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Waiter changed tip

I need some advice, please.

My partner and I dined at a chain steak house near my home in a college town. We purchased a "Monday and Tuesday only" special, so our meals totalled a modest $16.11. I knew we had a slightly reduced meal, so I tipped $3.89 to round my bill to $20.00, even though the service was average.

When I balanced my credit cards (which happens to be a platinum AMEX), I see that they charged me $20.11. While it is only 11 cents, should I contact the management that this type of behavior is intolerable or should I just let it go? While I am tempted to write a letter, I would also hate to have this kid decide to come find me or my home for retribution on a small amount if I leave an address for a response. So how can I get my point across effectively?

Many thanks, in advance, for your advice.

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  1. Call amex and challenge it. forget dealing with the restaurant on it- they'll find out the hard way.

    1. I think a polite e-mail or note to the management would be in order. Just something describing the situation so that it is brought to the manager's attention. I think it's really the principal of the thing. It doesn't matter if it is 11 cents or 11 dollars this type of thing is completely unacceptable and may be a trend at this particular restaurant that the management is unaware of. They will probably put a swift end to this practice.

      1. There have been various threads relating to this issue in the past. The way i understand it is that when the restaurant gets authorization for your credit card charge, they include an estimated amount for the tip (in your case $4), so that they can be sure the total amount will go through. The actual amount then gets reconciled with the estimated amount within the next couple days. so i would probably wait a couple days and check my account again before bothering to write a letter.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cookie monster

          That's exactly the way it works. Relax. It'll come through as a credit and then the correct amount debited.

          1. re: birgator

            Excellent point, Cookie Monster... my business uses authorizations as well and I have given that explanation to frustrated customers a number of times. I am embarrassed that I didn't think of it that way. I will heed my usual advice to my customers and wait to see the final CC bill.

        2. help from the resto workers please. before everyone throws the server under the bus.

          Is the "0" next to the "1" on the charge machine and could the waiter incorrectly have hit two "1"s instead of two "0"s when he closed the check?

          11 Replies
            1. re: jfood

              My exact thoughts... 0s and 1s get mixed up all the time.

              1. re: jfood

                Yeah, I was going to suggest the same thing. It's a pretty small mistake, and it likely was a mistake. I know the principle is frustrating, but how much time is it going to take on your part to correct it BenT?

                1. re: jfood

                  as a bartender I assure you, the 0 and the 1 are NOT even close to each other.. it goes 123, 456, 789 and 0 on the bottom, like a phones touchpad,

                  1. re: gryphonskeeper

                    oh well trying to give benefit of the doubt. so we move from simple error to stupid error.

                    Next thought. Does the server key in the total of the check after the tip and the machine calculates the tip or does the server key in the tip and the machine calculates the total?

                    jfood still having a brain cramp thinking that anyone would try to steal $0.11.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        H

                        so on some the 0 might be 1 as well or only which is an input and which is the computer calculated amount

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          The credit card machine I use is laid out like a calculator so 7, 8, and 9 are on top and zero on the bottom. I've never seen a machine with 1, 2, and 3 on top laid out like a phone.

                      2. re: gryphonskeeper

                        I don't know if this were the case here, but at my work digits are used constantly both from computer/printers as well as in the written form. In written hand, the 0s and 1s are constantly a problem...

                        1. re: gryphonskeeper

                          I disagree gryphonskeeper. I contend that while that may be the layout on *your* system, it would depends on the POS used by that restaurant. It could be a Micros, a PC-based system, an IBM, who knows. While there certainly does seem to be dominance in the POS market, you can't assume everyone has the same as yours.

                          I once had to use a keyboard that was made for a foreign language; the keys were *completely* not where I expected them, and it made typing extremely challenging; a server who's used to one POS suddenly using a new one may have had a similar challenge.

                          Either way, I seriously wouldn't worry about 11 cents. Noone would risk getting fired for 11 cents; they would have done that on a larger check for more money. I'd imagine it was a mistake or side effect of the charge card system.

                        2. re: jfood

                          Thanks for that one! Who's to say that it was the waiter who changed it? Often it's the manager or owner who closes off the credit card batch at the end of the night, so it could have been someone else. Why are we (you, not me) so quick to blame the "evil" waiter(s)?

                        3. Bent

                          Help jfood understand the circumstances a little more.

                          In OP you state "When I balanced my credit cards " which jfood assumed meant that the bill arrived.

                          But in a follow-up post you state that you "wait to see the final CC bill".

                          How do you balance something you have not received.

                          Did you go to amex.com and balance from the on-line "recent activity" page to see the discrepancy?

                          16 Replies
                          1. re: jfood

                            Yep, I was paying my CC online and had been watching for another charge when I saw the amount mentioned above. Sorry for the confusion.

                            1. re: BenT32301

                              Do you still have your receipt? Are you sure YOU didn't put $20.11 so as to make the tip $4 exactly? That's often what I do, just to keep things simple.

                              Anyway, it was most likely a mistake, as I doubt anyone would risk their job over 11 cents. Try not to get your panties in a wad, it's not worth a second more of your time.

                              1. re: Keramel

                                I always round off the tip so that it shows the year of my birth. Sometimes it means I over tip a bit; sometimes I undertip. But if I don't see the right two digits at the end, I know someone's being doing something.

                                1. re: KevinB

                                  >round off the tip so that it shows the year of my birth ...
                                  >don't see the right two digits at the end, I know someone's
                                  >being doing something.
                                  >
                                  er, that wont catch somebody adding a whole dollar amount,
                                  e.g. $66.77 -> $68.77. assuming you cant compute complicated
                                  XORs or hashes in you head, maybe you can do something like sum
                                  all the digited except the pennies column, take that mod 7 and use that
                                  as the pennies amount. then you have good chance of catching an
                                  altered bill. so $66.77 -> $66.75 ... if this gets changed to $68.75, then
                                  that will fail the check since it should be $68.70.

                              2. re: BenT32301

                                next question, was the special a buy 1 get 1 free, was it a 10% off was it a 75% off? If it were not a monday or tuesday how much would the meals have been?

                                1. re: jfood

                                  No, just lunch sized portions and prices served at dinner.

                                  1. re: BenT32301

                                    just so you know, the restaurant can't do anything about it after the batch gets sent at night so they cannot credit you 11c except to say when you are in next time.

                                    Since it's 11c, and yes principles are involved but, I would forget it.

                                    1. re: smartie

                                      It sounds like this issue probably isn't an issue, really. But, if it were, I don't think the call to the restaurant would be to get the eleven cents back, it would be to inform them about what happened and say that it's not acceptable under any circumstances, regardless of the amount of money involved.

                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                        This seems like a lot of effort for .11 !

                                        1. re: TonyO

                                          What effort for eleven cents? My point was that a call to the restaurant wouldn't be about getting the eleven cents back, but rather to point out the higher amount generally. As I noted, it doesn't sound like it's going to be an issue in this case, but if it were, a call to say "hey, don't let your employees do this" would still be reasonable.

                                          1. re: ccbweb

                                            yeah, how dare they allow their employees to make a mistake.

                                            11 cents? this op is about 11 cents?

                                            let's see. say the server has 10 tables over the course of the night. even 20, cuz maybe it's very high turn-over. wow. if he was crafty enough to pull this on every table, he'd make an extra... $2.20.

                                            i'm truly disheartened the op is so cynical.

                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                              Does anyone read entire threads anymore? It's clear the OP posted when they were thinking that the waiter had done something deliberately dishonest. After a few posts, the OP posted again recognizing that it was very likely either an error on the part of the waiter or whoever entered the total into the credit card machine or simply a credit card company levying a higher hold amount than the actual initial charge was for. Cynicism solved.

                                              A mistake is a mistake, and that's fine. But, I'm going to hold to the position that if you have been charged more than you should have been charged (after letting the credit card holds sort out and what not) it's not unreasonable to call the restaurant to find out what happened. Eleven cents isn't a lot of money for most anyone...but where are you going to draw the line? If it were an $11 mistake, is that worth a call? One needn't ascribe malice to something that could be a mistake and one could still feel that they shouldn't be charged more than they agreed to.

                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                yes, i did read the entire thread, and if you'd noticed my last response was to you. you seem convinced that somehow the waiter is deliberately at fault.

                                                i cannot count how many calls i receive every week from guests who run home and check their debit or credit statement on-line. they are unaware that the BANK (not the restaurant, btw) automatically adds 20% to the bill. the card may have been rung twice due to an error, but that incorrect swipe will not be batched out so will disappear in 24 hours. or 20 other computer things that might look wrong but will be settled when the credit card transactions are batched out.

                                                my point is that the op and several posters think servers are inherently dishonest. that saddens me. can we please get some perspective on 11 cents?

                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                  Ah. I can see, rereading my post, how you might think that. I noted that it wasn't likely going to be an issue in this case because it seems almost certain (to me anyhow) that it was an error in entering the amount into the credit card machine. In this case, it sounds like it's going to be a closed book very soon, which is good.

                                                  I should have been clear that, as a separate thought and in other circumstances, if after the credit card charges settle though and holds have cleared and so on, the amount was still incorrect, then a call to the restaurant wouldn't be out of line. The amount wouldn't necessarily be important in that instance, and one could and should definitely make that clear. I don't think anyone is deliberately trying to cheat anyone in this situation. I think in some situations some people, even servers, might try to cheat someone.

                                                2. re: ccbweb

                                                  You hit it right on the head!!! Please let's not be unpleasant to anyone on this web site. I left one because of that very reason. An honest mistake is an honest mistake,but mangement should be aware of it, be it one cent or one dollar. We had it happen to us when we were in Boston a few years ago. A very nice restaurant, a good meal, we always tip 20%, and when our Visa came it was a lot more then the 20% we had signed on.

                                        2. re: smartie

                                          Just so you know smatie the restaurants do have the ability to give credits. Any place that process credit card transactions has the ability to give credits.

                                2. Am I the only one who's worked in a restaurant and thinks it's kinda tacky to adjust the tip to make the total an even dollar amount?

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: dinner belle

                                    No, that's what I was thinking while reading the discussion. For cash payments, maybe, not credit/debit. And I've seen charges adjusted on my statements in the couple of days following a meal. It always ends up to be what I wrote on the charge slip.

                                    1. re: smartrock9

                                      Funny discussion - I did read the whole thread - but shouldn't there be a lot more teasing about the notion of a world where waiters change tips by 11 cents and then come after you with violence when you call them on it? Although to be fair, if the waiter had done this 1,000,000 times it would equal to $110,000, and the waiter probably would only have to exact retribution on one or two customers before the rest stop complaining about their lost 11 cents for fear of beheaded livestock in their beds.

                                      But to be honest, I'm a little more disturbed by the "principle" comments and "call your credit card company" and "where do you draw the line". Why are so many assuming that it's a situation that requires any antagonism or that there is some principle at stake? Shouldn't the first step - even if it was $11, or $110 - be to just call the restaurant and politely say there was a mistake and start from the assumption that it was an honest mistake that they will gladly correct? I'm going to guess that disputing the charge isn't that great for the restaurant's credit record and the polite thing to do would be to give them a chance to make it right.

                                    2. re: dinner belle

                                      I was going to respond with, "no, what is wrong with that?" but reread it... I always adjust my tip 'upwards' to make a round figure (i.e., 20% tip = $6.78 I will leave
                                      $7.00. That is on tax, too.) Then I figure the number from there, which ends in an
                                      odd number, of course. Credit card payments. Cash I just round up to what is
                                      appropriate to leave without having the server come back (if possible). Using a tip to round off a total credit card charge is not good. Makes no sense. Unless it works
                                      it the servers/restaurant benefit.

                                      1. re: dinner belle

                                        My previous posting was directed at dinner belle... but doesn't show up that way,
                                        sorry for the confusion. I agree with you, dinner belle.

                                        1. re: dinner belle

                                          I was thinking that!!! Totally different if you leave cash and err on the side of over tipping...but tacky none-the-less.

                                          I've always tipped based on the amount of the bill prior to coupon or "special" adjustments. For example, say that there was a two-for-one special at a rest and my husband and I dined on steak dinners for $20.00. The bill, before the "special" would have been $40. I would tip on the $40, so my tip would have been $8 .

                                          Finally, you've invested a considerable amount of time on this 11 cents. By the time you call the manager, explain the situation and receive your change, you'll never get 11 cents of value out of a refund.

                                          1. re: dinner belle

                                            I guess tackiness is in the eye of the beholder.

                                            If my check is $33.68 and I'm paying cash, I'll typically leave $40 at the table and walk away, allowing the server a $6.32 tip. Why should my choice to use a credit card result in a different (lower) tip?

                                            If I were to wait for my change, some might say it's tacky to remove the 32¢ after the waiter brings it back. Then some might say it's tacky to leave a small amount (say, 32¢) of coins, in addition to $6.

                                            Then some might say it's tacky to dig through your change purse to give exactly $33.68 in cash to the waiter, then leave the tip separately.

                                            I almost always round the total up to the next dollar in totalling up my check when I sign the credit card slip, as I would with cash. If I received exceptional service (the server took great care of my two kids) and total out my charge slip to leave $10.32 on my $33.68 check, hopefully you won't find that to be too tacky.

                                            And by doing so (having all restaurant charges end in whole dollars), I can readily tell if something is fishy when I receive my credit card bill.

                                          2. I'm reading this thread and scratching my head over here. I guess everyone on the board has good manners, which is great, but no one but me thinks it is ridiculous to spend this much time lamenting the loss of eleven cents? Sorry to be snarky, but the day I care about whether I was mischarged .11 is the day I stop going out for dinner. And believe me, I'm far from rich.

                                            9 Replies
                                              1. re: vvv03

                                                I don't think the OP cares about 11 cents. It's the idea that anyone might just change an amount on a charge. This time it was 11 cents, what if it had been, say 11 dollars?

                                                1. re: Tay

                                                  Okay. I know that at one of the places I work, if the charges are off at the end of the night by a few cents, we don't go through the day's sales to find it. If, however, they're off by a few dollars, we do. If it means that much to the OP, he/she should call and they can adjust it -- but I promise you that a., it's highly likely there was no malice on the part of the server, and b., there is, in the restaurant's eyes, a HUGE difference between $11 and 11 cents. It's not a matter of "just changing" the tip; it's a matter of a small error that probably happened while adjusting several different charge tips that would take more time to find and fix than the 11 cents it's worth. It's also par for the course in restaurants -- I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times I've had a customer screw up the math and I have to determine what they really meant -- if they totaled their tip in wrong, do I get what they tipped (even if it's ridiculously low) or what they clearly meant to tip? There's so much margin of error when there are many minds doing math. Be realistic and a bit compassionate.
                                                  I'm going to have to side with those who think this is all a bit paranoid.

                                                  1. re: ctscorp

                                                    You, being in the profession have a hands on insight. I'm sure you're right and it's just one more reason why I always tip in cash.
                                                    I think it's a difficult job with many people to please. That being said, I don't think the OP was being 'paranoid'. I think he was just uncomfortable with what he perceived as an unauthorized 'adjustment.' on his credit card. No one would make a case out of 11 cents unless they were a few picture cards short of a deck and I didn't get that impression from his posting.

                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                      I guess I should assume it was sarcastic, but doesn't the OP's mention of "retribution" imply at least a little paranoia?
                                                      FYI, cash tips are ALWAYS appreciated more -- thanks from all of us for doing that. I can't tell you the number of times I've walked with nothing because all my tips were charges and the restaurant has to wait to get cash when the bank opens the next day.

                                                      1. re: ctscorp

                                                        To restaurant staff, I am sorry to say that I have stopped tipping in cash when I am paying the bill with a credit card. I used to tip in cash because I was under the impression that it would be beneficial to the server for tax reasons and expediency. But after multiple times (4) of paying with a card and tipping with cash and later finding an additional 20% on the charge on the final monthly statement, I now add the tip to the credit card charge. After the first two times this happened, I started keeping the receipts and writing clearly on them, for example, "cash tip $14.00". Using this method, I was able to calmly point out the discrepancy to the restaurant the next two times, and resolve the issue.

                                                        Unfortunately, it just takes too much time out of my day to reclaim the extra $5 or $15. Now I put it all on the card, but keep the receipts until I've balanced the account.

                                                        I guess the best way is just to pay the whole bill with cash. I can rarely use the miles to fly anywhere, anyhow.

                                                        1. re: Bellyacher

                                                          We alway tip in cash and we always print CASH on the tip line on the credit card slip. Never had any problem.

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            Excellent idea!. I always tip in cash so I'm doing that from now on.
                                                            Thanks!

                                                  2. re: Tay

                                                    But...it wasn't. There are any number of reasons why the eleven cent discrepancy could have occurred (estimating the tip for authorization, a miskey, whatever) but I highly doubt that the server rounding up to get that extra dime + 1 was the real one. Besides, if a server was consistently changing their tips on credit card payments, the manager would already know; at every restaurant I've worked at, you are required to turn in your credit card slips at the end of the shift, so if this was a recurring problem that server probably wouldn't work there anymore.

                                                2. I totally agree that changing the tab by even a penny is not acceptable,.It does bring up the point that when we dine at these insanely inexpensive chains, we need to toss the 15-18 % mentality out the window and tip up. Most of the waitstaff are college kids or retirees and they often have to pool tips, so unless service is poor, we all have to bump it up...

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                    remember jfood thinks it was a mistake by Eleven-cent Sam.

                                                    but to your point. are you saying thatthe custo reaction (in the macro sense) is that they should tip more than 20% because if they do not the servers need to resort to a penny here and eleven-cents there?

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      I think we should all be aware that when these low cost chains run their "specials," as customers, we are not getting streamlined wait service and should tip on service, not a % of the check. I mean, today in the local paper, there are advertised dinner specials at a local chalin that are $12.99 for a 4 course dinner!. It's still the same amount of service for the waitstaff. How could anyone with any common sense, tip based on the check total? That would be something like a $5 tip for two people! That would be ridiculous! Waitstaff depend on tips. They cannot make a decent wage if their customers base tips solely on the discounted dinner amounts. .

                                                      1. re: Tay

                                                        two points that you bring up:

                                                        your original post was an inexpensive chain. and one accepts a position in an inexpensive chain that person knows the price point and accepts the position with the tip percentage expectations based on that price point. so why should the customer be responsible for any uptip? so jfood disagrees with throwing out the mentality but always leaves a much larger percentage because he has little jfoods the same age

                                                        likewise with the specials. server are subjected to retail pay just like other salespeople. do you leave $10 at Macy's when you buy stuff on sale, no but the salesperson receives her/his commission based on total sales, not on total sales before discount. so it is not the custos responsibility to figure out what "it would have been."

                                                        jfood goes out to dinner, receives the bill and pays his tip based on t he total and the percentage deserved. they are better off than most commissioned based workers since they will receive something from each custo.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          Question on the second point: Is this true? I thought the server received either a percentage of the total tips for the night (if tips are shared), or the server received the tip directly from the customer.

                                                          Does the restaurant just add up the server's sales at full price and multiply by some %?

                                                          1. re: Bellyacher

                                                            Bellyacher
                                                            I don't know how it works. I know some places pool tips, some are shared with bus staff., etc. When dining in a :regular" restaurant. using the tab as a loose guide, I tip based on service and I tip in cash even if I pay for the meal with a Cr Cd.
                                                            I want my server to know I appreciated being well served and that I admire the work of people who have what I consider to be a physically taxing and often, ego deflating, job. Last week, We had inexpensive dinner specials at a local diner. Our Server, who coudn't have been more than 17-18, was so pleasant and helpful. His friendly way actually enhanced the meal. If we had tipped strictly by a % of the bill, we would have left less than $5 for what we deemed was excellent service of an app/salad/ entree /dessert. The place was busy so he also "bussed" the table. Of course we upped the tip!

                                                          2. re: jfood

                                                            jfood...
                                                            I'm hope you take this in the spirit in which I mean it. I'm just stating my opinion. These are mostly kids, they don't comprehend the concept of "tip percentage expectations " or "price point." He/she only knows that due to chains running ridiculously inexpensive specials, that the same meal he/she served the week before that earned a $7 tip is now earnig a $4 tip. You look at your child coming home at 11pm, dog tired, smelling like grease and windex and you listen to him/her tell you that he/she made $22 in tips over an 8-10 hr shift.
                                                            Perhaps you'll see why I feel the way I feel and tip the way I tip.
                                                            You are entitled to tip as you wish That being said....
                                                            I sincerely hope that if you have kids and they ever have to pick up a p/t job in a restaurant to earn some spending money or to help defray the cost of school , that they have customers more like me and less like you.

                                                            1. re: Tay

                                                              none taken Tay. read on and you'll see why.

                                                              please re-read jfood's above and note "but always leaves a much larger percentage because he has little jfoods the same age"

                                                              jfood leaves a $10 tip at the pizzeria on a $12 pizza when litle jfood's friends are working. when traveling and is forced to eat at a chain and the kids look like they are owrking hard for cash, has left up to 100% tip, won;t order dessert to leave the extras and still within corporate guidelines, so you can see jfood's point.

                                                              But it's expectations that are the issue. everyone is not in the position to do what jfood and you do. for some the "special" night is the only time they can go out and 15% tip is in their budget. and then there are another million stories in the naked city.

                                                              what drives jfood crazy are the "if you can afford.." and the other self righteous statements many post here.

                                                              Oh, BTW little jfood only made $10 on her pizzeria gig tonight, but fortunately had a great day on the retail side, so jfood is truly speaking with both sides under consideration.

                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                I'm glad to stand corrected. You sound a lot less "corporate" in this posting. I think you threw me with the "ExecSpeak" and referring to yourself and your family in the 3rd person...
                                                                I'm delighted we agree.. :-}

                                                          3. re: Tay

                                                            I used to wait tables. Generally, when there was a special it was to help drum up biz on a slow day or off-season. Often the restaurant would have a contest with $ prizes for the top 3 sales of the special per shift. With a good special more customers get an app, drink or dessert since the entree is less than usual. Between the up-sale ticket and the prize, things would be about the same take-home wise.

                                                            Now coupons such as Entertainment book (buy one, get one) can be a problem. In that case tip should be based on what the ticket plus extra entree would have been. The server is doing the same work - refilling drinks for two, suppling bread/butter for 2, etc. This gets overlooked by diners fairly often.

                                                            Re: comments regarding rounding up or leaving change - I never felt insulted with coin - it all spends. Over the course of an evening, if everyone rounds up
                                                            it becomes more than odd change. You can't have an attitude of entitlement and enjoy waiting tables. Sometimes you've done everything right & know the party enjoyed the service and the tip is less than norm. Not everyone understands tipping protocol unfortunately.

                                                      2. While it seems this 11 cents was a mistaken charge, the thing to be careful of is a certain number of waitstaff who WILL change tips. I used to wait on tables for a living and there were always a few people who had no problem adding a tip if you didn't put a line through the tip portion and the total you wanted charged in the total line -- say you were tipping in cash, but paying with a credit card. I always make sure the entire receipt is filled in before I give it back to the server for this reason. The waitperson can always challenge you, if you claim not to have included a tip, otherwise. I'm just saying I've seen it happen ...

                                                        1. I think it was an oversight & nothing to worry about. Some of the computer (POS) systems you input the total amount & some you input only the tip amount. There is room for some error. We do make mistakes & most of us apologoze for doing so. I do understand the principal & reason for concern however. I wouldn't worry about this kid coming to find you. That's a bit over the top!

                                                          I'd be more concerned about someone stealing your credit card number while dining out & then buying porn on the internet with it. As was the case with me. This happened after returning home from a trip to Vegas where I now reside. Seriously, true story. It took two months to figure that one out. ; )

                                                          As a server we have to decipher many a credit card slips during or at the end of our night. I've been stiffed because my customers take the signed copy & leave me a totally blank slip; I've had to figure out due to poor math skills & perhaps one too many drinks whether you meant to live me the tip amount or the total amount. Most retaurants have a standard policy for such issues. Writing clearly always helps...
                                                          I've had to personally pay $200 tabs for customers who didn't know when they were signing a room charge they needed to give me the room number & print their last name. This is even after I explained this step by step...

                                                          Sorry, that was a big of an tangent : )

                                                          1. This really sounds like a typo situation. If someone was trying to increase their tip they would choose a number that looked close to what you wrote and was also enough to make it more worthwhile. Ex: change a sloppy zero to a six, that way if the customer notices they can say it was misread.

                                                            I've done a lot of restaurant work & have rarely seen this happen. I really believe most people are basically honest. But I have seen people who asked a server to fill in a slip (illness, intoxicated, etc.) & later did not remember. They call the restaurant once their statement arrived and server gets fired. Even when it was the first time the server had ever had a question arise in 6 years, manager fired her "because we can't afford to have a customer wonder". So your call could get someone fired for .11 - some restaurants view staff as completely disposable.

                                                            1. Don't report to the restaurant; report to your credit card issuer, especially if you have a copy of your signed receipt. They will handle everything -- notifying the restaurant and giving them the transaction information which includes the server's ID -- and least, that has been my experience in the past. I think it was considered a "disputed charge."

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                                                Why would you dispute an 11 cent charge? Doesn't that hurt the restaurant and take up a lot of peoples time?

                                                                1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                                                  If you read all the postings you'll find that this issue and what to do/not do, was already explained to the OP

                                                                2. After a long day of running, maybe the waiter was acting on auto pilot and saw '1' and thought '0' and punched in.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: DarthEater

                                                                    Not sure why my post pointing out that it is so very wrong to steal from hard working restaurant owners by disputing a charge over an 11cent typo was removed.

                                                                    As paranoid that everyone is that everyone who works in a restaurant is out to get them I have to wonder why these people dine out.

                                                                    11cents people. Some waiters may steal, just like many NON waiters steal but no one changes paperwork to steal 11 cents.

                                                                    1. re: lebelage

                                                                      LOL lebelage! So right. In my case, the wonderful tavern I worked had a policy: all credit card receipts were put in a separate place, not tallied on the register. As a server, you added up all the tips you got on the CC transactions, clipped the adding machine tape to your bundle, and noted that you took $xx.xx cash out of the register for the CC tips received that night. The owner then did whatever he did the next day with the CC receipts. One day I came in while he was still working on them and he said to me: "I can't stand these bas***ds who leave a stupid tip just to make the charge an even number on their cards. I always change the amounts on the receipts to save me work." Yes, I was appalled, but did have the sense to say "As long as it's not my butt in the wringer."

                                                                      Next, as for changing paperwork, I once had a very drunk customer, also a server, but in a larger town, describe in detail how to change a CC receipt to increase her tips by huge amounts! I mean huge amounts! She claimed it was SO easy and no one ever checked. Well, sorry, babe, but I checked my credit card online myself and knew she was just tempting fate. I wonder if she ever went to jail?

                                                                      1. re: dhberry

                                                                        i know numerous servers who have been fired for that. they ALWAYS get caught.

                                                                      2. re: lebelage

                                                                        I have to disagree, in principle.

                                                                        When you purchase a service or a product, you are agreeing to pay the price asked. The seller or his agent have absolutely no right to change the amount. It is dishonesty and wrong.

                                                                        It might only be 11 cents, but there is a principle behind this. It may well have been an error, but IMO it is wrong to allow this to pass unnoticed and unreported.

                                                                    2. True story.

                                                                      Ten years ago jfood took the two little jfoods for a quick dinner before dance class. Some chicken fingers and fries for them, cup of coffee for jfood. Bill arrives and jfood pays quickly and leaves. Something bothered him as he was driving to the dance class and went back to the resto. Asked to see the menu and his tab. The tab was exactly $10 more than it should have been and this was in the days when theonly print-out was the tape from the adding machine. Jfood remembered a trick his accounting professor warned him about if he ever performed an audit and here it was in front of jfood's eyes. He asked to speak to the manager who feigned sincerity and changed the charge.

                                                                      Fast forward two years and jfood has a new admin. They start chatting about her past and she tells him that she worked in this resto. Jfood tells her the story and she laughs and says that the servers are told to do this on every check especially the big ones for families. Who's going to notice a $10-20 discrepancy in an adding machine tape on a >$200 bill.

                                                                      Needless to say jfood has never been back to this resto and when people ask why, he gives a brief reason. The resto now has the itemized bill presented to the custo, but it's hard to shake a resto in which the mgt basically tells servers to steal.

                                                                      But the OP's story still feels like a mistake versus any mis-doings.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        You know, a friend of mine who used to work at a local high end restaurant told me his Night Mgr pretty much told the wait staff the same thing. He told them large parties never kept track of the soda/bar bill, so a few extra drinks would never be noticed. I was pretty appalled that a Mgr would encourage blatent dishonesty.
                                                                        Eventually, one of the wait staff blew the whistle on him and he was discharged.

                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                          If this business is still in operation under the same management, I think a call to the state attorney general's office is in order. If your coworker who once worked there is willing to make the call, all the better. They might investigate since this is criminal behavior. Yeah, criminal behavior is endemic in some businesses, but at least the better business bureau should have a file on this place.

                                                                        2. That, my friend, is illegal, whether it is 11 cents or 11 dollars or worse.

                                                                          I would suggest you notify AmEx. They will deal with the offending restaurant.

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Fleur

                                                                            Good grief - you don't think you've ever been the beneficiary of an error like this? Were you engaged in illegal activity for unknowingly getting more than you should? Some of y'all need to get some perspective. Small accounting mistakes happen all the time.

                                                                            And there is no principle at stake here - either you think 11 cents is worth the hassle of getting back, or you don't. 11 cents is not the same as 11 dollars. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

                                                                            1. re: dark knight

                                                                              For $11 it would be alright to call the restaurant or credit card company? Where is the line between 11 cents and $11?

                                                                              That's the principle. That's the whole definition of a principle; the details aren't important, rather, the underlying issue is. The question of whether the principle is important enough to someone to do something about it is a separate one. But there is clearly a principle in question or at stake here: being charged an amount different than the one you agreed to.

                                                                              Again, in this particular scenario, it seems as though the issue is resolved in the OP's mind and it isn't going anywhere.

                                                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                I think there is a big difference between 11 cents and 11 dollars. We may not agree where the line is, but 11 cents is clearly under the line and 11 dollars is clearly over. So maybe my answer to the question "where is the line" is: "somewhere between 11 cents and 11 dollars."

                                                                                Let me ask you this - if you had bought something at a store and walked five blocks away, but then realized you had been given 11 cents too much, would you walk the money back to the owner based on "the principle" of it? I mean, it's not your money and you are the one that walked it far away. What if it was 1 cent? If the principle is important than the fact that it is only 1 cent shouldn't matter right?

                                                                                Is the principle worth wasting your credit card company's time to write letters to the restaurant and investigating your dispute? Again, what if it were 1 cent? Is there a line between 1 cent and 11 cents? I wonder if credit card companies actually have a threshold for what is worth checking out - I mean they can't just refund 11 cents without looking into it can they? What if in reclaiming 1 cent, you are going to use up $20 in labor and paper and time? Does the principle of the matter justify that?

                                                                                1. re: dark knight

                                                                                  Well, the line is a personal thing. For you 11 cents is under it and 11 dollars is over. For other people the line will be different and I don't feel like I get to tell someone else where their line ought to be.

                                                                                  I wasn't actually thinking of contacting a credit card company on this sort of thing. It would never be my first move, that would be to call the restaurant. And my call, personally, would be to say that I was charged an incorrect amount but not to ask for money back at this amount. To my mind, it's alerting the restaurant (or any business) to something that was handled poorly or incorrectly. I wouldn't want to get any employees in trouble for a mistake and would make it clear that this one instance wouldn't affect whether I'd return to the restaurant. But, what if it were someone altering things on purpose? The restaurant could be exposed to all kinds of legal issues if that were the case. I don't think someone should fly off the handle when something goes wrong or a mistake happens, but I do think that it's not unreasonable to stop for a moment and consider whether a phone call to a manager to say "I was charged incorrectly" would make sense. If it were a friend's business, I'd definitely call and let them know. If it were a restaurant I liked a lot but didn't know the owners, I'd call and say something because I'd want them to stay in business and mistakes like that could hurt them....and so on. If it were a place I went once, knew I wasn't going back, yeah I blow it off at 11 cents...depending on the total of the bill, I might blow it off at $11 because it's just not worth the time at that point. It doesn't happen in a vacuum, but the principle is in question and is worth considering. The principle, to me, isn't "I should get my money back" but, rather, "I shouldn't be charged a price different than what we agreed to."

                                                                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                    Okay - but what if it were a penny? Does the principle still apply? Would you call anyone about a penny? Would you tell a friend if it was his business?

                                                                                    My main beef is towards those who want to immediately call their credit card companies over a principle. I don't have a problem with how you would handle it - but I do think some people you call will think you are a little nuts. :)

                                                                                    1. re: dark knight

                                                                                      No, for a penny I wouldn't. I'm not sure where my line would fall, but it would depend on the circumstances, my relationship to the place, my experience at the place etc etc etc.

                                                                                      I wouldn't call about 11 cents either. If I knew the people, I'd probably say something the next time I was there, but only if I knew they wouldn't then try to buy me a drink or something.

                                                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                        so, your line is somewhere between 1 cent and 11 cents? you can't even buy gum for 11 cents anymore.

                                                                                        honestly, principle isn't so black and white and should never preclude the possibility of an honest mistake.

                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                          To quote myself "I wouldn't call about 11 cents either."

                                                                                          I've also, in several places in this thread said that I think this was a case of a mistake. Also said I wouldn't want to cause trouble for whatever server as a result of this sort of thing.

                                                                                  2. re: dark knight

                                                                                    mr knight:
                                                                                    i agree in a significant degree with your reaction to these kinds of
                                                                                    "stands on principle". for grins, see e.g.
                                                                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40584...

                                                                                    although i still think the right analysis is "at 11cents, the mistake
                                                                                    theory is the one to go with" so it's not a case of "but it's the principle ->
                                                                                    the gall of the waiter", but "how much effort to unwind a 11cent mistake".
                                                                                    that's not an emotional decision. no gall, no principle. no principle, no sweat.

                                                                                    i think the real test is, would you proudly tell your friends and neighbors
                                                                                    about your 11cent "stand on principle". i think you could tell the story with a
                                                                                    sense of puzzlement ... "i wonder what happened between my signing
                                                                                    the bill and it showing up on the statement", but if you tell the story as one
                                                                                    of steely resolve and defense of right conduct, or your close brush with
                                                                                    chicanery, you look like a doofus.

                                                                                    p.s. there have been a couple of times when the $ amount that was
                                                                                    charged to my card was slightly different than what the bill came to
                                                                                    when i happened to check online or by phone very soon after the meal,
                                                                                    but by the time the actual billing statement came around, it had reverted
                                                                                    to te right amount. like say $47.23 reverted to $45, or whatever round
                                                                                    figure i remembered leaving. i think there was some reasonable
                                                                                    explanation for this in terms of how the credit card charges worked
                                                                                    but i dont remember what that was. i assume this 11cent discrepancy
                                                                                    accurately reflects what the patron was billed and wasnt some intermediate
                                                                                    figure.

                                                                                    1. re: psb

                                                                                      Thanks PSB - you explained better than me why it's not an issue of principle and linked to a good example where it IS a matter of principle! :) Funny.

                                                                                      P.S. The answer to your P.S. was discussed early on in this thread.

                                                                            2. the restaurant i work for we are told to input the total of the check into the micros, if i did that this past weekend i would have recieved a tip of 124.00. i did the right thing, i knew the guest ment to leave a 24.00 tip

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: carolm

                                                                                I really applaud your honesty.

                                                                              2. Ben--can you post an update on the situation? I would be great if we found out that the "error" was simply the authorization, and that the correct amount had been put through.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: nc213

                                                                                  I will post an update when the final bill comes next week.

                                                                                2. As others have stated, most likely an honest mistake. I doubt this waiter is going to have a scheme where they pocket 11 cents from each of their tables.

                                                                                  If it was me I would let it go, making a phone call to the establishment, or your cc company would cost you more than 11 cents of your time.

                                                                                  If it was a larger ammount I would have a different opinion. but not over 11 cents. Just a good lesson to be learned to make sure you review your cc statemet when it comes.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                    I completely agree - there is no way the kid wanted 11 cents more! It's not like the time my sister had $20 added to the tip....THAT was stealing. Let it go.

                                                                                    1. re: JaneRI

                                                                                      Yea, honestly I thought you were going to say they made the tip $20. It's odd if you distinctly remember $3.89 but 11 cents seems more like a mistake than anything intentional. I could be wrong though, so I would say go with your gut feeling.

                                                                                  2. At the very best the OP is pennywise and pound foolish. If the server stole $0.11 just feel good that you've never been and never will be that desperate and if it was a mistake just think about the amount of change that has probably fallen out of your pocket into a strangers seat cushion or the time you were a minute late for work. 11 cents per minute is less than the amount per minute someone on minimum wage makes. The server made a mistake, let it go.

                                                                                    If anything I've been undercharged at restaurants, particularly with miscommunication between the bar and the server.

                                                                                    1. $.11 is not something you should spend your energy writing a letter over. Take it up with Amex if you must or don't ever patronize that establishment ever again.

                                                                                      My bigger issue with your post is that you left just $3.89 on a $16.11 tab. Maybe it's because I grew up working in my parents restaurant, maybe it's because I cocktail waitressed all through college and into my mid twenties.. but I firmly believe that you should tip more than just 20% when you are taking advantage of a weekly special. What would a $10 tip be to you in this instance? You would have eaten steak for $26 for two and made the waiter's night.

                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: blondie60614

                                                                                        While I agree, you can't begrudge him for tipping 24% despite the goodwill that something more generous would foster. If you work at a place where you can have steak for two for $16, your tips are gonna suck no matter how cool your patrons are.

                                                                                        1. re: blondie60614

                                                                                          A $10.00 tip on a $16.11 meal?

                                                                                          Seriously?

                                                                                          1. re: dolores

                                                                                            Yeah, is she kidding? He DID say a chain place, so I'm sure the full price wasn't too far off from what he actually paid. And considering 15% really IS a median tip (for lack of a better way to phrase it right now), the fact that he left almost 25% and after tax no less....was just fine.

                                                                                            1. re: JaneRI

                                                                                              jfood would think that the statistical word you are looking for is "mode" the most often tip percentage given. hope that helps RI.

                                                                                              http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                                                                                          2. re: blondie60614

                                                                                            with all the silliness of the actions of the OP leaving a ~25% is not one of them. Like jfood has stated in the past, all retail commisssion employees fall subject to less commission/tip on mark-downs, unfortunately its the way it is.

                                                                                            But leaving $10 on a $16? Very rare that jfood would do that. Totally not required.

                                                                                            http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                              I'll admit that $10 is rare and not required. But I think $5 would have been more appropriate. The fact that the OP took the time to do math and come up with an even amount annoys me.

                                                                                              You're getting a deal by having steak for two at $16.11. The waiter shouldn't be punished for the fact that the restaurant is offering a special. They live on tips!

                                                                                              If everyone was ungenerous with tips, the restaurants would be forced to raise their prices in order to pay servers a higher wage- and diners would pay more in the end anyways.

                                                                                              1. re: blondie60614

                                                                                                in hindsight jfood would have left $5 on a $16 bill for dinner

                                                                                                http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                                                                                                1. re: blondie60614

                                                                                                  >The fact that the OP took the time to do math and come up
                                                                                                  >with an even amount annoys me.
                                                                                                  >
                                                                                                  if you would reflect for a moment, the "math" the OP is doing is
                                                                                                  "$20 leaves a pretty nice tip ... ok, i'm out of here".
                                                                                                  in fact you dont even have to reflect a moment ... the OP even says
                                                                                                  "to round my bill to $20". i suspect the "math" the OP did was
                                                                                                  "$1.60x2 = $3.20 < $3.80 ... so that +%20 tip seems pretty nice for avg service".

                                                                                                  i find this kind of beating the tip drum annoying. "i was in the business, i was a
                                                                                                  cocktail waitress. yadda yadda".

                                                                                                  this is obviously a different case from pulling out the calculator and the pennies
                                                                                                  to leave 15% pre tax rounded to the nearest penny.

                                                                                                  1. re: blondie60614

                                                                                                    just a clarification from the OP's author... we did NOT purchase a steak dinner (nor two) for $16, but as stated, we dined at what most would consider a chain, peanuts-on-the-floor steak house... I felt the tip provided was sufficient for the level of service and we did factor in the reduced price at dinner, even though it was more than what the waiter would have gotten for the same order at lunch time, since it was a lunch-sized portion and price.

                                                                                              2. Yep, it is only 11 cents. And yep, there are principles all over the place, depending on your POV.

                                                                                                If the OP really wants to *do* something to sooth the ruffled feathers (and yes, my feathers might be a little ruffled too - that doggoned "principle" thing again regarding the contract of signing a credit slip), a simple anonymous call to the restaurant would be in order. To state that one was overcharged (tip changed) and suggest to the manager that this should not happen and perhaps some training of staff would be in order would hurt no one (not anonymous employee nor anonymous diner). The OP needn't (shouldn't) ask for recompense (em...11 cents after all), and perhaps the management could learn something.

                                                                                                First, if the management is of the ilk that jfood described earlier (suggesting their employees change up to a larger tip), it could learn that people DO check, and it makes a difference for repeat business.

                                                                                                If the management does not bother to adequately train staff and expect accuracy, then it might learn that a little in-service meeting is in order, to the benefit of all. (And yes, I do believe this was an error; extra vigilance and training prevents a lot of errors, however.)

                                                                                                Finally, if this was a rounding-up issue vis-a-vis credit authorization, the management might learn that this happens and resolves on a new batch, and can reassure guests if they call on a discrepency.

                                                                                                The OP sounds like a decent sort that just doesn't want to agree to dollar amount terms and then have the terms switched. The restaurant seems to have made an honest error and to no great monetary loss to the OP. A nice call alerting the management, accusing no one and demanding nothing seems like a reasonable action if action is desired.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                  Well if you're going to be all reasonable and rational about it, how is anyone going to have anything to squawk about on here?

                                                                                                  Couldn't agree more, across the board: nicely said.

                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                    Thanks, cayjohan. I agree with ccbweb... nicely said and thank you for the advice. For my first posting here, this one has left me feeling pretty trounced. See my reply on the OP for my last word on the subject...

                                                                                                  2. Hey Ben

                                                                                                    It's been a week, why don;t you head back to amex.com and check and report back.

                                                                                                    TIA

                                                                                                    http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: BenT32301

                                                                                                        I did and was very disappointed. :-((

                                                                                                        At this point the Chowhounders who have waited anxiously have received this ill-wanted answer, or at least ill-wanted by me.

                                                                                                        It is probably a good idea to post the name of the resto so others can be aware of the .shenanigans .

                                                                                                        Sorry this was the resukt. Every hates being made a fool of but at least you caught it.

                                                                                                    1. Ben,

                                                                                                      As someone who put myself through university working at restaurants, do you really think someone would jeopardize their job for eleven cents? Especially when the real money is to be made bilking the restaurant, not the customer.

                                                                                                      For example, I worked in a number of places where the salad bar was not only a dinner extra, but an option in its own right. Now, for a steak, I had to put an itemized chit into the kitchen, but for salad bar? Nothing. I used to be disgusted when I got four customers who just wanted salad bar; at $6 each, I was making nothing. Later, I found that other waiters who'd figured out the system, would charge the customer the $6 plus tax, plus whatever tip, and make $24+ per table. When there are opportunities to rip off the company like that, why would anyone risk their job for eleven freakin' cents?

                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                        This whole entitlement thing on here from current/past waitpersons is crazy. Leave a 50% or so tip just to make the server's night because you got a good deal. Did you ever stop to think they may have not eaten out that night had there not been a special and therefore no tip at all to the server? Do you pay more for your car so the salesperson gets more commission? Pay more for your house? You should, they live on commission and it's your job to make their day! Craziness.

                                                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                                                          KB,

                                                                                                          Your two responses are precious. Above you mention that you round the tip so that the total bill has the cents category equal to your birth year and here your stating that no one would risk their job for $0.11. Don't ya think the two statements are contradictory?

                                                                                                          http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            I don't see the contradiction at all, jfood.

                                                                                                            1. re: ctscorp

                                                                                                              sorry ct, let jfood try a little better.

                                                                                                              Here is a postthat states that a waiter would not put his job in jeopardy for a few pennies. Yet the same poster is so concerned that a server might change the charged amount that s/he adjusts the tip so that the last t wo digits of the total bill is the same year as his birth. So on one hand it is stated that noone would do it and then on the other hand there is concern that someone might do it and the math gymnastics are performed to catch that person.

                                                                                                              Hope that is a better explanation

                                                                                                              http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                I think we'll all agree that nobody is going to *intentionally* rip you off a few cents at a time by changing the tip on a charged meal.

                                                                                                                But I think what the poster is saying is that when you receive your charge statement and see that the cents on the charge line are different from what was signed for (his birth year, my $.00), that then serves as your cue to look at the dollars charged to see if there's an error that's more than a few cents.

                                                                                                                1. re: tubman

                                                                                                                  Exactly, the server would change a digit to the left of the decimal point not to the right if they were going to pull this stunt. And therefore checking the last two digits does no good (best place to hide a stolen ring is in the showcase of a jeweler theory)

                                                                                                                  Likewise let's give a little credit to the server for intelligence when the bill is $20.00 and the custo leaves a tip of $4.77 for a total of $24.77 (assuming a birth year of 1977 cause this person must be 20-30's).

                                                                                                                  Don't you think that the server would think this person is either a dufus or trying this 12-year old stunt?

                                                                                                                  http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                    I've lost track, jfood. Was it okay or not okay that the bill was raised by eleven cents, in your opinion?

                                                                                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                      NEVER ok to change the bill by even one penny. No wiggle room there in jfood-land.

                                                                                                                    2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                      jfood> the server would change a digit to the
                                                                                                                      jfood> left of the decimal point
                                                                                                                      jfood>
                                                                                                                      a potential solution is at
                                                                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44349...

                                                                                                                      funny coincidence you also picked "77" ...
                                                                                                                      i picked it because that was the year star wars came out.

                                                                                                                  2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                    Thanks, jfood. That's what happens to the brain of and English PhD student -- basic math starts to look like Sanskrit!

                                                                                                            2. Update: The CC statement arrived with the $20.11 charge in place, so it did not reflect the authorization amount, but the final total.

                                                                                                              After two weeks of reflection and amazing posts, IMHO, the waiter wasn't out to steal $0.11. He mearly wanted to cash out his nightly tips in whole dollars instead of counting and/or carrying $0.89.

                                                                                                              I have e-mailed the corporate office of this chain and expressed my concern with the change on my tab, but stated that I was not requesting a refund, but simply providing them with a notification that it had happened and hoped that it was not an indicator of a greater problem at that location. Thanks for everyone's imput.

                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: BenT32301

                                                                                                                "After two weeks of reflection and amazing posts, IMHO, the waiter wasn't out to steal $0.11. He mearly wanted to cash out his nightly tips in whole dollars instead of counting and/or carrying $0.89."

                                                                                                                Sorry, you can't have it both ways, not even after two weeks of thought.

                                                                                                                If indeed the waiter wanted only whole dollars while deserving only .89, then there is no escaping that the waiter set out to and did steal $0.11.

                                                                                                                How is it not stealing to want more than one deserves and therefore to take more?

                                                                                                                You believe the waiter stole eleven cents from you?

                                                                                                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                                                  Secretly, I doubt the waiter didn't want to carry or count out the $0.89.
                                                                                                                  Usually at the end of your shift when you do your drop (cash-out) you round up or down to the nearest dollar amount. I don't even deal with change myself. If my customers bill is $16.32, I give them back change from $16. They give me a $20, they get back $4. I can't be bothered to jingle all night long or be weighed down by coins. I figure it all balances out in the long run...
                                                                                                                  I find this very amusing. I still believe is was an oversight. He may have mixed up your credit card slip with one that was $4. Who knows!

                                                                                                                2. re: BenT32301

                                                                                                                  I've done the same thing with two other restaurants--e-mailed the corporate office on a small amount to call it to their attention, specifically not requesting any renumeration. (And FWIW, both times I got a nice note thanking me and a gift card in the mail.)

                                                                                                                  I think we can stick a fork in this one...

                                                                                                                  1. re: BenT32301

                                                                                                                    ben, i thought of your OP the other night- at the end of a 10 hour waitressing shift i was going through my credit slips and settling the totals. my eyes got crossed and i almost mis-settled a bill by $.04

                                                                                                                    1. re: excuse me miss

                                                                                                                      Ha, I did this too! I had a bill where the subtotal was $55.40, tip (as written) was $9.40 and total was $64.40. Obviously they meant to leave $9.00 but I was just wondering, if I put in the total as $64.80 will I see a post about it tomorrow?

                                                                                                                  2. Tell you one thing that happens to me. Customers who like to round off the numbers will skip the tip line all together and just put in the total at the bottom. Like in this example they would just write "$20.00" on the very bottom line. They leave it up to us (meaning ME) to figure out how much that means in terms of tip. I do all the tip entering at my restaurant and that means at the end of the night I have to stand there as I post tips and do math in my head to figure out how much tip to enter in as an adjustment to the original charge. So in this case, I would see the $16.11 and I would see the $20.00 and I would figure it out on the fly. If I misread the $16.11 and just saw the $16, I could easily make the mistake of entering in "$4.00" as the tip rather than "$3.89." Not that it's correct or okay, but I can see how it would happen. Of course if I can make a mistake at all then there is a bigger problem (the human part of this equation). But leaving the calculations up to me and my old lady brain might increase the chances of a mistake like this happening.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: NeNePie

                                                                                                                      I'll give you a for instance. Today I had an 8 top sit in my section today; 8 adults for you non-waiters out there. They all ordered steaks and drinks... Their total bill was 102.87. One person paid with a credit card, and on the tip line he wrote a measly 10 dollar tip...HOWEVER... The total line he wrote clearly, 212.87. A major human error. So there I was deciding whether I should put the tip amount or the total amount in the computer. I mean, 10 dollars is hardly 10 percent the total and I give amazing service. On the other hand, though it's uncommon, there have been situations where guest give 100% tips. I mean, what's a 100 dollars to a major attorney or banker.

                                                                                                                      And for all you wondering if I put 10 dollars or 110 dollars in the computer, I put the 10....I am not about to lose a job over something so stupid as a guy who doesn't know how to add

                                                                                                                    2. just to play devils advocate on the 11 cents vs 11 dollars discussion....is anyone else not aware of some of the banker scams whereby mere pennies have been skimmed from large numbers of bank accounts to add up to $$$$$ (whereby the account holders likely don't even notice)....these have resulted in criminal charges.....and no doubt several bankers would attest to such a thing not being "worth losing their job over"

                                                                                                                      I am not presuming this was the case with the waitstaff in the original post. However, people can sometimes be sneaky.

                                                                                                                      As for reporting to AMEX.....good luck with that. I wrote a letter to dispute a large charge on my account back nearly a year ago, and it has yet to dissappear from my account. I had a charge from a restaurant on my card when i wasn't even there !!! (restaurant was an hour away and the charge was on a weeknight-worknight...)

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                                                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                        Yeah, but as this gigantic thread shows, in the context of a food bill you'd never get away with it for very long.