Have you ever been out dining with friends or family and received your credit card statement to find that the restaurant charged you twice? It can happen!
It can be a frustrating and confusing situation, but don’t worry – you’re not alone. Speaking as a former chef, I’ve seen plenty of mishaps over the years – but unfortunately, sometimes there is intentional fraud.
Read on for tips and insights on what to do if a restaurant charges you twice, how to prevent it from happening again, and what to expect when contacting the restaurant or your credit card company.
In This Article
Why Double Charges Can Sometimes Hapen
Before panicking and assuming that the restaurant is trying to scam you, it’s important to consider the factors that could contribute to a double charge.
Here are some possible reasons for a restaurant charging you twice:
- Technical glitch: It’s possible that when the restaurant was processing your transaction, a technical glitch occurred, causing it to charge your credit card twice accidentally.
- Human error: Another possible reason is human error – the waiter or staff accidentally charged your card twice by entering the wrong amount, hitting the wrong button, or forgetting that the transaction had already been processed.
- Authorization hold: Some restaurants place a temporary hold on your credit card to ensure that you have sufficient funds to pay the bill. This hold may show up as a separate charge on your statement, but it should disappear after a few days.
What To Do When You Are Charged Twice
If you notice that a restaurant has charged you twice, there are several steps you can take to resolve the situation:
- Check your bank statement: Before taking any action, make sure that the charge is indeed a duplicate. Sometimes, people mistake an authorization hold or pending charge for an actual double charge.
- Contact the restaurant: Call the restaurant or stop by in person to inform them of the mistake. Most restaurants will be willing to take corrective action immediately when presented with proof of the error.
- Gather evidence: If the restaurant is unwilling or unable to issue a refund, gather evidence such as your receipt, a copy of your bank statement, or other documents that support your claim.
- Dispute the charge with your credit card company: If all else fails, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company. They will investigate the issue and, if they find that the double charge was unauthorized, issue a refund to your account.
How To Prevent Being Double Charged
While you can’t always prevent a restaurant from charging you twice, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk:
- Keep an eye on your bank statements: Check your bank statements regularly to make sure that all charges are accurate and legitimate. If you notice a double charge, act quickly to resolve the issue.
- Use a credit card with fraud protection: Many credit card companies offer fraud protection services that can alert you to suspicious activity and help you recover lost funds.
- Pay with cash: If you’re really worried about double charges, paying with cash is always an option. Just be sure to keep track of your receipts and make sure that you receive adequate change.
What should I do if I think a restaurant has charged me twice?
The first step is to check your bank statement to confirm that the charge is indeed a duplicate. Then, contact the restaurant and inform them of the mistake.
If the restaurant refuses to issue a refund, gather evidence such as your receipt and bank statement and dispute the charge with your credit card company.
Can a restaurant legally charge me twice?
No, a restaurant cannot legally charge you twice for the same transaction. If they do, it’s considered an error or fraudulent activity.
Is it possible for a restaurant to accidentally charge me twice?
Yes, it’s possible for a restaurant to accidentally charge you twice. This can happen due to technical glitches, human error, or authorization holds.
How Do You Prevent A Restaurant From Charging Twice?
To reduce the risk of double charges, keep an eye on your bank statements, use a credit card with fraud protection, and consider paying with cash.
In conclusion, a restaurant charging you twice can be a frustrating and confusing experience, but it’s important to remain calm and take action as soon as possible.
By following these tips and steps, you can resolve the issue and prevent it from happening again in the future.