What Do You Do if a Restaurant Charges You Too Much?

by Melissa Adele Haskin
Always double-check your bill before you leave a restaurant.

The restaurant industry is expected to record more than $600 billion in sales in 2013. It's likely that somewhere in that $600 billion a mistake will be made. You may find an extra entree on your bill, or perhaps you'll get charged the wrong price for an appetizer. If you get overcharged, there are ways of making sure you don't have to pay the extra costs.

Contact the Restaurant

As soon as you notice an error, collect any information or evidence you have and contact the restaurant. If you're still there, ask to speak to whoever took your order, since they'll likely remember it. If not, ask to speak to a manager. Errors happen, it's the nature of business. Let them know you understand this and explain exactly why the charge is wrong.

Keep On Trying

If the restaurant refuses to fix the error, you may want to send a written request. Attach copies of any evidence you have. If you have found that your bank account was charged twice for a meal, send a copy of the bank statement, blacking out any personal information, and highlight the erroneous charge. Write out what happened and how you would like the situation to be fixed. Address it to the owner or to the corporate offices. If you paid via credit or debit, you can also contact your bank or credit card company and ask them how to fix the error. They may have you fill out a report and investigate, or they may stop or reverse a charge.

About the Author

Specializing in food and business, Melissa Haskin is a Oregon writer who received a Bachelor of Science in economics with an emphasis in business from Oregon State University. She completed graduate work in journalism at the University of Oregon and has contributed to publications such as "The Register-Guard," "Oregon Quarterly" and "Eugene Magazine."

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