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UPDATED: North Vancouver restaurant allegedly short changes customer $30 who bought $7.42 sandwich

By Vancity Buzz Staff | 6 months ago | Speak Up

The operators of Giardino Pizzeria on 115 West 15th Street in North Vancouver have found themselves at the centre of a social media storm in which they are ridiculed for their alleged poor business practices.

A disgruntled customer named Jeff was allegedly short changed $30 after handing over a $50 bill to purchase a $7.42 pulled beef sandwich. According to his Facebook post, the restaurant clerk only gave him $12.60 in return and refused to provide proper change, essentially making this a purchase for a $37 sandwich.

He called the North Vancouver RCMP’s non-emergency line, however, he is told there is nothing police can do as it is a civil dispute between him and the manager.

The incident escalated when the customer made another attempt to discuss the matter with the restaurant clerk and manager. Instead, the restaurant allegedly called the police on the man, who then had to explain to police his side of the story.

As Jeff was told before on the phone, there was nothing that law enforcement officers could do so he used social media to get the word out.

Since then, the restaurant’s reviews on Yelp and Urban Spoon have plummeted and its Facebook page has been bombarded by low reviews and comments that berate the business.

Some have even pointed out that the restaurant has been charging a non-existent 6 per cent tax, based on a photo of the receipt for the “$37.00 sandwich” which shows a 42 cent tax charged on the $7.00 sandwich.

The restaurant could not be contacted for comment.

Update: Giardino responds to allegations

Giardino has responded to the allegations with a status post on their Facebook page (response posted in full below). After the incident, according to their statement, they claim to have checked their computer record sales record which showed a “perfect match” between the day’s total cash sales and the actual cash in the till.

“There is an old saying that the ‘The he customer is always right,’” wrote the manager. “In this case, the customer was wrong.”

They also claim the incident has spurred threatening phone calls and “defamatory lies” that have been posted about their restaurant on the internet.

“We think most Canadians will agree that nobody should be subjected to this kind of cyber-bullying.”

However, their statement did not address the matter of the alleged 6 per cent tax as printed on Jeff’s receipt.

Giardino Pizzeria

Jeff’s story goes viral:

Here’s the story.. absolutely disgusting.

Introducing the $37 dollar sandwich from Giardino Pizzeria on 115 15th st. W. Lonsdale North Vancouver.

So I walk into this place hungry at 10pm. Order the pulled beef sandwich ($7.42 with tax) hand him a $50 he hands me back $12.60…. I tell him, he refuses to give me my change saying it is my fault. I said no you need to make sure you are giving proper change to the public that is part of your job, he tells me to call the cops…

I call the non-emergency line, cause let’s face it its $30 bucks the woman on dispatch tells me its a civil dispute and they do not get involved … Ok is there anything I can do ? No it is a civil dispute between you and the manager… Manager is his girlfriend standing right beside him laughing. No joke they were laughing the whole time . OK hang up. Talk to the guy again calmly he tells me angrily to get off the property “I am calling the police!!!” I say “Great please do”, I leave the restaurant and wait on the sidewalk because that is his right to ask me to leave his property.

3 police cars show up, I tell one of the officers the situation and I say I know the dispatch just told me there is nothing to do about the $30 between me and the manager, I am sorry if you’re wasting your time but I wasn’t going to leave the sidewalk while this guy phones the police after stealing $30 from me( in the meantime I’m glancing inside and they are both still laughing away) I said to the officers, I’m glad they can have a sense of humour about this. The officers agree with me they apologize for this guy but still nothing they can do.

They ask if I want to press charges for a non $30 related issue, I say no sorry you guys had to come down here, the officers say “no no its fine we understand and now we know as well now to never come here” they suggest to me to spread this story over social media, just not to be slanderous. Of course. They apologize and say take care. Pick up the $37 dollar special sac off the sidewalk, get back to my buddies house and open the bag to a sandwich that looks like it was prepared by a toddler. Anyways, sorry for the long story I could not let this slide. The worst part was that, they kept laughing the whole time, this sandwich hustler knew what he was doing. Hope it was worth it you charlatans.

Please friends and common folk do me justice and never ever go to this place. I have never dealt with this kind of back alley sandwich hustle.
Touche Giardino Pizzeria, touche …

- Jeff

A response from Giardino Pizzeria:

We value our reputation for honesty and integrity and strive at all times to deliver high quality service to our customers.

On Friday evening, one of our customers claimed we had shortchanged him $30.00, within five minutes of the sale transaction.

We took the customer’s claim seriously, as any decent business would. We immediately checked our computer sales record. This allowed us to compare our total cash sales for the day to the cash in our till. There was a perfect match.

There is an old saying that “The customer is always right.” In this case, the customer was wrong. He was not short-changed.

With the benefit of hindsight, however, we probably should simply have paid the customer off and absorbed the $30 dollar loss. Perhaps letting the customer be “right” when he is “wrong” is simply one of the costs of accepting cash payments.

Following the incident, somebody posted defamatory lies about us on the Internet. These lies provoked many misinformed, critical comments. Some comments were hate-filled and ugly. Our staff have received threatening phone calls. We think most Canadians will agree that nobody should be subjected to this kind of cyber-bullying.

We would like to thank our loyal customers for their heartwarming emails. We invite others who do not know us yet to remember there are two sides to every story. Visit us, try our excellent food, our superb service, and judge for yourselves.

Manager, Giardino Pizzeria

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