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Restaurant Bill Discrepancies

I am learning that restaurant-bill discrepancies are not uncommon, but they are rarely caught. Many patrons now pay with debit or credit cards. The check arrives at the table, and they give it a cursory glance at best. Provided the final amount falls somewhere in the acceptable range, they sign and go. And that could be a big mistake.

My friends Jennifer and Ryan, on a recent dining-out experience, noticed two additional items on their bill that they did not order. Jennifer pointed this out to the restaurant's manager. His response? Fat-Finger Syndrome.

Huh? He said this happens when a waiter or waitress gets rushed and hits the wrong key or too many keys on the keypad when inputing the order. Can you believe they actually have a name for this? Well, at least that particular Outback Steakhouse does. That should tell us how common such a misstep really is.


So, pay attention, folks! And when you discover a problem, respond with dignity and grace. The outcome will be more to your liking than if you make a scene and embarrass everyone around you, your kids, for example.

By the way, Jennifer and Ryan received a $20 gift card and an apology, a wise move on the part of Outback Steakhouse. Outback saved a customer, because Jennifer and Ryan ended up returning for another meal to spend their gift card.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

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June 30, 20060 found this helpful

That to me is an excuse, if the waiter keyed in the food items why were they not served to the people, it is a cover-up, luckly your friends found the mistake. I had a waiter at Outback short me $20.00 he denied it, I had to get the manager who did give me the $20.00 when I explained what I had given the waiter and what he had given me back in return. I didn't get a coupon for a free meal.

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June 30, 20060 found this helpful

My husband is very bad about not checking the bill. It infuriates me and from now on I think I will ask to see it. The server comes with the bill, he just hands his credit card and sort of waves them on....altho it does still have to come back to him for signature so I suppose he checks then but to me the time to inspect the bill is when it is first brought so that if there is a mistake, it can be fixed right away. I do not think that all "mistakes" on bills are accidents by the way. Also you have to make sure you are not charged for something that the server never brought to you and you said forget about it later. That happened to us at Rain Forest Cafe. I had ordered a side salad as the meal did not come with, it was a $3.99 extra charge but the waiter never brought it. My husband did not check the bill, I sort of spaced it out and later when I did at home, I saw we had been charged for the salad I never got to eat! I complained by the way to Rain Forest and they never even responded to my email. I guess they didn't care!

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July 1, 20060 found this helpful

Odd, but at the Outback, we were charged for two drinks when we had water. Waitress corrected it but do they get a % of their total amounts for meals?? Why do they make so many mistakes? Makes you wonder.

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July 1, 20060 found this helpful

Something else to look out for; my In-laws recently paid by credit card for their restaurant meal and of course wrote out on the receipt what they were giving the server for tip, added it up and wrote the total as usual. They got their credit card bill and realized that the amount was $20.00 higher. After investigating this issue with the restaurant and credit card company, the server actually changed the tip amount by adding an additional $20.00 to it. So, yes, you really need to check those retaurant bills, but also make sure it matches when you get your credit card bill too.

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July 3, 20060 found this helpful

I didn't have a courteous response from my Outback in West Ocean City,MD. I was overcharged for a marguerita and the waiter tried to blow it off saying I had an old menu. They finally corrected the price, but I never did get an apology, which is really the only thing I wanted. It was the principle. Do you ever notice, "mistakes" are never in your favor. I wonder why!

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January 16, 20090 found this helpful

I visited the local Newport News, VA store and they charged my card twice, enticing my bank to charge me a $35 overdraft charge! Realized it this morning and now the restaurant says they can't do anything until after 2pm!

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August 29, 20160 found this helpful

We ate at a local restaurant weekly until the waitress stiffed my husband with change back. He always gave the exact change and gave a $20 for a $15 charge. She never gave him his $5. When they put the money in the drawer before giving you change, look out. We disputed it and they never made it up. So they lost customers....we never went back to this day. Later on we learned this waitress was arrested for thief.....karma....what do they say about it? : )

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