Report: #1092746

Complaint Review: Pancho's Mexican Buffet

  • Submitted: Thu, October 17, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, October 17, 2013
  • Reported By: adabbs — Garland Texas
  • Pancho's Mexican Buffet
    4550 Gus Thomasson #68
    Mesquite, Texas

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On 10/9/13 my family visited Pancho’s Mexican Buffet in Mesquite, TX for dinner.  When we checked out I paid with my debit card.  After we returned home I noticed a fee labeled “SVC” on my debit card receipt for $0.49 and the total did not match the original itemized receipt amount. 

I called the restaurant manager to inquire as to what the charge was for and I was told that fee is automatically added to every debit transaction by their third party card processing company.  He said that is the charge for processing the card and they are passing it on to the customers.  I told him that is not legal in the state of Texas and he said if I don’t like it to call the corporate office and gave me their number. 

When I called I was given a gentleman by the name of Chad who repeated that this is the charge to process the card and they are simply passing it to the customers. [continued below]....

.....  He assured me that Pancho’s does not get “one dime of that money” and it is all going to pay the fee directly to the third party processor.  I explained to him that is not legal and he said that they have a way that makes it legal and he would be glad to have the card processing company call me to explain it. 

Devin McCloud from BTI called and identified himself as the card processor for Pancho’s and wanted to explain the legalities of what they were doing.  He began telling me the difference in a surcharge, which he acknowledged is illegal in Texas, and a convenience fee.  I explained to him I know the difference and the problem with the convenience fee scenario is that he is not the direct merchant but a third party, Pancho’s advertises Visa and MasterCard as standard accepted methods of payment, the transaction was face to face, and I was never offered the opportunity to cancel the transaction rather than pay the fee.  He then decided that it was actually a cash discount they are offering and the $0.49 charge was the difference for not paying cash. 

The problem with that is that he is not the direct merchant, he is not the one selling me a product or service nor does his company own or operate Pancho’s restaurant.  He is a third party processor who was not on site at that location so even if you assume my transaction was with his company and not Pancho’s, which is the merchant listed on the receipt, there was not an option to pay his company cash since they are not there to collect it.  The only means by which I can pay his company is via debit or credit since it would then be essentially a non face to face transaction.  You can’t offer a cash discount if there is no option to pay the company cash.

To be fair, they do have a sign posted that reads “A $0.49 customer service charge is applied to all store sales.  Credit Card and Cash Discount  As an incentive for customers we now provide a discount to pay with credit card, cash or in-store gift card by giving a $0.49 immediate discount.  Pay by Cash or Credit Card and Save!”  The problem with this is that when you pay by cash they still charge you the $7.99 posted menu price with no discount.  But if you pay by debit card they actually ADD $0.49 to the total making it MORE than the posted menu price which then makes it a surcharge or fee, not a discount. 

Not to mention it is actually even listed on the receipt as “SVC” and 2 separate representatives of the restaurant told me it was the processing charge being passed on to the customer.  The one thing everybody I spoke to agreed on was that the $0.49 charge goes directly to the processor and not to Pancho’s so Pancho’s, the actual merchant, can not possibly claim that they are offering a cash discount.  At this point he told me that the owner of their company has been in business for 30 years and they have “installations all over Texas” and “a letter from Greg Abbott giving us permission to do this.”  They said they have had other complaints about the charge but they are still charging everyone and do not intend to stop.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/17/2013 06:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 General Comment

Not stupid...

AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 A service charge may not be legal in TX. But a processing fee is. Yes its 49 cents. And yes I guess you COULD be butthurt over the fact that YOU have to pay the service fee because thats the form of payment YOU chose. But lets be a little realistic here buddy. The 49 cents YOU are paying because YOU chose to use debit. If you are expecting them to eat the costs then youre not only stupid but HIGHLY unrealistic. I work in a retail store and I can tell you that no matter what the item sold is, if they use a credit/debit card, I am the one who has to eat the fee. roughly 44 cents everytime. Now drill down and grab your calculator. Imagine that roughly 80% of the customer base out there uses credit/debit. Lets use some rough guesses on a ticket count.

So lets use a 50 ticket out of 70 ticket. 50 tickets at .49 per ticket. is $24.50 per day. Now times that by 7 then times that by 52. Thats roughly $8900 that business has to pay per year because customer such as you wish to use credit/debit. Now dont you think that the .49 cents you  had to pay PALES in signifigance when you really look at it.

Last year the credit companies raised the rate they can charge per credit/debit transactions. Businesses are in business to MAKE MONEY. What you are suggesting is that they eat the cost because you are too lazy to get and use cash. You talk about integrity fairness ect ect. Yet you think its perfectly alright that they get screwed over for your descion.

Its not that your stupid, just uninformed. Its no different then using a off-bank ATM. They can charge you up to $5.00 for your transaction. In this instance, you get to eat the cost of the choice you have made in how you wish to make your purchase.

Now step back once more and examine the whole picture. Imagine how that lose affects people payroll. If businesses have to eat the costs they can not pay their own employees extra. No raises. No bonuses. When you wrap it all up and look at it, you having to pay .49 cents IS fair.

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#2 Author of original report

Theft is never "pathetic", it's always a crime

AUTHOR: adabbs - ()

I guess my mistake here is believing in integrity at ALL levels. No merchant, regardless of amount, should be able to take advantage of consumers.  That is my complaint, NOT the 49 cents. I am very aware of credit card fees to merchants, I own 2 businesses, which is why I used a check card and not a reward credit card which is the most expensive method for a merchant.  I guess I am an idiot  for believing in honesty in business and an even bigger idiot for believing anubody else cares about it.

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#3 Consumer Comment

My 49 cents worth..

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

First on the "by the legal definition" side it does appear that Texas has banned Service Fees on Credit Cards and Debit Cards.  So if this is the case then yes they MAY have violated the law(I haven't seen the text of the law and don't know the exact circumstances so I can not say for sure) so you need to report the State and if the did the State will take care of it.

But even with this there is the "logical" side that says..Seriously...First off this "no service fee" is just playing with semantics.  That is it is not illegal for a company to give a discount for cash but they can't charge a service fee.  In the end the credit card customer is still paying more. 

Next, you do realize that companies that don't charge a fee or give discounts for cash aren't just "eating" the service fee they have to pay...they just raise their prices across the board where EVERYONE pays more.  Same goes for taxes...but that is a discussion left for another day.  

Then in the end it is a freekin' $0.49...not enough for me to claim a RipOff and not enough for me to stop going to an establishment.

Oh and no I do not work for this resturant.

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#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Stacey - ()

 49 cents??? Hell I will send you the 49 cents! I had clue that Panchos were even operating anymore. Try spending 3 grand on something like I am then come back and b***h about it.  Your report is more than pathetic - maybe Brian Loncar will take your case.

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#5 Author of original report

This isn't about the 49 cents

AUTHOR: adabbs - ()

 This is not about 49 cents.  It is about a company taking advantage of consumers and basically stealing from them.  It is about ethics and principal and if you can't understand that it's a shame.

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#6 Consumer Comment

What kind of a snit would you have over something serious?

AUTHOR: Ken - ()

 FORTY NINE CENTS and you have a fit and fall in it...chill out.

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