Woman refunded after paying $11,000 for $11 meal

By Le Hoang   December 1, 2023 | 03:05 pm PT
Woman refunded after paying $11,000 for $11 meal
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang (C) fills in forms to receive her refund from an erroneous transfer to a restaurant at a police station in Thanh Hoa Province, Dec. 1, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Le Hoang
A restaurant in the central province of Thanh Hoa has returned VND270 million (US$11,111) to a woman who accidently transferred 1,000 times the cost of her VND270,000 meal.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang received the money back from Hoang Hiep, the owner of Lan Ngan restaurant, at a local police station on Friday afternoon.

Trang, 40, said that on Thursday a friend sent her a social media post from the restaurant that stated the eatery was looking to return the funds to whoever made the excessive transfer on Nov. 24.

She noticed the time and place fit her past schedule, so she checked her bank account and found out that she had indeed made the mistake transfer.

She took photo of the erroneous exchange of funds on her phone and contacted the restaurant.

Hiep said that after having to reject several imposters seeking the cash, he found that Trang’s personal information matched the restaurant’s records.

The restaurant’s cameras had also captured images of a person that looked like Trang at the time she overpaid, he said.

The two met at a police station, where officers performed another check of Trang’s papers and other evidence to confirm that she had indeed transferred the funds to the restaurant. Procedures were then taken for the money to be returned to Trang.

Trang said the Lan Ngan restaurant incident was not her first mistaken payment.

Making the same error, Trang revealed that she had in fact recently transferred VND197 million to a deliveryman for an order of clothes that only cost VND197,000.

The deliveryman discovered the discrepancy and returned the money to her later.

Trang said she used to work in Taiwan and that upon returning to Vietnam she has still been making transactions in foreign currencies, and thus she easily makes mistakes when switching to Vietnamese dong.

"I will learn from this second time, I’ll be more careful so I don’t cause trouble to other people," Trang said.

At around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 24, two people came to Hiep’s restaurant on Hang Than Street in Thanh Hoa's Lam Son Ward for a meal. The bill was VND270,000, but the customer sent a bank transfer through QR codes and mistakenly paid VND270 million instead.

Hiep said he did not check his account at the point of the transfer, and only discovered that there was an abnormally high amount of money in his account in the evening. The customer, however, had left the restaurant several hours prior.

Hiep’s family posted the story on social media, hoping to find the customer and return the money. Many people then claimed to be the customer, but they all proved to be imposters.

Hiep visited the bank himself to try to find the customer, but due to security protocols, the bank could not help him search for the person in question.

He said he felt "relieved" after returning the money, because many people thought that he had created the story to promote his restaurant.

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