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Aug 24, 2013 02:45 PM

Is it okay to ask for refund on a tip?

I dined at a restaurant a week ago, and the bill came to $250 before tax.
I intended to tip $60 but accidentally punched in $600. I realized this after a week when I was sorting out my credit card receipts.

Question 1. Is it OK to ask for a partial refund ($540) on the tip I gave?
Question 2. If the restaurant refuses to refund, I suppose there is no way to fight it?

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  1. Bummer for you, but your server was probably thrilled.

    I would try disputing the charge with your credit card company.

    4 Replies
    1. re: autumm

      Assuming the server got the money and kept it even though this is an obvious error, s/he is an unethical jerk and thief and deserves to be fired.

      1. re: josephnl

        You obviously havnt read the OPs latest post on the subject. Otherwise you wouldnt have made such remarks

        1. re: Harters

          You are correct...sorry, I did not see the OP's latest post. The server deserves much credit for his honesty (but would have been an unethical creep had he kept the tip).

          1. re: josephnl

            Whether the server, or others who do similar honest things, deserve an additional "reward" is an interesting question. It reminds me of an experience when a reporter complimented Bobby Jones for calling a penalty stroke on himself for a golf rule infraction no one else saw. Jones replied: "You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank."

    2. Just think, if you had offered a 10% tip you would only be out a couple hundred dollars.
      I always tip in cash, never by credit card. What the server decides to claim is not my business.

      1. I'd absolutely call the restaurant and explain what happened and ask for them to adjust the bill accordingly. At $60 you already tipped over 20% so it's not like you're trying to be cheap. The problem I see is that you wrote in $600 and signed your name to it. It appears to be an obvious mistake so hopefully you'll speak to someone that is rational and reasonable. If the restaurant won't refund the difference I'd call your credit card company. I'm sure you're not the first person to have ever done this and a $60 tip is obviously correct on a $250 bill.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rick

          The OP said "punched in" so it doesn't sound like he/she wrote anything. I can't imagine that the restaurant would have a problem recognizing this as a typo, basically, and re-crediting the difference. Unless this is the kind of place where 2000+% tips are customary.

        2. When you say "punched in", do you mean you wrote it on the receipt or was there some sort of machine involved? You could call the restaurant and ask but the server probably has his/her tips by now. I wouldn't dispute it with my credit card company- the restaurant did nothing wrong and you don't have a gripe about the product. Good luck, though. That's an expensive mistake.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Hobbert

            I assume the OP is referring to the credit card machine, where you'd punch in your tip and enter your PIN to confirm the transaction. I've accidentally entered an extra "0" on occasions but, thankfully, have always spotted my mistake at the time. Presumably you do not have such machines where you are?

            1. re: Harters

              They may exist but I've never seen them. If that's the case, I'm a bit more on the OP's side. Still, it's been a week or more at this point. I doubt they're getting any money back.

              How does that work? Does the server bring a machine to your table?

              1. re: Hobbert

                Yep. Machine comes to your table. Server puts your credit/debit card in and enters the amount on the bill, then hands it to you. Depending on the restaurant's policy towards tipping, the machine may or may not be programmed to ask "do you want to add a tip?"

                If it is programmed like that, you press the "yes" or "no" button. And, if "yes", you're then asked how much you want to add. At that point, you enter your PIN and hand the machine back to the server, who then prints out your receipt on the machine.

                That's how it works in the UK and in all the European countries I've visited (although I can't recall ever seeing the "do you want to tip" question in continental Europe). Tipping question only really occurs in the UK at lower end palces as most mid-range and up now add a service charge instead of having old-fashioned tipping. I had forgotten that America is still back in the Dark Ages with bits of paper for you to sign :-0

                We were once chased down a street in Washington by the server as we hadnt actually paid. We had both gone to the toilet and assumed that the other had paid by card, so we just picked up what we assumed was the receipt and left.

                1. re: Harters

                  I have only seen these machines once. I think it was at Red Robin.

                  1. re: melpy

                    Legal C bar in Hingham Ma just opened and had them. It appeared very awkward for the servers but I think they didn't have the spiel down. Way too much talk about security, nervous giggles/throat clearings at the tip page, etc

                  2. re: Harters

                    Cool system. And, yes, we are definitely in the dark ages about credit card and point of sale issues. We're still hoping for chip and pin cards. One day...

                    1. re: Harters

                      Yes, very dark ages, in addition no chips, almost, available on cards and as many of the newer machines do not have a strip available, many times we from the USA cannot use the machine at all.

              2. Unless you're willing to directly ask that server for the money back, then no. To do otherwise is cowardice.

                Call your CC company, and pay better attention next time.