Nick Taylor of City Weekend shares with us his horrible experience of getting overcharged for drinks at Velvet Lounge and tells you why you should sign up for ICBC’s text alerts:
At Velvet Lounge last night I was charged twice for a drink. I paid by card, entered my pin, then was asked to enter it again because it didn’t work.
My bank texts me whenever I make a transaction. It texted me twice to say I’d paid twice. It was an honest mistake by the bar staff. They weren’t trying to con me, just were just busy. But when I pointed this out they told me it was impossible, I was wrong, blah blah blah.
I insisted and they called the manager. He assured me the mistake was mine. I explained, and showed him the messages from my bank and the manager – Tommy Patton – accused me of threatening him. Threatening him? No, Mr Patton. Just trying to get a drink for the price on the menu.
Eventually the amount I was over-charged was thrust back at me. No apology for the drink mix up. No apology for the pathetic customer service. Nice one, Velvet, zero points for customer service. But 10 points to ICBC, and their text alerts.
The moral of this story – Shanghai is a highly fallible place. Set this text alert up with your bank and then you will know exactly what you’re being charged, wherever you go.
The service is available from ICBC for RMB10 a month, or for free if you have an Elite account. Prices at other banks depend on the account you set up, but it’s worth it to make sure you’re not ripped off, whether intentionally or not.
Check out comments from others who’ve had similar experiences getting ripped off here.
UPDATE: City Weekend harmonises its account of what happened at Velvet Lounge