Monday, February 21, 2011

Underthinking my bar tab.

So on Friday I went to my local for an afterwork drink as has be come custom. My drinking companion grabbed the first round, half way through this round it was decided to grab chips, and seeing as I was also going to get the next round, I decided I would start a tab, so I could just settle up at the end. I had high hopes this would avoid hassle at the end.

"Trust me this will be awesome"
So since this was a new regular for me, and I wasn't known to the bar staff, to open a tab I had to leave my credit card behind the bar. This is pretty standard operating procedure, I assume so that if I try and skip out on my tab they can recoup their costs, or at the very least hold it hostage.

Pictured: Consequences of skipping tab.
The first thing that struck me was despite, using paper to take orders, and a computerised till to record purchases. They recorded the fact I had opened a tab on a white board (as well as the fact I left a card), and put my card on the other side of the bar from this whiteboard. I mean to me you want to be able to check off things when the patron comes to settle up so at the very least you want to store them together.

"Trust me I am writing it on a whiteboard"

But you know writing something on a whiteboard is pretty secure, its a pretty permanent, its not like some one could accidentally remove this evidence, I mean how could they possibly do this.

Oh right.
Anyway I was happy with this arrangement for the most part, like I said it is pretty standard practise. But I went and enjoyed my fries and beers, and had some great chat. Then the problems started when I went to leave I went to the bar settled up the tab with my eftpos card, the girl said thanks I stood there looking at her, and she asked is there anything else you would like? Ahhh yeah my credit card please.
This is were the madness started the whole staff were running around like headless chickens looking for my card.

I am not sure why, this guy isn't going to be much help looking for card.
The bar manager then approached me with the news, and talk about sweat...

"Oh Jeez I don't know where your card is"
If I don't say so myself I took this news rather well, I just said well I guess I will cancel my card then. He was very apologetic and refunded my bar tab - all $24 (I know high roller) which didn't really make up for the inconvenience. But you know I trusted them it was an honest mistake, they took my number and said they would call me if it turned up, I had lost my high hopes at this stage.

But I did receive a call, and the staff had had a pow wow, and discussed what had happened. Turns out what had happened was there was another lady in the bar who had opened a tab, but she was a regular regular, so they hadn't required a credit card from her. I remembered at this point it didn't say "card" beside her name on the whiteboard so the system had noted this. But this is were the system fell down, when the lady came to settle up her tab, instead of referring to the whiteboard, the staff had just enquired of the lady if she had left a card. She probably didn't recall and just said yes, they gave her my card.
She took the card and tried to pay her tab with it, thankfully she attempted to pay using a pin, and since it was the wrong card it didn't work.

"I am sorry your card doesn't seem to be working"
Instead of looking at the card to check why it was working, the lady just grabbed the card and put it in her wallet and got out another one.
This isn't such a big deal if it was the same bank then at a glance it would look the same, so she probably assumed she forgot the pin or something.
Where I find issue is she put it into her purse, surely at this point she would have noticed the slot where she normally kept her credit card was already occupied.

"All the slots are full, but this must be my card"

So at this stage not only had the bar underthought, so had this woman who had taken my card home. She was apparently such a regular they had her home number. I am not sure what this means.

"Yea, you are going to have to come get her again, she is passed out on the floor"
 The call also informed this woman lived in Fairfield and they would be able send one of the staff out on his motorbike to get the card (he told me he got paid to do this...)
I just had to wait 45 minutes, this changed my evening plans, from sitting at home watching rugby, to sitting in bar watching rugby.
Since I was driving I only had one beer watching rugby, as opposed to if I had went home I would have brought 6-12 pack, so it didn't cost me extra, and meant I was more social...

So despite all the underthinking that had gone home, the staff had gone out of their way to rectify the situation and I had my tab paid, so cost me nothing. So in the end no harm no foul, so I will be returning to this bar.

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