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Nickeled and Dime....What is a customer to do?

October 2nd, 2009 at 10:14 am

First off, let me preface this entry by saying that I do admit that I am cheap. Though, I prefer to say another adjective, but I think you get the point.

Just yesterday, I was in a restaurant, and boyfriend was picking up the tab. Because he is on a budget, I try to order the cheapest thing possible. Well, they were out of that, so I went with the next cheapest item. For what it was, it was overpriced, and I asked for an extra condiment. I asked if there would be a charge. The guy said no charge. Well, when he is adding up our food, low and behold, he put in extra for the condiment. I asked him about it, and he stated that he is only charging me half of what he normally charges for the condiment....which was still ridiculuously overpriced. My bf got upset. Sigh. The food was good, but I probably would not buy that item again because of the price.

I have a similar issue with a place that I frequent often. I buy their product with the understanding that I can use a condiment (i.e., jelly, etc.). One of the cashiers has made comments about my usage of jelly and how he will charge me extra if I use more. He said this out loud in the crowded restaurant, and it was very embarassing. I stopped going there for a while because of his comments.

Due to not scheduling things right, I find myself there again, and hungry, and trying to get the cheapest thing on the menu. I bought an item today with the understanding that I would be using jelly. Again, he made a comment about he will charge me extra if I use too much jelly. I said ok.

It was a weird situation and it made me feel very ashamed, I must admit. I think I will stop going there, because I don't like feeling like a leech or a cheapskate because I want to use a condiment that is free for customers. It also feels weird because I can feel the cashier watching me as I am getting the condiments and napkins that everyone uses.

So, I have done my budget and voila....I will be $300 short this month. Frown I am trying to not stress about it, though.

My boyfriend and his family were able to pay their bills, and they had a little bit left over. I did not make any comment about the amount left over. I did not mention anything about the money my relative gave my bf towards the bill. I am not sure when I should say something about how much I am short. I think I will wait until next week. It is sooo difficult talking with him about money. Ugh!! I do think he is in a better mood now, than previously, and I am hoping that we can really work on how we feel about each other this month. It may sound weird, but the idea of marriage has crept up into my head. I know, weird, huh?

I also realize that my being broke and not giving as much attention to my appearance is negatively affecting me.

I don't have money to buy new shoes, and so I wore some shoes with holes in the bottom that I cover with a type of paper. They look ok, but just don't look at the bottom. I realize that is really not good and I shouldn't be doing that.

I have a few main stays in my wardrobe, but they are getting worn out, and my handwashing skills aren't great. So, all in all, I am finding that I think that I am allowing my budget to make me look slovenly. I am going to dedicate $20 this month to take my dry clean shirts to the cleaners (the kind that need to be ironed---I don't have an iron), so that I always have a presentable outfit ready if needed. My bf made a comment yesterday, and it really made me wonder if he is, at times, embarassed by me because I don't pay a lot of attention to my dress attire. I want him to be proud of me. It was hard to tell if he is sometimes embarassed by me.

I am having a slight pain, and it is bugging me because I know what needs to be done, but there is the money aspect for the co-pay, and making time to get to the doc. Sigh.


9 Responses to “Nickeled and Dime....What is a customer to do?”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Both of those restaurant stories are unforgivable. If someone says the condiment is no charge, that doesn't mean half-price. And calling someone out for using a free condiment is ludicrous. I would stop frequenting that place, and if I were my husband, I'd be sure to write a letter to the owner or manager explaining exactly why.

  2. LuxLiving Says:

    I'm asking again, but only because I think it will REALLY help you in the long run -- have you posted your budget numbers here or over in the forums while asking for ideas on how to possibly change it around to make it stretch out?

    I would complain to the manager at both restaraunts myself.

  3. thebestmeicanbe Says:

    Hi Lux Living,

    I think I have only briefly posted my budget. The reality is that I have budgeted as far down as I can go---my food budget is only 100 bucks per month, i budget out personal toiletries from wal-mart, etc. I just have a lot of debt ($1,050 per month towards debt--not including car and school loans).

  4. monkeymama Says:

    Agreed with ceejay.

    I can sure be cheap, but I wouldn't go to a restaurant that treated me like that. I'd complain higher up, that is for sure!

  5. LuxLiving Says:

    Well, YOU may have budgeted it down to the thin dime, I know, I feel that way at times myself. BUT, and it's a big BUT, the guys here and over on the forums can often make suggestions that might free up more dollars than you might expect. IMHO, it is worth a try to lay out exactly what you've got coming in, where it's going out, and at what interest rates & terms, etc. And, then let the power budgeters have a go at it. Might not bear any fruit, but then again, they may have ideas you haven't thought of.

  6. thriftorama Says:

    Geesh. How much jelly does one have to use to get that sort of comment? I hope it isn't just one or two packs, or I wouldn't go there anymore. How rude.

  7. HouseHopeful Says:

    I just want you to know that although things seem to be at their worst, you will get through this. Do you possibly have a friend or relative with an iron? You might be able to borrow one for a night & get everything straightened up cheaply.

    I know things may seem overwhelming. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to get in touch.

    As for the restaurants, what they did is ridiculous. Especially the one where they told you no charge, then said I only partially charged you. Thats just crazy.

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    To me, this isn't about the money or being cheap. This is about the principle of the matter. They said there was no charge. You got charged. It doesn't matter if they charged half or a quarter or a tenth. Very simply, they lied to you.

    So no, I would've been upset too, because that is not acceptable.

  9. baselle Says:

    I have to agree with everyone else about the restaurant. They lied and they figured you wouldn't look at the bill carefully, or they lied to blow you off and they didn't care whether you'd complain. Sounds like a great opportunity to save some money by not going there.

    Can I give you a bit of sisterly advice? A lot of little warning flags are popping up in mind regarding you and your bf. If his family does have a little bit of cash leftover from resolving the issue, paying you back even a little bit means that he's serious about you and that you are worthy of respect. For him to make a comment about you not keeping yourself up after you've fronted him some bucks and sunk yourself last month is a tad low, to say the least.

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