ROUNDING UP A BILL
I was recently in Aspen and had a delightful meal at D19 - I highly recommend their artichoke. However...when I got the bill there was a new line item after the tax - it was titled "Rounding" - basically they rounded up my bill to the next nickle.
I have never seen this before...is it even legal?
I think it's illegal, and if this is a new trend, then I think we should all protest it by saying (politely) that we do not agree to the rounding, and we'd appreciate having all our money returned to us. Of course, if they want to do what Darren suggested in the above-linked post, and just work out prices so that tax is included, we'd be paying the rounded figure anyway, but at least we'd then be agreeing to eat there at a certain price that we know about up front - as opposed to being hit with a surprise up-charge at the end of the meal.
Another idea - I do not think it would be out of line - or illegal - to just cross that line out, and leave the "before rounding" amount. Of course, for that to work you'd have to have exact change.
If its only rounding to the next nickle, it seems so they don't have to do pennies as change....and I *have* seen where the bill stays the proper amount but they don't bother giving me back the exact change, they give me more, thereby rounding down a nickel.
They could be messing with you even more, if the bill goes up then technically the sales tax collected goes up and they are supposed to send in sales tax collected to the proper agencies...how are they handling that part of it..? I would ask, or report to local departments.
Are we really going to start a taxpayers' revolution over (on average) two cents? If you ate out every single day for a year and managed to get docked the average every day, you'd have lost enough in that year to buy... a combo meal at Carl's Jr.
It happens in Canada; it happens in Mexico; it happens in Europe. In fact, in Russia, it's not uncommon to be told, "I don't have any change, you'll have to buy something else." In the Euro-Zone, it's very rare to see the 2c and 1c coins because they simply round to the nearest 'real' coin, 5c, thus not having to have so many slots.
Even the PX at any overseas U.S. base rounds -- because it costs more to handle pennies than the pennies are worth.
The solution might be to require both-ways rounding, meaning that if your bill was 59.58 or 59.59, you'd have to pay 59.60, but if it were 59.57 or 59.56, you'd pay 59.55 -- thus ensuring that you'd come out even on the average.
In any case, I always round up to the next dollar when adding tips anyway... it seems petty to me to be wrangling out tips to the penny. ("Well, it was 12.95 before tax, so I owe 1.94 in tip, so the total with tax comes to $15.96...")
re: Das Ubergeek
Regarding being told "I don't have any change, you'll have to buy something else": I recall about 30 years ago receiving "change" in Italy in the form of penny candy for change amounts less than something like 50 or 100 lira. So if my change should have been 1537 lira, I got 1500 in cash and a piece or two of hard candy.