Why my pub lunch proves checking your receipt can pay

Are you paying too much from pricing errors?

Last month there was a story in the papers of a lady who’d not checked the total on the card reader when entering her pin. Rather than £35, she’d agreed to pay £35,000!!!

That was a freak event, but it’s easier than ever, especially for small amounts where you pay for contactless. How often do you actually check your receipts or bill totals when paying?

I’m admittedly a little bit anal when making sure I pay the right amount, but even I can get caught out.

A few weeks back I went for a ‘team lunch’ with some colleagues from my 9-5. I’ve written before about the awkwardness of splitting the bill evenly (and why you shouldn’t ever feel you have to if you can’t afford it), and fortunately I was with some like minded people.

What surprised us wasn’t that we’d been charged for things we didn’t order (something it’s worth always checking for). Checking the bill, we’d actually been charged more for most of the dishes!  Five of our seven dishes were all billed at higher prices than listed on the menu, ranging from 25p extra on a fish finger sandwich to a crazy £2 markup on a cheese board.


If we’d just looked at the total and split it seven ways, we’d all have paid extra. Ok, so it wasn’t a huge amount. Maybe just £4.50 total. But if we’d had starters, desert or drinks it could easily have been much more.

(Side note – the pub easily had 100 covers for lunch. If they overcharged everyone, they’d have made a decent cut over a whole day, week and more. Not good! For info it was The Last near Chancery Lane)

It can be hassle, but I’d recommend always asking for a receipt (including when you use contactless at the pub) and checking you’ve been charged the right amount.

If you find there’s a mistake, say as soon as you notice. It’s best if it’s before you pay or just after, but it’s worth following up even days or weeks after.

Again this was only small change, but a few times I’ve been caught out at supermarkets when reduced items have gone through full price. With one item that should have been 45p coming up as £4, I used online chat with Tesco to let them know what happened. Five minutes later I was offered a full refund and double the pricing error.

You might not want to bother with small amounts, but little savings are well worth getting if they’re not much hassle. They really can add up over the weeks and months.

>> It’s also worth checking your bank statements. Find out how there can be hundreds of pounds hidden for you to claim back


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