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Subject:  Re: Fraud? Date:  11/17/1999  12:27 PM
Author:  TwinFather Number:  19999 of 312160

I think the real problem here is more of a miscommunication rather than any real intent to defraud you. The waiter probably assumed that the cash on the table was over and above. I would have given the cash directly to the cashier and made sure your tab was credited. As another post sugested, I would go back and talk directly with the restaurant manager. After you explain what happened, if he/she has any customer service sense, they will probably issue you a credit.

Excepting the first solution, the paper receipt is your "contract." The restaurant will have to produce it to defend any disptute you file with Amex. Also, Amex at one time used ot keep immages of the paper receipt on file. However, I don't think this is the case anymore for reasons I state below.

In today's electronic world the paper receipt is hardly even considered except when there is a dispute. The retailer, in most cases, doesn't even turn copies into the bank any longer. The entire process is electonic now. In fact, I believe your entire transaction was completed electronically _before_ you even saw that paper reciept let alone signed/modified it. If I am off base, someone can correct me on the transaction process here.
I really doubt anyone even looked at that paper receipt after you signed it. It proably just got filed away in some drawer at the restaurant. Even then, after some period of time (whatever their card service requires) the paper receipts are discarded.

Whatever you do, do it quickly. If you can't work things out with the restaurant manager, file the dispute with Amex in _writing_ within 60 days of the charge. Don't count on a verbal promise over the phone.


PS Actually, on further thought, I am going to correct myself on the credit card transaction process. I belive the actual transactions post at the end of the day. They have to do a closing procedure on the credit card validator or the register where the the whole "batch" of the day's transaction is transmitted to their credit card service. Up to that point the restaurant/retail store can make corrections and deletions locally before the batch is submitted as final. Its a fine point and only relevent to Brian's situation in the sense that true fraud probably didn't happen. Even in this batch closeout scenario, the paper receipts are seldom reconciled with the batch.

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