Thursday, January 31, 2008

La Camera - The Perils of Visa Debit Card

So on Friday night we thought why not do something different and go with the rest of Melbourne's tourists to Southbank. We knew of the restaurant in Southgate "La Camera". Located on the first level of Southgate it's at the St Kilda Road end, just down the stairs from the entrance near Hamer Hall. It's probably well known as a breakfast/brunch/lunch destination.

The first thing that struck us on being seated was the number of staff. They were simply everywhere... didn't count them but the place seemed packed full of people running around. Just an observation, but it was definitely noticeable.

We ordered Bruschetta for entre, and then I ordered Penne Pollo for main, and partner ordered Risotto. For drinks we both had lemon, lime and bitters.

Penne Pollo was very nice, though a slight bit small... for $16 I would have expected something just a tad larger. Partner said that the Risotto was very nice as well.

Later we had another Lemon Lime and Bitters and I had the house red. I don't know what the house red is, it was okay but nothing to write home about. All in all we mostly enjoyed the meal and I would probably have considered going back there, but...

Our entire meal cost $56.60. I paid by visa debit, not really thinking twice. We chucked a couple of bucks in the tip jar, and that was that.

On tuesday I checked my bank account and realised i had been charged $66.60. At the time I even thought perhaps that was the actual amount, but i was sure it was only 56.60 and on checking the receipt which luckily I hadn't thrown out, yep that was the amount. Not only that, but my account also had an outstanding authorisation fo $56.60 on it... meaning that was money i couldn't access. So all in all I was an extra 66.60 out of pocket, until the authorisation lapses in a weeks time according to my bank. The bank suggested i get a refund for the $66.60 and then they can recharge me the correct amount.

Since I only work five minutes away, I went back in with the receipt today to try and clear it up. They attempted to just give me $10 in change, and then when i tried to explain about the refund, they did this but then of course the refund would take a couple of days to hit so I had to pay the correct amount on another card.

The thing that annoyed me was the attitude of the manager/supervisor on duty. To me it looked as though someone had added $10 to my bill and pocketed the difference hoping I wouldn't notice. The restaurant is obviously popular with tourists and so if someone added ten bucks to a bill every now and again, what's the likely hood that anyone would notice? By the time they got home and checked their statements it's probably weeks later and an extra ten bucks is hardly even going to register, as it was I almost didn't noticed except for the problem with the extra authorisation. The manager didn't even seem to care about this. I got my $10, so I'm happy, they did do the right thing, but who knows who many other people may have been hit by a possibly unethical staff member, and the management doesn't even know?

Anyway apart from this, the restaurant isn't to bad. For details check out . Perhaps pay cash :)

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