Author Topic: Short changed at a restaurant  (Read 17105 times)

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White Lotus

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Short changed at a restaurant
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:32:26 PM »
This happened today for the second time in a couple of months, which makes me think it is a trend.  I went out for a meal with somebody and I picked up the check.  I paid with cash, and was given only bills in change, not the $0.37 or whatever I was actually owed on top of the bills.  I was NOT asked "do you want change?" And it wasn't close enough that I would have said, "keep it," in lieu of a tip.

This strikes me as waaaaay off.  Sure, I most likely will tip, but that is for me to decide.  It is not up to the serve to keep my change, and expect me to fork over more.  A tip is a gratuity, not an entitlement.  I was very tempted to leave no other tip, because I was short-changed, and that, to me, feels like theft.   Instead, I tipped at a lower rate than I would normally have.  The service was mediocre (both times) but I usually tip well just because I know how much servers depend on those tips.  By keeping that $0.37, that server probably did herself out of a buck, maybe two. I just could not bring myself to leave more than a basic (and reasonable) tip.

Keeping my change really disturbs me.   Anybody else?  Is this a new norm I simply have to accept?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 08:45:10 PM »
I would feel and do exactly as you did.  It is presumptuous on the part of the server.  I don't usually leave coinage as tip; I get my change and leave full dollar amounts as a tip.  On a lunch bill total of $10, I'd normally leave $2 or 20% (15% is the norm, here).  If the server kept 37 cents, I'd only tip a $1.  Which would be almost 14%.
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Surianne

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 08:45:39 PM »
That's so bizarre, and not anything I've experienced.  I wouldn't take kindly to it.  I'd assume that the server decided her own tip and leave her nothing more than the 37 cents she'd already taken from me.

rose red

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 08:59:36 PM »
I usually tip 20% and round up.  For example, if 20% is $3.37, I'll just leave $4.00. 

But if this situation happen and if the rest of the service is fine, that service would bring it down to perhaps only 15 percent exactly.  For example, if 15% is $2.37, I'll leave $2.00 since they already have my .37 cents.

Erich L-ster

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 09:05:23 PM »
If you want to put forth the effort, you might call and let them know what happened and that it decreases their tips. I wouldn't identify the server, I don't think anybody needs to get in trouble over this but the manager could bring it up with the staff.

veronaz

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 09:31:27 PM »
It seems that sometimes people just don’t want to deal with coins/change.

Last time I ordered a pizza, the total was $x dollars and 18 cents.  I gave the delivery person a $20 and I had the 18 cents.  I asked for $2 back (which gave him a tip of 3 dollars), but he waved off the 18 cents.

However, in a small store this week my total was $11.03.  I didn’t have any change and gave the clerk $15.00.  She said she had 3 cents in a dish there at the register and said “I gotcha covered”.  I said thanks and left.

OP, I’m not sure what happened at the restaurant, but I feel you should be asked/be given the chance to decide what to do with your change.   It's your money.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 09:33:11 PM by veronaz »

miranova

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 09:34:09 PM »
UGH, this irritates me SO much.  People have been making change for decades, it's not that difficult. Do NOT assume anything, and I will tip generously as long as the service was good.  Start tipping yourself with MY money, and I'm not going to be happy.  Obviously it's not about 37 cents, it's the principle of it.

Joeschmo

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 01:39:49 AM »
When this has happened to me they round up instead of down so if my change was $8.37 they would give me $9.00 to avoid dealing with change.  I make it up in the tip but if they shorted me it would negatively affect the tip.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 03:16:05 AM »
Do you think it's possible the server simply forgot to give out the coin change along with the bills?  I can see that happening, especially if she was busy at the time.  It could have just been a mistake or an oversight, not kept deliberately. 
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menley

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 05:28:37 AM »
Where I live now, it's customary to hand the money directly to the server (it's considered super rude to leave it on the table) and, if you say "Thank you" (in the local language) as you hand them the money, it means that you don't want change at all. I learned that lesson the hard way before a local friend explained the custom :)

I agree with an earlier poster that said many people don't seem to want to deal with change - and I know my husband almost always refuses coins unless they're quarters. That said, it's still presumptuous of a server to assume that they can keep the coins.

If it's a repeat issue, I would either contact management or talk to the server directly. When she didn't bring back the coins, what did you do? If it were me, I would have flagged her down and asked for them. If I decided to leave a lesser tip based on the fact that the server didn't return my coins, I would write a note or explain directly to the server. Otherwise he/she will continue to do it.

veronaz

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 09:06:35 AM »
I can see why people donít want to be weighed down, so to speak, with lots of coins but every night I dump my change into a container.  Then I periodically take it to a Coinstar machine and thatís my lottery or chewing gum money.

Also, some people feel that if they ask for their change they might seem cheap or petty.  I donít understand that at all.

But the point is that I want to make the decision as to whether I want the coins or not.  I usually do; it's my money, and coins quickly add up to dollars.

rose red

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 09:25:44 AM »
It's not up to servers to decide that you don't want to be weighted down with coins.  I'm always running out of quarters so coins are not a burden to me.  There have been times when pennies saved me from being short.  I also toss coins into a jar and they add up to dollars fast.

But like I said in my previous post, I won't make a big deal out of it.  I'd just adjust the tip accordingly.

kherbert05

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 09:54:22 AM »
I would
1. Consider the change they failed to give me their tip and that would be their whole tip.
2. I would leave and then communicate with the owner/corporate about their server stealing my chang




I know people like to think it is just coins/less than a dollar. But think about how quickly this could add up. I throw my change into a box each day. I regularly have between $5 - $10 a week in change. I take that to coin star and get an amazon GC that I use to pay for my Instant Video season passes.
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Shoo

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 10:57:16 AM »
I would flag the server down and ask about it.  "Where is the rest of my change?"  I would definitely make her give me an answer.  That is theft, no matter how small the amount.

I'd also probably (if I wasn't pressed for time) talk to the restaurant manager and tell him how much I did not appreciate this tactic. 

As far as her tip goes, that would be it.  After she stole from me, I'd definitely not leave her anything else.

VorFemme

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 11:16:18 AM »
I have had ONE server tell me that they were out of change (long weekend when they had been busier than usual and they ran out - since I was working at another restaurant in town, I'd already seen it where I worked).  That was some thirty years ago and none of the staff since have tried to explain WHY I didn't get change if there was none on the tray....

They were using it faster than people were bringing it in and were down to just pennies and not enough of them.  I seem to recall pulling out all the change in my purse and making a note to take the change from home to work with me that night....

I got a $1 when I handed them the difference (I've since started paying with exact change, if I have it - which I understand is very common with Baby Boomers all over the USA).
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 11:18:41 AM by VorFemme »
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