Media Firestorms Descends On Pizzeria After Customer Claims He Was Short Changed $30

| by Jonathan Wolfe

An unsatisfied customer of Giardino Pizzeria in North Vancouver is spreading his poor experience with the restaurant like wildfire on social media.

The man, named Jeff, claims he handed the cashier a $50 bill for a $7.42 sandwich and was given only $12.60 in change. Jeff allegedly realized the mistake a few moments later and asked the cashier for his proper change. To Jeff’s surprise, the cashier reportedly refused to acknowledge the mistake. With just $12.60 change in hand, Jeff essentially paid $37 for a sandwich.

Jeff called police, who told him he could file a civil complaint against the restaurant. They also encouraged him to take his story to social media. Here’s where this gets a bit ugly.

Hundreds of reviewers have bombarded Giardino Pizzeria’s Yelp and Facebook pages with negative reviews. Prior to this story breaking, the restaurant had just one review on its Yelp page. Since April 5, 47 people have stormed the company’s site with negative reviews and stories of how Giardinos steals money from people by short changing them. The problem with all this, though, is nobody knows who is telling the truth.

Giardino management released a statement on the customer’s claims and say he is lying. The restaurant claims they counted down their cash drawer following the dispute and the drawer was perfectly balanced.

“There is an old saying that the ‘The customer is always right,’” the manager wrote in a statement. “In this case, the customer was wrong.”

The manager added that he thinks “most Canadians will agree that nobody should be subjected to this kind of cyber-bullying.”

As someone who worked in retail for years, I know that ill-motivated customers do, from time to time, pull stunts that sound a lot like this story. I had several experiences where a customer would, for example, hand over a $10 bill for a $5 purchase and then claim they gave me a $20 bill after the fact and demand more change. The $50 tendered amount on the receipt easily could have been a mistake punched in by the cashier that Jeff tried to capitalize on. I’m not saying that’s what happened here, but you never know.

Ultimately, no one besides Jeff and the Giardino staff knows who was in the wrong over this. What is undeniably wrong, though, is a bunch of people on the internet running a business into the ground with negative reviews after only hearing one side of a story. 

For what it's worth, here's a picture of Jeff's receipt from the transaction:

Sources: Vancity Buzz, Yelp