A different sort of credit crunch occurs at downtown business

Card processing errors have caused issues for GJ restaurant, customers

Marc Rice, the owner of the Cavett House Grille and Pub on Colorado Avenue, checks a receipt from his new credit card machine

A downtown Grand Junction restaurant is in the middle of a credit- and debit-card nightmare.

Owners of The Cavett House Grille & Pub, 359 Colorado Ave., say a credit card servicing company is randomly charging and crediting many of its customers who visited in September and used a debit or credit card. In one instance, the company tried to take $19,000 out of the Cavett House account, which froze the account and sent the restaurant’s accounting into a tailspin. The restaurant came within four to five days of closing, owners said. And customers are still experiencing erroneous charges.

“For the most part, people are starting to figure out that even though it happened here through us, it was somebody else’s mistake,” said Marc Rice, co-owner of The Cavett House Grille & Pub. “There was a problem with our processing company charging 30 or 35 customers three times for their meals. It’s been a major difficulty for us. I know we’ve lost a couple of customers over it. That’s part of what I’m worried about. We depend on that repeat business.”

Joe Toke, 37, was among the customers who got charged two more times after his first visit; one charge was for $163 and one was for $19.50, he said. This was, he said, after the credit card service company first credited him for $50 and for $19.50.

“The charges for $19.50 cancel each other out, but the $163 doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “How many cheeseburgers do you have to eat at Marc’s place to have that kind of a charge — $163?” Toke said. Then on Dec. 17, he noticed a credit for $197, he said.

“It’s nice of them, right before Christmas and all, but they’re just taking money randomly and putting some in sometimes,” said Toke, who said he will be paying in cash only now at the restaurant. “I talked to the credit card service company and they said they have some glitch.”

Alicia Lucero, 29, who recently moved to Fort Collins temporarily, said she was charged double and a month later was refunded double and the company later tried to claim the original charge again.

“I’m disputing the charge and dealing with the processing company,” Lucero said. “I’m having to deal with this on my breaks, on my lunch, it’s a real pain. I love the Cavett House and I have friends that work there. I don’t think it’s the fault of Cavett House. It’s just the company they deal with.”

The Cavett House switched credit card servicing companies two to three weeks ago, said Rice, who declined to name the credit card servicing company because he may pursue legal action.

People who have noticed charges that aren’t balancing out may call the restaurant and Rice will forward them the credit card service company phone number to take care of it.

“It’s all under our name,” Rice said. “It’s showing up as a credit and a debit from the Cavett House. It’s a confusing situation.”

Rice was in the midst of the situation just before the Thanksgiving holiday when the processing company demanded $19,000 from his account and he couldn’t reach the right people to talk with at the company.

During that time, the freeze of the account caused a mortgage check and two payroll checks to bounce, and several vendor checks to go into arrears as well. Rice said the credit card service company owes him at least $2,000 in overdraft fees.


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