Software problem blamed for duplicate charges at restaurant - - The News for South Mississippi

Software glitch blamed for duplicate charges at restaurant

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BYRAM, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Most people don't think twice about paying with plastic. But that changed for some customers at a Byram Mexican restaurant this week. Duplicate charges from Mama Kio's Grill started showing up on credit and debit accounts.

Customers showed up Friday saying, show me the money!

"Best I can tell so far, it's a software issue from our program talking to their program. And when they resubmitted the batch yesterday they didn't know whether it was going to double bill or not but it did double bill and that's why we're with the problem we have now," said Keith Keeton, Mama Kio's attorney.

Customers were told to go to the restaurant Friday afternoon to meet with the attorney for answers. Kristin Smith says she saw charges from February reappear on her account, tip included.

"Mine are with and have increased within three dollars of the prices. It varies. I've had it hit five times," Smith explained.

She says the meeting only left her with more questions.

"An untrusting feeling. I mean cause Byram's a small town. We all know each other so we expect our restaurants to be safe for us to go and eat but it's just a bad feeling because now we all have overdraft feels probably," said Smith.

Byram Police Department have had many similar complaints come into their office but say it's not criminal.

"It's a problem but we do not believe that there would be any reason to think that the staff at Mama Kio's is doing anything illegal," said Commander Ford Hayman.

And customers aren't the only ones left without funds. The restaurant hasn't been receiving the money from the credit card company like they should. They estimate they've lost forty to fifty thousand dollars.

"I've invested so much in this restaurant. I'm here all the time and this happens. All this work I've done. And for someone to come mess it up and everybody blames me. I'm the one who has to put the face in the front. But we're here to serve everybody," said owner Freddy Garcia.

Other customers say, the problem won't stop their visits to Mama Kio's all together.

"I'll probably come back but if I do, I'll use cash," said Jamey Young.

The attorney is still looking into the cause. But if they find there is any fraud involved, they will file a lawsuit against the credit card company.

UPDATE: As of May 17, the attorney for Mama Kio's has confirmed that 1,100 of the 5,234 refunds have been processed. After not getting the answers they needed from the credit card company, the FBI was contacted and is now involved. The company has since assured the restaurant that all of the money is secured.

"Global Payments has hired 10 extra employees just to handle this matter, get funds returned faster. They were averaging 100 a day which would take us 50 days," said attorney Keith Keeton.

The company has now said they will attempt to speed up the process. They estimate that to to three thousand customers were impacted. The hope is that the majority of customers will be refunded by next Friday.

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