nick went to a Scottsdale Starbucks and purchased $1,750 in gift cards using his American Express. But he says the transaction had trouble going through even though his credit card was swiped twice. “I said are you sure you didn't charge it twice? And they said, 'Oh, no, no.'" Nick pulled out another credit card which worked and he walked off with all those gift card to give to the homeless.

However, when he got his American Express statement, he says he was charged not once, but twice, even though he was told by a Starbucks employee both transactions had failed.

So, he disputed the two charges with American Express and one of the $1,750 was removed. But the other $1,750 never was removed, and Nick has been trying to resolve the issue for months.

So, he contacted 3 On Your Side. "Well, I contacted you because I know you do good work and we're not interested in bad energy."

I asked Starbucks and American Express to investigate the issue. They did, and just recently the second $1,750 was credited back to Nick's American Express account.

American Express would not comment on the matter. However, Starbucks emailed 3 On Your Side this statement:

When made aware of the claim, our team audited the transaction and confirmed the funds in question were never received by Starbucks, which was made clear to Mr. Lowery. As we encouraged Mr. Lowery to do, we're pleased to learn he has successfully reached out to his credit card provider to dispute the transaction directly. We admire the work the Nick Lowery Youth Foundation contributes to families in Arizona and have apologized to him for his experience.

Nick says he's satisfied but says he and his foundation should not have been put through all of this. "If Starbucks had not fought this thing from the beginning, it probably wouldn't have been an issue. So American Express worked with Gary Harper to get this done and I appreciate that."

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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