I normally stick to programming and sysadmin stuff, but this one really gets under my skin. The past few months i’ve been using my debit card at restaurants, I’ve noticed the authorized amounts are equal to my bill plus a 20% tip. The question is why, I didn’t authorize it nor did the restaurant inform me they were going to do this either. I normally tip well for great service but dang that’s pressumptuous.
It might not be your restaurants fault! It seems the credit card terminals and software being sold to restaurants has a feature enabled which automatically authorizes your bill + 20% tip. Most restaurants are not even aware that this happens so i would suggest notifying your restaurant if this does happen, since they do have the ability to have this feature turned off.
Here is a great article pertaining to this issue.
Read the suggestions at the bottom of the article, such as, if you left a cash tip i suggest drawing a line through the tip line to make your intentions clear. Since 20% is being authorized, if you didn’t leave the waitress a tip do to horrific service and you left the tip line blank, there have been circumstance where they are giving themselves 15% and more tips by filling in your line for you.
Remember to the bank, Debit Cards used ans Visa/MC are not viewed any differently than a normal Credit Card so they will hold your money all the same.