Disputing a restaurant tip charge

Old May 7, 17, 5:39 am
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Disputing a restaurant tip charge

Luckily I kept the receipt and noticed a 125+ bill for a restaurant where I only had drinks at the bar with a colleague. I was shocked I throught it was half the charged amount.

I looked at the bill and they entered the whole amount as a tip, so it ended up being the pre tip amount plus the post tip amount.

I disputed the whole charge for overcharging with Chase and put down how much I expected the charge to be (in the box provided).

Does anyone have experience with disputing a restaurant charge with Chase?
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Old May 7, 17, 6:21 am
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You'll almost assuredly win and own nothing. The restaurant will get debited the full amount by Chase.
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Old May 7, 17, 7:14 am
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I'm sure that this was a mistake on the restaurant's end, but, in any case, I've had a number of situations where they either fat-fingered the tip or were trying to skim a little extra. In all cases, Chase found in my favor.
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Old May 7, 17, 8:19 am
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If you are a regular and HVC Chase customer and do not regularly initiate questionable chargebacks, Chase will typically simply grant smallish chargebacks such as that and not bother with the process or the restaurant may have advised its merchant processor that it won't bother responding to smallish disputes. Just not worth the hassle.

In that case, you've got what amounts to a one-time pass for the whole thing which is more than you deserved, but it all comes down to the system working easier and faster.

If this was a restaurant with a business clientele it was most likely an input error as it's hard for people to put through receipts with tips like that.
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Old May 7, 17, 3:53 pm
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Disagree with previous posters over the detail that you will get the full total bill back, if that wasnt what you claimed..

If you put in the box what the charge should be, that is what Chase is going to correct your bill to be: exactly what you claimed to deserve, no more no less. If you want to commit minor fraud and dispute the whole bill thats on you.

If you are in good standing, in a day or 2 they will send you a message saying chargeback dispute opened, and give you preliminary statement credit for the disputed difference that you entered.

Then they will send you a message saying they notified the merchant, and they have xx days to respond (30?).
As noted, typically the merchant doesn't respond. After the period has passed, they send you a message saying case closed and dispute is in your favor for the already creditted amount and now permanent.
There is typically physical letters along with electronic messages

Last edited by raytseng; May 7, 17 at 3:59 pm
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Old May 7, 17, 5:39 pm
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Not a restaurant charge per se but I have filed a dispute with Chase before. One of the questions they'll ask is whether you tried to resolve it with the merchant first. It doesn't sound like you did (unless I missed something), so it may be more of a challenge. I imagine they'd be able to see on their end what the original charge was, though.

(BTW paying at the table would help prevent stuff like this but I doubt we'll get it any time soon on a widespread basis.)
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Old May 7, 17, 9:03 pm
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I filed a dispute for the first time a few weeks ago and it instantly closed and a permanent credit was issued. The wording said that they would pursue the matter but I didn't have to do anything else and that they would issue a permanent credit within 2 to 3 business days as a gesture of Goodwill.
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Old May 8, 17, 11:46 am
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General note [USA]:

To preserve your rights in a CC dispute, you need to send a written letter to the card issuer within 60 days.

Issuers make it very easily to do this online or by phone, but if the amount is noteworthy, or the merchant may challenge it, you want a letter on file.
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Old May 9, 17, 1:53 pm
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The restaurant probably could have corrected the error, as well.
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Old May 14, 17, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Sintaku View Post

I disputed the whole charge for overcharging with Chase and put down how much I expected the charge to be (in the box provided).
IMO this should have been handled with the restaurant. I'm sure they would have reversed any honest mistake, and if it wasn't an honest mistake they can take of the situation there.

I had a server try to double dip a tip once at Benihana, I paid a cash tip and the server himself added in the same amount.
I called and the manager was glad to hear about the incident, reversed the charges offered some sushi rolls and dealt with the server.

I used Amex but there was no reason to call them just like there was no reason to call Chase.
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Old May 18, 17, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by trouble747 View Post
The restaurant probably could have corrected the error, as well.
Originally Posted by mhdena View Post
IMO this should have been handled with the restaurant.
Exactly. It's probably an honest mistake, and restaurants are usually happy to correct an error like that.

My policy with overcharges and similar issues is that I give the business exactly one chance to fix the problem. If they don't fix it in a reasonable amount of time, I don't continue to bother with them, but rather just file a dispute with the credit card bank online. I have yet to be disappointed.
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Old May 18, 17, 12:56 pm
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How can a server put in a different tip amount if you put down the tip and then put a total? If he / she changed the amount, they would have to modify what was written for both the tip amount and the total (which would be very obvious to any manager looking at the charge).
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Old May 18, 17, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by deant View Post
How can a server put in a different tip amount if you put down the tip and then put a total? If he / she changed the amount, they would have to modify what was written for both the tip amount and the total (which would be very obvious to any manager looking at the charge).
With certain dollar amounts all the server would have to do is add a 1 in front of the tip amount and the total amount. How would a manager know that was fraudulent and not just a generous tipper in the mood to pay it forward?

$ 6.79
$ 2.00
--------
$ 8.79

$ 6.79
$12.00
--------
$18.79
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Old May 18, 17, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by deant View Post
How can a server put in a different tip amount if you put down the tip and then put a total? If he / she changed the amount, they would have to modify what was written for both the tip amount and the total (which would be very obvious to any manager looking at the charge).
In same cases, nobody checks what the server entered into the POS system against the paper receipt. It's a lot of work that rarely needs to actually be done.
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Old May 18, 17, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by akadaisy View Post
With certain dollar amounts all the server would have to do is add a 1 in front of the tip amount and the total amount. How would a manager know that was fraudulent and not just a generous tipper in the mood to pay it forward?
Most waitstaff are honest, but if you are really very concerned about tip fraud or someone just mistyping a number and wanting to be able to address it:

1) Draw a dash to the left of the tip and total lines, and there is less room for adding a "1". Bonus: use your own pen with an less common ink color like turquoise or purple.

----5.00
---15.00
---20.00

2) Checkdigit your tip. Leave a tip that causes the restaurant bill to add to a funny number. Examples: on a $60.00 bill, make the bill total $70.07; for a $70.00 bill, it would be $82.68 - the tip you add makes the first digit in the total match the last digit in the bill total. Or make the total a numerical palindrome ($82.28), or something else that rocks your world.

This will stick out on your statement, and if you have to make a chargeback claim with the credit issuer, you can tell them what you do, and why this charge is not like all the rest of your historical restaurant bills.

I don't bother with either of these, but I haven't run into waitstaff that are crooked with the tip. If you are in a squirrelly area, then your mileage may vary.

[There's room for a thread in Omni for all the other ways that employee fraud occurs in restaurants/bars, besides finagling the tip]
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