A US tourist got the shock of her life after realising she was charged more than $4215 for a single plate of shawarma meat at a restaurant in Jerusalem.
The restaurant owners maintain that it was an honest mistake, but according to reports from The Sun, a former employee has said it’s happened before.
Laura Ziff first brought the incident to light via a Facebook post asking if anyone knew the address of the restaurant.
“I need help please. Can someone provide the address for a restaurant right by the Jaffa gate called “Old City Shawarma (sic)”. That is the name on the receipt that I received. Also if the restaurant possibly has a different name in Hebrew.”
Laura continued her story, saying that the owners had made a mistake by charging her $USD 2,900 for a single plate.
A receipt of the transaction shows that she was charged 10,100 Israeli shekel.
Laura said that she had been in contact with the owners, who were promising a refund to her credit card since August 12th but hadn’t received anything so far.
The incident went viral and was covered by local media in Egypt.
On Keshet 12’s Morning News program, someone who claimed to work for the restaurant said it wasn’t the first time it had happened to tourists, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“It works like this: They don’t have a menu. They ask tourists for NIS 80 ($A33) for a shawarma platter and charge them in euros or dollars,” the former worker explained.
“Sometimes the person notices and catches it, but sometimes he gives you the credit card and then signs. He sees 80; sometimes the word ‘dollar’ doesn’t show up. It’s crazy.”
As the story unfolded, Laura continued to update and said that she had been in contact with the owners.
“I have received phone calls and texts from the business owner Hasan and his brother Adam,” Laura wrote on Facebook.
“They both apologised that the refund had not been completed and had been trying to work with their bank. I contacted my credit card company and they provided some additional information that should assist Adam in making the refund happen very quickly.”
On September 3rd, Laura had another update.
“As of this morning we spoke and he provided proof that the owners of the restaurant have contacted the bank and are in the process of refunding the money.
“I absolutely believe him. I am assuming that my next post will say that the funds are in my account and the matter is closed.”