Every time I eat out at a restaurant with anyone that pays with a credit card, I always watch them when they sign the receipt. If they don’t fill in the TIP and TOTAL lines, they get a lecture from me. They have come to expect it. Even if you leave a cash tip on the table, you ALWAYS need to fill in the TIP line, either with $0.00 or I sometimes use a line through the space. Then complete the TOTAL line even if it’s the same as the sub total! Why bother? Because if you don’t take the little bit of time necessary to do this, anyone can fill in a number in the TIP line and complete the TOTAL and YOUR credit card will be charged for the amount. Don’t think it could happen?
My mother took me to lunch on April 10th. The subtotal on the receipt was $15.37. She left a $5 CASH tip on the table. Pretty generous for a restaurant where you seat yourself and a waitress appears twice. Once to bring the food and once to drop the check on the table. When we went to the counter to pay, I got distracted looking at a flyer for guitar lessons on the window and didn’t watch her sign the receipt. A fact for which I am deeply sorry, but she had heard the lecture before. When her credit card statement came, there was a charge for $20.37 from that restaurant. After we left, they had removed her receipt from the register, filled in the TIP line with an additional $5 and completed the TOTAL. It is blatant FRAUD! She refuses to report them to the credit card company because she feels (in her own words) “like she was taught a lesson.” Completely setting aside the fact that my mother is a senior citizen, the fact that this establishment would take advantage of ANYONE in this way angers me beyond words. She did agree to let me take a picture of the receipt and gave me her blessing to do this post so it might “save someone a hassle in the future.” Unfortunately, I have been advised against publicly disclosing the name of the pizza place (as much as I REALLY want everyone to know who they are) because she won’t report it, so identifying parts of the receipt are blacked out. Please share this post, tell people you know and for goodness sake, don’t make the same mistake she did!