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Oct 26, 2006 08:00 PM

What's the worst (or most flagrant) upsell you've been subjected to?


It doesn't happen as much as it used to , but I seem to remember a lot of games being played with $9 waters being poured very liberally once for us. The guy paying on our table just told the manager to take off the entire water tab, or he was going to crush the servers tip. The server had been really really pushy about it, so it was warranted though....

What's the worst you've had happen to you?

  1. quick question..did you drink it?

    8 Replies
    1. re: laur76

      we were drinking wine, and the server had gone around topping up every glass with the bottled water, and the water was all still on the table at the end of dinner, undrunk.

      1. re: AKR

        very legit to be PO'd then..very annoying

      2. re: laur76

        When DW and I are out with friends and they order cocktails, and since I do not drink wine or alcohol, I normally order a bottle of Pelligrino. That's "a" bottle of Pelligrino. Others order their Martinis, V&T's, Cosmos, etc. When the bottle of pelli comes, the waiter always pours everyone a glass without asking, just assumes. First point - did they give me part of my companions' cocktails? Nope, and that's clue number 1.

        75-90% of the time after "we" finish my first bottle the waiter assumes that it's OK to pop open bottle number 2. Did I order this? Nope. Then he starts pouring away. Does he just assume that my cmpanions want a second cocktail and bring without asking? Nope. So why does he feel it within his jurisdiction to bring something I did not order. AND EXPECT TO PAY FOR IT!!!

        At $10 per bottle, when the bill arrives, I check and if there is anything more than the 1 bottle I ordered, I ask for removal from the bill.

        When only with DW and I are eating alone and arrive at the table and there is a bottle of water already there, I normally just remove it and place it on the ground next to my chair. Although, I am getting to the point of just opening, pouring and telling the resto I thought it was complimentary since it was there when I arrived like the knives and forks and thank them. Wonder what they'd do?

        1. re: jfood

          I really like your logic!

          We had this happen at Perigee in Toronto. It’s a very small, very upscale tasting-menu only place, and to this day our most expensive dinner ever, due in no small part to our water bill. When we were seated, the waiter asked if we wanted “flat or sparkling water.” We’ve gotten this a couple of times since but this was the first time and we just assumed that flat was Canadian slang for “tap.” When he came out with the bottle of fancy water, we decided to just suck it up and then ask for tap water when we finished that bottle. It just didn’t seem worth it to make him take it back when we had ordered it, albeit unwittingly.

          The problem was that the bottle didn’t remain at our spot (we were dining at a counter that overlooks the open kitchen, not a table.) Instead he took it away and then just topped off our glasses periodically. At the end of the night, my husband was visibly shocked by the number of bottles we had apparently managed to polish off, and at what cost! (I asked for the details but he said ‘no use depressing you as well’!)

          We didn’t make any fuss at the time, since we had drunk it, but it was an expensive lesson and the bad feeling will almost certainly keep us from ever returning.

          1. re: jfood

            I do agree with you. and if you try the complimentary water trick, I'd love to know how it turns out..

            1. re: jfood

              Where on earth is serving San Pellegrino for $10 a bottle?! We serve small and large bottles where I work, and even the ones that serve four people are less than $5.

              1. re: Al_Pal

                I see that all the time in Manhattan, particularly at expensive, though not necessarily the best, Italian restaurants.

                1. re: Al_Pal

                  Like MM jfood has seen at NYC restos as well as those of "name" chef's.

            2. The waiters pushing the unpriced specials at Il Mulino comes to mind. Talk about sticker shock. I have not gone back but I think they may now give the prices of each special.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bobby06877

                well, they still weren't mentioning the prices of special desserts when I was at the Vegas one a year and half ago:


                $20 for a poached pear!

              2. Just happened this past and I were staying at a hotel and made the mistake of having breakfast in the dining room. As soon as we sat down the waitress offered us coffee and orange juice, without mentioning that one glass of juice cost $6.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SarahEats

                  Happens all the time at hotel restos. As soon as you sit down the waiter asks if s/he can bring some coffee and juice. Then they normally arrive with a small glass of $6 Tropicana. If they really want to make you feel good while they reach in ur wallet, they's bring it over in a red wine goblet.

                  Coffee is a must, but at $6 a glass pass on the OJ. ALWAYS LOOK AT THE MENU FIRST.

                  1. re: SarahEats

                    That’s happed to me after ordering an’s the old...”And what kind of juice would you like? And white or brown toast?” Only to find each item is added separately to the bill.

                  2. We once went to an Eithopian restaurant and splurged on a $20 dollar "Califorina Red with rich undertones...." and out came a bottle of Charles Schwab. Yep, it was a 2 buck Chuck. We should of sent it back but it was the beginning of our relationship and so we sucked it up and drank it and laugh about it to this day.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: lbs

                      Just an fyi:

                      Charles Schwab is the founder of a successful brokerage firm. Charles SHAW is cheap wine that you can buy from Trader Joe's.

                      I'd be very suspicious of any restaurant that offerred you a bottle of Charles Schwab...

                      1. re: Humbucker

                        D'oh! Maybe I need some Charles Shaw!

                        1. re: Humbucker

                          Chuck Schwab gives good investment advice, but his wine is pure puke!

                      2. At a "Chinese" restaurant, our table of 6 got charged extra for asking for 2 forks, in addition to the gratis chopsticks.

                        5 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Wow. You win. Never in my wildest dreams could I have concocted such a way to upsell customers.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                So, here's a question: did you get to keep the forks or was the charge considered a 'fork rental fee'?
                                You do win...