There was a great man from Texas who once said something about “fool me once” or something like that. He might have been speaking about his fellow Texan, whose spot-on math skills caught his local Taco Bell over-taxing its customers twice — three years apart.
The story begins three years ago, when the man made a purchase at a Taco Bell in League City, Texas, and noticed as he was chowing down that the tax on the receipt was slightly higher than it should have been, resulting in him giving $.02 more than he should have to the state and local municipalities.
Figuring someone should know about this, the man voiced his concerns on Taco Bell’s website. He actually got a call back saying that the franchise owner would look into it.
And then in April, he popped into the same Taco Bell with his son and his son’s teammates, only to be overcharged once again — for the exact same amount.
After a second complaint, he got a response from the owner of Louisiana-based B&G Food Enterprises, which operates more than 50 Taco Bells, including the one with the itchy tax button on its cash register.
With a little sleuthing, it was determined that one of the restaurant’s registers was miscalculating tax for purchases totaling less than $3.30. The franchise owner says that all orders above that amount were not mis-taxed.
Explains Mr. Franchise:
Since it was only adding a penny only on this one register, my guess is we’re not talking more than $3 a week in overcharges… It wasn’t us getting an extra penny. It all went to the state.
A rep for the Texas Comptroller’s office says that businesses are responsible for paying back customers who’ve been over-taxed, but that “the customers are the ones who have to catch the errors… If a business is refusing to refund, then the state can intervene on their behalf.”
The eagle-eyed customer has a suggestion on how this Taco Bell can get back in his community’s good graces. “I just want them to own up to it and do the right thing,” he said. “Have a free taco day. It would give them great publicity to do that.”
But the franchise owner isn’t in such a generous spirit:
There was an error, and we fixed it… I offered to pay him back every penny that he was overcharged. I don’t think I should have to do anything else.
Give us your non-refundable two cents on this minor mistake in the comments.
Yo quiero Taco Bell sales tax refund [Galveston Daily News]