Restaurant Overcharged, Doesn't Want to Provide Full Refund

Hoping to gain some 'clarity' or perspective on a recent situation I found myself in.

Went to dinner ~1 week ago with my brother to a restaurant I've never been to. We were the only customers there - the owner was sitting down eating with someone. We sat down, the owner was very welcoming and warm, brought around a young waiter (maybe mid-late teens) and told us the waiter was new and tonight was his first night. The waiter brought some menus, and my brother and I chose our food (appetiser, two meals, some bread). Food order was made based on both price and appetite.

Our food came out on time, and was really good. Upon payment/leaving, the overall bill struck me as being slightly higher than I expected. We went home, and I calculated the total based on the menu we were given being ~50 dollars, however, was charged 70 dollars (total different came to just shy of twenty dollars). Although the service was kinda dodgy (waiter was obviously very new/had never worked, no eye contact, no manners, very awkward), the food was really good and the owner was polite. I thought I would message them to let them know I had been overcharged, hoping they would credit me the amount owed (which I would happily spend on a second meal there).

Upon messaging them on Facebook, this is the exchange I had:

Me: Hi, I came in last night with my younger brother and I believe I was overcharged. I just did the maths on my order:

1x Chapli Kebab @ 7.50
1x Kofta Korma @ 15.99
1x Chicken Karahi @ 21.90
1x Afghani Naan @ 3.00
1x Garlic Naan @ 3.00

By my calculation this comes to $51.39 and I was charged $70. I understand that is was the waiters first night at work and I know mistakes happen - what is the best way to rectify this?

This is the reply I received:

Hi, (brokeunikid)
Sorry, for the late reply but thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. However as you mentioned above our waiters is new and unfortunately on that night he accidentally handed you the old menu with the old prices. Additionally, due to Covid we have added an increase of $2 on our entrees and $3 increase on our main dishes which we have placed a notice in the front of the store.
Thus, you order total would be:
1x Chapli Kebb: $10
1x kofta korma: $ 19
1x chicken Karāchi: 25:90
1x afghani Nana: 5
1X garlic Nana: 5:50
Hence, taking in-regards the new prices you’re total would be $65.50. We, will happily refund you the 4.60 that you were overcharge if any form you would wish. We sincerely apologise for the confusion and any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Thank you

So, here is the issue. The menu given to me in store, and the one on google maps/facebook are the same, listing the lower prices that I based my meal choices from. I think it's poor form on the owners behalf to blame his new staff member for 'giving out the wrong menus.' As for the sign saying the prices had increased, I did not see it (it was probably there, just not very obvious whatsoever).

Part of me wants to leave a scathing review and initiate a credit card chargeback. I spoke to my bro, he says they were busy and might be struggling, and I should just let it be (as a way of showing my support for local businesses). OzB community, what would you do?

TL;DR - Went to dinner with bro, was overcharged based on a menu I was never given with prices I never saw. Owner does not want to refund the discrepancy.

Poll Options

  • 598
    Let it go, not worth the hassle.
  • 103
    Accept the $4.60 refund
  • 180
    Credit card chargeback for full price discrepancy
  • 39


  • If you had a terrible time, leave them a very poor review, if you had a great time, just let it go, you're going to have to go to a lot of effort to get that $15 back.

    Next time notice it at the restaurant, so you can just confront them before payment.

  • +5

    Sounds like a scam. Why would they still have old menus lying around.
    Post review and dont go back.

  • +2

    Post a negative review comes with the owner's response with it,and never go there again ,also let all your friends and family know this restaurant is on your blacklist lol

  • Owner should have settled with what was presented to you and refunded full balance as the issue is in their side. I would not chase them as my time is worth more than that and simply won’t make for second visit(s)

  • Yes, under Australian cultural norms this is the restaurants fault and they should cop the charge

    I'd say it's the owners fault for leaving the old menus around

  • +1

    Even the price of chicken karahi on old menu is too high!

  • 25.90 for chicken…wow

  • One thing I nearly always do in restaurants is keep a menu with me whilst I eat.

    It's not for financial reasons, rather to consider the dish, and give me ideas for meals I might make at home and just for general ideas of things that might go together.

    In this case however it would have been a useful reference point. Something to think about.

  • +3

    Give them a 1 star review on Google and Zomato.

  • +1

    All of you saying the owner shouldn’t have left old menus lying around.

    I believe there is no “old” menu, rather there is only one version of menu which was printed before Covid.

    Now his business is struggling so owner has decided to charge more, but wanted to save on costs so rather than printing out new menus, only stated the price increase on a “notice in front of the store” (which understandably many people would have missed).

    So there is no “old” menu version, I think that was just owner’s excuse to blame it on the “new” waiter.

    Now if owner wanted to increase his prices that is completely his call, however it should be communicated clearly rather than just be put on a sign, and customers should know this prior to placing an order.

  • +5

    Vote chargeback on the credit card. I get that the chargeback will apply to the entire amount but I’ve been through that process before and it’s really not that hard.

    As to people saying you’d be a dick for initiating a chargeback, I think you’d be discharging your obligation to stamp out this behaviour for future patrons. It would teach the restaurant a valuable lesson and make them think twice about doing this sort of thing in future. I don’t care if they’re struggling, if they’re dishonest scammers, they deserve to be struggling.

    After initiating the chargeback I’d also be leaving them a bad review.

  • +2

    So what was the name of the restaurant?

    • +1

      Yea name and shame please…!

      Otherwise we are the next victims here. I don't like argue even though they show the bill with more than it shouldn't.
      I like to enjoy meal and go home happily without ruining my day.

  • +7

    Let's see:
    - restaurant had a sign (one?) stating that prices had increased due to COVID,, but obviously it wasn't in a prominent location or OP or OP's brother would have seen it
    - OP was not told of this supposed "surcharge" before, during or after their meal
    - the fact the waiter is new is not of OPs concern, that's the businesses problem. It's also irrelevant that the business was quiet. Bad businesses don't get a free pass to rip off consumers in this country.
    - I don't know what state OP is in, but in NSW the rules state:

    "If you want to promote a price that's only part of the total price, the total price must also be displayed at least as prominently as the part price." and "You may choose to add a fee or charge on prices such as a public holiday or credit card payment surcharge. If you do, the price you display must include any surcharge. If you're running a restaurant, café or bistro, the menu must state that a surcharge applies and on which days."
    - it appears prima facie that none of those conditions were met by this restaurant. The old menu should have been thrown or stored away and new menus printed, including details of any surcharge.
    - OP was not given an appropriate response by the restaurant, and they did not recognise their breach of consumer regulations
    - OP was ripped off $20, and deserves at least this amount back

    This business isn't gonna change their ways if OP does nothing. IMO you should press for a refund of at least the $20, failing that initiate a chargeback and report them to the ACCC/service NSW, and leave a bad review for others. OP shouldn't be subsidising the costs of badly run businesses.

  • Maybe it's just me, but every single detail about the story just sounds like it was designed to rip OP.

  • +1

    Organise a Vegan rally outside their store if the owner doesnt fess up the real "difference" :D

  • +1

    If food is average, just don't go back.

    Leave a neutral feedback on their fb/google explaining the situation. If food is ok, say the food was alright but service/customer service was bad. I hate when people just say food was bad but never explain why.

    If you feel like you got cheated, you could just send that email to credit card company for charge back. They would need pay for chargeback and chargeback fee and hopefully they will learn.

    IMO, if i was owner. I would just refund the customer and probably have talk to front house manager regarding the menu.

    Negative review is just bad for business, I normally only read at negative review these day to judge a business.

    • Most negative reviews are “the restaurant didn’t cave to my every unreasonable whim and expectations of my self importance so it’s a horrible terrible place don’t go”

    • +1

      I don’t often leave negative reviews. In this instance I would be with a 2/3 star out of 5 and highlight the pricing errors and staff management, If the food was great. Don’t punish them for that part of the experience.

  • +1

    I always give the bill a cursory glance and if its a difference of say more than $10 (or a reasonable %) of expected price I’ll politely ask a question. It is rare that I question it and usually it’s something I missed. On other occasions it is resolved immediately.

    Where the experience is not positive I just don’t go back. I don’t think I’ve ever written a review.

  • -1

    Yes, you should have checked an itemised bill.

    Leave an honest review about being overcharged I wouldn't include the story about later conversations unless you have them in text messages or emails.

    Email your friends and work colleges (if your work allows this type of email) encouraging them to avoid the place; or at least tell them to check their bill on leaving.

    Don't go again.

  • Yeah I had the similar experience at the food court. Prices on the big signboard was $11.50 was charged $12.50 after I counted my change. The explanation was “Oh that was the old price on the signboard we forgot to change it.”

  • +2

    Sorry OP, weigh up if its worth the fight. I would accept the refund and leave them a bad review. No point battling the extra.

    I had a similar experience but I walked out before I paid. I was overcharged $5 and I am on jobseeker, so every dollar counts.

    One night I was very very hungry and wanted take out, I rarely get take out cause….. jobseeker payments. Anyways, went to a Viet place, saw their menu had chicken and rice for $11, I wanted to pay card and she said $2. I internally rolled my eyes because $2 card surcharge is BS. Anyways, went to the counter to pay and she did not enter $13, she entered $18!

    I always check the price on the eftpos machine. I said: "it says $18 not $13", she said: "price of dish gone up". Eff off, no it didn't you scamming mofo. I said no and walked out. Gave them a bad review on google.

  • +3

    I'm surprised how many people are saying let it go. Such an OzB thing to do as well to blame the victim and say that they should have read the bill. They may be struggling, but if the whole world was honest, it would be a better place. I support raised prices or a COVID tip jar, but if they charge you dishonestly and intentionally that's simply a scam.

    Walk back in and take another look at the next menu that comes across your face. Tell them you came in for the discrepancy refunded 100%, or you're going to initiate a chargeback and write a bad review. Do not accept anything less than 100%. Walk out for anything less.

    What you do could be the difference between them becoming honest, or charging granny and grandad $514 on the same $51.40 order tomorrow.

    • You are the victim if you don't don't fend for yourself and take your own responsibility. It's your responsibility to check the bill for mistakes before paying. In this instance they used the wrong menu, so it should have been the old price. They shouldn't then request you pay new prices at the time. I would of stood firm on that at the cash register. In the end it does ruin the memory of the whole dining experience. Looking at bill after the fact is just a waste of energy. Get pissed off. Then just move on. Don't go back there. Leave a review like I suggested below to warn others. Ppl do make honest mistakes as well.

  • Make a google review, but only state the key issues and take out any personal attacks. It may have been a genuine mistake. For one you didn't check before paying and question it at the time to have it clarified. They may have honoured at least the mistake of the wrong menue provided. And you could of checked the sign for extra charges yourself.

    1. Customers check menu is correct one. Ask that it is the latest.
    2. Ask if any extra charges. PH or Covid.
    3. Check bill before paying.

    I also usually get the waiter to repeat the order back once they take it down

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