May 22nd, 2008

Redgirl

Auto-gratuity

My boyfriend and I went to a local comedy club. I had bought two dinner+show packages online. The packages are supposed to be a slightly better deal ($27 includes $15 ticket and $14 credit at the restaurant). The service was below average and the food wasn't spectacular.

We got the check and the waiter helpfully informed us that an automatic gratuity of 15% was added to the bill. This is where the service seemed to fail. The ticket site didn't say anything about an auto-grat for a party of two and nothing was mentioned on the menu or the restaurant's site. We should have been informed earlier. I'm not specifically blaming the waiter, but the establishment as a whole should do a better job of telling customers about, as my boyfriend put it, "surprise butt sex forced tipping". It seems all the packages bought online, even if it's one person by herself, are treated to an auto-grat charge.

I wasn't too annoyed about this yet because, hey, I would have tipped more if they hadn't forced me to tip despite the shabby service. Then I looked over the check and the 15% included the price of the tickets. Why would the waiter get a tip for the tickets? He wouldn't be serving us during the show. We ask him (as politely as possible) why we were forced to tip based on the ticket purchase. He stammered something about how that's how they've always done it and they split the tips with the bar staff. That means I'm forced to tip a bartender who may not even make me a drink! (I understand this is a somewhat standard practice, but less than a year ago with the same dinner+show package, I tipped the bar staff separately. The server made it sound like the gratuity on the tickets was meant to cover the bar staff's share. I should have made this clearer.) I've gone to this club for a few years and this was the first time I've encountered this policy.

I e-mailed management, but I've also read that management handles complaints with a bitchy attitude that would make an IHOP manager look like Mother Theresa.

I paid the overdraft fee!

February '08- I get a letter from my bank stating that I had overdrawn on my account. There is money taken from that account every month to pay for my flute rent to own deal. It's not an active account, as I have no job at this point. It irritates me that the bank waited about a month to let me know this, but I get that I signed up for the account, I deserve the $300 fee. I paid the thing and I thought that was that.

March '08- I get another letter stating that I'm still overdrawn. What! I called them, stating, hey I paid this! It was a large check c/o my parents and apparently it took a couple days for like half the check to go through. They apologized and the fee went away so I wasn't mad or anything.

April '08- I get yet another letter about my outstanding overdraft! I went there in person and the guy I talked to was mean to me, talking about how college students like me are always overdrawing on their accounts, that someone 'like me' probably spent all the money at McDonald's. (I'm kind of beefy.) I then told them that I wanted to close my account because of all the crazyness that has ensued in the past few months.

May '08- Guess what! My account was not closed and I still owed them money! I went to the bank again yesterday stating that I had opened a new checking account and that I promise that I closed this account last month. I'm still waiting to see what's going to happen.

OH MAN I'M SO FRUSTRATED.


EDIT- Update! I called the corporate number and complained about everything that had happened, from the multiple mistake overdraft fees to the teller being mean to me. The person I talked to was really nice and apologized a lot and said she was going to personally make sure my account gets closed. So for now the issue is resolved. hurrayyyy