You’ve probably been in the situation before — in fact, it’s more common than you probably think. At the end of a fantastic meal at your fave eatery, you’re given two copies of the receipt. One is for the restaurant to finish processing your payment, and the other is a copy just for you. But you’re just focused on getting out of there, so that paper often stays on the table for the busser to handle.
Most of the time, things work out just fine.
Your waiter or waitress is honest and closes out the meal the way they should. But sometimes, you may find a disgruntled employee who feels like you didn’t tip half as much as you should have. Even though it’s customary to tip around 15% to 20% of the bill before taxes, some people might lower that a bit. Either they didn’t think the service was good, or maybe they just made a mental math mistake.
Sure, the waiter or waitress should chalk it up as being part of the job.
But sometimes, they may fudge the numbers on that restaurant receipt to make it look like you paid more than you did.
By the time your credit card bill rolls around, you likely won’t remember the exact amount you paid that day, thus you likely wouldn’t refute the charge.
It’s so common that it showed up as a Life Pro Tip on Reddit.
Waiters and waitresses who see that you left both copies behind might be more willing to pull the scam.
Because they know you’ll have a really hard time proving how much you paid when the statement arrives.
Some people said that the did notice higher charges, which were then chalked up to accidents. But, it’s still a little fishy.
A user named Baby_Batter_Pancakes admitted that this scheme happened to them more than once. So, they offered a secondary way to try and get a handle on the issue.
Nermal543 said that it’s much easier to take a picture.
That way, you have a timestamped proof of the receipt and don’t have to handle the piece of paper which will help keep you accountable and organized.
Those who have had this happen to them now have a strategy to avoid charges they didn’t intentionally make.
And of course, they try to avoid going to the restaurant again, especially if getting a refund was a hassle.
Just remember to fill in the tip line no matter what, or at least write in “Cash” if you left a tip on the table. Otherwise, you’re just asking for trouble.
Here’s some good news, though.
With improvements in technology, more and more people are able to just tip and pay their bill directly at their table, meaning there’s less chance for an illegal interaction.
It seems ridiculous that some people are willing to risk their jobs for an extra dollar or two, but those small amounts can add up.
And if you’ve never gotten caught, you may start forgetting about how wrong it is to scam customers out of money that was never owed to you.
Regardless of whether you snap a photo or keep a photo of receipts (which can turn into a great scrapbook of amazing meals after that statement comes through), it’s important to know that unfortunately, the customer service can go out the window the second you sign your receipt.
It’s important to know where your money is and trust who’s handling it.
It’s become such an issue that even credit card companies are trying to get ahold of possibly false tips.
My credit card company keeps asking me to review their “did you *actually* tip this high?!” concerns...— Faye Garfinkle (@FayceTime) February 3, 2019
It’s for $5 tips on sub-$25 bills.
No it’s not fraud, credit company. I just worked food industry for years and am not a monster.
It makes you wonder if America should go the way of most other countries and get rid of tipping altogether.
In many countries, waitstaff are paid a livable wage and don’t depend on customers to pay the bills.
That’s why on Reddit, they had to clarify that this actually took place in America.
Because in Europe, keeping track of a tip receipt is just unheard of.
Since waiters and waitresses are under a lot of pressure already, one overdue bill back at home and one neglectful customer might convince them to do the wrong thing.
That’s another reason why it’s important to always treat your server with respect — because they’re always on their feet and always trying to give the best customer service they can.
It’s not excusing the bad behavior, but just a reminder that it’s always important to tip a job well done.
Also important? Checking your credit card statement regularly and not just assuming it’s right.
There are credit card errors everywhere you look. Aside from a waitress who had a bad afternoon, it’s also possible that you were double charged at Target, or had a bonus buy at the grocery store that didn’t take.
The more aware you are, the more in-tune you’ll be with your finances.
So even if it seems ridiculous to double check that receipt, just consider it saving money.