After a Colorado man was overcharged multiple times at the same restaurant, he knew something was suspicious.
Doug Woodward and his wife were overcharged at a Colorado Springs Texas Roadhouse, but didn't think much of it. Then, the next time they returned, it happened again. The couple was furious and asked to speak to a manager, who discovered that a server had altered the tip amount.
Following the second incident, Woodward and his wife decided to stay away from that particular Texas Roadhouse location.
After about a year, Woodward thought he'd give the location another chance and was shocked when the same thing happened.
"I think the odds of being struck by lightning are probably better than this happening to the same person three times at Texas Roadhouse," Woodward told KXRM .
On their third visit, Woodward and his wife treated another couple to dinner. The total bill was $105.01. Woodward's wife tipped $10, for a total of $115.01. When she checked her bank statement, however, she saw that her new total was $123.01. The server had changed to tip to $18.
The couple spoke to the location's manager, who found a copy of the merchant receipt. That's when they saw what happened.
"Clearly there was a small zero added to the zero here and a straight line drawn through the 5 to try to make that appear to be an 8," Woodward said.
"For her to show us the actual receipt that had been changed, that's the smoking gun," Woodward added. "You can't deny that it was changed."
Woodward is a disabled veteran and he lives on a fixed income. He says that sometimes, just an extra $8 can be a big blow. He says the biggest blow, however, is that the server knew that he and one of his guests were veterans.
"We are on a budget like no one's business," Woodward said. "For us to do this, that was huge and for her to take advantage of us like that and we even told her that we were vets. We asked about the military discount and so she knew that we were vets."
Woodward says the fact that this has happened to him on three separate occasions means that there are very likely many other victims from the restaurant.
"There's no way on earth I was the only victim," he said. "I think a lot of people need to check their receipts and I think there's going to be a lot of angry people."
The managers of the Texas Roadhouse told KXRM that after investigating, the restaurant fired the employee responsible and refunded the full amount of Woodward's bill. While Woodward says he appreciates the gesture, he will not be returning to the restaurant.
According to The Restaurant Technology Guys, this is a common way for servers to steal tips. Other ways include double charging for sodas and transferring it to a tip fund, a quick overcharge for cash customers on a particular item, and even eliminating low-dollar items like sodas from the check in hopes the patrons will notice and tip bigger. No matter which method is used, stealing always costs somebody money.