SB Japanese restaurant shuts down, accused of overcharging customers

Published: Dec. 13, 2019 at 5:28 PM EST
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After a South Bend restaurant shut down, recent customers want answers upon discovering they were overcharged.

On Friday, Dec. 6, the McGriffs, of Plymouth, dined at East Tokyo Hibachi in South Bend with another couple for a date night.

Katelyn McGriff said her husband checked their bank statement and found the restaurant charged them double their $88.28 bill. Their friends reportedly had the same issue.

“[East Tokyo] Hibachi, straight up, stole from us,” McGriff stated. “If they stole from us, you know they probably stole from others. We proved they stole from others by asking our friends.”

The McGriffs alerted pastor Canneth Lee and his wife, with whom they became friends last Friday during their hibachi dinner. The Lees checked their PayPal statement and also saw they were double-billed.

“It makes you feel like a victim. It’s not fair,” Lee remarked. “We, hopefully, want to hear back from the restaurant owners or someone responsible for this so this doesn’t happen to other people.”

The McGriffs received a provisionary credit from their bank of $88.28 to compensate for the double charge, but the bank has to officially investigate the claim.

Lee says he has to wait at least 10 days for PayPal to investigate his dispute.

When the McGriffs disputed the charge at their bank, they were told several other people also filed claims against East Tokyo.

16 News Now met other customers Friday outside the shuttered restaurant who also said they were overcharged and wanted to speak with East Tokyo staff.

When 16 News Now called East Tokyo Hibachi, the phone was disconnected.

On Thursday, the McGriffs and Lees came to the restaurant to dispute the overcharge and found the business had shut down. Court papers tacked to a window indicated Erskine Village Associates, LLC , the property owners, are suing the owners of East Tokyo for having $68,104.33 in past-due rent.

A lawyer for Erskine Village Associates said his client does not wish to comment at this time. The owner of East Tokyo has a hearing scheduled for Thursday before eviction takes place.

If customers notice an overcharge on their bills,

first recommends speaking to a store manager, preferably in person if they feel they aren’t getting straight answers. If meeting with a manager isn’t helpful, contact a bank or credit card issuer to have the claim investigated.

It’s also recommended to contact local police and consumer advocate groups such as the Better Business Bureau to make them aware of overcharging situations in case other people report similar claims.

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