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I-Team: Boston Pizza Store Scam?

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) — The I-Team paid more than $80 for just one pizza when they ordered from a Boston pizzeria accused of overcharging the credit cards of late night customers.

The I-Team has learned the Attorney General’s office has received a number of complaints from customers saying they were unhappy with the way the Regal Café and Pizzeria does business. 

Regal promises to deliver 24 hours a day throughout the metropolitan area.

GOT MORE THAN HE WANTED

Steve just wanted a pizza when he placed an order with Regal.  He found Regal after doing a Google search for late night delivery. 

But he got quite a bit more than one pizza.  He said the delivery guy gave him “. . . a ton of food.  Chicken wings, French fries, soda, cheesecake, salad, and I said, ‘I didn’t order this’ and he said, ‘Our boss just got married  and he was giving out free food, so to just take it’.  And he said sign for it, and I asked for a receipt, and he wouldn’t give me a receipt.”

The next day, Steve checked his credit card balance on line.  “The bill was $69 for the large cheese pizza, and two days later, came an 18 percent, or $12 gratuity fee, so it was an $81 pizza.”

ANOTHER EXAMPLE

Samuel also placed an order with Regal. He says he was misled when he ordered a pizza, a soda, and a side of fries.  The bill came to $65.20. 

Samuel called to complain and says he was told, “Your order is final and we’ve already got your credit card number.”

I-TEAM ORDERS

After hearing these complaints the I-Team decided to place a late night order for a large cheese pizza.  We asked several times how much it would be to have it delivered to an Allston apartment, but couldn’t get a straight answer.

Our producer was told the pizza would cost $12.95 and that there would be a delivery charge.  That amount would be determined by their computer and we were told we would be notified by the delivery person.

The driver showed up with a large number of items, including the pizza, mozzarella sticks, fries, salad, cheesecake and soda.  When told that we hadn’t ordered anything but the pizza, the driver said the food was “left over from Halloween” and a “free promotion.”

At first the driver would not provide a receipt.  He then gave the I-Team producer a blank receipt with no corporate identification.  When pressed for an amount, the driver quickly wrote in $18.50.

Two days later, our credit card statement told a much different story.  There were two charges from the Regal totally $81.90, exactly the same as Steve was charged.

“RIPPED OFF”

Steve says there is no question in his mind that he was ripped off.  “It is a complete scandal, a scam,” he said.

The ownership of the Regal said they would do an interview explaining these business practices, but didn’t show up at the agreed upon time. 

On the phone, the owner said their website indicates a minimum number of items must be ordered late at night.  When we started this investigation there was nothing on the website about a minimum charge, however.  That has now changed as a result of inquiries.

None of these requirements are revealed to people who just call in to make a simple order like having a pizza delivered. 

Samuel said he just wanted one pizza and never saw any menu.  Steve said, “They should come clean with you on the phone and say, ‘Here is the fee, do you still want it?’ But they wouldn’t give me a total on the phone or in person.”

REPUTATION TAKING A HIT

Regal’s reputation is taking a big hit on the Internet.  One customer after another says they got ripped off with bogus charges showing up on their credit card statements.

Consumer Advocate Edgar Dworsky, who was once an Assistant Attorney General, says Regal Café could be committing credit card fraud.

“If you get merchandise that you didn’t order, orally or in writing, it is yours to keep for free as a gift,” he said.

STATE REGULATIONS

Under the Attorney General’s regulations, he added, “There’s an affirmative obligation to disclose the prices of services before the service is rendered, not after the fact.”

The owner of the Regal also said he is protecting his drivers by not having them carry cash late at night.  That does not explain, however, why such large charges are put through without customers being told.

The Attorney General’s office tells the I-team it would like to hear from anyone who thinks they got scammed by the Regal Café.  You can call the office at 617-727-8400.

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