What to do if I went to a restaurant and used my credit card to pay for the meal but upon looking at my statement I that I was charged more then what the receipt I signed for showed?

So after doing some basic mathematics I saw that the cashier charged an additional 20% gratituity on the bill without my consent. I called the manager and am awaiting a call back, as well as awaiting a call from the corporate office. Where do I stand from a legal standpoint?

Asked on July 28, 2015 under Business Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

IF the invoice or bill you were presented with stated that for a party of your size, a 20% gratuity would be added, then they may keep the money; when that is the case, the law presumes you read and understood that term, and agreed to pay the base meal price, plus a 20% gratuity, plus whatever other or additional gratuity you voluntarily added.

If the above is not the case, they may not do this: if it was an honest mistake, once you bring it to their attention, they should refund the money; if they refuse to correct the situation once they know they are not entitled to the money, this may be theft and you could report them to the police and/or sue for the money back.

Alternatively, and a good thing to try first, contact your card issuer, explain the situation, and dispute the extra 20%; see if the credit card company can help you and get you the money back.

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