Author Topic: When a bartender overcharges you  (Read 4405 times)

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Ceallach

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2012, 11:02:59 PM »
I still find it odd that she asked when she apparently already "knew" or thought that she knew the price.  Either you care about the price or you don't.   If you care, you ask, and accept the answer, using that as the basis for your decision-making.  If you don't care, you order and then hand over whatever $ is requested.   We've all been stung by places that were more expensive than we were expecting, but I don't think it's ok to order and then retract afterwards just because you didn't bother checking first.  If money is an issue, check first.

Personally I think it was kind of rude of her to dispute the price.  If she thought it was a legitimate mistake then yes, query the discrepancy further, but politely, not by telling them that it's "not the right price".    How does she know she wasn't undercharged the first time?  That's entirely possible, and I've had it happen before.  I shrug off the first time as good fortune, and get on with it.
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Sharnita

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2012, 11:08:48 PM »
I disagree.  I think that barring happy hour specials prices should be set.  If they randomly fluctuate I would wonder if the bartender might not be padding the bill in order to line his or her own pocket with the business owner being none the wiser.

Jones

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2012, 11:16:41 PM »
I'm wondering if something like this happened:

Person A: Man, I love this beer, it's $5 instead of $3.50 but so worth it.

Person B: Oh? I have the same, and they charged me $3.50. Let me go get a refill and see what they charge me now...

LifeOnPluto

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2012, 11:18:59 PM »
I think it's ok to ask "Oh, this drink was only $x when I ordered it an hour ago. How come it's different now?"

However, bluntly telling the bartender that they're wrong, is rude.

Ceallach

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2012, 11:20:21 PM »
I disagree.  I think that barring happy hour specials prices should be set.  If they randomly fluctuate I would wonder if the bartender might not be padding the bill in order to line his or her own pocket with the business owner being none the wiser.

Yes that's true, there should be set prices, but if you happened to be undercharged would you get annoyed the next time and tell them they're "wrong", or would you clarify to see which price was correct?   I think the lady in the OP was presumptuous in assuming she knew the right price, and could have handled the situation better. 

Or, what LifeOnPluto just said!   ;)
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Tilt Fairy

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2012, 11:25:19 PM »
I disagree.  I think that barring happy hour specials prices should be set.  If they randomly fluctuate I would wonder if the bartender might not be padding the bill in order to line his or her own pocket with the business owner being none the wiser.

Yes that's true, there should be set prices, but if you happened to be undercharged would you get annoyed the next time and tell them they're "wrong", or would you clarify to see which price was correct?   I think the lady in the OP was presumptuous in assuming she knew the right price, and could have handled the situation better. 

Or, what LifeOnPluto just said!   ;)

Yeah I agree with you Ceallach (as always!) and Life on Pluto. There's nothing wrong with saying 'why is there a difference in the price?" if you mind to the penny or cent how much you pay. I don't but there's nothing wrong if you do mind. It's your money. I think barmen do a commendable and difficult job. Sometimes in a drink-infused culture mistakes happen by the bartender and/or customer and also there made be a more laid-back culture to prices. There might be a perfectly simple explanation. Happy hour, different type of drink/measurement, wrong price given before, peak hour prices etc....

Sharnita

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2012, 11:31:07 PM »
Why would you care less about being overcharged for alcohol than for food or toilet paper or gasoline? If you want think your bartender deserves a bit more money then the way to get that to them would be through tipping, not customers being overcharged.

Penguin_ar

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2012, 07:45:55 AM »
I agree that the way friend handled it was rude, but also that more info is needed.

What kind of drink was it, and how much was the price difference?  Maybe the bartender charged for a double shot the second time around, or if it was something like G&T, used a more expensive gin?

staceym

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2012, 11:18:29 AM »
I also questioned why she asked the price if she already (thought) knew it? 

if I went to get another drink and the bartender said that's $7.50 and my last drink was only $5.50 - I would question it and ask why (especially if there is no Happy Hour).

So on that part I think she was rude for saying it she wasn't going to pay and it walk away and not question it.

flowersintheattic

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2012, 02:00:50 PM »
I'm a little confused on why she would ask the price in this situation, too. My guess is that it was a mistake or discount given on the part of the first bartender, and now she's being quoted the real price.   

Two other situations I could see happening very easily, because I've dealt with both while bartending:

1. She ordered the same drink differently each time. A "gin and tonic" will usually get you the well gin, while specifying a brand will normally result in a premium pour, which will cost more. I've seen people order drinks that way, without noticing they're doing it.

2. She ordered something that doesn't have a specific input method in the computer system, it was put in two separate ways, resulting in different prices.

I don't think she would have been wrong to question the price change, or to ask the price prior to ordering the drink. But ordering it, then asking the price and just saying "it wasn't that expensive earlier, I don't want it now" is a little iffy to me.
...I learned my lesson / And yes, I still remember the last one / But this time will be different / Until I do it again... ~Phish, "Kill Devil Falls"

Chickadee

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2012, 02:03:01 PM »
The price difference could also be due to how your friend worded her order. Many moons ago I was a bartender, and in that bar there was a price difference between "well" brand and "call" brand drinks.

So, if someone ordered a "rum and coke" she got well brand rum and the drink was $3.00 (if i recall). But if someone ordered a "Bacardi and coke" she got Bacardi brand rum, which is a call brand and was fifty cents more expensive.

DavidH

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Re: When a bartender overcharges you
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2012, 08:38:10 PM »
I think it is fine to ask the price ahead of time, but I confess to very rarely seeing it done and only for unusual items like a high end scotch or wine.  Once you find out, you can either decline or accept the price.  The price changing is odd, but the polite response is not, it's wrong, but something along the lines of could you check again, I only paid X last time I ordered it.  If you are 100% sure of the price, sure enough to correct the bartender, why ask at all? 

Once you order it and the drink is made, I think you are obliged to pay for it, even if you ordered the wrong drink or the price is more than you expected.  I suppose there is some practical limit to that, but the price would have to be much different than the norm.  The exceptions for me would be if the price were posted and they refused to honor it or it changed drastically from one drink to another in the same night, excluding a happy hour or similar promotion ending. It's fine to ask about a change in price, but there is always the possibility they made a mistake on the first one.