Bill Handel

Bill Handel

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Check Your Receipt!

If you are a resident of Awesome Town (aka Valencia) you might want to check your receipt next time you head to the Cheesecake Factory.  

Heck, EVERYONE should check their receipts because this might be happening in other restaurants!

Frank Abreu told CBS News that he recently went to The Cheesecake Factory there and was surprised when he saw a different tip amount on his itemized receipt than on his credit card receipt. 

You can see the problem in the picture we took of both receipts below.  

The receipt on the top is Abreu's itemized receipt, which shows the correct 'suggested gratuity' amount as a percentage. (Also note, there is NO CHEESECAKE on the receipt...really, what's the point of going there if you're not getting cheesecake!)

However, on the credit card receipt that he was supposed to sign, shown on the bottom, the 'suggested gratuity' was vastly different than what was on his itemized receipt.

You can see there are no discounts or coupons applied. (Because we all know that you should tip based on the actual cost of a meal, not the cost of a meal after a $50 coupon discount!)

The 22% tip suggestion on that credit card receipt  for a bill of $33.76 is actually close to a 48% tip!  The 20% tip suggestion is close to 44%.  The 18% tip suggestion is close to 40% and the 15% tip suggestion is close to 33%   

Now, someone pointed out to us that the bottom receipt says 'suggested gratuity for table check total', which could mean that it was a 'multiple check' situation. But, even in that case, shouldn't each receipt show a tip suggestion based on each receipt's total?  Or at the very least, where it shows the 'suggested gratuity for table check total,' shouldn't it list the amount of the entire table check so the suggested gratuity is accurate?  Otherwise, it makes it look hinky in our book!

And because a listener asked, here's an image of the top of the receipt to 'prove' it's Cheesecake Factory.

Frank told CBS News:

"I felt like it was borderline theft. I just felt it wasn't right.  They were trying to rip me off and other people and I wanted them to fix that."

So he called the corporate office and says ultimately they told him it was up to the customer to figure out the tip.

CBS News also contacted Cheesecake Factory about the discrepancy and they supplied a statement that read, in part:

"We provide every table with a check that shows the total of all charges and a suggested gratuity range for that total.  All gratuity amounts listed on our guest checks are suggestions only.  Guests are free to tip as they please."

So it seems they have no real answer for the tip discrepancy on two checks with the same amount.

That's important, Frank says, because:

"Most customers only focus on the receipt that they SIGN. I just wish they used the correct numbers there."

So make sure to check your receipts folks! And please, tip your waiter...unless they're a total jerkface. 

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