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Thanks for the reply."

Your welcome.

"In response, (i) I am sure the restaurant/waiter would find any additional money to be an exceptable tip, and (ii) I did not make it clear that I had paid cash instead with the exception of crossing out the top on the receipt."

WRT this issue, I would put it in the live and learn category about communication, but would still pursue the dollars.

Being in their shoes, I would probably have been insulted to think that someone would have eaten and not left a tip. I should have made it clear. However, as TMFPokey pointed out, there is no legal (that I am aware of, I am sure you can answer this) obligation from to pay a tip. Moral yes, but not legal."

Thanks for the compliment, but I am not omniscient about all matters of the law, and I am human and make mistakes. As I said earlier, I have not researched this issue. I would generally agree with you view of tipping, but IMO the issue is murkier because of the notice about the gratuity policy and implied agreement
by staying, ordering and eating. You may (NOTE - may, I really do not know definitively) have foregone that right when the gratuity policy is disclosed. Consider someone who odered an expensive entree (price fully disclosed on the menu) and when the credit card slip came, reduced the total to lower the price of the entree. How is that different from someone who delets the gratuity? And yes, I understand that you did not simply delete the gratuity, yuou also placed cash in excess of that amount on the table, but my prior post discussed possible miscommunication/misunderstanding with WRT leaving the cash.

"If I felt that I had horrible service and bad food, I should be free to not leave a tip. I would never do this, but it is my right."

As I said, generally I agree, but see preceding paragraph for why this scenario might be different. Also, IMO, the tip is generally for the service and not the quality of the food (which should be taken up with the manager), assuming it is what you ordered and was not misrepresented by the waiter/waitress. I do not beleive that a waiter/waitress should be held accountable for things he/she cannot control, BWDIK.

As I said, I believe that you should pursue the dollars if you want, but I am less than certain that outright fraud was committed.

"I think the reason this burns me is that in the last 3 months I have 5 different establishements mis-recored either a charge on a card or a written check, all of them in their favor (I am an architect and have very neat handwriting, so it shouldn't be misread). Most have been between .03 and 1.20. Very small sure, but I am beginning to wonder if this has become a new trick to making a slight edge on profit. Of course this is just my paranoid side talking...."

I am sorry to hear about your recent difficulties (and I certainly have my paranoid side, too) but even if your handwriting is very neat, is it LARGE ENOUGH to read accurately and quickly in a dim lit restaurant? The surveyors and architects with whom I am acquainted still seem to write so small because of space limitations inherent in blueline drawings.

Just my $0.02. Regards, JAFO

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