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Restaurant charging for items and not telling you

I went to a cute little restaurant for lunch with my husband. We ordered sandwiches and they came with chips. I asked if I could substitute a salad for the chips. The waitress said that it was no problem.

Sandwiches were great and service was great too. My husband's chips were sad and so was my salad, but at least I was eating a sad salad and not sad chips.

We got the bill and I noticed that I was charged $3 for the salad! I went over to the waitress and explained that I had asked to substitute. She said that OF COURSE it wasn't the same price. I said that she had not told me that, and if she had I would not have done it. As the sandwiches were $5, a small bowl of iceberg, carrot and hard tomato was hardly worth $3.

She went to talk to the manager and, while I was waiting, another waitress said "well, if it were me then I would charge for it". I did not respond and our waitress came back and the manager had taken the salad off of the bill. This still does not make me happy about them trying to charge for things when they do not inform you.

Anyone else run into unknown charges?

Dictionary: SUBSTITUTE: to take the place of; replace

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  1. One of my pet peeves: restaurants opening new bottles of mineral water without asking, then charging for then. As happened recently in NYC, at English is Italian.

    2 Replies
    1. re: andreas

      Samething happened at Telepan in NYC. Our water bill was $40.
      I couldn't ask the waiter to stop bringing the water as I was with my in laws. Maybe they knew and took advantage of it.
      I was pretty upset.

      1. re: Monica

        I am going to Telepan tomorrow. Do you mean that you were not asked the usual "Tap or bottle water," and they just brought over the mineral water and started pouring w/o even asking?

    2. If the restaurant normally charges for a side salad (as is common), then I would not have assumed it would be no charge. Given the request for substitution, the server should have told you, but I as a customer would probably not have assumed in this particular situation. So some shared responsibility here.

      1. I'd usually ask if there was a fee with substitution, or just assume so. But $3 for a side salad? Talk about price gouging.
        I wish they wouldn't make the substitution fees so much - I think an extra dollar for a side salad is reasonable, but I wish they wouldn't charge $2-3.

        1. I was annoyed to be charged for chutney, pickle and raita at an Indian restaurant. It wasn't the money, it was the feeling of being manipulated by the waiter who had offered them to me without mentioning that they were extra.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Glencora

            I have never been to an Indian restaurant (NYC, upscale or downscale) that did not have a clearly labeled area of the menu "Condiments" or something to that effect, indicating the prices for the items you describe: chutney, pickle and raita. Only thing that is free is the papadum and trio of sauces it comes with.

            1. re: chow_gal

              Often in the less-expensive places, the meal comes with the condiments on a divided tray along with the curry or whatever. If it doesn't then, yes, it's listed on the menu. Not in this case, though. That's why I was annoyed.

          2. Go into any restaurant in Italy and you'll be smacked with a bread charge the second your butt hits the seat and the bread hits the table... you just have to know.

            I agree that $3 for the typical sad side salad is a ripoff, though now you know next time to ask "can I substitute a salad for free".

            5 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Sometimes restaurants in Italy smack you with a charge for being American.

              http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/08/09...

              And I agree that the extra charge was unwarranted. And stupid. Why alienate a potential future customer who might return every week just to make $3?

              1. re: Brian S

                That happens in Barcelona too... there would be two menus -- one in Catalan and Castilian, and one in English and, often, French or German. There was more than one occasion where the English version had different prices (and the items were in a different order to "throw" people).

                I caused a scene in one place where it was particularly blatant (on La Rambla, of course)... caused the scene in Catalan, which shocked the waitstaff, who expected the fat American to whine in English rather than demanding the complaints book in Catalan.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Funny, reading this I have to think back about my trips abroad. I do not recall having any problems but that could just be naivete on my part. In Italy, I was there with friends who were visiting their relatives so many times, we were with locals but in other places, countries and times when we were on our own, it never occurred to me to worry about this "game".

                  Did you ever ask for both menus to compare? Glad to hear you made a "stink", something I would do and my husband would cringe. :-)

                  1. re: Michele4466

                    I did. The complaints book is a surprisingly powerful thing in Spain. If you write a complaint in the complaints book, they have three days to follow up and make it right, because when the government inspectors come they have to be able to show them the action taken... so usually when you demand "las hojas de reclamación" or "els fulls de reclamació" they know you're serious and just stop dinking around with you, rather than have to bother with the officials.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      Wow, I will have to remember this for future vacays...

            2. For our anniversary we went out to dinner to a restaurant we have frequented for a number of years. I ordered a shrimp appetizer that usually comes with 3 shrimp. When our appetizers arrived my plate had 4 shrimp on it. The waiter said he "gave us" an extra shrimp since he thought we might like to share. He knew it was our anniversary so we thought it was a very nice gesture.

              The bill comes and I was surprised to see that he had charged us for the extra shrimp. I didn't make a fuss since I had enjoyed the shrimp, but when someone says they "gave" you something that you did not ask for, I wouldn't expect to be charged for it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SarahEats

                Wow! (to what's above above and below)

              2. Nothing ever surprises me anymore, esp. after our dinner group was charged for forks at a Chinese restaurant.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Now that's so outrageous that it's funny!

                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                    It's so outrageous, I would not leave a tip. Too bad if it's not the waiter's fault. I have NEVER left a restaurant without leaving a tip, but that is pretty damn stupid. They nickel & dime you, you throw it back in their face.

                  2. Charged for forks! I would have taken them.

                    I don't mind being charged for something if I am informed about it and can make a decision as to whether or not I choose to spend my money, but charging people for things without informing them (such as the charge being on the menu) is stealing.

                    We were charged $5 for a basket of bread (that we didn't ask for) in Prague and I didn't say anything because we had read in the guidebooks that they are known to rip people off, and it was our honeymoon so I didn't want to make a fuss. When the waiter just sets something on your table without asking then it is assumed that there would be no charge.

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: Main Line Tracey

                      When my parents were on their honeymoon in Mexico on a strict budget, they filled up on a basket of rolls, only to be charged by the piece! The waiter actually counted how many they had eaten. They could barely pay the bill.

                      1. re: Glencora

                        This is standard operating procedure in MX, well, at least it is in probably 70 percent of the places I ate breakfast in during the month I was in Guadalajara. As soon as we sat down, a basket of sweet and non-sweet rolls was placed on the table. I was almost always with mexican friends when I was at breakfast and they fully expected it and weren't the least bit surprised to be charged by the piece. The prices were on the menu and to their minds it's just an easy way to offer a choice of what was on hand that day since unlike here, breakfast in Mexico is usually light and coffee with one or two rolls is an extremely common order.

                        As a corrollary, in mexico, it's customary to be charged to use a public bathroom. The peasants who do the charging pay for the paper they give you and do the cleaning of the facilities. This flips out many Americans because it's not what they're used to. Of course it flips me out to hear someone who's already dropped a thousand $ for airfare and hotel for a week to quibble over a .20 cent charge to use a restroom.

                      2. re: Main Line Tracey

                        when i was in a restaurant in prague, the waiter placed a contraption on the table with stale pretzels hanging off of it. he also set out a basket with condiments in packages (salt, peper, etc). there was a one man band playing. we were charged separately for each of those even though we didnt tough the pretzels or the condiments and the band left about 2 minutes after we got there.

                        1. re: jon

                          prague is notorious for this and in my opinion the worst of it was that at every place it happened, the staff would get very huffy and annoyed if you had the temerity to send back bread or condiments. while i was there, i became so accustomed to ruthless refusal of basically everything but my exact order that when i was in paris for the weekend i accidentally offended the proprietor of a cafe who brought us a round of kirs on the house. still in prague mode, i practically shouted at him to take them away. oops.

                          1. re: wleatherette

                            In Prague restaurants, complaints are so likely that savvy diners ask to speak to the Czech manager before the bill is even brought. This became so common that it entered the language. That is why, in the United States today, if you want to pay the bill you say "Bring me the Czech!!!"

                            1. re: jon

                              My wife and I were in Prague about ten years ago. Same story. At one restaurant, I asked about a charge on the bill that I couldn't decifer. Was told it was for the pretzels hanging from the contraption on the table. When I complained that we hadn't ordered them or eaten them, we were told its part of the meal. So I reached over to grab a pretzel, and it disintigrated in my hand. Was probably on the table for months.
                              We also got charged for condiments (in plastic containers, like at fast food) that we didn't use. This was a different restaurant. I felt like every time I turned around, people were trying to take advantage of me.
                              Prague is beautiful, and a wonderful town to walk around and get lost, but eating was no fun. Won't go back.

                              1. re: exbarkeep

                                We didn't have any problems when we honeymooned in Czech for two weeks in 2004. At a few places there were the hanging pretzels but we ignored them and were never charged. While we got tired of standard Czech fare pretty quickly (how many kinds of doughy leaden dumplings can one possibly eat?), it was always cheap and plentiful. I am not trying to be argumentative, just suggest that things may have changed for the better.

                            2. re: Main Line Tracey

                              sounds like they were charging you for being american, as the above poster mentioned. they're not ripping you off -- think of it as a stupid foreigner tax. you know the locals don't pay for bread.

                              when traveling, i've never been happy with restaurants recommended by the guidebooks.

                              1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                The charge for bread/pretzels is standard operating procedure in
                                Czechia and Germany and I'd guess other Euro countries as well.
                                Any decent guidebook will point this out and it's not because you're
                                a foreigner or anything. Locals as well have their rolls counted at
                                the end of the meal and are charged for the ones they ate.

                                I hope you weren't too rude to the waiter because he was just doing what
                                they do over there. Next time, don't eat any rolls and you won't get charged.

                                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                  I think the point is that they WERE charged despite not having eaten any of the rolls.

                                  It came as a nasty shock to me in Zürich, but I dealt with it -- and they DON'T do it in Romandie (the French-speaking part of Switzerland, where I used to live).

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                    Ah, you're right. I conflated the Mexico report with the Prague one.
                                    Charging for uneaten rolls is a ripoff. My confusion, sorry.

                                  2. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                    As a German I can tell you that it is not standard operating procedure in Germany but it is done in some tourist spots as a "foreigner tax". No German would go to a restaurant where they charge you for the bread/rolls. Germany is the country with the most bakeries per resident in the world and so excellent bread (German, French, Italian etc. style) is very cheap and no restaurant is even trying to charge you.

                                    1. re: honkman

                                      Have you had a Weisswurst Frühstück lately? Pretzels are *never* included.
                                      Maybe Bayern is different?

                                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                        Ok, I admit that Weisswurst Fruehstuck is something I normally don't eat and perhaps the Brezel is not include. (BTW, Bayern is not really Germany :))

                                2. I always hate when Mexican places offer sour cream and guacomole with your meal without mentioning the price and making the offer as if though they're free. I've learned to say no after being charged $4 for the combo once.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Rick

                                    Yes, that reminds me of a *certain* upscale mexican place in Manhattan. They always say, "Can I start you off with some Guacamole for the table?" and sometimes the follow up, "Shall I bring two bowls, considering the size of the party?" Of course, they conveniently do not mention that the guac is $12 per bowl.

                                    1. re: Melanie

                                      Yeah--that would be Dos Caminos. I posted about them before--what a scam.

                                      1. re: nrxchef

                                        When I went to Dos Caminos, I got a 5-minute spiel on its "guac bar." Give me a break. This all-too-common practice of restaurants in the city charging anywhere from $12 on up for guac is one of the biggest ripoffs going on. But if people keep ordering it, can't blame the resturants for charging what they do. My motto is "friends don't let friends order $12 guac," unless said friend is treating, of course.

                                  2. My best friend works at a mexican restaurant. The first time I had dinner there she offered me guacamole along with the salsa and chips. I thought she was just being a good friend until the bill came and the side of guacamole cost $6. If I hadn't squeezed years of free haircuts out of her I think it would have been an immediate friend-blacklisting.

                                    1. That's why I always mention the charge when someone wants to substitute something. Although, the other side of the equation are the people who want to substitute something obviously more expensive and not pay a cent (salad being something that's not too expensive)

                                      1. In Hong Kong the Japanese-language menus are 15% more expensive.

                                        To the OP: yes you were ripped off, but you are partly responsible. To expect to pay nothing for a salad instead of chips is seriously naive, and you don't sound like a rube. You should have asked if there was a charge. You initiated the "upsell" as opposed to the many other instances cited on this thread when it was the waiter who foisted items on unsuspecting customers.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Leonardo

                                          Yes, I was thinking the same: substituting an order of fries for a salad seems like a fair swap. But a handful of pre-made bulk chips (an assumption here comsidering it was only a $5 sandwich) for a side salad doesn't seem fair. I would have assumed an additional cost.

                                          1. re: chow_gal

                                            ...and I'm not too sure that three bucks is that awful.

                                          2. re: Leonardo

                                            Also in Hong Kong, the cheques have a "tip" line on the charge slip... and like good sheep, Americans add 15% or 20% to the bill. If you're American (or American-looking) and don't, in some of the tourist traps you'll get a nasty look... but tipping is not the norm in Hong Kong -- most people leave maybe HK$1 or HK$2, or round up to the nearest HK$5, but we're talking about US$0.25 or so here.

                                            1. re: Leonardo

                                              To substitute means to exchange one thing for another. If there is an additional charge, then the customer should be informed. Anything less is dishonest on the part of the restaurant.

                                              And chowgal, the key word that you used is assume. There should be no ASSUMED charges in restaurants. They should tell you what they charge for, so that you can decide if you want to pay it. This is the case with everything as a consumer.

                                              And yes YayaDave, $3 for a salad the size of the palm of your hand with iceberg, carrots and hard tomatoes AND NO DRESSING is that awful and ridiculous. Especially when the whole bill was $16.

                                            2. Back to the OP.

                                              If you would have ordered the $18 roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and asparagus and asked to subsitute the $42 filet mignon for the chicken that's one thing but this is a salad instead of chips.

                                              I humbly disagree with everyone who feels you had any responsibily on this one, squarely on the waitress' shoulders. It's not the customer's job to know the asparagus is $1 more than the mixed vegetables, the sweet potato puree is $1.50 more than the peas and carrots. Waitress failed miserably on this one.

                                              I will probably earn the wrath of many but I would have definitely nixed a significant part of the tip on this set of circumstances.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: jfood

                                                Yes, the server should have said that there would be an extra charge. A case of too much assuming on both sides of the check.

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  Sorry, but I disagree.

                                                  The definition of "substitute" delineates ONLY the fact of an exchange of items: it in no way implies nor requires—as the OP erroneously assumes—that the items being exchanged be of equal or commensurate value or cost.

                                                  The menu explicitly said that sandwiches came with chips. That means that the price quoted on the menu was for a sandwich with chips. Unless the menu explicitly offered a choice between chips or a salad at the quoted price, the OP had no right to assume both that substitutions were permitted, and if they were, that the substitution would be made at no cost.

                                                  1. re: mclaugh

                                                    Agree that there was an assumption made by the OP, but the menu does not delineate every perceived circumstance. There are many many assumptions a custo makes in ordering and eating a meal, but the waiter failed in this case, IMHO.

                                                    The waiter obviously knew that there would be a charge for the salad since it was the waiter that input that change into the register. If the waiter knew enough to charge the custo, then he had an absolute responsibility to inform the custo. The waiter should have said we can not do substitutions, but can offer you a side salad and point to it on the menu. Then the custo has full disclosure. Whithout that info then I still stand by the waiter pulling a fast one.

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      You are presuming, of course, that the menu did not, in fact, stipulate that there was an up-charge for substituting salad for chips, and that the OP have been scoured the menu closely enough to notice such a stipulation, had it appeared, prior to asking about a substitution.

                                                      Since menus these days normally do, in fact, stipulate up-charges for substitutions, and not knowing the OP's level of attentiveness at the time she perused the menu, I consider it to be just as probable that the OP missed the stipulation as that the waiter pulled a fast one.

                                                      1. re: mclaugh

                                                        You may be right and if the menu did state such a policy I agree that the OP was wrong in her assumption.

                                                        But, I have NEVER seen this on a menu. It may be I have not looked or its just not there. If I were to lay my $5 on which it was, I would say it's not there or else the waiter would have specifically pointed to this verbiage once the flack started.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          I've seen it occasionally, in places where the request for substitution probably happens several times a day. Specifically, greens/fruit/slaw/potato salad instead of chips with a sandwich. Or onion rings (my weakness) instead of fries with a burger.

                                                          Here's one way of handling it that absolutely stank: The waitperson clarified "would you like an order of onion rings or a substitution for the fries?" I asked for a substitution -- and then received four onion rings vs. the half basket of fries AND a $1.50 surcharge on the bill. No mention from the waitperson, no hint on the menu, no reason to expect a token garnish instead of an equivalent serving.

                                                          One or the other, please: reduce the serving so the food costs are equivalent, or charge me and give me a decent approximation of the same serving size.

                                                2. There are chains (99 to name one) that are charging 3% of the total for takeout. I'm sure more will follow suit.....

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: TonyO

                                                    I'm still aghast that the 99 charges a buck for something like 6 anemic wheat thins and some type of pink cheese in a thimble. Granted, for this buck you get "unlimited" "cheese" and crackers but come on now.

                                                  2. This happened to me about 7 years ago at Cipriani. After lunch, the waiter exclaimed that 3 sweet ladies "had to have dessert. Dolci per dolci". We politely declined, but he said it was on the house. When the bill came, they charged us $15 for a piece of cake. You bet your ass I made a stink and insisted they take it off the bill.

                                                    1. A group of friends and I recently received a "music charge" for a band that was playing at this restaurant in Fort Greene Brooklyn called The Night of The Cookers. Yes, we eventually found out that the menu did state something to the affect that there could be a charge added to the cost of meals when there is a band playing. When our party arrived at the restaurant, there was no live band playing. When we were sat, we were placed in a room that played recorded music throughout our meal. When we got the bill I noticed the up-charge asked the server why our meals were priced higher than on the menu. He said it's the charge for live music. So of course I was like, "What live music?" And he proceeds to tell us that there was a band performing in the other room, so we had to pay extra. I honestly thought somebody had lost their mind! My next question was, how could that possibly pertain to us when we were not being given the benefit of enjoying this live band that we couldn't see or hear? He said it's in the menu. So I told him it would have been appreciated if he had pointed that out to us as we were ordering. He said it's in the menu and walked away, essentially blowing us off. One of my friends got up and asked to speak with a manager. The manager came to our table and said, "Well, it's on the menu" and walked away. What the???We had received terrible service from the moment that we had walked into this place. I had to ask the server to wipe the greasy table off. The food wasn't great, and now we had to pay a service charge for some band that only half of the restaurant coud enjoy. Puhleeze! We paid exactly what the "no live music" prices were and decided to let mr. blow off and ms. lousy manager deal with it. As you can read, I was very annoyed.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Happygirl

                                                        I have a similar story (but on a slightly larger scale).

                                                        In the famous Cafe Florian in Venice, me and my three companions ordered, collectively, two teas and two coffees. Nothing else. The bill came to nearly 100,000 lire, or about 50 bucks. There was a per-person charge for the small orchestra playing outside in the Piazza San Marco. That was nearly 10 years ago and the look on my mother's face when she saw the bill is etched in my mind forever...

                                                        1. re: frenetica

                                                          Venice is notorious, especially around San Marco. It's gouge, gouge, gouge at these tourist places because they're not relying on return business. Even if you LOVED the joint, you probably wouldn't make it back within ten years (if ever)--so they getcha while they haveya. The same can be true, although to a lesser degree, in any great tourist destination--Times Square, Vegas, Paris, Leicester Square, etc.--but Venice is absolutely notorious for this sort of thing.

                                                      2. Chinese restaurants - if they actually ASK if you want tea, it'll be on the bill (at least $1 or more per person for the same pot of tea).

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: wayne keyser

                                                          In Hong Kong you get charged for it anyway -- it's a bit like the bread charge, but it's usually just $6 or $8 (about US$0.75 to US$1.00). And it's often GOOD tea.

                                                        2. Happygirl makes a really good point. Can you just pay what you believe that you owe and leave? I imagine that they COULD call the police, and that some dishonest people may take advantage of this (dine & dash), but what are the rules when you are charged for things that you did not authorize?

                                                          Any legal chowhounds out there?

                                                          1. This past weekend, I went to a Legal Seafoods ocation in Boston for a bite at the bar with my girlfriend. She ordered a glass of Moet and while she was in the restroom, I noticed the bartender opening a HALF BOTTLE of Veuve Cliquot. I didn't want to sweat the difference in front of her (about twenty bucks) but she finally noticed. When I raised the issue with the bartender he said that he had opened the bottle by mistake and indicated on the bill where he had charged me for the glass rather than the bottle.

                                                            I was thrilled.

                                                            1. At DOC in Williamsburg a month or two ago I didn't like the wine I had chosen.

                                                              The waiter came over to ask me how I was finding things, and I told him. I didn't ask for a replacement, I was just being honest.

                                                              He said - "Well, I'll bring you one you do like."

                                                              At this stage I thought he was flirting with me. He didn't take my other glass away, so I drank both. The one he brought was great, but I had had no say in its choosing and still had no idea what I was drinking.

                                                              Was I wrong to assume that one of the two glasses would be comped, based on his attitude and the way he imposed a second glass upon me? Needless to say, the bill came and I was charged for both. The second glass wasn't a budget wine, either.

                                                              It seemed like kind of a grey area to me so I paid up without saying anything about it.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: frenetica

                                                                Well frenetica, you didn't try very hard to stop him and ya' did drink both glasses. In my opinion, you should not have expectd one of the glasses to be comped. I wouldn't have been surprised to be charged after drinking both. I have had a few of experiences where I really disliked the wine that I was given. But, I only have said something about the glass if it is one that the waiter or sommelier (sp?) has chosen for me. In one case they took the one I didn't like away. In another case I just left it sitting there and the waiter told my husband he could drink it if he wanted to and there wouldn't be a charge. If I choose the wine and don't like it, I just deal with it and consider it my mistake. Okay, that's not altogether true. My husband usually just deals with drinking my error and pushes his glass over to me!

                                                                1. re: Happygirl

                                                                  it's a grey area, as frenetica said. s/he did drink both glasses, but then i think that it's pretty bad form for the waiter to have chosen a new glass without telling the customer what he would be bringing and how much it would cost.

                                                              2. Even here at home (SF bay area) sometimes I feel like I'm being ripped off like a tourist. Some of the upscale Chinese establishments are now charging for "house soup" -- the stuff that used to come with a meal & steamed rice. Whenever I dine in one of these types of places I make a habit to ask when being seated about soup charge, tea charge, even the charge for the little bowl of boiled / fried peanuts or seaweed/jellyfish salad already on the table when we are seated.

                                                                1. In a (Detroit I'm fairly sure) airport, there was a cocktail special. I ordered a Manhattan. When the bill came, it was twice the price of the special. The waitress informed me that since my drink contained two liquors, I would be charged for both. Definition of cocktail: a mixture. She was such a dimwit I knew an argument was useless and just fumed. At least the food was good.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Up With Olives

                                                                    [quote]Definition of cocktail: a mixture.[/quote]

                                                                    But not necessarily a mixture of liquors, e.g., Bloody Mary, Tequila Sunrise, etc. Hell, a Shirly Temple ain't got NO liquor! :-o

                                                                  2. If you get ripped off - in boston,brussels or barcelona etc- get up, pay the bill less the rip off and leave - they know that you arent allowing the rip off - no tip,nothing -- if more people did this, the rips would lessen. --- What are they going to do? Call the police and tell them that they tried to rip off the tourist and he/she wouldnt pay for it?

                                                                    1. What is the law/rule when it comes to restaurant bill disputes?

                                                                      If you pay what you believe that you owe and the cops are called, can you be arrested?

                                                                      Or would it go to small claims court?

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Main Line Tracey

                                                                        Depends on the state, the local police priorities, and the amount.
                                                                        I doubt that in most jurisdictions the cops would be willing to arrest someone for a $3 dispute. They would probably tell the merchant they have to sue the customer for it.

                                                                      2. Yes tho pale in comparison. Charged because I asked for Chalula hot sauce in a Mex place. Stuff on the table was green Tabasco and I prefer Chalula. I was charged 2 bucks for an already opened bottle. I took the bottle home.

                                                                        1. you just reminded me of the time I ordered a mexican dish that did not come with sour cream.......asked for some on the side and ended up paying an appalling $2. or $2.50 for literally a thimbleful of the stuff.

                                                                          1. In Miami Beach and a few other Miami places where they have a lot of European and Latin American clients, the restaurants charge an automatic 15%-to 18% gratuity to your bill.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Nutritious Jane

                                                                              I wish they'd do that elsewhere in this country so I don't have to worry about the tip...! Usually we just get the note in like seven languages pasted to the inside of the bill folder about how "in AMERICA, we have to TIP our servers and it's usually FIFTEEN to TWENTY per cent, so whip out your CALCULATORS and..."