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FW: Dicey Credit Card Charge at Mercadito Cantina

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From: [an eater]
Date: Friday, June 26, 2009
To: eater complaints dept.
Subject: Dicey Credit Card Charge at Mercadito Cantina

So, last Saturday night me and 8 other friend dined at Mercadito Cantina. We ordered off the $30/pp Prix Fixe menu which was great and turned out to quite a lot of food.

At the end of the meal, after throwing in all the $7-$11 drinks, the bill came to about $80/pp. Maybe a little high for that place but keep in mind that we insisted that our guest of honor did not pay and that we split their portion between the rest of us. Not bad, totally reasonable.

Everyone paid in Cash except for me.

After counting the pooled cash I calculated the remainder, which was going on my card, to be inline with my portion (~$80).

When receiving the receipt to sign, I noticed that they only charged $60 to my card.

I asked if anyone overpaid and wanted any money back. No one did, no big deal, what’s $20 between friends? I didn’t give it another thought.

Yesterday, I was going through my CC bill and saw that Mercadidto Cantina actually eventually changed the charge on my card to $160.

I immediately called them for an explanation.

They told me that the case turned out to be $100 short and by the time they noticed we had all left. The only thing they could have done was to charge my card the difference.

After talking to 3 people, a very apologetic manager reversed the extra $100 back to my card.

My question is this: How often does this happen? Do restaurants feel that they can add arbitrary amounts to people’s CC without authorization.

If we where short cash, shouldn’t have they noticed that immediately?

I just wanted to say the meal and drinks were great its just the extra charge surprised me.

If I had not noticed it on my statement I would have been out $100 in unauthorized charges?