Lawsuit Claims Chipotle is Unlawfully Keeping Customer’s Change
Have you paid in cash at Chiptole and have noticed that you only receive change in full dollars but the store kept the cents amount? You might not be alone. This is allegedly company policy and has been happening at least all over Pennsylvania. A lawsuit filed against Chipotle Mexican Grill alleges the restaurant chain is keeping change instead of returning it to customers.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in PA, alleges hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars in consumer losses. The Attorney General’s Office says, so far, they’ve received five similar complaints. The lawsuit alleges misappropriation of consumer funds and unfair trade practices.
The lawsuit cites two recent examples in August. Hampton county resident Bridget McMahon went to the Chipotle at 4960 William Flynn Highway in Hampton. Her bill was $15.51, and she paid with a $20 bill. In change, the complaint said, McMahon received just $4, even though her receipt said she received $4.49. In the other example, Megan Fox went to the Chipotle at 11359 Perry Highway, in Pine, and ordered a steak burrito. Her bill was $8.72, and she, too, paid with a $20 bill. She only received $11 back, instead of $11.28.
“What we’ve learned is that they are telling people after they order their food and give their money to the cashier that they don’t have any change so they are not going to be able to give you the change,” Frank G. Salpietro, the attorney who filed the complaint said. “It has become very clear that this is a top-down directive from the corporation, this is how they should handle the situation,” he said.
Salpietro said he expects Chipotle to claim the national coin shortage sparked by coronavirus shutdowns is to blame. But the lawyer said that it is not a valid argument. “I understand that the pandemic is affecting all of us,” he told KDKA in Pittsburgh. “But that doesn’t give Chipotle the license to line its own pockets at the expense of consumers, particularly when you hide behind a coin shortage to justify taking more money than you should.”
It is not clear if other stores nationwide are following the same practice.