A 6-Year-Old Ran Up a $1,000 GrubHub Bill on His Dad's Phone

All Mason wanted was a pizza...and some chicken shawarmas...and a bunch of other stuff.

We’d bet that every parent has passed their phone to their kid at least once, whether to distract them during a dinner out, to keep them busy on a car ride, or just to have five uninterrupted minutes to do…literally anything. But let this serve as a warning: A Michigan dad handed his phone to his 6-year-old on Saturday night, and 30 minutes later, he was facing $1,000 in unexpected Grubhub charges. 

According to MLive
, Keith Stonehouse was putting his son, Mason, to bed when his doorbell rang for the first time. His wife owns a bakery, so his initial thought was that it was one of her customers dropping off “decorative stuff” they’d used for a recent wedding. Instead, it was a delivery from a local hot dog restaurant. 

“The doorbell rang again and it kept happening. Car after car. Cars were pulling into the driveway while others were pulling out,” he told the outlet. “I finally asked one of them what they were delivering. He said we ordered chicken shawarmas. I took the food and then it hit me. I looked at my phone with repeated messages that my food was getting ready, my food was being delivered. I looked at my bank account and it was getting drained.” 

Grubhub bag on a delivery bike

Alena Kravchenko / Getty Images

After Stonehouse figured out that Mason had placed a lot of orders — and tipped a generous 25% on every one —  he started calling restaurants to see if they could cancel them. They told him to contact Grubhub, but he couldn’t find a way to reach out. (On the bright side — if there is a bright side — his credit card company flagged and declined a $439 pizza order.) 

Stonehouse acknowledged that one of the most challenging parts of an evening that was made of challenging parts was trying to explain to Mason what he’d inadvertently done. “[T]his is the only part that makes me laugh,” he said. “I was trying to explain to him that this wasn’t good and he puts his hand up and stops me and says ‘Dad, did the pepperoni pizzas come yet?' I had to walk out of the room. I didn’t know if I should get mad or laugh. I didn’t know what to do.”

A spokesperson for Grubhub told Food & Wine that they heard about Mason’s “unexpected spending spree” and they reached out to the Stonehouses. “We wanted to make things better for him and his family, so [we] have offered to send him $1,000 worth of Grubhub gift cards,” Christopher Krautler, director of consumer PR, said in an email. (Krautler added that any parent who ends up with a similar situation — or any customer who needs to cancel an in-process order — can contact Grubhub’s Care team through the Orders or Account tab.) 

The Stonehouse family still has a lot of food in their refrigerators, even after inviting some neighbors over to help them eat it. “[I]f you’re hungry and you’re in the mood for 5 orders of jumbo shrimp, salad, grape leaves, rice, 3 [pita sandwiches], several orders of chili cheese fries, chicken shawarma sandwiches, and plenty of Ice cream, swing on by,” Keith wrote on Facebook. 

Mason told FOX 2 that he only had “one cent” left in his piggy bank after his spending spree. “They took my money,” he told the station. But he does have a lot of ice cream to finish. 

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