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'Borderline Theft': Tipping Suggestions On Man's Cheesecake Factory Receipt Don't Add Up

VALENCIA ( — A recent trip to the Cheesecake Factory in Valencia ended with a serving of frustration for customer Frank Abreu.

"To me, it felt like a borderline theft. I just felt that wasn't right. They were trying to rip me off and other people, and I wanted them to fix that," Abreu said.

Frank showed CBS2's Crystal Cruz his credit card receipt from Saturday at the restaurant. He said he noticed the suggested tip amounts didn't add up.

"Twenty two percent of $33 is not $16.18 as suggested. That's almost 50 percent," Abreu explained.

The response he said he received from the restaurant chain's corporate office about the inaccuracy didn't seem right either.

"He kind of led on like we knew about this, and I said you know about it? I said: What are you doing about it? Are you putting anything out to the patrons that they have to be vigilant and look at this because it's not accurate? The manager told me the same thing that night. She said it was up to the customer to figure out the tip."

Cruz pointed out the math mistake to the Cheesecake Factory's corporate office. A spokesperson sent her a statement that read in part:

"We provide every table with a check that shows the total of all charges and a suggested gratuity range for that total. All gratuity amounts listed on our guest checks are suggestions only. Guests are free to tip as they please."

What seemed odd to Abreu was that the itemized receipt showed the correct tip suggestions, but he said many customers usually don't pay attention to that receipt and instead, focus on the one they sign."

"I just wish they used the correct numbers there. It's like price gouging," Abreu said.

Now, he is wondering how many customers, including himself, have left inflated tips.

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