Generous Tip Reversal

One generous patron rethought his generosity. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A patron at a Scranton, Pennsylvania café left a three-thousand-dollar tip on a thirteen-dollar bill, telling the stunned waitress when he signed the receipt he was inspired to do so. The credit card payment went through, and the business paid the waitress the tip money. Weeks later, the patron was apparently inspired to rethink that random act of kindness; he disputed the charge, which was reversed. The café has now sued him. 

But when does a patron have a legal right to dispute an ill-advised purchase? Well, credit card transactions can be reversed if the purchase was made without the cardholder’s knowledge, if the product or service was not received, or was not satisfactory. But otherwise, the cardholder has to pay the bill. And here, where the café relied to its detriment on the client’s word he meant to leave that tip, it will likely win the case and get the money he promised so the lesson is: save your money for a kindness in your price range.

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