Thursday, February 24, 2011
I should be better at checking restaurant bills and store receipts.
Often I just whip out my debit card and slip it into the folder holding the restaurant bill, or I hand my debit card to the cashier without looking at the receipt. My guess is that a lot of us do this, which doesn't make it any better. Technology is great but its not infallible. Furthermore, error-prone humans usually administer the technology so we shouldn't take for granted that its always correct.
While dining out with friends recently 1 of the friends reviewed the restaurant bill and found 2 mistakes. An entree costing nearly $20. was listed twice, and a $2.59 beverage was not listed at all. Upon bringing these to the attention of our server the bill was corrected and each couple paid half.
With this experience fresh in my mind, once I'd returned home from the grocery store I took a look at the receipt instead of immediately throwing it in the trash. I discovered that none of the sales prices had been recognized! Everything I'd purchased was either on sale, was 'buy 1 get 1 free', or was 'buy 5 for $5.' yet none of the adjusted prices were reflected. I took the receipt back to the store and explained that, although the cashier had swiped my discount card, none of the discounts appeared on the receipt. They agreed to give me the savings which amounted to $8. If I would have immediately thrown the receipt away without looking at it I wouldn't have known.
So I've made a new commitment to review restaurant bills and store receipts more often. If I find a mistake - even one that doesn't benefit me - I'm going to advise the server regardless. I believe that if you find a mistake, you find a mistake. Its hypocritical to only request a correction to a mistake that benefits me. If the server neglects to add the dessert onto the check, I'm going to tell them that too.
You don't want to mess with Karma!