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Restaurant credit card charge snafu, what to do?
Old 08-28-2018, 01:24 AM   #1
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Restaurant credit card charge snafu, what to do?

Love to have opinions from this forum on the following:

I was one of five friends who enjoyed a nice dinner together at a fairly nice restaurant. Unfortunately there was a major snafu with the bill as follows:

Bill was $365. We decided to leave $420, i.e $84 each.

Persons A,B,C each left $84 cash, total $252.

Persons D and E each submitted credit cards and told the busboy to charge each card $84.

The credit cards were brought back, Persons D and E signed. Only slightly strange thing is that the waiter came to our table just before we were leaving and said he wanted to make sure, no change was due. We said no. He thanked us and we thought nothing more of it.

Next day Person E realized his card had been charged $281, instead of $84. Apparently the busboy had not transmitted our instructions correctly to the cashier, who had charged the bill of $365 to person D $84 and Person E $281. The $252 cash was apparently assumed to be a tip. Person E unfortunately did not check the amount charged before signing.

Person E is in the process of trying to get this straightened out with the restaurant but not having much luck (I don't know details).

My questions are:
1) What recourse if any do you think Person E has with the restaurant or credit card company?
2) If Person E unable to get relief from the restaurant or credit card company and you are Person A,B,C or D would you offer to chip in for Person E's overcharge of $197 (i.e. $281 minus $84).
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:53 AM   #2
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i would suggest resisting the urge to patronize again after sorting it out ( if it happens )

also in future pay the cash to those using a credit card ( NOT the busboy/cashier )

i hope there is a positive outcome
but having worked a little in the industry unless one of the party is particularly famous you would have better luck with a crocodile )

PS Australians are notoriously bad tippers , now you know why ( the staff might have pocketed the tip .. i mean cash , straight away )
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Old 08-28-2018, 02:03 AM   #3
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The habit I'm getting into is to scan the receipt with my phone so I have a copy. If there's a problem, then I have proof.

I'm assuming Person E did not look at the receipt upon signing. Appears to be a misunderstanding and if the management were reputable, would take care of it.
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Restaurant credit card charge snafu, what to do?
Old 08-28-2018, 05:45 AM   #4
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Restaurant credit card charge snafu, what to do?

Always check receipts. You are signing a legal contract. Hopefully the place will give you a refund. Doubt credit card company will do anything (you will eventually loose the appeal).

Don’t know what this has to do with going back to the restaurant. The waiter even asked if there was no cash back.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:05 AM   #5
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You could ask the CC company not to pay it because it is the wrong amount. That would push the restaurant to give it closer attention. If the card submitters told the waiter to place $84 on each card, someone put the wrong amount in. The restaurant is not going to be able to find a $281 bill to match with the CC.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:09 AM   #6
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You could ask the CC company not to pay it because it is the wrong amount. That would push the restaurant to give it closer attention. If the card submitters told the waiter to place $84 on each card, someone put the wrong amount in. The restaurant is not going to be able to find a $281 bill to match with the CC.
+1
Plus we have disputed cc amounts once or twice and our cc company (Visa) forced the issue with the vendor and got it corrected.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:14 AM   #7
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If they signed, the CC will do little. Your best bet it to have the gang go back to the restaurant, speak with the manager, and prepare to make a little noise.

In the future, oi... never have anyone pay cash direct on a split like this - asking for trouble. Or have the cash payers pay their friends, and the friend doubles on the credit card.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:18 AM   #8
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never have anyone pay cash direct on a split like this - asking for trouble. Or have the cash payers pay their friends, and the friend doubles on the credit card.
Yep.
I couldn't even imagine doing the routine in the OP. Cash goes to the person using the credit card, period.

The person using the card should particularly want it that way, because charging a higher amount would earn a higher cash back reward on the card.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:56 AM   #9
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If he added a tip to the CC he probably would have noticed? Good reason to handle tips on CC, it forces you to look at the receipt. But maybe the $84 share included the tip (ETA it does, per the OP. duh.).

Separate checks would take care of this in the future—everyone can pay their own however they want. Tell the waiter you need individual checks for tax purposes or per diem reimbursement if he/she balks.

For now, I would definitely contact the restaurant and the CC company. And tell restaurant you’ll each put it on social media. That’s a pretty big bill and must be a nice restaurant—no way that waiter didn’t know how to charge your group correctly.

If it doesn’t get resolved, then there are potentially bad feelings with the party who got the huge charge being stuck with it—do you offer to chip in at all, or everyone pay for his dinner next time, or something?
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:07 AM   #10
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We had a similar incident at a nice restaurant in northern VA (Reston) last year, on Veteran's day they offered a free meal to vets which my wife and I took advantage of. There was a bill for the drinks, and I paid with a card and left cash for the tip. The next day while doing my weekly check of the account noticed they put a tip on the card. This happened after I signed the check for the drink amt. Good thing I used my check card as I keep the receipts till they clear the checking acct. I called the establishment the next day and they credited the entire amount back to my checking account and also gave us chits for a free meal.


My lesson learned is to bring it to the attention of the establishment as soon as you find the error and insist they correct it. If not, then your card company or bank. In this situation, I would suggest that the establishment should credit the overage to your friend's card right away, although it may take a day or 2 before it shows up.
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:11 AM   #11
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If it doesn’t get resolved, then there are potentially bad feelings with the party who got the huge charge being stuck with it—do you offer to chip in at all, or everyone pay for his dinner next time, or something?
Oh this - yes if it doesn't get resolved, the rest of the friends should all chip in to even this out, and all 5 blast the restaurant on yelp/etc.
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:46 AM   #12
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You could ask the CC company not to pay it because it is the wrong amount. That would push the restaurant to give it closer attention. If the card submitters told the waiter to place $84 on each card, someone put the wrong amount in. The restaurant is not going to be able to find a $281 bill to match with the CC.
+1

We did this when a new restaurant overcharged our card. It was easy to prove as the server ran our card twice and probably shorted her till.

The restuarant was no help, were brand new in the area. Went on social media and told the story. Apparently we weren't the only ones. Within 3 months they were out of business.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:03 AM   #13
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A good reminder to always check the receipt, and keep your copy.

As for the CC company helping, they won't. They will happily reverse the charge, and send a request to the vendor for proof. If the vendor supplies that, they'll re-reverse it back - maybe up to 30 days later. After that the ball is back in your court to prove to a third party arbitrator that you don't owe the money. The CC company at that point is out of the process.

I've only once had that happen, and it was a real shock. I thought once the charge was reversed, that was the end. This vendor chose to lie. It was finally re-re-reversed on arbitration, but it went on for a long time, and required a lot of paperwork on my end.

Fortunately I enjoy that sort of thing, if it's for a good cause like getting my money back from a company which intentionally tried to screw me, then lied about it. This company usually does business with low-income people who might not have the resources to fight them, so it felt sort of noble, too.

In the OP's case, it might be easier to all chip in to reimburse the CC "loser" and let the wait staff think you're all really good tippers. If you succeed in reversing the charges, the restaurant may claw back the tip, which they might have already spent.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:21 AM   #14
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One more post in response to CaptTom, American express has been great the couple times we had problems. A travel agency used our card to reserve a room that we had not authorized them to reserve. They had our card from another trip, so they used it as it was convenient. On base lawyers wrote to the agency and threatened to put them off limits to the military and informed them this was fraud. Nothing in response. I called AMEX and told them of the plight, they took it from there and reversed the charge that day. About 3 days later we got a letter from the owner of the agency with an apology. My understanding was that AMEX threatened to revoke the ability of the agency to take the card, which is death for a travel agency.


Not saying AMEX will always stand on your side, but they did couple times for us
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:24 AM   #15
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Love to have opinions from this forum on the following:
.... Only slightly strange thing is that the waiter came to our table just before we were leaving and said he wanted to make sure, no change was due. We said no. He thanked us and we thought nothing more of it.
Are you sure that wasn't the waiters way of asking if you were SURE that you wanted to tip so generously? That's a 'thing' around here now
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:41 AM   #16
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If nothing else the OP's story is another reason why tipping needs to go away and never come back. It's totally out of control.

I suggest all the those who dined independently call the owner/manager and explain the situation. Mention that you all had a good meal and a nice time an you would hate to have to mention this 'mistake' on social media.

Oh, next time use Venmo or some such service to take care of paying each other and keep it simple for the restaurant staff. Alas, there are folks for whom 'Numbers is Hard'.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:41 AM   #17
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When a bill is split it is the person signing their share to take a look at what they are signing... this seems to be a problem with E for just signing anything...


When people pay with cash I just pocket the cash and add that to my CC... it is the exact same amount but I get a % back on the charge so it is a win for me...


BUT, the other problem here is the server/busboy.... they might be telling mgmt that they did NOT get that much cash... a tip that large is begging to be pocketed and not reported in full... it would be much easier to talk to mgmt if everybody had put on CC and then you could easily see that it was a mistake... right now mgmt has no clue except for what server says...
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:41 AM   #18
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Never heard of paying the busboy.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:04 AM   #19
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OP here, thanks to all for the comments and advice so far. Certainly agree it is not a good idea to divide payment of the bill between cash and credit card. And obviously, not reviewing the amount on any credit card slip before signing it is asking for trouble.

I will report back on the final results of the efforts to get the restaurant or credit card company to correct this.

At this point, I am more interested in what people think regarding whether persons a, b, c, d should offer to reimburse e for some part of his loss, and if so how much?

Many thanks again to those who shared their perspective and insights.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:10 AM   #20
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OP here, thanks to all for the comments and advice so far. Certainly agree it is not a good idea to divide payment of the bill between cash and credit card. And obviously, not reviewing the amount on any credit card slip before signing it is asking for trouble.

I will report back on the final results of the efforts to get the restaurant or credit card company to correct this.

At this point, I am more interested in what people think regarding whether persons a, b, c, d should offer to reimburse e for some part of his loss, and if so how much?

Many thanks again to those who shared their perspective and insights.
I'd mention it to them but not be surprised if they don't cough up the difference. Basically, expensive lesson learned.
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