Give Me Back My Five Bucks

The one where the waitress added in her own tip

Over the weekend, my boyfriend took me to Whistler for my birthday. We went zip lining and had lunch at a pub in Whistler Village beforehand. Well, because we were in a rush to pay for the meal, Nic was distracted and forgot to add in a tip on the receipt. Not only that, but he forgot to write in the total after tip either. So basically he left those two lines on the receipt blank. He didn’t realize what he had done until it was too late, and we didn’t have time to turn around. But we figured we’d head over there after zip lining and write in a tip amount.

After tax, and without tip, the bill came to $34.70.

When we went back to the pub about 3 hours later, Nic spoke to the waitress who said there was no way to call up an invoice that was already closed. Fair enough. He said he would run out and grab some cash to tip her instead, but she said not to worry about it. Nic had a weird feeling about the whole conversation, and when we went back outside, he checked his account balance on my iPhone. His suspicions were right, because we saw that he was charged $39.70 for lunch.

Meaning, she wrote in a $5 tip for herself!

Okay, granted, we left without giving her a tip (and obviously she didn’t know we were going to come back to tip her), but still. She has some nerve!

1) While tipping is generally common practice, it is not mandatory – maybe we thought her service was lousy (it wasn’t).

2) Is that even legal for a waitress to write in her own tip on somebody’s receipt!? I’m pretty sure that’s called STEALING.

And I’d say the name of the pub, but apparently the last time I complained about a waitress at a restaurant on this blog, the manager fired her (read the comments). And while I’m outraged and pissed off, I don’t want anyone to lose their job over $5. Even though it is extremely lame to steal from customers.


Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Niki says:

    Oh my! That is horrible. That is stealing! I would call just because that is really wrong, if someone is doing that it seems they should get fired. I know it’s only $5 but that is really wrong.

    I just read your other post. Funny how he formally apologizes to you but then goes on a rant about how much in the wrong you were. I would never go there because of the manager’s comments.

  2. The waitress deserves to lose her job.
    If she was caught stealing $5 from the till you can bet the manager would fire her. Why is stealing from customers, regardless of the amount, different? What if it had been your phone?
    Letting her get away with theft is empowering her to do this again. She’ll never learn if you keep quiet.

  3. It was wrong for her to do that, and I’m sure that is illegal. I’m sure credit card companies would have a problem with this, too.

    You could’ve just told the waitress “Give me back my five bucks!” Sorry, couldn’t help myself on that one :)

  4. That’s definitely stealing-I don’t think anyone can alter a bill (or payment you’ve agreed to pay) without your consent. I wonder if the credit card company has any tips or recourse about what to do about that?
    I know it’s harsh saying that she would be fired over $5 but I think the question is how many patrons has she done this to and is it actually a much bigger problem than a $5 one? If I were running a business I wouldn’t want to employ someone who did anything unethical like that, that’s for sure!

  5. Michelle says:

    That IS stealing. I’ve had that happen to me before. The waiter kept on messing up my meal and he over charged me about $40 and I left him a note to give the $4 to only the hostess and other people and not him. He then added an extra $10 for himself! So a meal that should’ve been only $7, he gave himself a $14 tip. I complained to management but they still have not returned my phone call.

  6. Jackie says:

    I had this happen to me once when I banked with Wells Fargo. I’m not sure if it was the restaurant or Wells Fargo but when they swiped my card at the restaurant they put a hold on my account for the bill price plus 20%. Kind of like how with Visas if you buy gas they don’t charge you the $40 you used to fill up, they put a hold on your account for $125.

    I thought the waitress had ripped me off too. Then a few days later when the charge cleared it went back to just the bill.

  7. Dani says:

    Wow. That’s one situation where you SHOULD call them out. I want to avoid restaurants with servers that steal!!

  8. Amy says:

    At the very least, he should dispute the tip with his financial institution. We’ve had to do this before when our server added an extra 1 in front of our tip, making it $19 instead of $9. Regardless of whether it was a mistake or intentional, we didn’t have to pay it. She may have given you good service during the meal, but her behavior afterwards negates that.

  9. Kris says:

    Krystal, I serve tables part-time to augment my income and its illegal for servers to add any amount to the bill. Its happened to me several times and it sucks but technically, its fraud/stealing and she should not be doing it. If she’s done it once to you and your boyfriend, she’s probably doing other forms of it (for example, altering tips if she thinks the tip given is “not enough”).

    I would definitely recommend either calling the restaurant or calling your credit card company (the amount your boyfriend authorized was NOT the amount he was charged)…either way, this waitress deserves to be fired.

  10. Ban Clothing says:

    I had not read the General Manager response on your blog…. I cannot believe how unprofessional his response was. ‘hidding behind words on your blog’; seriously? If he had written a great response on how they needed to train their staff better to let people know the stipulations of sitting on the patio then I would consider going there. Now I definitely will NEVER go.

  11. Robyn says:

    I would say report her, because that is stealing. And who knows how many other people she has stolen from, and they may have not been as lucky as you. She may have stolen, $10, $15 or even $20 from them. If she loses her job over it, that’s her loss. Every server knows it’s illegal to add in the tip themselves (I’m a server, believe me, we ALL know it’s illegal to do that). It’s called credit card fraud, which is something any regular reader of your blog would know, you’ve experienced it all too often.

    She knew the risks and deserves to pay the consequences. Not reporting her is bascially telling her it’s ok to steal from you. And I’m sorry if you feel bad about the last server who got fired because of you. Honestly though, she deserved it. Because she STOLE FROM YOU

  12. Jessie says:

    I would so write a complaint to the better business bureau and CC the owner and manager of the store.

    If she stole $5 from you, there’s no telling what else she has or will steal in the future.

  13. Andrew says:

    Wow, there’s a lot of very callous people out there who are quick to judgment. I just don’t think it’s right to demand someone to be fired without knowing all the details. Maybe she’s a wonderful human being and great employee who really didn’t know what she was doing was wrong. Maybe someone else, perhaps even her boss, told her it was okay to add a reasonable tip if the customer obviously forgot to do it. Some restaurant owners take a cut of the tips themselves, so maybe the owner added the tip themselves. If she’s never done anything like this before, and is otherwise a good employee, doesn’t she at least deserve a warning?

    • Anonymous says:


      people do not understand waitresses do not get paid hourly

      And for each of our sales we have to tip out a bartender and busser

      So if ou tipped me nothing on your 50$ check
      I now have to take money out of my own wallet to give to the bartender.

      So now

      For the last hour or two you sat at my table and I served you
      I paid 5$ And got paid nothing.

      Do you see?

      She shouldn’t write in a tip.

      But you all don’t realize what scumbags you are

      A servers income is directly related to how much you tip.

      If you tip less than 20% you’re a disrestectful person. And you deserve to have money taken from you.

      She EARNED that tip.
      And yes, while she doesn’t have the right to give herself a tip
      She still earned it.
      And she has bills
      And a family
      And a life
      And that 5$ you took from her is just adding to the other 5 tables that tipped her nothing.

      TODAY I had to pay 20$ of a guests bill because not only did they not tip me, but they also only paid half their bill.
      During the same shift I also had a 200$ table tip me 10$
      (A 20% tip would have been at least 40$)
      And my “tip out” for that table was 6$
      So I made 4$ On a 200$ Fucking check.

      How outrageous.
      If you all could open you’re eyes and think of someone other than yourself
      I promise you would see that YOU are the asshole for not tipping. And SHE is trying go home after a 12 hour shift making more 40$

      • . says:

        Well if you don’t want shitty pay don’t be a server. There’s no justification for stealing.

      • Krystal Yee says:

        “If you tip less than 20% you’re a disrestectful person. And you deserve to have money taken from you.”

        What a horrible attitude to think that someone deserves to have money taken from them for tipping less than 20%. A tip is voluntary and supposed to be for good service. If I have exceptional service, yes I will tip 20%, but my normal is 15-18%, and if I have horrible service, I will tip 10%. So regardless of the kind of service I get, I still tip some amount. That is not disrespectful IMO. What IS disrespectful is someone taking money without authorization.

        Also, in Canada all servers get paid a minimum wage (it varies by province), as well as tips.

      • Anonymous says:

        Get job that requires some skill, if being a server is your life’s ambition maybe you need to rethink your life. And I bet your one of these twits that believe you need to make 15.00/ hr at a minimum wage job. These are considered entry level positions not meant to be careers go do something with your life and stop whining.

      • Jason says:

        I can’t believe how callous some people are on this site. You basically stole from each other.

        I agree with you there is no justification for what the server did. Just like how there’s no justification for not tipping out a server. Tips are not voluntary in a restaurant. If you don’t agree ask the IRS. We claim 10% of our sales minimum, by law, and tip our support staff 5%. So if you tip less than 15% then we’re covering the difference on our taxes.

        That’s right, servers tip their support staff based on their sales. That means that if her tipout is 5% and your bill is 30 dollars, she owes 1.50 to the busser and the food runner. Not only did you make her work for free but you stole a dollar fifty out of her pocket by giving their pleasure of serving your table.

        She should have taken the 6.50 hit and sucked it up (that’s right, 6.50 not 5 dollars). Their is no excuse or justification for stealing but it goes both ways. It was good of you to come back to tip her but just relax, the way you felt when you saw your bank statement is the exact same feeling the server had when she received a zero percent tip from you so don’t make her out to be a super villain.

        If your server was smart she would have sucked it up and moved on, I just want you to consider how you would feel if you had to pay for the pleasure of waiting on someone and have a little sympathy. Chances are she had a lapse of judgement and made a dumb decision based on emotion.

        The manager was a fucking idiot tho I’ll give u that.

      • Law says:

        This same thing just happened to me only it was 15.00 after I had left 36.00 cash on the table for a 156.00 five top table this is stealing and maybe your employer should pay you better I mean I paid out 156.00 in 45 minutes for a steak and some fries and tea the restaurant is raking it in the need to pay more!

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes, you’ve convinced me to support a grossly unfair system like tipping culture with your rage and profanity, Ms. Waitress Ma’am. If this is the mentality of your average waitstaff, I’ll be paying in cash for all of my restaurant and bar expenses for now on.

  14. Michelle says:

    Wow I just reread what the manager in your other blog post said. CRAZY!

  15. Auntie says:

    Well, although her actions were questionable, instead of raging on her, perhaps more attention on the consumer’s part would prevent such an occurence. We’re all responsible for our finances, aren’t we? Leaving blank invoices is like a blank cheque. I bet neither of you will ever do that again! $5 is a cheap way to learn that lesson.

  16. Money Rabbit says:

    Man, I just went on a rampage comment spree on your previous post about MoRoCo. I had read the review, but I never read the manager’s response. What a total JERK.

    That aside, adding in a tip is not cool. As a former server, I’ve been frustrated when I get a meagre tip, but I could’ve gotten into trouble with my boss if the customer complained.

    Mind you, I do agree it’s really unfair for people to call for her to be fired. Again, the details are unknown. I’ve also worked for people who definitely would have told me to add in tip. Especially because the owners used to make me give them 1% of my total food sales in “kickback.” There are some unethical restauranteurs.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      What I should have done was write that MoRoCo post for Moneyville!

      Agreed, I’m not sure she should be fired for what she did, because we don’t know the details. Maybe her boss added the tip in, and she had no idea. Or maybe there’s a restaurant-wide policy that if the tip field is left blank, you automatically fill it in. Or maybe she is new to serving, and heard from someone else that it was okay to do that. Who knows! I’m still pissed though.

      • Dee says:

        Well, sure, it’s definitely not up to a customer what consequences or discipline an employer chooses to impose. I think it would be absolutely appropriate for you to report the situation to the restaurant. And then let it go.

        With your last experience of the restaurant firing the waitress, that wasn’t your fault at all. You had every right to report on your experience. What the manager did with that report was up to him. He handled it in a lunatic fashion but you can’t be held responsible for his actions.

    • Robyn says:

      @Money Rabbit: For the server to get fired, that’s at the discretion of management. If anything she should be repremanded in some way. A week long suspension or something. Bottom line, she did break the law. She committed CC fraud. I believe the full value of the meal should be refunded to the CC it was charged to, and a written apology should provided.

    • Robyn says:

      @Money Rabbit: stating as well that “Nic spoke to the waitress who said there was no way to call up an invoice that was already closed. Fair enough.” That’s a load of bull. She’s obviously said that because she knew what she had did was wrong and was hoping that she wouldn’t get caught.

  17. Sunny says:

    I have heard about this happening to folks but it has never happened to me. While it is just $5, I think there is an underlying feeling of being cheated. Adding in her own tip was just plain wrong. I was outraged on your behalf but after reading the comments I figure if you are okay to let it go, then who am I to get all worked up. :)

    • Krystal Yee says:

      To be honest, if it were my money, I would have called the restaurant and complained. But then again, my blog is called “Give Me Back My Five Bucks,” so of course I would. My boyfriend paid for the meal at the pub. It’s his $5, and it’s up to him to decide what he wants to do.

  18. Kathryn says:

    More and more places now charge an automatic minimum gratuity (usually around 18% of the food total) and it is usually listed in very fine print on their menu; however, they include it in the total before giving you the bill and receipt to sign, they just don’t add it in themselves. As it was paid for with a card, it could be disputed through the bank or credit card company.

    I personally don’t like it and feel it should be my choice and based on service, but keep in mind that restaurants are allowed to pay servers below minimum wage and their primary source of income.

    As you indicated that the service was not lousy, $5 is not out of line for tip, but I don’t feel what she did was ethical and if she did this to you, she has probably done this to others in the past and will continue to do so. I wouldn’t want someone to get fired over $5 either and would probably let it go. I think it is a good lesson learned for all of us to always fill in the tip and total, save receipts and check them against actual charges, which is a good practice with all transactions.

    I used to work at a bank and we had been informed that some superstores had problems with cashiers that would sneak in cash back option after ringing up and just before you signed the receipt and then pocketing the cash (and if you don’t dispute it right then, there is no way to prove you were not given the cash as you have signed for it).

    I also think is was bad business practices for a manager of a restaurant to address you in the comments section of your blog and should have addressed it privately and encouraged to you come back offering a discount or free item to entice you to show that it is not their usual business practice. While I am sure they wanted to protect their public image, that is not the way to go about it – based on what I have seen on your blog, I would never go their because of their rant.

    • kim says:

      At many establishments (especially bars), if your card is swiped and you never close out the receipt, they tack on an automatic 20%. But it’s posted, and that’s for not cashing out (like a drunk person stumbled out). Totally different from leaving zero tip! I think you should print the GM’s response and mail it to Whistler corporate. I doubt they would tolerate it. Do wait a day to ensure that the receipt clears for the $39 amount.

  19. Rona says:

    This has happened to me and I complained. I actually left a CASH tip handed straight to the waitress for an item that I didnt even stay there to eat it was a pick up order for $10 bucks and I tipped them $3 not even to be served. Well I was PO’ed when I checked my balance and that person had added a $5 tip. Im sorry but its straight up stealing and she/he deserves to be fired if thats what they go around doing. Look at it this way if she had the nerve to do that to you then she probably does it to others as well. You can make a nice little killing. Who is to say she doesnt add on when she thinks its not enough or if someone leaves cash.

    I don’t have sympathy for that kind of behavior. She was lucky you are nice.

  20. Jessica says:

    As a waitress, i know that one, this is wrong,
    two, she can easily be fired over only $5.
    and three, you win some and lose some.

    yes she may have been like wtf i did a good job! But it happens, I am POSITIVE she had a table where she thought she was not getting a tip because she wasn’t on her game, and they tipped her well anyways.
    I always say it works out in the end so don’t worry about every individual tip.

    In the end, what she did was wrong, and who knows how many people she is doing this to.

  21. jenna says:

    That is so wrong! I had a similar situation, except mine was something like this:

    I bought 2 drinks at a bar, I got charged for 5 drinks. I argued with the bartender, who refused to admit there was a mistake. So I gave up, signed the receipt but drew a line through “tip” because I did NOT want to tip after being overcharged.

    Next thing I know, I check my credit card statement, and they added at TWENTY DOLLAR tip. So what should have originally been around a $15-20 tab, but I got charged for $40, and THEN they added a $20 for themselves, came out to almost $60! You can BET I called both the bar to complain and called my credit card company to cancel the transaction. American Express was lovely – they refunded the full charge no questions asked.

    But in my opinion, where do you draw the line? Had she added at $10 tip would you have complained? She should have admitted that she added it when you questioned her. She’s dishonest, and dishonest people should not be handling money. If she got away with it once, who knows if she’ll do it again and for how much. During training for jobs handling money they drill it into you pretty hard that it doesn’t matter what amount it is – stealing is stealing. She should know better.

  22. deni says:

    Hey Krystal,

    I know this is somewhat off topic, but I’m hoping you will do a post one day about how much you tip for various services – hair cuts, restaurants, take out, delivery, spa services, taxis, etc. Different percentages are offered on various websites, but I’m wondering what other young people in Vancouver are tipping.

    Thanks! Deni

  23. Shannon says:

    I saw one comment that mentioned servers making below minimum wage – in Canada it’s different then the US. In BC servers are paid regular minimum wage ($8.75, increases to $9.50 Nov 1). Some provinces allow for a slightly lower wage for servers/tip earners, but not like the $2.50/hr thing in the US.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yes, I saw that comment too and meant to write a response. In Canada, servers must make a set amount per hour (some provinces the amount is slightly lower than minimum wage, but not by much), and their tips cannot be factored into that wage.

  24. Mikhaila says:

    I worked as a server and have been in this situation before. It may suck, but you have to deal with it and accept that no matter what the circumstances (the customer forgot to write it in, they actually didn’t tip anything, etc) there is no tip. You can’t go writing in amounts for yourself and assuming that whoever your customer was “meant to” tip you and won’t notice. Obviously she wasn’t counting on you guys being honest people and coming back to rectify the situation, and that makes me think this wasn’t an isolated incident. She should be reprimanded for sure, but like you said, it’s up to your partner to make that decision.

  25. Mike Smith says:

    My guess is that it’s not the first time that the waitress has done this. I’d report it to their manager. Explain to them what happened and let them know that they should look into it. Regardless of the amount, she isn’t legally allowed to add in an amount to the bill for her “tip” – there’s a reason it’s called a tip and not a tax or requirement.

  26. I recently had a server add an additional $10 to his $12 tip I had already left (on a $60 bill, I don’t cheap out on tipping!). I called the restaurant and they were able to immediately pull up my original signed receipt because I had saved my copy that had the transaction #. The manager noted that he saw my $12 tip, apologized profusely, and said he’d credit me back what I hadn’t written down (which is all I asked for). Turns out that he backed out the entire tip!

    I waited tables for a while, so I don’t necessarily agree that she should be fired, but I would say to can her if it turned out that she added in the tip on her own (outside of any restaurant policy). Adding in any amount without the written consent of the customer is fraud!

    I think it’s worth a call to at least investigate because she may be adding $$ to everyone’s tabs, not just those who forget/leave it empty!

  27. Jenn says:

    Please please please call and bring this up with their management!

  28. Vanessa says:

    Seriously, this girl was so unethical and dishonest! Did you or Nic confront the waitress after he checked his statement?

    I agree with some of the other commenters — Nic should dispute this charge with his bank. The bank will contact the restaurant where they will (hopefully) look into other instances of this type of fraud. That way, if this is not an isolated incident (which I doubt that it is!), the girl will be fired but it will not be directly because of you — win/win!

  29. Bridget says:

    As someone that’s served tables and just sucked it up when a customer didn’t tip, I say doing something about it.

    It’s not “just $5”, it’s stealing. Period. She’ll be able to get another job, but she needs to learn the lesson that hard way.

  30. S C says:

    Wow. What the waitress did is incredibly dishonest. It adds an extra layer of insecurity in this day and age of theft and fraud. When I pay with a credit card at a restaurant, I don’t want the added worry of the staff filling in their own tip or changing the amount of tip. Please report her!

  31. Rina says:

    Ok so yeah, that is pretty much theft HOWEVER because the lines were left blank, it’s almost like leaving your credit card in the machine, you know?

  32. Jason says:

    Wow… she certainly has some nerve doing that after you left. I know there are some people that don’t leave tips and you just have to accept that, not write in your own!

  33. Martilyo says:

    Being a police officer, I come across this quite often and the bottom line is that it is theft. More so, when it involves a credit card, it is credit card fraud. It is not only illegal but it is morally wrong. I would go back to that establishment and talk with the owner or general manager. The him/her to “givemebackmyfivebucks!” (pun intended) If he doesn’t seem interested in remedying the situation, then call the police and file a report. Ensure your waitress is listed as the suspect. Get a report number then call your credit card company and file it as a fraudulent transaction. They will remove the incorrect amount. Just wonder how many other people she stole from…

    “And I’d say the name of the pub, but apparently the last time I complained about a waitress at a restaurant on this blog, the manager fired her (read the comments). And while I’m outraged and pissed off, I don’t want anyone to lose their job over $5. Even though it is extremely lame to steal from customers.”

    Why the hell not? It is not your doing that got her fired, it is hers. If I was the business owner, I would want to know. I wouldn’t want thieves working for me…

    I read your previous article and the responses from the General Manager is asinine. The guy/girl is obviously a tool and I would never give them my business.

  34. munchkin says:

    regarding that other post where the manager commented on your post, I thought that was a little unprofessional. They should of just said a simple message like we are sorry for the bad service please contact us at whatever email and we will discuss it furthur or something.
    Whoever added in the tip, it was wrong. Some other people had a point, maybe it was the manager/owner or whoever but its still wrong. Even if it was her and someone told her its ok, common sense should tell you its NOT ok. I mean anyone that has a brain knows thats unethical, regardless if someone else does it.

  35. Red says:

    If you had insisted on giving her cash after she said that she couldn’t change the invoice, would she had been actually honest? Or would you be more cross about it?
    I wanna say her saying no to extra extra tip is kinda good, but really she was only saying no cause she knew what she had already done.
    She seems super shady.

  36. Miiockm says:

    Yes, let’s get the waitress fired for tipping a reasonable amount that you should have put in the first place. If you think tipping is really optional these days then you’re a fool. It’s a social custom which is expected except in the worst of cases. Personally, I hate our way of tipping and would prefer an automatic 15% gratuity added to the food like in some parts of Europe.

    • Martilyo says:

      Miiockm wrote:

      “Yes, let’s get the waitress fired for tipping a reasonable amount that you should have put in the first place. If you think tipping is really optional these days then you’re a fool. It’s a social custom which is expected except in the worst of cases. Personally, I hate our way of tipping and would prefer an automatic 15% gratuity added to the food like in some parts of Europe.”

      No… let her get fired for theft and credit card fraud. Just because a customer fails to tip, intentionally or not, does not give someone the right to steal. It would be no different if she stole that money out of his wallet. She should lose her job and be tried criminally. Whether they should have tipped or not is entirely the customer’s decision. The fool is the one who thinks it is a requirement to tip. Tipping is a gratuity…which is defined as:

      1.a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.
      2.something given without claim or demand.

      A gift. Not a requirement. If service is at or beyond expectations then it SHOULD be given. If someone does not leave a tip when they should then that is an issue of morals and not a crime. Tipping is a social custom that is EARNED for good service. Good service, good tip…bad service, bad tip. If I tip, I want the service to be good and EARNED. I had to EARN the money I tip with, so I expect the same in exchange.

      Feel free to add 15% to your bill automatically but I would rather keep my option to tip based upon the level of service I receive. This is the difference between capitalism and socialism.

    • magda says:

      If they are going to add an automatic 15% “gratuity” why not simply increase the price of the food? If they need that extra 15% to stay afloat and pay employees a fair wage its justified. If everyone ought to pay that extra then lets! But as long as its a tip, or gratuity, its a bonus and a choice.

  37. Leanne says:

    I don’t think she’s going to do that again. If I’d done that, and I saw the customer come back into talk to me, I would’ve felt so awful. Worse than $5 can make you feel.

    It would’ve taken a lot of courage to come clean, like: “Oh, I added in a 15% tip when you left.”, but I think that would’ve been better.

    Also, Happy Birthday!!

  38. Eric says:

    I’m pretty surprised by the one-sided comments. You basically stiffed your waitress and she (or someone) added less than 15% gratuity to your bill. Maybe she thought you left it blank because you wanted her to add it herself? How was she supposed to know? You almost invited it by signing it and leaving the amounts blank.

    Heck, it sounds like you got a discount at $5. That’s a little less than 15% of your bill – which is the very low end of tipping standards.

    • Rona says:

      I have compassion for people and I do agree if your going to go out to eat you should be prepared to tip. However stealing is stealing.

      Thats like stealing from your job because you feel you dont get paid enough.. Maybe you don’t.. But if you try to make up the diffrence of what you think you should get from the register or in merchandise its still a crime.

      Simple as that..

  39. SavingMentor says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had this happen to me, but I’ve definitely heard of it happening before.

    I’ve read several recommendations to always fill in the tip and total areas on the receipt clearly to make sure that it doesn’t happen. It must be common enough for me to have read warnings about it online more than once. What a shame.

  40. Martilyo says:

    Eric says:
    “I’m pretty surprised by the one-sided comments. You basically stiffed your waitress and she (or someone) added less than 15% gratuity to your bill. Maybe she thought you left it blank because you wanted her to add it herself? How was she supposed to know? You almost invited it by signing it and leaving the amounts blank.

    Heck, it sounds like you got a discount at $5. That’s a little less than 15% of your bill – which is the very low end of tipping standards.”

    How was she supposed to know? Really? I left my garage door open, how were you supposed to know that I didn’t want you to take all of my Craftsman tools? Come on dude… really?

    Who exactly sets the tipping standard? I do. I tip as I see fit. It sucks that restaurants don’t pay crap and expect the consumer to make up the difference. You can hardly make it out of a restaurant without paying at least $50.00 for 2 people and they can’t even pay their workers.

    I find a lot of these comments entertaining because I would put my money on it that if someone wrote in a tip, you would be mad as hell. I would also bet that a lot of the people commenting about tipping are the same ones that seldom tip what they say they do.

    Reminds me of the idiots at the Occupy Wall Street protest. Boo hoo… “I did what I am supposed to do…” “I went to college, got in a lot of debt and have no job…” Who’s fault is that? Quit crying about people who used their brain to build wealth. I was in debt over $100K. Who do I blame? MYSELF! Only you can fix the economy. Fix your own economy.

  41. Miiockm says:

    When it comes down to it Krystal is not out any money that she wasn’t going to tip anyways. We also don’t know the waitresses motivations or whether it wasn’t the first time she ever did something like that. She shouldn’t have done it but to try to punish her for something that cost you nothing is ridiculous. Your actions will have consequences and regardless how great you feel thinking you’ve righted some wrong, in the end you’ve taken an income away from an individual. You don’t know if they have a family to support or anything. Stop sharpening the pitchforks for a second and look at the bigger picture.

    • Martilyo says:

      Miiockm says:

      “When it comes down to it Krystal is not out any money that she wasn’t going to tip anyways.”

      Your point here is mathematically and not moral. That doe NOT make it okay for her to steal.

      “We also don’t know the waitresses motivations or whether it wasn’t the first time she ever did something like that. She shouldn’t have done it but to try to punish her for something that cost you nothing is ridiculous.”

      Her motivations and frequency of offense is not a defense and irrelevant. Punishment of theft is not ridiculous it is what separates order from chaos.

      “Your actions will have consequences and regardless how great you feel thinking you’ve righted some wrong, in the end you’ve taken an income away from an individual. You don’t know if they have a family to support or anything. Stop sharpening the pitchforks for a second and look at the bigger picture.”

      It is quite comical that you say this. First, it has nothing to do with the feeling of satisfaction. It is about ethics, morals and and crime. Also, you are correct is income was taken away from an individual. Krystal’s boyfriend. She took his income away from him without his permission. He actually may have a family to feed or at the least…Krystal to feed. :-) Whether or not the waitress has a family to feed is not justification of theft. Your “entitlement” attitude is the reason this world is in the mess that it is in. The big picture has nothing to do with a person feeding her family or whether or not Krystal’s boyfriend is out money. It is rather simple. It is theft. Period. She should be held accountable for her actions (Now there’s a thought) and be fired and prosecuted for theft and credit card fraud.

      Does this story make any difference? My close friend recently ate at a restaurant and did not tip his waitress due to poor service. After he left, she charged herself a $200.00 tip. My friend went back to the restaurant, they reversed the charge and a police report was filed. The waitress was fired and she was arrested later for felonious theft and credit card fraud.

      What if she felt like she deserved that $200.00 tip?

      What if she has a family to feed?

      What if this was the only time she did it?

      What if she only meant to charge $2.00 and not $200?

      Does any of this really matter or should she be punished for her actions?

  42. StackingCash says:

    What do you expect? Give someone the opportunity to cheat you and odds are you will be cheated. So many people depend on debit/credit cards these days. If you depend on them that much be prepared to deal with the problems associated with that “convenience” factor. Granted this might not work everywhere but my advice is to use cash for most of your transactions.

    • Martilyo says:

      It is expected that people not commit crimes. I am sure that Krystal and her boyfriend learned a valuable lesson for sure and hopefully the waitress was punished for her crime. Lessen the opportunity for a crime to be committed. I totally agree with you…Cash is King! However, there are times when plastic is safer to use and almost a requirement other times. (Car/hotel/airfare)

  43. Amber says:

    This has happened to me multiple times. The one I remember most recently, I had left a tip (it was 15%, because the service was fine and not stellar, so I didn’t add more), and when I checked my credit card statement a few days later, the amount that cleared was for a few dollars more than I left. Of course, at this point I didn’t have my copy of the receipt anymore (I’d already entered it into Quicken and I was trying to clean up my mess of papers), so there wasn’t much I could do about it, but it really irritated me. I make sure to keep my copy of the receipt now at least until it clears my credit card company.

  44. magda says:

    What if she stole his card info along with his 5bucks? There cannot be a policy to write in a tip cos its stealing. They cant change it once you’ve signed. A thief is a thief and as others have said, its $5 from Nic, $5 from Jane Doe, etc. Moreover, if she had thought that he left it blank intentionally so she could tip herself, when he came back and said he’d go get cash to tip her, thats a perfect time to say “whoops i already took care of that my bad for misunderstanding”….the fact that she didnt do that makes her a thief!! Krystal its your civic duty to tattle on that waitress!!

  45. Miiockm says:

    Martilyo and others are right. A thief is a thief. Which hand of hers are we going to chop off? She should be punished and her life ruined.

    Martilyo your “angry” act is so sad it borders on the pathetic. I wish I had your enormous intelligence so I too could go $100,000+ into debt.

  46. Holy cow. What a discussion.

    Agreed that is was wrong of the waitress to do that. I thought it was really great that Krystal and BF went back to tip – not too many people do that, and certainly the waitress wasn’t expecting that.

    Having said that, although it is wrong – it is up to Krystal and her BF to deal with it as they see fit. I’m glad they have chosen the high road and not written the restaurant’s name which may have resulted in some serious consequences for the waitress.

  47. Jeff Ryan says:

    I made this very same mistake but had good outcome from it. Though one time my wife and I had a horrible waitress. Normally if we get good service I will tip about %20, if it’s just ok %15, and if it is lousy I will go down. This woman was so bad all I did was tip enough to round the dinner up to the nearest dollar. I put the $ sign right next to the amounts so she couldn’t just write in a higher amount. My wife check our account a few days later and it wasn’t balancing out. So we reviewed it further. She added $5 to the tip and rang it up twice. We immediately call the restaurant and complained and threatened to call the cops for theft. They reimbursed both times she ran it and gave us two free meals to the restaurant. The next time we went in there she was not there anymore. Come to find out she had been fired from a couple other restaurants for that same thing.

  48. Vicky says:

    I was once at a bar and when we got the bill, it said it big letters at the top “tip not included.” we looked at the total and we realized a 10% tip had actually been added! Very unethical.

  49. Rod says:

    If she did that to you how many others has she done that to. She could have quite the little racquet going here. Is it worth reporting if it is $50 bucks a day….you bet.

  50. I’m sure that’s illegal, right?

  51. Melissa says:

    I’m not sure how I came across this so after the fact, but since your question about its legality doesn’t seem to have been properly answered in the comments, I figured I’d pipe in.

    Yes, it is DEFINITELY illegal and it’s totally credit card fraud. A waitress is required by law to submit whatever is printed on the “total” line of a credit card receipt, regardless of any other factors. Even if the “total” line gives her no tip—or is a mistake! (If there’s no tip, then the “total” is the printed total on the receipt, as would have been the case for you guys.)

    For instance, If it was a $30 bill, and you left her a $5 tip, but wrote $33 in the total line, because your math is horrible for some reason, then she would HAVE to take the $33 total, even though you’d clearly intended her to have a $5 tip. One time when I was waitressing, a customer accidentally left me a $150 tip (I’m a good waitress, but not that good! Should have been more like $50) and I ended up running out of the store after him, so he could change it. If I hadn’t caught him, I would have had to, by law, process the large tip. And I would have felt horrible!

  52. Morons says:

    found this article too late, but all of you are stupid for defending the customer, many do this just to see if the can get away with out tipping. and the “bad service” you speak of if more often than not the customers ability to read and follow up with what they ordered. as a server there have been countless times where i take an order, go over said order and then when bring the food out i am questioned like an idiot that i did something wrong. its not my fault that your fat fucking ass cant remember wha tyou ordered or things that occured 30 mins in advance. bottom line…tip dont be a cunt that thiks they are all high and mighty for not leaving money. i gurantee they remember you and the next time you eat at said establishment your food will be fucked with. its called karma you sheep. how bout we go to your place of business and critique you on the shitty job you do so you get fired. all of you go fuck yourselves

  53. pissed off server says:

    To the scumbag who wrote this confession…. did you really stiff that server and not leave a tip?????? If the answer is yes then you deserve to be stolen from… how dare you you bastard. Im a server and bartender and this burns inside of me to know bags of shit like you exist. Shame on you.

    • Kev says:

      Wow, you’re a joke and a sorry excuse for a “server.” #1, you’re paid to serve the guests of your establishment. Meet their needs, not yours. You’ve got a pretty selfish attitude. #2, as a server, you’re paid hourly. Anything above and beyond that is an extra blessing.

      Yes, it sucks when you’re stiffed. But if your service is garbage, you shouldn’t expect much. Tipping yourself on your guest’s behalf is illegal and immoral.

      For anyone who has never worked at a restaurant, understand that as a server, getting stiffed can sometimes cost us money; because we HAVE to pay tip share. So if we serve your table, and you don’t tip us, we still have to tip the greeters, the bussers, and the food runners for your bill.

      Ultimately, if you feel your service was bad, help improve the establishment and let the manager know. Don’t be the prideful and vindictive entitlement minded guest that just slips out without paying.

    • Kev says:

      And, if you took the time to read the article, you’ll see that the woman who wrote it didn’t stiff on purpose. It was accidental, and she went back later to make it right. You’re a retard.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I went to a bar recently my bill is 153 dollars i give the witress 29 dollars cash for my tips when i check my bank account my bill turn into 173 i call the bar the witress added 20 dollars tip on my tab. So is that fair for her to steal from even though i tip her good.

  55. You have two things going on for you that doesn’t go well with US servers 1.) You are Chinese — Chinese are generally cheap no matter what. 2.) You are from Canada another set of people who must and if possible — do not tip! Admit it, you are cheap!

  56. nh says:

    I seems you forgot that servers rely on tips and also tip out with the expectaion that you will be tipping. The IRS also automatically assumes you are making at least 10 percent in tips. So if you’re entitled ass would stop and do a little self searching you’d realize that your “forgetfulness” was actually theft. Much in the same way that it would be stealing if you were to walk out of a store with product you “forgot” to pay for. Service is a product ma’am. And please drop the shit and quit whitewashing yourself with this excuse that you were going to come back and tip later. You were a fucking cheap ass penny pincher and didn’t have the decency to tip because you feel the service is expected. If you don’t want service go to a fucking mcdonalds you thief.

  57. Poontang says:

    I don’t give a fuck whether or not a tip line was left blank or not — NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO ADD MONEY TO THE TICKET WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE CARDHOLDER. PERIOD.

    All of you “servers” who get pissed off about people not tipping or not making money at your “job” – guess what? Get off your lazy stupid asses, get an education, and get a REAL job that pays better. If you have to work where you rely on others to supplement your wage, then you do what you need to do to either be fantastic at it or work in another profession. Don’t complain if people don’t tip — IT’S A GRATUITY NOT REQUIRED. I choose to tip or not tip — AND THERE ARE TIMES I DON’T LEAVE A FUCKING PENNY BECAUSE MY SERVER WAS AN ASSHOLE or I JUST DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT because I have bills to pay including student loans for the education I sacrificed to get so I can get a job where I don’t rely on GRATUITY. IT IS MY RIGHT TO DECIDE IF AND WHAT I TIP NOT MY SERVER’S. And if they write in a different amount than what I intended, IT IS THEFT.

  58. cheapoontang says:

    Hey Poontang … You better not go back to the same place if you don’t tip … haha! Educated and living like a mouse, that’s what you are :-)

  59. Bryan Wendlberger says:

    Am I really the only one who doesn’t have a problem with this? I mean honestly.

    It may not be technically legal, but it’s not like it was an unreasonable amount. You should have tipped her more honestly. $5 is on the lower end. She didn’t alter a tip amount you entered (which I have had happen, and DO have a problem with). She filled in the blank on an incomplete slip with a standard (and quite conservative) tip.

    Yes, she should have been forthright about it. But at the same time, I have to imagine from the fact that you took the time to write a blog post on it, that you are the kind of person to get highly offended over something like that. She probably caught that vibe and was afraid to tell you the truth.

    In the end though, I don’t think she did anything wrong. (And no, I’ve never worked in a restaurant. And again, I agree that it probably is illegal. But illegal != wrong).

  60. James says:

    I just got back from mootsies in spokane. I forgot that it was dollor beer night and ended up paying full price for my beers. When i realized the bartender said “oh i thought you were just being kind im not giving it back” I asked for it back and she said “No! Are you kidding me?” Im going back tommorow to tell the owner. It was only two dollors but thats not the point. I would have given her those two dollors just for demonstrating that she wasnt going to steal from me.

  61. Jesse Weideman says:

    Fuck everyone who agrees this is wrong. In what sense is failing to tip not stealing?

    • Anonymous says:

      In the sense that a tip is not a tax, fee, or price – it’s meant to be given as additional “thank you” to the server. If you don’t like that system as a kind of de facto wage system (and I for one do not), I encourage you to take it up with your elected officials to have tipping banned and/or have waitstaff’s wages set at the minimum wage in the United States.

      (You see what I did there? The posting without profanity? You may find that it makes your words more convincing on the internet. That’s a tip from me. Pun intended.)

  62. Deb says:

    Last night my daughter went out to eat. I left a cash tip of $5.00. The next day (today), I noticed they put $7.00 extra on the bill that I did not approve. That’s $12.00 tip for a $30 bill! Even if the service is bad (which it was) I always leave a 15% tip. But this is fraud for someone to charge me more after I had tipped them.

  63. Mike says:

    I worked for WU. I had access to evrybody’s credit card details. We had massive security ie. we got fingerprinted everywhere and we couldn’t write anything down. Restaurants regularly called asking for credit card details as the manager didn’t think the tip was big enough. We gave the full credit card and exp date. I did wonder if this was legit.

  64. Eimeara says:

    “She has bills to pay- she has a family”. We All have bills to pay and families.

    Why do waiters always think they are the only ones?

    No one is forcing you to work there. Don’t like it find something else.
    What this waitress did was called stealing. I remember reading about a doctor who charged patients for operations they never had.
    Same thing here.
    If I walked into a shop and robbed a bar of chocolate where do you think I’d end up/

  65. Eimeara says:

    Exactly. I couldn’t agree more with you. And I will add: remember these people are doing their jobs, what we have paid them for in the first place.
    If one saves the life of a choking baby or a driver drives 10 miles back to a hotel to collect a forgotten passport of course I will tip.
    But I have never understood the idea of falling over these people as if they have done something magical and wonderful.
    A member of my walking group said once the drivers are fantastic when talking about Turkey.
    I fail to see how. They are just people like you and me.
    Only fantastic people are doctors, nurses,policemen and paramedics and soldiers.

  66. maple syrup says:

    So, is it illegal not to leave a tip? Or is it illegal to decide your own tip using someone else’s bank account information? Only one of these is theft.

  67. Anon says:

    No… we understand, but just because you have a shitty, low paying job. It’s now my problem you don’t make enough money? Take initiative and don’t be a server… you dumbass

  68. Jeri says:

    When you run a CC for a restaurant, your CC company automatically approves it for a higher amount because of the tip. So your bank holds open a higher amount until it is settled. I think you are jumping to conclusions. $5.00 is just over 10%. I doubt she would risk losing her job for that. Sheesh. Did you go back and check 3 days later to see? Probably not….

  69. Benjamin says:

    the restaurant bill was 123.00; the tip of $20.48 was added to the total to the subtotal of $144.47 (20% of the tax of 410.47).
    Then below the total was “Addl Tip” ________ .
    I did not say anything but crossed out the tip of $20.48 and wrote in $25.00 for a total paid
    on the bill being $148.99.
    They put in the tip before giving me a chance to put it in myself. Then I saw the “Add’l Tip” which I did not like. Usually a restaurant will put in tip them 15% of the total,
    18% of the total, and 20% of the total, and other.
    At the other branch this restaurant, the tip line was empty, for which I did leave $30 for the gratuity. It tipping adding to the bill professional or just pressure gouging?

  70. Jay F. says:

    Your tips directly reflect the customers opinion of you as a server. You are providing a service to the customer and they “tip” based on that experience. I worked 5 years as a server while going through school. I made enough money to be able to pay cash for my classes.
    The type of attitude and what you posted here is a window in to your thought process. If you think this way on here you think that way at work. Your “they owe me” attitude is what is preventing you from making good money. The customers can sense it, they will never come out and tell you, but they will show you in the tips they offer you.

    The best thing you can do to receive the highest tip possible is treat customers like friends and family and truly be happy with providing that service to the customer.

    If you can’t, then I would recommend you getting out of customer service related jobs all together, it is not for you and will only make your life miserable. There are far too many other jobs out there that pay the same and that require no interaction with customers. On top of that you will make a steady paycheck with less stress as to what sort of money you will make at the end of the day.

    Customer service jobs are for a special bread of people, not everyone can do it. It is a lot harder then most people even realize it. I was lucky enough to enjoy the work and I loved the interaction with so many different people all day long. I never even thought about the money while I was working. It just worked itself out, while I was helping customers and making sure they had the best experience I could provide them with. Sort of like a game of who could smile more, me or the customer.

  71. jc says:

    If u r worried about leaving a $5 tip on a $34 tab maybe u shouldn’t ever go out to a bar or restaurant again..instead stay home and serve urself. 1) $5 on 34 is a horrible tip anyway 2) waitress and bartenders normally only make 2.83 an hour because the owners of the establishment assume customers will tip there employees for their service. In short if u r so broke that u had to write about a $5 tip then next time go to McDonald’s or stay home and cook for yourself.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Hi JC, I just wanted to comment that 1) a tip is not mandatory and can be given in any amount at the customer’s discretion, and 2) in Canada – unlike some places in the USA, wait staff and bartenders make minimum wage + tips.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you cannot be bothered to write full words using all of the appropriate letters of the alphabet for others to read, I invite you to unplug your device from the internet in that case.

    • Rick S says:

      Actually $5 tip on a $34 check is basically 15%. 15% of $34 is $5.10. The person who posted that 20% should be the minimum tip amount is flat out wrong. It has always been 15%. 20% should be for those who provide better than adequate service. And if you can’t deal with the occasional stiffer, then you have no business working in a tip-dependent job.

  72. Rick S says:

    Oh come on. I’ve been a waiter, limousine and taxi driver. Anyone who has ever worked in a tip-dependent job knows that over a period of time you average pretty much the same, missed tips or not, because there are always those who overtip or even give you a big reward for exceptional service. To gripe about the few customers who don’t tip at all is being a spoiled self-entitled brat. Like it or not, tipping is optional. It was designed to reward good service. It’s the industry that has made it seem almost mandatory. Again, a feeling of entitlement. News flash. You are not entitled to a tip if you give lousy service. Once, in my younger days when I had long hair, I hitchhiked from D.C. to San Francisco. In Ohio I stopped at a pancake restaurant for breakfast. The waitress was an older lady who was extremely rude and treated me like I was dirt under her heels. So, I left her a nickel tip. She came up to the counter when I was paying my bill. She stuck the nickel in my face and said “You call this a tip?!” I replied. No ma’am I call it a hint. You were extremely rude so I felt that’s the reward you deserved. Maybe next time you’ll leave your prejudices at home and do your job like a professional. It just so happened that the man ringing up my order was the manager. He apologized profusely and canceled my bill completely. I don’t know what happened to the waitress. I didn’t stay around to find out.
    But adding in your own tip, even if the customer accidentally left the area blank IS stealing. There is no excuse that can justify it. None. Zilch.

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