Paralegal’s Business Account Jacked for $14k Tip

Steve says buy this with a credit card.

I’m probably guilty of over-tipping when I dine out, mostly because I’ve waited tables before, but also because I think paralegals and waitresses sometimes have similar job challenges.

But even in my most generous, post lottery winnings mood, I wouldn’t think a $14,938 tip on a $53.97 Sizzler bill was reasonable. (Even a whopping 20% tip only comes to $10.79, but Steve, the Get Out of Debt Guy, reports the tip victim only intended to leave $5).

LA Weekly is reporting that California paralegal and business owner Brenda Mason’s bank account was drained by almost $15,000 after dining at a Sizzler on May 25.  (I know you’re not supposed to use text abbreviations in formal writing, but somehow nothing other than WTF OMG!!!!! seems to fit this situation.)

When Mason, owner of Mason’s Paralegal Service, pointed out the world’s biggest tip to the Sizzler manager, he said it was a gross error. Uh, that would be the understatement of the century, buddy.  (On a related note, Steve also published a copy of the complaint, which says the manager’s name is Jesus, resulting in a blog post title I’d like to swipe (um, no pun intended), “Jesus Can’t Help.”)

It seems like it’d be simple for a corporation to refund $14,938 that it jacked from your checking account, but according to the lawsuit Mason filed against Sizzler, the “gross error” was not promptly fixed, and she was unable to meet her payroll and other business obligations:

Mason’s “employees have not been paid yet, office rents, the phone bills, supply bills etc. are all due and they must be paid immediately,” states Mason.

She claims that she is racking up bills for bounced checks and is seeking $60,000 in damages.

I hope that Mason is able to reach a quick and amicable resolution with Sizzler. But I don’t think even a lifetime offer of free steak dinners could make up for the shock of discovering this amount of money had been debited from my checking account – for a freakin’ tip.

Oh, and Steve says this wouldn’t have happened if Mason had used a credit card instead of a debit card. Note to self: charge all future steak dinners.

Sources:  LA Weekly; Get Out of Debt

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