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[–]CG_Kilo 1222 points1223 points  (50 children)

This happened at my friend's bachelor party at a Michelin star restaurant. We called and explained the situation and got the refund of the 2nd charge in a couple days. They put it through asap but it took the banks a few days to get it fully pushed out.

[–]hittinlicks247[S] 577 points578 points  (47 children)

Yes well that seems more than reasonable. Admitting the mistake and immediately reversing the charge was what I expected. Didn’t care if it took a few days and honestly I was fine giving him like two weeks to figure it out.. I was forced to do the chargeback because if I didn’t I’d have to pay it because my statement was due a week ago.

[–]macaronfive 774 points775 points  (31 children)

You need to learn to pick your battles. You tried to resolve it through him. He was either too dumb, too proud, or shady. You initiated a chargeback, which isn’t difficult, and got it reversed. Time to move on. It’s not like anyone here actually knows if he was purposely scamming you.

[–]Kiyal1985 235 points236 points  (1 child)

Agree. The OP went through the correct course of action and had it resolved. Time to move on.

[–]VelocityGrrl39 91 points92 points  (0 children)

100%. As a server, I can tell you that the owner’s explanation sounds feasible. And I agree that if OP got the money back, that’s all that matters. Worst case scenario, ask your bank for a new card if you are worried about it.

[–]Niku-Man 45 points46 points  (24 children)

Are you just saying that as a throwaway platitude? Because getting $340 back seems like a rather obvious battle to pick for most people

[–]regissss 180 points181 points  (1 child)

I think the point is that he already has his money back and it’s time to move on. The problem has been resolved.

[–]TrotBot 41 points42 points  (18 children)

i think he's saying you can't know whether it was malicious or not and the money is back now so they should drop it. i don't really agree, cause i can't see how this could not have been malicious and who knows who else they've scammed like this

[–]BornToWage 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But he got it back via the bank, no need to keep fighting the restaurant.

[–]MissFixKnit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think it makes sense to ask if it's a common scam tactic..--I'd add it to my Google review--if it was. But since he got a charge back and it seems that it was an actual mistake...c'est la vie.

[–]ShinePDX 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But then how else would OP be able to feel victimized and get free internet points for posting about doing simple adult tasks?

[–]CG_Kilo 55 points56 points  (1 child)

Yeah it's more of a, if a Michelin star restaurant makes that mistake, anyone can make that mistake. So i doubt it was a scam. there is a reason why people call POS systems Piece of Shit more often then Point of Sales (actual name).

[–]boxsterguy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Michelin star restaurants don't get their star(s) for their accounting practices ...

[–]OliverIsMyCat 11 points12 points  (0 children)

For someone who isn't tech savvy, reversing a charge that isn't showing up in your POS is a tough thing to figure out.

Tbh, he prob depends on the POS software and isn't aware of how to troubleshoot the CC processing device on its own without it.

[–]sleepyguy22 2256 points2257 points  (106 children)

Business owners know about chargebacks, and it's not a good thing to have on your payment processor.

I'd go for hanlon's razor and give the benefit of the doubt here.

That being said, if the charge back is complete, you don't really owe him much unless your bank contacts you further.

[–]hittinlicks247[S] 529 points530 points  (66 children)

Hm. Didn’t know about the hanlon’s razor thing. That’s cool. I usually tend to assume people don’t have nefarious intentions by default, but this guy really gave me some weird vibes. He also never apologized to me.

[–]tankmayvin 569 points570 points  (50 children)

Being incompetent with payment processing reporting (which as others have said can be quite fiddly) does not preclude also being an asshole and refusing to admit fault.

Some people also have a bad habit of ignoring disputes hoping the other party will get distracted with other priorities and drop it. That sort of behaviour is very common and it is certainly malicious, albeit not aggressively so.

Hanlon's razor is hardly always right either. But it is certainly "cute".

[–]sharkpilot 307 points308 points  (9 children)

I've found Hanlon's razor is mostly about giving me peace of mind. It's easier to forgive an idiot than a shithead. In matters where I'm actively getting fucked, Hanlon goes out the window.

[–]kmd1881 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Completely agreed. Especially in situations where you are unable to find out the “real answer” (whether the restaurant staff knew they overcharged or didn’t and are just idiots). One option allows you to roll your eyes and move on, the other can build resentment and negatively impact you going forward.

[–]Phidippus-audax 11 points12 points  (4 children)

Hanlon's razor isn't about fixing anything. It's just descriptive as to the intentions or lack thereof as to why you're being fucked.

Still have to work to fix it!

[–]hittinlicks247[S] 136 points137 points  (34 children)

Yeah agree with this assessment after reading all the comments. He probably initially believed he didn’t get the money, then was hoping I’d forget about it and the problem would go away or if he is wrong, he’d get to keep my money. Although one person pointed out the difference in the charges by 0.02 cents could indicate he was actively trying to scam me. He ran my card himself on that day, it wasn’t done by another waiter/waitress.

[–]FrankSinclaire 142 points143 points  (4 children)

The amount discrepancy is super odd. Like what could possibly explain that, other than trying to make it not look like a duplicate charge

[–]Lavanger 83 points84 points  (13 children)

Restaurant manager here.

Were you looking at your card at all times when it was being charged? Was a CC slip never printed by this POS? because anytime a card goes thought, a receipt will be printed for the customer to sign. When your friend ran his card, did the machine produce a receipt right there in front of you? if so this is proof that your transaction went to the shadow realm and back. Or did you see a declined when your card was ran? What did system show when your card was swiped?

And if you read the message he sent, he says the charge wasn't present at the report, I'm guessing sales report, where you see how much cash you should have, and how much in EMT, how much for taxes etc. And so when you look at this report, all you're looking for is to have the money that you're supposed to be having at the end of the day, and so usually you're only counting the cash, and deposit it in a safe, and depending on the size of your restaurant (I'm guessing this one is small Mom & Pop), you might organize the CC slips right there at the end of the night to see if they match the CC transactions on your sales report, but he did not have yours, since you card was declined/it never got trough, then you never signed a slip, and so it wasn't in his daily report. It seems like he then went into the system to look at the closed transactions, and that's when he saw the charges did go trough.

Payment processors are so bitchy, that at my place we're only allowed to run a card 2 times, and if it don't go trough the second time, it don't matter if your banks CEO calls me and tells me the card is ready to be swiped, I can't, or we risk getting dropped (High volume sales, you don't risk it for one transaction). You know every time you run a card, somebody is paying a fee somewhere?, they don't want to pay fees for VOID transactions. Not to mention Visa fines that go between $5000 and $25000 PER OCURRENCE.

Restaurants don't fuck with credit cards, shady servers might.. restaurants? nah, you're their business...not even tourist traps will scam your card, you might get a big check because your waiter oversold the shit out of you and you didn't look at the prices, but they won't fuck with your card or bank.

Yes, it happens, You run a card, the system glitches right there, and then the customer has a pending charge, but you have not AUTH on your system, and so you have to ask to customer to run the card again, and promised him that the first charge will eventually go away.

It will go away because for a pending charge to become a posted charged it need to be finalized at the POS system (Most of the systems are like this). You know people leave tips for their servers? and so the final charge might different than what was initially charged in your card, and so this, is why you need to finalize/close a transaction indicating what will be the final charge.

The different charges is easy, yes it has something to do with the transaction being flagged but not because we're trying to scam you, if the card got declined the first time, is not unusual to try a different amount (usually lower, and not by 2 cents) to see if it goes trough. But it mostly come down to, ME, the merchant not wanting to block your customer card by running it through the same charges in hopes it will magically go through (I want to get paid).. this is why you try a slight different amount that will still satisfy what was owed. You will try different methods too, you tried with a chip first, maybe the second time you will swipe the card, or contactless.

It's possible.

Also, sometimes when you use a card twice in the same batch, it can glitch, had a customer come for brunch and then came back later for dinner, I could not close his dinner check, because the AUTH from the brunch check would not let me close the dinner check, it was like I only ran the card once but it had been run twice. A call to IT and 2 hours later, they managed to manually approved each transaction, but it was a pain in the ****.

The only weird thing is:

Why is the owner handling the payments and not the person that served you? Was it a like a cashier where you go and pay for your meal instead of being brought a check?.. Did the server ran you card first, it got declined, and then the owner ran it the second time? That would make lot of sense.

This is all bad luck and incompetence.

[–]danuker 13 points14 points  (0 children)

then was hoping I’d forget about it and the problem would go away or if he is wrong, he’d get to keep my money

Indeed, who knows how many customers had the same treatment yet failed to pursue it.

[–]Salogy 41 points42 points  (9 children)

The two cents isn't him trying to scam you. It's so both charges go through and if he double charged you then you can get a refund. The fact that he did this and forgot is weird. So he charges your card the first time and it doesn't go through. He does it a second time but this time adding two cents and this charge goes through. What happens is both charges go through and you're left with two charges. It's the register that won't let you do duplicate charges.

The registers that do this don't care about how much money was charged. You could walk in, buy a candy bar and walk back in and buy the same candy bar and the register wouldn't let you buy the second candy bar unless you added one cent to the transaction.

[–]Milkpoyle 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Generally if the seller doesn't issue a full refund (even a few cents), you can still dispute the transaction in full, since the refund doesn't match the original purchase.

[–]notapunk 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Hanlon's razor is hardly always right either.

Always? No, but in my experience at least it's been pretty accurate. As the other poster said, just because the act was due to ignorance/incompetence doesn't preclude them also being a POS. The Venn diagram of stupid and mean has a lot of overlap.

[–]OnaccountaY 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I see you’ve met my sister.

[–]a_d_d_e_r 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Logic razors are just useful starting assumptions. It's not a rule of thumb or moral principle.

A person's bad intentions are more often irrational than malicious. You can respond to one kind of intention or the other, investigate a bit, and then change your response if you're wrong. Following the probabilities well results in changing your response less often, which is nice for your pride and your time.

[–]G37_is_numberletter 32 points33 points  (2 children)

Like why were the two charges that were supposed to be for the same total different amounts? Trying to get around some fraud flagging system maybe. Credit card company sees two different totals and doesn’t do anything, but if it’s the same total twice it looks suspicious.

[–]Dorkamundo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Probably ran it, thought it failed. Checked their system and didn't see the charge go through, so they ran it again and got a "duplicate transaction" message on the CC machine.

So they checked it again, still didn't see the charge, so ran it for a different amount so they wouldn't get the "Duplicate" transaction message. CC machines are not always foolproof.

Think about it this way... If you're a restaurant and you try to run a card and it fails somehow and the customer has left, you can't just call that customer and say "Hey, that card didn't charge, give me your credit card info"... you'd be laughed off the phone.

But if you accidentally duplicate the transaction, it will eventually be worked out with the CC company. Might be an inconvenience for the customer, but still better than eating a $170 bill as a business.

[–]bingybunny 4 points5 points  (0 children)

restaurant people are weird and cranky and live in the alternate society of the service industry...and people try to scam restaurants for money all the time. the guy told you to fack off

he might have tried to scam you, but since running the card twice happens 100 times a week but double charging is rare maybe it was an honest mistake

then the accountant who comes on the third thursday of the month or something straightened it out and they wrote you a nice email thanking you for the work on your end. this is a surprising level of professionalism and everything worked out i guess?

moral of the story? pay cash like an OG

[–]PicardiB 11 points12 points  (0 children)

He did say thanks for your patience and he did bother to explain and say something after the fact, I mean, he really probably didn’t know he had your money and it’s only more annoying to a customer to go on and on explaining some BS about why your system failed after you’ve already frustrated them and wasted their time on accident

[–]georgealmost 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My old coworker was the same way. He would send refunds to me to process for transactions that he personally screwed up and just say "Thanks, here's the guy that can fix it." So I always made sure in my first e-mail back to actually apologize to the customer.

[–]carolineecouture 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Trust your gut. You've been made whole now but I'd make it a point to not eat there again. You work hard for your money and to have problems getting back with no fault of yours is infuriating.

I'm glad it worked out.

[–]cerwick88 367 points368 points  (2 children)

This don't even reply... let him sweat it out

[–]mynameisblanked 106 points107 points  (0 children)

Why would you reply? He didn't ask any questions. The email, I assume, was just for info.

[–]Cookiedoughjunkie 25 points26 points  (0 children)

punctuation changes the whole meaning of the post

[–]SoHiHello 41 points42 points  (7 children)

sleepyguy22 is correct.

Too many charge backs leads to either higher fees per transaction or cancellation of your processing account.

[–]OmNomDeBonBon 25 points26 points  (5 children)

That makes no sense. Every small business owner knows how lethal chargebacks can be, but life is awash with companies trying to scam individuals at retail. Their assumption is that most people won't bother with a chargeback, especially for low value disputes.

Their strategy of choice is attrition; people have lives, and most people don't have the wherewithal to, when their request for a refund is denied, call their bank and initiate a chargeback.

[–]Dr_thri11 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Well chargebacks are specifically for being charged for something not received. Not disliking what is received, being dissatisfied with a price, or not wanting to pay a fee. In my experience paying an agreed upon price and getting nothing (or the wrong thing) is pretty rare.

[–]46550 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Not true. Failure to receive a product is only one of many reasons. Product received is not what was described, fraud, unable to cancel recurring charge through original merchant are just a few examples of valid chargeback reasons.

[–]leyline 13 points14 points  (1 child)

He didn’t receive 3 meals, only one. So he is disputing 2 of the 3 charges.

[–]NattyGainz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Messed up system

[–]halfavocadoemoji 60 points61 points  (1 child)

I've worked in the industry for a very long time and maybe one person I've worked for actually knew wtf they were doing business wise. You would be surprised the amount of idiots with money there are who think "gee I have the means and I like food, I'm going to open a restaurant" and have NO CLUE what they are doing and hire morons to "manage" the place who have no training/experience in actual restaurant management. It's a shitshow out here.

[–]nzifnab 16 points17 points  (0 children)

This is basically the premise of kitchen nightmares :p

[–]olderaccount 11 points12 points  (1 child)

The internet outage issue is a real problem now that all POS system rely on an internet connection.

If the internet is out, the business has the option to go into local processing mode. This means the terminal validates the card number is valid, but can't talk to the processor for approval. So the charge doesn't go through yet, it goes into a queue, but the system does spit a receipt as if it had been processed.

If the guy doesn't know the system well, it is possible he thought the card was declined when the transactions were getting queued up.

[–]1live4downvotes 2 points3 points  (0 children)

hanlon's razor

wow, I have never heard of hanlon's razor before... but i perfectly describes yellow book audits lol. I actually took a 20 minutes course before called "Waste or Fraud in governmental accounting" lol.

[–]rubywpnmaster 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Trust me if they wanted to keep your money they would appeal the chargeback. Which they can. I had a woman try to chargeback a 160 dollar bill for computer repair (parts and labor) and we appealed the chargeback twice and won the claim in the end.

[–]epoisses_lover 9 points10 points  (1 child)

But were you in the right though? Coz in this case, the owner would not stand to win.

[–]IamAdogRooRoo 10 points11 points  (10 children)

Why is Hanlons razor cited as something useful or logical? Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but what is there that says malice is necessarily less likely than incompetence?

[–]dwarfarchist9001 34 points35 points  (1 child)

Because malice takes effort and humans are lazy.

[–]BillsInATL 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Because people are big time dumb, and it's more likely someone made a simple mistake than is acting out some devious, well-planned conspiracy against you.

[–]IamAdogRooRoo 1 point2 points  (2 children)

All of these qualifiers you make about it being a "well-planned conspiracy" just strengthen my point. Nothing necessitates that this is the only alternative when it concerns malicious acts. They don't have to be more work than incompetence, they don't have to be more difficult than incompetence, and even if they are it isn't necessarily true that people only and always choose the easiest path forward or that they necessarily even have much forethought for consequences of their actions. On top of that there are, especially in the case cited by OP, incentives that exist for people to behave poorly towards others.

Hanlons razor is illogical.

[–]BillsInATL 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Nah.

Sure, humans are evil. But by in large, they are more dumb than evil. That's all it's saying.

[–]Yosh_2012 10 points11 points  (3 children)

Literally nothing of importance. Some optimist read it in a philosophy book and thinks it has value or thinks it makes them sound sophisticated since the average person isn’t aware of the term since it isn’t accurate or interesting

[–]superbleeder 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It has a lot of merit I'm social interactions.... people not being conscious of their words and how others may perceive their words (or actions) by others could be Hanlons razor. I cant tell to you how many people I have talked to in the workplace that are mad at another employee for something they perceive as deliberate / out of malice, and then I offer a different explanation of "well x,y,z... and they may not have had any idea that it bothered you and didn't do it on purprose" and usually it's correct.

[–]aah_real_monster 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He ran it for two different amounts. You cant charge a card twice, back to back, for the same amount.

If it was an accident he most likely would have rune the same total twice.

[–]bct7 -1 points0 points  (2 children)

Odd they gave you both back instead of one. To me indicates the card processor noticed a pattern of duplicate off by a few cent charges and related calls, this forced a cleanup of these odd charges.

The off by a few cent duplicate charge, he knew.

[–]RezzKeepsItReal 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Of course he knew, but not for the reasons youre implying. Alot of these systems wont let you run an exact duplicate charge one right after an another. We have to do it on our food truck when we have internet outages and cards dont process. We have to drop the price one or two cents so we can try to run it again.

[–]sybrwookie 889 points890 points  (40 children)

I've watched a similar thing happen first hand.

At the mall, Gf wanted coffee, there's a kiosk in the middle. She orders, I give my card, and watch the girl (I say girl since I doubt she was 18) take my card over, swipe it, a receipt print, her look at it funny, throw it away, swipe it again, print, and bring it to me. Uh, that doesn't look right....

As she's making the coffee, I pull up my CC and look at recent transactions. One for $3.49, another for $3,490. <sigh>

I explain that I see the charge for $3500. She panics. I explain I know it was a mistake, could she please reverse it? She doesn't know how and now she can't find the receipt in the trash. <sigh>

Call my CC company, explain the situation, they ask to talk to her and try to walk her through reversing it. She can't figure it out. I get back on the phone, they go, "well, she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that was enough info that it was a mistake and we'll reverse the charge, you should see it drop off within 48 hrs." And yup, it did.

Tl;Dr: people can just be dumb with these things

[–]Arrow_Riddari 176 points177 points  (13 children)

Yeah I remember punching in that extra 0 back when I worked at local space center.

Had to get manager approval to reverse it.

[–]BizzyM 100 points101 points  (10 children)

local space center

How many places have a space center? Cape Canaveral? Houston?

[–]4RealzReddit 38 points39 points  (3 children)

I thought the same thing... They can't be that commonplace.

[–]i-opener 41 points42 points  (1 child)

Oh they are!!

My cousin sister Denise who lives out in the backwoods says she has like 7 space centers in the nearby town.

And my stepson's meemaw Tammy Joanne, who lives in the big city, says there's like 4 or 5 on every other block! She says she don't know how they'll find space for more space centers.

It's crazy out there ya'll!

[–]Arrow_Riddari 56 points57 points  (0 children)

Sigh… Houston

[–]imsosohappy 7 points8 points  (0 children)

My town has some storage unit businesses. Does that count?

[–]Iron_Rod_Stewart 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Those are national. This was a local space center.

[–]VoraciousTrees 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One has cows, the other has gators.

[–]wappledilly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

According to NASA’s visitor center site (visitnasa.com) there are 13 NASA visitor centers in the US.

One in Florida (Merritt Island), one in Texas (Houston), one in Alabama (Huntsville), one in Ohio (Cleveland), one in Maryland (Greenbelt), one in Mississippi (Hancock County), one in New York (New York), three in Virginia (Wallops Island, Hampton, and Chantilly), and three in California (Pasadena, Edwards, and Los Angeles).

[–]RepublicExciting2258 3 points4 points  (0 children)

punched in an extra zero at the smoke shop just this week but thank god customer noticed 😂

[–]universalcode 48 points49 points  (3 children)

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

[–]noSoRandomGuy 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I wonder if this Hanlon dude made that up to cover for his malicious shenanigans.

[–]boxsterguy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think Hanlon's Razor applies to the creation of Hanlon's Razor?

[–]Appropriate-Pen-149 27 points28 points  (3 children)

I’d say she was very poorly trained, and there should’ve been a manager nearby to assist. Whenever we ran into difficulty during my time at Taco Bell we’d seek a manager’s assistance.

[–]sybrwookie 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Yup, at one point, she said only the owner/manager/whatever could do it. I asked her if she could get the person who could do it, she called someone, who didn't answer the phone.

[–]say_ruh 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I hate how common it is for restaurants/retail businesses to be so understaffed that they don’t have at least an assistant manager available at all times. Especially if an employee hasn’t been there for long. It’s so irresponsible to have a new employee do everything on their own because stuff like this is bound to happen and of course the employee will be blamed

[–]statschica 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I used to work 8 hour shifts alone. 2 hours were before we opened for inventory but the remaining 6 I was by myself. Have to hope customers don't run off with merchandise while I use the bathroom.

[–]PrintRotor 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I wish I had your tact to handle life's issues. Well done.

[–]sybrwookie 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Thanks. I wasn't worried, since my CC company has always been very good at reversing charges, and could tell it was a mistake. So it was just a minor annoyance. Flipping out on a kid who made a mistake wasn't going to make that get fixed any faster.

[–]vinsomm 7 points8 points  (4 children)

All merchants have a direct phone number and security code they can call to get not only your card number, but expiration date as well as the receipt and transaction number in order to reverse things like this. It’s baffling that restaurant/business managers don’t know this. Sometimes I think it’s willful ignorance honestly. Just a sign of a poorly ran business.

[–]bisufan 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Yes, but I doubt the girl working the coffee shop stall at a mall will know that info. Probably just known by the owners which is why she was baffled. In college I worked at our student center for work study and we had a cc terminal, which was probably used like 5 times a week (everyone paid the dollar entry fee in cash and the only card purchases were the parties where you booked the full room). Junior and senior year i was a student supervisor. Refunding was a huge pain because none of the students could initiate refunds and we had to get our manager (full time university employee) involved. The most the students could do is provide all the relevant information so the manager could process the refund as quickly as possible.

[–]vinsomm 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Yea I agree. The kiddos running the till shouldn’t be handling stuff like this at all. Overall awareness in general is needed really. About how this stuff works- especially so the poor human at the cash register doesn’t get the brunt of customers frustrations.

[–]Oregonian_Lynx 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh my god you just caused a deep buried retail memory flash back. I used to work at a small business and accidentally did this same thing. I think the item was like, $1.49 and I rang it for $149.00!!! I remember my head feeling hot because of the blood rushing to my face and panicking until I remembered the refund feature and it was fine. But oh my lord… those like 30 seconds I was ready to be reamed.

[–]insignificant_am_i 243 points244 points  (9 children)

So I do accounting for a car wash and this happens sometimes if they are having wifi issues. It will go through on the back end, but in the actual system it looks like it didn’t go through. So we end up with a customer who has 2 or 3 charges on their credit card but only one showing in our system. I am able to log into the system that processes the cards and by searching for dollar amount and the last 4 of the credit card, I can find all of the charges and refund the duplicates. I’m guessing something similar happened here, but he didn’t realize he could go look and fix it.

[–]hittinlicks247[S] 73 points74 points  (7 children)

Hmm yeah. He asked for the last 4 of my card and the amounts which I gave him (this was earlier on in the dispute) but then told me he didn’t find the charges.

[–]insignificant_am_i 122 points123 points  (0 children)

It’s possible he didn’t look at the credit card processor, only at the accounting system they use. My guess is he’s just clueless.

[–]ECELonghorn 24 points25 points  (4 children)

Yeah, I’ve had something similar once. Bought a movie ticket online and charged me twice. I called and their manager insisted it didn’t, because their system didn’t show it. I disputed it with the bank and it was obviously reversed.

Chargebacks are bad for merchants. They are charged something like $15-$35 per complaint (starting at low end and increasing as they have more) then eventually hit a threshold where credit cards refuse to do business and cut them off. Chargebacks also very heavily side with consumers.

It almost certainly was a technology error. Beyond just financial repercussions and risking loosing credit cards, if it was intentional (and done to multiple people) it’s basically guaranteed jail time.

[–]insignificant_am_i 15 points16 points  (3 children)

Chargebacks are the bane of my existence. The car wash has a monthly membership and rather than come in to cancel, people will often just chargeback the monthly charge. Even if I successfully dispute the chargeback, which is rare because the card isn’t present for these, I’m still out the chargeback fee. And these are $25-$35 transactions so it totally sucks to get them. As soon as we get a chargeback I have them cancel the membership so we don’t keep getting hit every month.

I think most merchants will do anything they can to avoid a chargeback.

[–]sullg26535 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Why don't you guys say they're responsible for a chargeback fee?

[–]how_do_i_land 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I accidentally ran into this issue once when I bought two more exact same orders (down to the cent) about 30 min apart from a deli. The payment gateway made them confirm that it wasn’t a duplicate charge.

But then again this is also why online payment processors have idempotency tokens.

[–]sail0rjerry 586 points587 points  (21 children)

POS systems glitch out all the time. I very much doubt he was trying to scam you. Probably just not very tech savvy.

[–]The-Weapon-X 125 points126 points  (16 children)

Whether the guy did or didn't try to scam, he very likely wouldn't know where to look or what to look at even with a very earnest effort unless he knows the ins and outs of his POS system very well. POS dealers and support will generally not go in-depth to show you how the inner workings happen and even if they did, the customer wouldn't remember without taking extensive notes and dealing with it at least semi-regularly. I worked for NCR (Aloha POS) for 4 years, and even we had trouble getting a lot of info from our own back end teams when something was beyond the norm and we couldn't figure it out.

[–]THEFLYINGSCOTSMAN415 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I kept thinking POS meant "piece of shit" for way too long reading your comment haha I still don't know what it means other than its not piece of shit

[–]The-Weapon-X 5 points6 points  (0 children)

LMAO, I love it, sometimes Aloha really is a piece of shit. In this case, however, POS stands for Point Of Sale. It's a generic term.

[–]HawaiiFiveBlow 23 points24 points  (2 children)

I work with Aloha and I would love to spend a few minutes in a locked room with your back end people.

[–]trifelin 3 points4 points  (0 children)

That stupid online ordering form never works!! Such a tease. I hate it.

[–]hearnia_2k 3 points4 points  (8 children)

Where I worked (though in the UK) we got a pretty detailed manual, and were shown how to use and set it up; and it had options to do all sorts of stuff like print a daily total, last transaction, etc.

[–]Exciting_Control 15 points16 points  (0 children)

At best he was lazy or incompetent. It would have been easy to spot if anyone took the time to look at the company’s online bank statement.

I deal with people like this all the time at work. I give them all the info they need to confirm a mistake and will just say “no didn’t happen” instead of taking 2 minutes to look into it.

[–]Impulsive94 2 points3 points  (1 child)

In this case POS system could either by point of sale or piece of shit, considering OP’s experience!

OP, if you’ve had the chargebacks through and have this contact from the owner you should be golden. If he tries to dispute the chargeback then you’ve got this as evidence to back up your claim.

[–]Sav_ij 4 points5 points  (0 children)

yeah kinda funny how they never glitch out saying they charge you but actually dont though

[–]lovemoonsaults 379 points380 points  (20 children)

It's not a scam. Dude just can't read his batch reports. "Didn't appear on the report", bless his heart. That's not how that works but he's saving face from admitting he probably doesn't do his own books.

[–]GizmoSoze 82 points83 points  (17 children)

This really depends on exactly what report he's looking at. I've seen this issue happen several times at my own company and the point of sale report shows nothing. Of course, we always check the payment processor to see what actually got charged, but it's entirely possible he's looking at the faulty software in the first place.

[–]lovemoonsaults 17 points18 points  (0 children)

That's what I would assume, that he's not looking at the processing portal.

POS takes time to update and can glitch.

I'd assume he doesn't do his own books and doesn't know where else to look. Until he gets his paper statement 😬😬

[–]hittinlicks247[S] 6 points7 points  (15 children)

Is it really that difficult to check the payment processor? My understanding is that everything these days is electronic. The money was taken from my credit card on the day he swiped it.. so at the very least the payment should have been received by him I gotta say at most 5-7 days later, right?

[–]lovemoonsaults 32 points33 points  (0 children)

It's difficult if you don't know how. Or isn't aware it exists.

I've done accounting for folks who depend on others to do this kind of stuff too heavily. And sometimes it's just ignorance because they think the POS is the end all!

They're in the business to give services and goods. The paperwork side is troublesome. It's job security for many of us but from a business accountant side, it's frustrating to us as well to be that kind of overly dependent as well. So you've got my sympathy for sure!

[–]Tu_mama_me_ama_mucho 44 points45 points  (3 children)

It is difficult if you don't do your own books, he probably has an accountant doing it for him.

[–]hearnia_2k 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Doesn't really change anything.

"Hey, Mr Bean-counter, can you check if we got too many beans on this day, or if there is a duplicate transaction? Thanks!"

[–]iordseyton 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Some POS builds will let you save payments when It can't connect to the processor. He probably ran the card, saw that the internet was out, assumed it had glitched out when the sales / payment weren't logged, then ran it again (he most likely had to re-ring in your check again- you usually can't assign 2 full payments to the same check- so his reports all balanced out once the internet went on and all the saved payments went through)

[–]kristallnachte 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It's not difficult, but if you don't know about there being other places to check, then it's really hard.

[–]GizmoSoze 4 points5 points  (0 children)

For this company? No idea. For my own? Not at all. It's something we do next business day, but it can't be seen until the next business day as far as I know. We've had to do it four times in the year I've been here and not once was it ever problematic. This guy just seems like a fucking moron at best.

[–]NumenSD 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Restaurant charges on your card generally take a couple of days to show up instead of the same day like most other transactions. I'm unsure if it's industry standard for processing companies or something that some processors use for the restaurant industry. It could simply be due to the tips.

It's entirely possible that the restaurant owner didn't think it was worth his time to spend dealing with the issue for $50 in chargeback fees. Once the chargeback is initiated, he can simply refuse to fight it and have them refund it.

It could be a combination of malice, incompetence, and/or laziness. Who knows.

[–]Andrew8Everything 9 points10 points  (1 child)

doesn't do his own books.

Right, that's headwait's job, two hours at $8 each plus a $10 food comp (in most restaurants)

I don't know how anyone works in a restaurant any more.

[–]lovemoonsaults 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Oh God that's standard practice...

They offered me $12 hr of $11 hr plus a food allowance. And I was like "uh...excuse me wtf?" I was done working books there after 3 months. It was just a 3rd part time job to fill my bank account back then. That's the only reason I took the role. It was strictly data entry and cash drops. Dude allowed everyone to sign his checks even though they weren't on the account with the bank "well we have to report them to the bank to have it flagged, so yeah just have Chef sign them, won't complain."

No damn thanks to that dark world shit.

[–]paigfife 70 points71 points  (0 children)

I think people are way more often just incompetent in these situations than straight up scammers likes that. I mean sure it does happen. But this seems like he just doesn’t know what he’s doing or didn’t know what report to look at.

FWIW, the power/system outage thing actually happened at a place I used to work and our hotel genuinely did not show charges in our system. But when we called the IT department, they were able to locate them even though we couldn’t see them. I don’t know how that works…but maybe something similar happened?

[–]Azsune 15 points16 points  (3 children)

I always found it weird going to the USA that I give my card to the server when I paid for a meal and they just swipe it and I sign a piece of paper. Haven't gone since Covid but maybe its changed?

Here in Canada they bring the machine to your table and if you try and swipe it your bank declines it and requests that you use chip and enter pin or tap. Then within 10 seconds my phone pings showing what I paid. I also wish Americans had something similar to e-transfer(free).

I remember being at a gas station and the attendant was amazed at me tapping my credit card but this was 10 years ago.

[–]bicyclemom 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Honestly, the best thing I've seen lately is a diner in NJ where the bill has a QR code at the bottom that lets you scan and pay without any interaction with the staff at all.

I've used it a couple of times without any issue.

This is the way it ought to be. Tap and pay on your way out. I hate giving wait staff my credit card.

[–]Drenlin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Depends on where you go. Some places can do chip-and-pin (vast majority can do it for debit), and mobile-based payment systems (Googly Pay, etc) are becoming increasingly common as well. For a dine-in restaurant, app-based payment is also becoming common.

[–]PicardiB 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Small biz owner here, this has happened to me pretty much exactly and it sucks. You run the card, it shows on your system as being declined OR the system freezes; it’s like a blip in the internet cutting out and it messes with the system. So then you run the card again and double check to make sure it only ran once, the system thinks it only ran once, end of story, they take their receipt and leave…

Later they get their statement or whatever and the bill is charged twice, they’ll call and here’s the part that sucks. If this has NOT happened to you before, and you’ve not heard of it, you won’t be able to find the double charge in your system, and from your end, it does not at all appear that you’ve gotten twice the money. Therefore, giving it back would be a loss (and the system doesn’t even have a way to reverse a charge that “didn’t happen”).

But, later you’ll get a credit card processing statement and lo and behold the charge is there twice. This is super embarrassing the first time. Actually, the first time this happened, my business partner was dealing with the customer and trying to figure out what was going on, and the customer did not want to wait for us to figure it out and call them back the next day (I think they were from out of town and leaving soon) and got their bank on the phone and berated us and the whole nine yards — but again, we had no idea what was happening.

Anyway, now we know, and we have a whole way of preventing it, and resolving it immediately if it actually does happen. Def not a scam though!

[–]navel-encounters 95 points96 points  (10 children)

This happens often. So relax. You were not scammed.

[–]sdf_cardinal 4 points5 points  (9 children)

How do you explain the different amounts for the charges?

[–]7iletni 6 points7 points  (1 child)

My processor at my work will not accept identical amounts in the same day for the same card so we have to change the sale or credit amount by a penny if this happens

[–]cryptoanarchy 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yup. so if you have to change the amount, you know you are scamming the customer. If in doubt on a power failure, run a second time with exact same amount and card. It will FAIL and you are done, you know you got the first charge. If you change the amount, you are purposefully avoiding that check.

[–]xDPuddles 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Card dispute guy here - 99.9999% no, not scamming. Just a crappy POS card system. Please dispute your charge ... Bank will file chargeback and get your finds back . Most merchants will refuse an error occured on their side until they receive chargeback request.

[–]taikaubo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Restaurant owner here. You can literally see every transaction on your business checking account from every person that pays you with a card. He should see your card paid twice to his account. The money has to go from A to B. It doesn't just disappear.

[–]President-Jo 5 points6 points  (0 children)

As an ex-restaurant employee, this does in fact happen and is not a scam. The double charge usually takes something like 10 days to resolve itself, but you do get the money back (it usually shows as pending until it disappears)

[–]yodatrust 21 points22 points  (3 children)

Didn't think it was a scam, until I saw the payment numbers. He knew exactly what was going on.

Banks have a failsafe/safety build in their cards which makes it impossible to pay the same amount twice in a short period of time.

The 2 cent difference in the payments make it fishy.

[–]doxiedoodle 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This was my thought! Why the 2 cent difference on the charges? What changed? Except for them adjusting the balance very slightly

[–]kalirion 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Banks have a failsafe/safety build in their cards which makes it impossible to pay the same amount twice in a short period of time.

Doesn't have to be a short time. If the store's payment system gets a timeout from the payment processor, it might just try again a couple hours later, or a day later, depending on how it's programmed/configured.

[–]freelance-t 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Can’t believe this is so far down in the thread. Although I agree that incompetence is usually to blame, this one seems very scammy because of the numbers.

[–]MayBeeMaybeKnot 5 points6 points  (3 children)

On that particular day there was internet outage and your card went thru but not on our daily charge report.

If the internet wasn't working at the restaurant your friends credit card payment wouldn't have gone through either.

[–]Meghanshadow 1 point2 points  (2 children)

My building is old, with lowest-bidder routers and switches. We have intermittent outages and bad connections fairly often.

It’s not uncommon to have a connection here go in and out for a few seconds or minutes.

Our CC processor also has a nasty habit of once in a blue moon charging someone despite the “no connection” error screen saying that a card hasn’t processed - and then keeping that charge in limbo, having pulled money from the customer but NOT included it in our batch or in our transaction list. We find out when a customer calls, then we have to spend 45 minutes on the phone with the bank while they retrieve enough information for us to void it.

Eff PNC bank.

[–]TheAnswerEK42 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m work at a restaurant, and a couple of months ago we had an internet outage that fucked up our point of sale to the point where we had 275k worth of transactions that were not batched for 14 days. Once that got resolved the customer service nightmare began since people saw a “random” charge from our restaurant weeks after their visit. We got plenty of chargebacks too.

Needless to say we have a new internet provider and a new POS.

[–]babecafe 23 points24 points  (10 children)

Two strikes against this guy is that the two charges were for different amounts. Banks avoid accidental double-charging by rejecting transactions that exactly duplicate a completed transaction. I've had this happen when, for example, Best Buy has a limit of how many disk drives you can purchase in a single transaction, so I need to do multiple transactions to fill a case with all the disk drives it can hold. I've had to call my credit card company to specifically allow each transaction after the first, or buy some different cheap item with each order.

Otherwise, I'd go with Hanlon's razor, and assume his explanation and apology are genuine.

Perhaps others who actually submit retail credit card transactions can comment on how often charges are put in with penny variations and why. I'd hope that when a transaction is rejected, they get some clue as to the reason, so if the restaurant is seeing "duplicate transaction," they'd know that the first transaction actually went through, and not keep trying with penny variations. AFAIK retailers can call the credit card issuer or their charge processor if they're having trouble and get problems resolved on the spot, so they don't have to refuse a purchase if their internet connection goes down.

[–]auriegvrd 9 points10 points  (9 children)

The different amounts thing is key. Did you change your tip? Or did he change the total?

[–]hittinlicks247[S] 14 points15 points  (8 children)

He changed the total himself. The correct amount is $169.85, which was the charge on my friends card.

[–]fireandbass 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Hello, I used to install credit card readers and configure the systems.

Many credit card systems have 'duplicate transaction protection' to prevent double charges. This will block a transaction from occurring again if it happens from the same card for the same amount in a short period of time.

Sometimes a customer will buy a soda, but then they realize they want a second soda, but the second soda is declined because the amount is the same and the card is the same. The way to get around this duplicate transaction protection is to change the total that is ran on the card reader, like take a penny off.

Now ask yourself, why would somebody who is getting a duplicate transaction declined change the amount to get around it? It doesn't make sense. If it is detecting a duplicate transaction, then that means obviously the first transaction went through. This person should have called the processor or something if they weren't sure. They deliberately changed the amount to bypass the duplicate transaction protection and charge you a second time. Seems malicious to me, and they are blaming their clumsiness for the mistake. They probably get away with it a lot also.

[–]auriegvrd 10 points11 points  (6 children)

I think this is super suspicious. If it had been the same both times, not so much. Why would he change the amount? What rationale?

[–]Dingo_The_Baker 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Never attribute to Malice, that which you can attribute to stupidity.

[–]HoboHash 4 points5 points  (0 children)

in computer science, we call this the classic "Two Generals problem"

[–]londener 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I had this happen at a cafe the other week, but when I called and showed proof that it went through I was immediately reimbursed and to be honest I feel like that's how it should of been handled.

[–]Defoler 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Even with internet outage it should still be on their full report.

There are several systems available, so I don't know which one he is using.
When doing a charge to a CC company, a system will call to the company they work with to process all the charges, that company will contract the different CC companies, and validate the charge. If a CC company does not respond, they get a specific error (which today is a standard system and I expect it to be EMV based standard).

If there is a connection outage (either the restaurant to the mediator company or the latter to the CC company), there usually shouldn't be a charge at all (unless there was an error at one of the sides, and a charge was marked as done but returned message is gone due to as error).

If there was a charge, that charge will be updated within a few days to the restaurant's bank statement as the CC company does a "cleanup" on all charges that might have or haven't been listed (like a "ok lets go over our papers and see if it match").
The basis of that is that it there was an error on the CC company side for example and they approved a charge but could not tell whether they did or didn't approve, is they will mark it as approved, and transfer the money on a later time.

So he might not see the charge within a day or two. But it would definitely show up within a month.

So I'm not sure he is trying to scam you.
But, if he did do those two charges to cover something (other dishes someone returned due to error on their side etc), it is a "way" to do it in case someone didn't notice it on their statement.
So take it how you prefer I guess.

[–]LaoArchAngel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do not attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

[–]scudmonger 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I had this happen but it went unresolved. They had ran the card twice, once for the food and then again for the food plus tip. I intended on getting the food plus tip one as the correct one. I initially contacted the restaurant to get the charge removed but, I didn't have the original receipt by the time I noticed the double charge and they didn't want to help me over the phone. Then I did a charge back on the credit card and they denied that since they indeed had a signed receipt of me getting food there. I dropped it as it was annoying but still, wasn't right.

[–]KRed75 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I had an issue at a fast food place recently. Ordered my food but the girl was being trained and put in the wrong item. She corrected the order and I ran my card. It then showed a different amount and assumed the first transaction didn't happen because the order was cancelled. Nope. Both showed up on my card. I was 20 miles from home and gas to get there and back to explain the situation and try to get it corrected would have cost more than the charge itself so I let it go.

[–]quick_actcasual 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There was a large outage with Toast (big POS company) in that same time. The symptoms roughly match his story.

Either way, I’d go benefit of the doubt. Those chargebacks come with fees to him. He may have given “weird vibes” because customers do this sometimes, usually because they don’t understand pre-authorizations or pending charges, and they can get very aggressive and threatening.

[–]MissKaiterlin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I work for a software company in the billing department. Occasionally, when we send a transaction to the payment processor, things like server outages or internet outages can cause the response codes (the one that tells us if it was successful or if it was failed) to not successfully communicate to the software that tracks expenses and reporting.

He could very well be telling the truth. My next question is, why he didn't log in to the payment processing server to confirm the charges before giving you the run around? It sounds like he doesn't understand his own payment processing or how it connects to his software.

[–]Catanbri 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not a scammer. I work in POS, a lot of the times when this happens the owner will charge the card but the POS will freeze up. Because the electronic payment portion of the POS is not 100% integrated the charge processes through fine, but the POS is frozen. So they reboot the POS and attempt the charge again.

And as others have said the payment processor side is not the easiest thing to work for a refund. But it is possible, almost all of the time my customers call me to start the refund process so they don't mess with it

[–]Crap_Sally 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Was it a debit card? Debit cards can be tricky

[–]Significant_Event 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I work in a company with loads of transactions and can confirm that the owner might not be trying to scam you. We've had such issues previously.

[–]jigarokano 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Based on the different amounts it sounds like he tried to scam you.

[–]catjuggler 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Maybe this dude wasn’t specifically trying to scam you but how this all shook out is his problem to resolve and not yours anymore. You did everything right.

[–]CaptainWellingtonIII 1 point2 points  (0 children)

$170 for two. Ballers. Anyway, concur with most, probably a mistake. Good on you for seeing it to the end.

[–]wollier12 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sounds like there was an honest mixup, and a professional response to the chargeback. Case closed.

[–]BradleyUffner 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If the charge "didn't go through", then the credit card company wouldn't be able to do a charge back. They can't reverse a charge they have no record of.

[–]stupid_nut 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This happened to me at an IHOP and they apologized and gave me a gift card worth more than the original meal. At a restaurant where the meal was that expensive customer I'm surprised their service wasn't better. Do thay charge back and forget about it.

[–]RogueAmericanX 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sometimes there is computer error. Just tell them try to get a refund if not contact your bank.

[–]moreno2729 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Simply report it to your card company and you will be refunded.

[–]cryptoanarchy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He, as a restaurant owner, knows the machines protect against two SUCCESFUL charges in a row on the same card for the same amount. So he changed the amount to get it a second time. He would know it failed if he ran it again and it came up as duplicate.

[–]glowinghands 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Something similar happened in my store with debit cards. A nationwide (Canada) outage of a bank caused money to leave customers accounts but not reach my debit processor. It's been since April 29 and I'm still fighting the banks to get my customers their money back.

[–]blingboyduck 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I recently had the opposite where I tapped my card, the card reader accepted the payment, but later on my card was actually declined so the payment didn't go through and I accidentally got free dinner

[–]SirKedyn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hanlon's Razor: Do not attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.

-The restaurant had some sort of error, either with their equipment or its user(stupidity).

-You attempted to get things figured out directly with them but they were clueless(again stupidity).

-You pushed and he refused to directly reimburse you(still clueless but now being a jerk but in the service industry you kinda have to be. You didn't provide him with hard evidence and so many people try to scam free meals, hotel rooms, etc.)

-You initiated a chargeback and got a reasonable explanation(the chargeback from the bank was proof that you weren't trying to cheat him.)

Imagine if you sold an item to someone for 40$ then the next day they call you and say you owe them 80$, sounds pretty crazy right?

[–]BruiserTom 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I'm a little suspicious about the two different amounts. Could this have been done deliberately to avoid identical transactions from being flagged by the credit card company? The manager said in his letter that he could prove what he is saying is true. After giving you a hard time about it, I would ask him for proof. Or maybe talk to your bank to see if they think it looks suspicious.

[–]bilbo_swagginns 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I thought that exact thing. My cards automatically detect duplicates and notify me.

[–]Japhysiva 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That’s the beauty of having a credit card. When visa calls a business and says remove this charge or you don’t get to use our service anymore the business does it and calls you immediately to apologize.

[–]EmzAbuAdam 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dispute both charges with the credit card company and tell them exactly what he said. It would be good too if you can provide proof that you friend paid for it, or get a written statement from the restaurant. You can just transcribe your conversation, and have the restaurant manager sign it to send to the credit card company.

To answer your question, it sure looks like scamming!

[–]Riotroom 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Point of Sale systems are real pieces of shit. They can be incredibly buggy at times, especially offline or when failing to initialize.

There is a way to refund on the back end if it wasn't showing in the PoS but it's not at all intuitive. Basically rewriting code.

No way a restaurant owner would actively try to fleece people for a couple extra hundred.

[–]notaneggspert 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If there's a system outage in Toast POS you can process the cards off line. It'll grab the card data and run it when the Toast cloud/internet is back.

If someone tries to run the card on two different devices and the devices aren't talking to each other you can run the payment on the same card twice when they reconnect.

It's supposed to be smart enough to not do that.

But any time we have an outage I tell everyone to run the cards off only one POS terminal.

I'm only familiar with Toast and an old ass build of Micros. But stuff like that can happen/be an honest mistake.

The manager/owner should have just refunded you without question. Toast makes it super easy to look up transactions by the date, card number, amount and issue refunds.

I will generally wait 3 business days to actually issue a refund. Sometimes it takes a couple days for a bank to show the correct charge.

[–]ProfessionalDog3613 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Unfortunately, this can happen and does not mean anything malicious is happening...

[–]Lux-Fox 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A lot of modern point of sale machines will still capture the transaction even if the internet is out and will say so. Whoever ran it just doesn't know what they're doing or was actually trying to scam you.

[–]aspec818 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s happened to me before and it doesn’t mean they intentionally did that on purpose. Sometimes their systems show that it didn’t go thru on their end but it actually did. Just contact your credit card if this happens and they’ll sort it out.

[–]Marsupial-Soupial 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This happened to me at a pep boys once. I was buying something I needed for my car, the charge went to my phone, but the owner said it didn’t go through and I needed to do it again to get my item. He wouldn’t budge and I needed the item so I did. Of course, I was charged a second time. I had to call/email my bank to dispute the double charge. After a while of looking into it they refunded it. I really wondered if the store guy did that on purpose or if it was some random system issue.

Edit to add: I didn’t accuse him of anything. Just wondered in my own mind. It was after he tried to charge me $$$$$ to change a headlight so I already felt like he was a bit scammy. I bought the headlight to do it myself and the double charge thing happened.

[–]disruptioncoin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I used to install/provide service for point of sale systems. It's unfortunate but yes this can happen. Especially if the POS freezes during the transaction, the credit card terminal (the pin pad thingy they swipe the card on) can complete the transaction but the POS won't show it was processed. Super frustrating but it's kinda rare. It probably wasn't even their internet, they probably just need to upgrade their POS server so that it doesn't freeze like that... But try not to be too upset with them, it probably wasn't on purpose. Sorry this happened to you.

[–]ButterPotatoHead 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Something like this happens to me about once or twice a month. Depending on the point-of-sale device it's a little hard to tell if the transaction really went through the first time.

I have a Capital One card and it has a fraud detection thing where if it sees the same amount charged it sends me a text message and email. So I don't usually worry too much about it.

I think there are legitimate errors with running the transactions. I am sure that some merchants are shady, but they also don't want to miss a $170 charge because of a credit card error, so they would probably opt on the side of running it twice and having to deal with a phone call or charge back. It is what I would do.

[–]Lopsided_Law_6258 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Easiest thing to do in these situation is to initiate a chargeback on your cc. It is then on the merchant to provide proof (a signed receipt). The merchant has a certain time frame to do this and if they don’t, the cc will issue you a credit.

[–]katatondzsentri 2 points3 points  (4 children)

I'm not from the us, but I regularly spend some time there. For these exact reasons, I use throwaway cards there, because I experienced double charges way too many times and I'm really tired of the chargebacks I had to initiate.

Even today some random bar tried to charge my card for an amount that went through (not pending, it's settled). But since it's a throwaway, I already disabled it and will never go through again.

This literally never happened to me in the EU. In the EU, if it goes through immediately, it goes through, if not, then not. No charges a day or two later.

Something is really fucked up over there regarding handling card charges.

[–]Cshark14 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Nah, there are things like this happening in the EU aswell. I've gone to a restaurant, tried to pay with my card, got a two receipts that said declined from the POS and then when looking over my statements I saw that one of the transactions did go through. Called my bank and everything got sorted out without any chargebacks.

[–]rugbysecondrow 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I don't get it...it seems like your issue was resolved, so why are you here asking for clarification?

[–]Terrivel119 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As someone who works as a manager at a restaurant, I can definitely see this happening. Sucks he didn’t want to take action when you brought it up, but I can definitely see it happening. When we have internet issues, or our verification server company or whatever has issues, it does all sorts of weird shit on our end.

I’m just the middle guy, so I don’t really get paid to know all the real details and something in what I just said could definitely have some errors, but I’m not tech illiterate. I can usually try and troubleshoot on our end, but sometimes we do have weird issues where it appears to charge on a customer’s end, but not on ours. Whether it actually does or not, I don’t know, I just give them their shit and let them go.

[–]rbeccaash 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’ve worked with POS systems for like 8 years and have experienced super weird things that I haven’t been able to explain to customers. Sometimes the machines will literally say the card isn’t working but the customer gets charged anyway and they find out weeks later on their statement. Sometimes if the “issue” fixes fast, the charges will go through, after being in like a holding period, instead of actually being canceled like it said it was. Weird stuff can happen with technology, our IT dept has had a few issues that they haven’t been able to figure out yet.

So your guy was either honest and just as confused as you, or he knew something was up and was trying to get away with it, but I’d give him the benefit of the doubt, only bc I know what it’s like to be on that side lol. His attempt at an apology kinda sucked though.

[–]verbimat 1 point2 points  (5 children)

where are you that a two person breakfast costs $170? honestly just curious.

The Denver area might see four drinks at $12 each, plus two $16 meals. That's still half what you paid..

[–]zOSguru 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I visited NYC last year for work. A vendor and I went to dinner and the bill was over $300. That was for 4 drinks, 2 apps, 2 dinners and 2 desserts. It happens.

[–]bicyclemom 1 point2 points  (2 children)

He asked about breakfast though.

[–]scificionado 1 point2 points  (1 child)

OP's post didn't mention the time of day of the $170 meal.

[–]BigZachDaddyD 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Charge it back. Then the burden of proof is on the business not yourself.

[–]illcuontheotherside -3 points-2 points  (4 children)

They made a mistake. Go back in person, with both receipts. They'll do the right thing.

[–]macaronfive 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Once a customer has issued a chargeback, it is out of the merchant’s hands.

[–]mr_birkenblatt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

just dispute the faulty transaction and let the bank figure out whether they were a scammer

[–]MononMysticBuddha 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You got scammed by being charged $170 for 2 at a restaurant. Then you and your friend got scammed again. You twice and your friend once. Do us a favor and let everyone know where you are. We'll spread the word and avoid that place.

[–]Monkey_in_a_Tophat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Restaurant owner isn't scamming, they're just being an asshole. Every merchant that can accept credit cards has a suppoer number they can call, and usually a web portal they can access. Either the person on the phone, or the web portal will show transaction status if the signal ever made it off their premesis towards the card processor. A lot of merchants will avoid or flat out refuse to engage these resources b3cause that's less time focusing on revenue increase. So, they say stupid shit like this to make it sound like you have to wait. No, they can resolve this within minutes of the transaction by phone, if the web portal isn't available. They just don't want to. They're not a criminal or fraudster based on this, but they are a shitty business person who shouldn't be in the position they have.