Beware of tip troubles when dining out and bar hopping - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Beware of tip troubles when dining out and bar hopping

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It's something we've all done from time to time. We go out to have dinner or drinks. That's when we do what's customary and leave the wait staff a tip.

That's because Houston-area resident Cheratta Campbell learned the hard way you can't always trust the wait staff at a restaurant or in her case, a night club.

Campbell says she left the waitress a tip at a local lounge but when she checked her bank account the waitress changed the amount and hooked herself up with a bigger tip.

She says, "I contacted the club and told them the amount was wrong that was posted back to my account so they told me to come back in and get my money."

Campbell's case is becoming a big problem in Houston according to the better business bureau. Investigators there say they're seeing a significant number of cases where wait staff and bartenders are intentionally changing tips to higher amounts.

FOX 26 News went through some of the complaints at the Better Business Bureau office:

One woman called in and picked up her pizza to go. She says the clerk added a tip on her credit card without her approval.

A Shenandoah man says he was at a restaurant where the waiter changed his $10 tip to $50.

There's also a case where a waitress just created an entirely new bill to increase her tip from an unsuspecting customer.

"Unfortunately in a lot of these restaurant complaints we never hear the restaurant side of the story because they don't typically respond," says Monica Russo with the BBB.

That's why you have to look out for your own best interest when eating or drinking out and act as consumer advocates:

Use cash when possible to keep the staff from manipulating your credit or debit card.

Keep a copy of your receipt until you've been able to verify the amount on your statement.

And check your bank or credit card statement each time you use it at a restaurant or lounge.

"I think a lot of these cases go unnoticed because some of us don't check out credit card statements for these charges," says Russo.

Campbell is one of those people who checks her account everyday. It prevented her from being victimized by a shady waitress in a growing problem.

"Luckily I kept my receipt looked at it and called them up," says Campbell.

Russo says they have not compiled any numbers on this crime but is one that's growing in Houston.

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