Nickled and dimed: Ways you overpay

Posted at 11:35 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 13:23:05-05

Most of us pay with plastic, never counting a penny. Never realizing we're secretly nickeled and dimed.

"I want to scream sometimes and say why me?" said Martin Jacobson.

Jacobson works hard to keep his money in his wallet.

"I grow everything from bananas, pineapple and pomegranate," Jacobson said.

He says the fruits of his labor pay off.

"It's a great stress relief and it's helped with the family budget," Jacobson explained.

Slowly that budget is draining. The constant drip, one penny at a time.

"I like to think I'm thrifty. But I'm sure my wife says I'm cheap," explained Jacobson.

Call it what you want. We found you're being charged too much at the store, mechanic, and restaurants.

"You gotta watch every penny," explained Amy McGowen.

McGowen tracks her pennies daily comparing receipts with online accounts.

"You just gotta watch," explained McGowen.

Watch whose charging you what.

"The server decided to add on an additional tip," McGowen said.

Not once, but four times she said. McGowen pays with plastic and tips with paper.

"I've learned to write in the word cash and then write the total amount," explained McGowen.

That doesn't stop the nickel and diming by wait staff who help themselves to an extra tip on her credit card.

"It's $4. That's not yours to take," McGowen said.

Take a minute when you're dining out, and do your own math. You can't always count on the restaurant's math. The auto-gratuity or suggested tips may not add up. In one situation, a restaurant helped itself to an extra buck.

It's not just where you eat. Some mechanics are overcharging for oil changes. With a Prius, you need less oil. Some mechanics count on computers that automatically add in the oil used by a regular car. One more way your nickels and dimes are going down the drain.

"It'll make your hair stand on end," Jacobson said.

A home improvement store planted an extra tax on his receipt.

"It was six percent. In this case it was $2.37," Jacobson said.

"It's only $2, but why is that such a big deal to you?" Strathman questioned.

"By Florida statue you can't charge taxes on them and they did," Jacobson said.

Seeds, groceries and a long list of other items are tax exempt.

"Someone else is making all that money off that transaction," Jacobson said.

Until he disputed it.

"I hope people take note of their receipts. Put their foot down and do something about it," Jacobson said.

Have any receipts at home where you were overcharged?

Take a look and take a picture of how you were nickled and dimed. Send it to the Consumer Watchdog on Facebook.