basically, ihop had an "all you can eat pancakes" deal going on in which you purchased a plate with two breakfast sides (eggs and hasbrowns, sausage, or bacon) and got unlimited pancakes with it. if you wanted an extra side, you were charged accordingly.
my last visit to this particular location was with my youngest sister and my boyfriend at the time. the boyfriend and i looooved this promotion and had indulged a few times before inviting my sister to join, so we were well-versed in the deal's guidelines/rules and restrictions. i remember our server was a very polite and friendly teenager who took our orders promptly and without any apparent confusion.
we had all ordered the same plate/deal: eggs, hashbrowns, and blessedly endless pancakes. i specifically remember still our waitress gathering menus and repeating the "three-of-the-same.." order. we confirmed, and she put the order in.
when it arrived, all three plates came with a side of bacon. confused eyes were met amongst the hungry guests, and then i pointed out to the waitress that no one had requested the extra crispy meat-strips. she disappeared for a few minutes and then returned to assure us that it was her mistake and we were welcome to enjoy the mistakenly-served side free of charge.
for various reasons, neither my sister or i ate the bacon that was served to us, though we both threw it in the to-go boxes with the rest of our unfinished meals. as my sister was paying separately and finished first, she paid and went to the car ahead of time to smoke and wait.
when my boyfriend and i went to pay, we were met by an incredibly rude cashier who snottily presented me with a total that included the price of two extra sides. i calmly explained the situation: that the waitress had admittedly made a mistake and assured us we would not be charged for that which we DID NOT ORDER in the first place.
i cannot recall word-for-word what this woman said to us, but it all boiled down to: she was convinced that we had intentionally asked for the bacon and then disputed it just to get out of the extra charge. yeah, it was all a part of our big scheme to scam ihop out of precious bacon.
i'm not big on confrontation, and i was worse then, so by the time we left, i was close to tears from how accusatory and MEAN the cashier was towards us. now-me would have calmly asked for her superior, but all then-me could do was say very loudly, "i can't believe we're being treated this rudely over someone else's mistake." it wasn't until later that i noticed on my receipt that she'd snuck in the charge for one of the sides anyway.
upon meeting my sister at the car, we discovered she had been treated similarly by the cashier- charged for and accused of trying to scam the resturant's bacon. my sister had told the woman she hadn't even eaten the bacon and could have it back if it was that big of a deal.
for two days, i seethed. i tried to let it go. nah, dude. nah.
finally, i called and spoke to the store manager. i explained that it wasn't the loss of a few measly bucks for something i had never even asked for that really bugged me; it was being made to feel as disrespected and offended as i did when i left his establishment. even then, i worked forty hours a week IN A RESTURANT, and even when i was one-hundred-percent/without a doubt/ab-so-lutely SURE a customer was making an attempt to scam me, i pushed down my inner hatred and maintained the friendly demeanor that coincides with the guidelines of CUSTOMER fucking SERVICE.
i told him that i didn't want a refund, that i probably would never return (and i haven't), and that i wasn't trying to be one of "those" customers, but i made it clear that my experience was the fault of his horrible cashier and something should be done to avoid future incidents. he was very apologetic and insisted we return for a free meal.