Fraud in Broad Daylight

I quite often go out for lunch and most of the time I don’t really pay any attention to the bill.  Today however, something caught my eye:

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Excuse me?  How can 17 + 1.70 + 1.02 come up to 20 exactly?  I normally never bother to carry around coins (they end up scratching my phone) and I would normally leave them behind, but I do appreciate that the choice is mine.

28 cent is not a fortune and as mentioned I would probably leave it behind anyway.  But let’s play with that number a bit.  Let’s say this place over a day issue 200 bills (the place is quite popular both during lunch and in the evening so that is not far off and if it is off it is probably on the low side) that come up to more than 20000 ringgit a year.  Or we could look at the bill number and add that up, in which case it will come up to more than 15000.

What is worse is – who are they actually cheating here.  Obviously they screw their customers for a tiny amount, but considering the fact that most customers would probably leave those coins behind, by putting it on the bill like that they actually cheat the staff for tips that would amount to more than 1000 ringgit a month.

Granted, in the big picture this might seem a trivial detail, but that would be missing the point completely.  The point here is that some manager at Twenty-One actually thought this was a brilliant idea.  I refuse to believe any POS system would do rounding like this by default.  Someone made a decision that it was OK to cheat every single customer for a small amount, most likely expecting it to be so insignificant that nobody would notice or complain about it.  And why did they do that?  It is mind boggling really.  If they can’t be bothered with coins there’s a neat way around that – quote nett prices instead!

So cheers twentyone baby, thanks for showing absolutely zero respect for your clients or your staff.

Update:

Just to verify that this wasn’t an one-off I dug up another bill from the same establishment:

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This one is actually a lot worse than the first one since it went on a credit card.  I am sorry but my credit card is perfectly capable of charging fractional amounts.

Update:

Today one of the staff did point out to me that this policy is mentioned on their menu.  While that does make it somewhat less fraudulent it really doesn’t make it acceptable.  What’s next – restaurants stating that all bills will be rounded up to the nearest 50 ringgit?