Owners makes things right with ripped-off customers

Diners at one Greenwood restaurant do not need to triple-check their receipts to see if their credit card was charged correctly, because the owner already is doing that for them.

Spencer said former waitress at Main Street Grille in Greenwood had given herself extra tip money 30 times within the two months that she worked there. Now, owner Craig Spencer is making it right with customers and going beyond to ensure it never happens again.

Three customers notified Spencer that extra tips were added to credit card receipts, Spencer said. After looking through all of the former waitress’ receipts, Spencer said he discovered about $239 in extra tips were added to customers’ bills. The tips added were between $1 and $10, Spencer said.

“When he brought it to my attention, I immediately went back to all of her credit card activity that she was responsible for. I went through all of her day-to-day activity and found that there was more than one occurrence,” Spencer said.

“I had everybody’s money returned to them within 24 hours of my finding out.”

Spencer called each credit card company to refund the overcharges to customers, he said. Some customers may not have even noticed that money was returned to them, since only three had brought up the issue, he said.

Now, Spencer and his wife go through every receipt at the end of the night to make sure it lines up with the transaction in their computer system. The work takes an extra 10 or 15 minutes per night but is worth it, he said.

“Using credit cards here is probably safer here than anywhere else,” Spencer said. “We’re just doing everything we can to protect our consumers. We value our customers that much.”

Spencer told the Greenwood Police Department about the fraud, and a detective was assigned to investigate. No one has been arrested.

The waitress already had been fired before the fraudulent charges were brought to Spencer’s attention, he said. She had worked for Main Street Grille for about two months, but the activity didn’t start until about a month in, he said. Spencer said he had run a criminal background check and called previous employers before hiring the woman. None of her other employers gave any indication that she had taken any money before, Spencer said.