So, when should common sense kick in?

Tonight, I had one of my best drivers do something that I still can’t believe. I should preface that she has always been a good employee and has been with me since I opened in 2007. I’ve never had any major problems with her.

So here it goes…
My driver goes on a routine delivery with bill total of $73.65. When she gets there, the customer (previously ordered 3 times) asks my driver if she can write in a large amount in the tip line for cash back. She tells my driver that she needs to pay the babysitter and doesn’t have cash. She wants to write it for $75 over for a total of $148.65. The customer tells my driver that she’ll give her a $25 tip for doing this. My driver agrees and gives the customer $50 cash + food and returns to the restaurant.
While I’m cashing out the driver, I notice the $75 tip and think WTF is that? I first think that maybe she accidentally entered in an extra zero; was supposed to be $7.50? I question her about it and she explains to me what happened. OMG are you kidding me? Where is the common sense? Was she blinded by the $25 tip?

So many things wrong with this. It just stinks of credit card fraud and if so, I’m the one left hanging:

  1. Cash back on credit card-- no way duh
  2. Tip amount is way more than pre-auth resulting in higher rate + larger amount for transaction
  3. My driver was not supposed to have that much cash in the first place. They’re supposed to drop when they have over $40.
  4. She (the driver) is going to have to claim the $50 on her tip allocation.

I was a bit flustered so I went ahead and called the customer. I asked her if writing $75 on the tip line was what she had intended. She said yes and that she hopes that the driver didn’t get in trouble. I felt a little better after the conversation.
I tell my driver that I’ll give her her $25 tip tonight, but if I get a chargeback, she’s giving the $25 back to me. She agreed. Should I have done more? Like I said, she’s a good employee; just not tonight :evil:

Even the best employees screw up bad once or twice. I know I have made my fair share of dumb mistakes over the years. As long as she doesn’t start a trend I think you are fine. You know her better than anyone else here. I would just tell her that you are really disappointed in her and remind her that she does not have the authority to make decisions like that on her own. If she is truly a good employee she should feel bad about disappointing you and really strive harder to impress and regain your trust.

Couple things I feel like mentioning. I’m not saying the driver should do that, but lets consider the following for a moment.

1st. The driver was doing something to make/keep the customer happy. It was a repeat customer that i’m assuming you have had no problems with in the past.

2nd. I’m willing to bet that most of our employees dont understand how credit card processing works, let alone the fact that you have to pay just to give your customers the priveledge of using cards in our businesses. I’m also willing to bet that they dont know all about tip allowances, pre-auths, and rate increases for situations like this and for manual entry vs swipe etc.

3rd. I’m also willing to bet that most employees dont know about that whole chargeback crap that we have to worry about. I went almost 2 years not knowing about them until my owner asked about a certain order one day because of one.

I personally wouldnt be too hard on her. Instead, just let her know that it shouldnt be done and mention/explain your reasons. In fact, if you havent done so already, bring it up at a staff meeting so that everyone knows. Everyone has their stupidity moments, its the being a human tax that nature collects every once in awhile.

Then again the customer felt obligated to pay a $25 tip. Feelings good or bad from that which shouldn’t have anything to do with how they feel about his business. Maybe later she may feel a little ripped off or have a bad feeling even though it was her idea. or maybe not.

$25 back to you? How about $75! The tip was $75. If she chose to give $50 of that to someone else, that isn’t your problem.

I have a whole page in my policy package on this exact thing that my employees sign when they are hired. You might be lucky in this case and there won’t be a chargeback, but I’d bet that 99% of these situations result in a chargeback - and not only are you out the food cost, you are out $75 cold hard cash.

I have no doubt that she knew that she probably shouldn’t do it - but the $25 helped her make up her mind.

COMMON SENSE IS NOT SO COMMON ANYMORE! Any of us who deal with employees everyday should know this. Situations like these need to be addressed with constant training. We can’t blame our employees if we haven’t trained them sufficiently.

I’d agree with that and stebby1 as well.

I think for most of our staff $25 in cash will mean a lot of policies can become ‘flexible’. It sort of verges on the generic definitions of ‘why staff steal’ in a way in that a lot of staff, given the opportunity, would try it if they think they won’t get caught. In this case if there weren’t the tip I bet your driver wouldn’t have done it.

A good robust credit card policy will help but even then some guys will still ‘forget’ or ignore the policy when it suits them.

So, guess what I got in the mail today? Yes, a chargeback notice for this idiotic transaction. So, not only am I out the money from the sale, but I’m also out the $50 cash that the driver gave the criminal as change + the $25 so-called tip + the chargeback fee. :evil:

I have not yet informed the employee what has transpired. But I will tomorrow. I’m just not sure how I’m going to handle the money part of this. I know $75 is a lot more to her than it is to me. But, I don’t just want to brush this off and say, “just be more careful next time.” She needs to know there are consequences for poor judgement; even if it’s the first time.

Just curious, but was the chargeback because of a lost or stolen credit card or did the customer dispute the charges?

I don’t understand what you mean by “not sure how I’m going to handle the money part of this”. In your original post you said “I tell my driver that I’ll give her her $25 tip tonight, but if I get a chargeback, she’s giving the $25 back to me. She agreed.”

You made that agreement. You processed a tip that you knew (or should have known) was fraudulent. You agreed to eat all of the losses except $25. What isn’t clear about how to handle the money part of this at this time? If you are considering asking for more, then I think you should reconsider.

Ok I am a little confused also. This is a regular customer and you got the charge back for what reason? A large tip is not a reason for a charge back. You can tip whatever you wish. So this means the regular customer disputed the charge? You said you talked to this person right after the transaction and they reaffirmed what had transpired. I would first contact that person once again and refresh their memory as per your first conversation and second inform them that you will be contacting the processor about their fraudulent claim that they are disputing the charge. Fight this one. Yes your empoloyee screwed up but this “regular” is screwing you. That is not an honest error or mistake. This person is breaking the law and taking advantage of the situation. Stand up for yourself and you employee here. Good luck.

Are you serious? They gave a customer cash back on a credit transaction. Absolutely against their merchant agreement.

Of course the customer said everything was okay - why wouldn’t they? They wanted the money.

The tip should have never been processed in the first place. An expensive lesson, I know, but I don’t see how anyone can complain about the outcome.

(BTW - The only reason I have the policy I mentioned above in my employee packet is because I had this same thing happen to me. Who would have thought that you’d need to tell anyone that it didn’t make sense to do something like this? So, I don’t fault the OP for “letting” this happen - but I also don’t think there is anything to be done at this point other than to try and prevent it from happening again.)

I am not supporting the actions of the driver in any way here… what I was questioning is why was this charged back. As far as the processor knows…it was a really generous tip. It happens. The “regular” must have disputed this charge. The poster said this was a regular customer and it is a little unusual for a regular to do this to an establistment. If you deliver to the same people at the same number at the same house multiple times…you do feel a little more comfortable dealing with them and most people making fraudulent transactions don’t stick around and have an ongoing relationship with you. The actions of this driver were 100% wrong and should not be taken lightly but the actions of the person making this transaction need to be addressed also. That is where I was coming from. :shock:

I hear ya, but I don’t think he said it was a “regular” customer - he said that the person had ordered 3 times in the past.

I wonder what size orders had been placed in the past. I’d be willing to bet they were no where near $75 orders like this one was.

The actions of the person making this transaction need to be addressed, I agree - but how? There is really no way to address it other than to call them and say “Yep, you pulled one over on me - just know it won’t happen again.”.

I’m also curious about what kind of dispute it was - charge not authorized? card stolen? I’m going to bet charge not authorized. Then they are going to say they didn’t put that big of a tip on the line. Or they are going to say “someone in my house used my card without my knowledge, and the pizza place gave them back $50 in cash…”.

No matter what, I don’t see how any of that could turn out good - not to mention the total waste of time it will be to try and do anything about it.

Again, lesson learned - move on.

This is really odd that someone would order from you 3 times then do this.

Huh. A completely new spin on the “Fool’s Tax”. We all pay it some time or other, and hopefully only pay once for the lesson.

I really am grateful for your having paid that tax for me to learn it :frowning: I would have been likewise alarmed at the whole thing . . . as I read the thread, I had hoped the ending would have been happy. Then the surprise twist of the chargeback got me. I think I would poose my mind and shout at an emplyee if they had done this; I am generally even tempered though. Having seen your tribulations, I am talking to my wife/partner tonight to make sure we agree that not even a 5-year customer would warrant this sort of risk on our part.

I am guessing that losing the sale AND cash just chafes more than I can imagine.

Not that it matters, but I think technically the tip was actually $75.

The fact that the driver decided to give $50 of her own money to the customer doesn’t change that.

I agree. Ordered from you 3 times before. I’d be on the phone or better still sending this driver (with another one) to sort out a cash payment to make good. Seeing as how your driver hadn’t followed policy I’d be making it her problem to put it right. If she sorted it then the $25 short she agreed on wouldn’t happen!

sorry i responded before i read the rest of the post.

I understand that you have no choice but to function within the culture you live in, but I have to tell you how relieved I am to live and do business in a place with no tipping or checks, and no credit cards in the delivery business. I would never want to go back to that business environment, as a customer or an owner.