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Noticed tip amounts way above 20% on my amex card which I never leave.  Place I frequent.  Happened two different times.  Not sure if same person did it or a group of people.

Filed disputes for approximated amounts online and it now says closed disputes on both and a message left in postal or email.  I received no email notifying me.  Is this the usual practice?  Happened same day as I placed the dispute.  Will see if I get any notification from American Express.   

 

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No, you can dispute like any other VISA-branded plastic swiped as Credit.

xoneinax (Nov. 09, 2016 @ 10:16a) |

I think so too. I was at MIA airport and the vending machines say soda is $2.50 bottle. Paid with AMEX and they charged ... (more)

scottvm (Nov. 09, 2016 @ 8:13p) |

I own a business that processes credit cards online and I agree - this merchant deserves to pay.  You are entirely liabl... (more)

fourchar (Nov. 10, 2016 @ 9:48a) |

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Did you talk to the restaurant management at any point??

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No. ill just deal with the credit card issuer. If it was just one time I would have dealt with fhe manager. Two times I will dispute with Amex to let them know there is an issue with a merchant.  Not sure if Amex will fix it or not but I am not planning on going back now.  Never had issues in the past.  

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I think for a lot of these small disputes, they just refund you to keep you happy and never go after the merchant. Do you see a credit on your account yet?

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It could have really just been one call, and maybe stopping into the place with your receipts. It's sad how lazy we, as human beings, are today. We'd rather have someone else do stuff for us, even at the expense of a small business.

ETA: I guess we know who the lazy ones are based on the red my post got.

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If you go to the management then they at least have an opportunity to fix it.

If you don't go to the management then the server(s) who did it may get away with it. It may just be one server who did it to you 2 times and likely does it to others too.

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The normal practice is that the customer tries to resolve the dispute with the merchant first before filing a dispute, since you are better able to convey the facts of the case to the merchant and reach a more amicable resolution than Amex can. Amex will likely do nothing and pass any costs to all Amex cardholders.

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I would give the manager a call and have a 5 minutes conversation - even better if you have your receipts and the dates & times that you were there. If this is a place you like to go to, maybe this give the manager the ability to go after some bad apples. That's what I would do.

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+1 for contacting the manager or (if different) owner.  Not only is it the golden rule ("do unto others .."), you may very well enjoy greater compensation (free meal).

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tuphat said:   +1 for contacting the manager or (if different) owner.  Not only is it the golden rule ("do unto others .."), you may very well enjoy greater compensation (free meal).
  With added 'special sauce' from the server...

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I'm probably going to get red for this, but I'm going to stand up for OP here. I've had this happen before and called and spoke with the manager -- which was difficult to reach as I was placed on hold for several minutes. Manager didn't do anything other than offer me the credit I was due. Which they screwed up. So then I had to call the manager again. And again, offered nothing more than an apology. There's a time value of money; much easier to dispite a charge nowadays. Either the merchant will get notice of it by the credit card issuer -- in which case that's how they can deal with the problem employee, or AMEX or whoever can eat the charge. Either way, it's not the customer's job to ensure that the manager hires good employees; that's the manager's job.

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deeder said:   
Filed disputes for approximated amounts online and it now says closed disputes on both and a message left in postal or email.  I received no email notifying me.  Is this the usual practice?  Happened same day as I placed the dispute.  Will see if I get any notification from American Express.   

 

Yes, my disputes often say the same when they "close", even though I've never gotten anything by email or in the message center.  You will still get a letter in the mail.
In the meanwhile, you can call or chat with an Amex rep, referencing the dispute IDs; he/she should be able to tell you what the outcomes were.

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ThiftySpender said:   I'm probably going to get red for this, but I'm going to stand up for OP here. I've had this happen before and called and spoke with the manager -- which was difficult to reach as I was placed on hold for several minutes. Manager didn't do anything other than offer me the credit I was due. Which they screwed up. So then I had to call the manager again. And again, offered nothing more than an apology. There's a time value of money; much easier to dispite a charge nowadays. Either the merchant will get notice of it by the credit card issuer -- in which case that's how they can deal with the problem employee, or AMEX or whoever can eat the charge. Either way, it's not the customer's job to ensure that the manager hires good employees; that's the manager's job.
chargebacks are not without consequences.

i typically won't do a chargeback under $100 unless there is some egregoius fraud that I feel compelled to stop. this seems like a perfect time to try and resolve the issue through the business and possibly avoid the need for a chargeback which doesn't look good to your CC issuer.

even if the business denied it, i'd still just stop patronizing the place, pan them on Yelp and be done with it. not worth AA.

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deeder said:   Noticed tip amounts way above 20% on my amex card which I never leave.  
 

  What do you mean, "Noticed?" The waiter hands you the charge slip, you write in the tip amount and total and sign it. How much did you write in vs. the amex charge?

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This happens to me but only on the pending amount, when it gets finalized, it is the exact amount I filled in.

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What type of % tips do you leave?

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atikovi said:   
deeder said:   Noticed tip amounts way above 20% on my amex card which I never leave.  
  What do you mean, "Noticed?" The waiter hands you the charge slip, you write in the tip amount and total and sign it. How much did you write in vs. the amex charge?

  
You look at your Amex account and notice what the Tip amount is, and what the total amount is.  It's easy to quickly spot a discrepancy without having to find every receipt first.   

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NEDeals said:   
atikovi said:   
deeder said:   Noticed tip amounts way above 20% on my amex card which I never leave.  
  What do you mean, "Noticed?" The waiter hands you the charge slip, you write in the tip amount and total and sign it. How much did you write in vs. the amex charge?

  
You look at your Amex account and notice what the Tip amount is, and what the total amount is.  It's easy to quickly spot a discrepancy without having to find every receipt first.   

  Yes but did op himself write in the amount or did he leave it blank?

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If you are going to contact someone other than AMEX, I would contact the police. I wouldn't waste time with the "manager" who may also be in on it. I might contact the owner. Otherwise AMEX can just deal with it. If it is a small amount, they will probably issue instant credit and eat the cost. Otherwise, they will get it back from the merchant.

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"eat the cost" is the same as passing costs to all other customers of company.

There is possibly consequences for casual chargebacks. Amex probably tracks "high maintenance" customers through internal good customer bad customer scores or data mining for frequent disputers.

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More to the point, why are you using an AMEX card for dining? You can get better cashback on dining with other cards.

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Don't forget to leave a bad Yelp review on the restaurant, to warn others of the shady practices.

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Okay, I'll come off as "Old School" here, but I don't like the thermal receipts. There is no way for me to prove what I left as a tip, as its incumbent on me to write it on two separate pieces of paper. I must admit, I preferred the carbonless yellow paper.

On a related note, I do wish we would adopt the more automated system used in other countries, where we key in the tip amount into the terminal at the table and our card never leaves our possession. One restaurant that I went to after a 3-year hiatus due to my speculation that my credit card number was compromised there, ironically had me write my tip amount on the receipt and then they ran it for the total amount and the tip was pre-printed on the receipt. I wasn't sure if this was to facilitate "tip pooling" or due to some other issue (like some sort of fraud), but I haven't ever been asked to do that anywhere before.

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deeder said:   Noticed tip amounts way above 20% on my amex card which I never leave.  Place I frequent.  Happened two different times.From just looking at your statement, how are you able to tell what the Tip was ?

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Where I live managers take things like this very seriously as restaurants are serious business here. I always give management a chance to make things right before I take other measures.

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catanpirate said:   I would give the manager a call and have a 5 minutes conversation 

Most people don't like confrontation.

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ganda said:   More to the point, why are you using an AMEX card for dining? You can get better cashback on dining with other cards.
  And I get HUGE red for posting that? https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1516416

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American Express is great. Got my credits back no question asked. They saw it was outside my normal tips. Best card to deal with. Just got emails alerting me to credits and last charge processed fine since I went back one time before I knew what was happening.

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Somewhat related.... I hate that credit cards are processed with the bill amount as pending, and then the final amount that gets posted is the bill+tip. Why not just have 2 separate charges?

This tip padding could have happened to me numerous times, and I wouldn't know it, because after 3 days comes around, I don't remember what I wrote on the bill.

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deeder said:   American Express is great. Got my credits back no question asked. They saw it was outside my normal tips.
They never looked at your "normal tips". They probably never even attributed the disputes to the restaurant's account, let alone submit it to the restaurant for a response.

I'm assuming, based on all the comments, that Amex displays the breakout of tips from the total charge when looking at your transaction details online?  I never knew this, and thought they just posted the total charged amount like most issuers.
  

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ThiftySpender said:   I'm probably going to get red for this, but I'm going to stand up for OP here. I've had this happen before and called and spoke with the manager -- which was difficult to reach as I was placed on hold for several minutes. Manager didn't do anything other than offer me the credit I was due. Which they screwed up. So then I had to call the manager again. And again, offered nothing more than an apology. There's a time value of money; much easier to dispite a charge nowadays. Either the merchant will get notice of it by the credit card issuer -- in which case that's how they can deal with the problem employee, or AMEX or whoever can eat the charge. Either way, it's not the customer's job to ensure that the manager hires good employees; that's the manager's job.
 
Well, you did give them a chance, now you know not to deal with them again and can post an online review about it to warn others. So in your case the manager did not care, but in cases where the manager does care and it's just a rogue employee, how would the manager find out about it unless someone makes a complaint? I find what the OP did a bit ridiculous, I would understand it if he called them and couldn't get quick hold of a manager and then dispute, but filing a dispute without saying anything at all??? And if you do that often, will your credit issuer still back you when merchants start contesting?

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atikovi said:   ganda said:   More to the point, why are you using an AMEX card for dining? You can get better cashback on dining with other cards.And I get HUGE red for posting that? https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1516416ganda = why are you using an AMEX card for dining?

atikovi = Why would you even want an amex card?

Using AMEX for a particular category vs. wanting an AMEX is a BIG difference.

  

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They take AMEX for dinging? Even in Nevada?

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atikovi said:   They take AMEX for dinging? Even in Nevada?
  Careful - you're still the one who tried to equate using an Amex at a restaurant with the merits of having an Amex at all.  That's far more laughable than a random typo.

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megatard said:   "eat the cost" is the same as passing costs to all other customers of company.
 

Isn't that what FW is all about?  Is my churning on my original 5% Amex Blue Cash with the $6500 threshold not "passing costs to all other customers of company???"

I agree with those who think OP should have attempted to resolve the discrepancy directly with the restaurant first, but I don't think anyone should feel the slightest bit bad about passing on the costs to Amex.

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I agree I would call the manager first. They may do the right thing, check out the employee and take appropriate action (firing them if it's a pattern), and may offer you a free meal, etc.

If they are hard to reach, only offer to reduce the extra tip amount, or make it a pain in the butt, then you tried and I would then take the next step of the CC chargeback.

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HighTechnology said:   Okay, I'll come off as "Old School" here, but I don't like the thermal receipts. There is no way for me to prove what I left as a tip, as its incumbent on me to write it on two separate pieces of paper. I must admit, I preferred the carbonless yellow paper.

On a related note, I do wish we would adopt the more automated system used in other countries, where we key in the tip amount into the terminal at the table and our card never leaves our possession. One restaurant that I went to after a 3-year hiatus due to my speculation that my credit card number was compromised there, ironically had me write my tip amount on the receipt and then they ran it for the total amount and the tip was pre-printed on the receipt. I wasn't sure if this was to facilitate "tip pooling" or due to some other issue (like some sort of fraud), but I haven't ever been asked to do that anywhere before.

Do you have a flip phone with a camera from 2006 or later?  Do you carry a smartphone with a camera?  Fill out both receipts and take a picture of them side by side with the actual credit card in the frame.  Keep your copy and the card and leave the merchant copy with the pen.

I especially use this method when paying with a Visa gift card, because there is no dispute option like there is with a credit card.  If I get overcharged, I have no recourse except to go directly to the restaurant to rectify it.  Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had a tip discrepancy, ever.  It probably helps that I have clear handwriting (even when I've been drinking) and I make big dollar $ign$ in front of the amounts I write in without leaving enough space to add an extra digit between the dollar $ig$ and the first digit of my hand-written number.  If I'm leaving a cash tip, I write "CASH" in big letters on the tip line.

For example, if I'm leaving a $7 tip on a $33.55 check, I'll write out the full $7.00 on the tip line with as little space as possible between the $ and the 7.  I'll also write the zeros rather small, underline them, and put two small Xs under the line.  Never just write 7---- by itself without the $ or the zeros.

On the total line, I follow the same pattern.  $40.55 gets written with the $ and 4 as close together as possible and the 55 gets underlined above two small Xs.  Then if the server manages to fit a 1 between the $ and 7 on the tip line, she also has to figure out a way to change the 4 in the total line to a 5 without making it look weird.  Not gonna happen.

Also, make sure your 0s look like 0 and your 6s look like 6.  Don't leave any room for ambiguity.

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If this happens on a regular basis, why not use AMEX's Receipt Match app?

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Poor restaurant, OP just charged them at least $70 in service fees (Plus amt) when a simple phone call would solve it. Considering they probably don't know why OP did the chargeback their 'terrible server' is continuing to wreak havok on that business.

Skipping 9 Messages...
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PhDeez said:   
forbin4040 said:   Poor restaurant, OP just charged them at least $70 in service fees (Plus amt) when a simple phone call would solve it. Considering they probably don't know why OP did the chargeback their 'terrible server' is continuing to wreak havok on that business.
I think the opposite is true.  If the customer is getting screwed over (like this case) the restaurant SHOULD be charged for it.  I'm sure the chargeback info with AMEX to the restaurant gives the transaction date and amount.

It's the restaurant's (via the manager's) responsibility to hash that out- not the customer.  I also believe it tilt's to OP's way since it happened twice, not once.

  
I own a business that processes credit cards online and I agree - this merchant deserves to pay.  You are entirely liable when your employees commit fraud and it's your job to set your business up in such a way to deal with it.

There is no way to know if the owner/management genuinely had no idea something like this was going on or if they let it happen so they could pay lower wages.  But it doesn't matter, the agreement is between Amex and the owner/management - it is their responsibility 100%.

It's not a customers responsibility to spend the time to work it out, it's the merchants job to make sure it never happens.  If it happens the merchant screwed up (accident or not) and has a penalty to pay for it.

We've had lazy employees (never outright fraud yet) that cause our company extra charge backs.  We have internal controls to catch those employees and fire them.  If there was no penalty each time we would not have bothered to set up those internal controls.

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