Restaurants are reportedly being hurt by refund request scams

A Korean restaurant beloved by influencers and Angelenos has allegedly gone out of business due to fraudulent refund requests from customers who received their food.

The Los Angeles-based restaurant and café, Spoon By H, closed its doors on Saturday after detailing the credit card dispute challenges it faced via Instagram.

“We are heartbroken to find ourselves sharing the very news we hoped we would never have to share… Spoon By H will be closing,” the restaurant’s last post reads, which was shared Monday, Feb. 22. “Although we put up our very best fight, we could no longer hold out against the growing barrage of fraudulent disputed charges and the countless refunds issued.”

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The post goes on to say Spoon by H was “buried” by refund claims that “became unbelievably frequent” enough to shut down its operation.

Spoon By H, a Korean restaurant and café closed its doors on Saturday, Feb. 27, after it shared Instagram posts detailing its struggles with fighting refund requests it deemed fraudulent. (Google Maps)

Previously, Spoon By H revealed it had allegedly been scammed by a customer who had placed one of the largest orders the restaurant has ever received when they requested a refund from their credit card company despite having their order hand-delivered into their van.

“But in a time when we should be coming together to support one another, we are experiencing more scams and fraudulent activity more than ever,” Spoon By H wrote in a seven-part Instagram post. “After several months of investigation, we were told there would be no action taken as credit card companies almost always favor the side of the customer.”

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It is unclear whether refund requests spiked after the restaurant claimed it had been hit by that large refunded order. Representatives at Spoon By H were not available for comment.

Some restaurant owners say they have lost money from refunds that are being granted by credit card companies or third-party apps. (iStock)

Some restaurant owners say they have lost money from refunds that are being granted by credit card companies or third-party apps. (iStock)

Spoon By H isn’t the only restaurant that says it has been hit by waves of refund claims during the pandemic.

Bell’s BBQ in Henderson, Nev. has also reportedly been affected by this new “dine and dash” scam on third-party delivery apps, according to FOX 5 Las Vegas.

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The restaurant’s owner, Eric Lipsky, told FOX 5 the issue makes it hard to tell which refunds have legitimate errors with packing or delivery versus which are the result of potential fraud.

Bell’s BBQ's owner Eric Lipsky told FOX 5 Las Vegas he's noticed more refund requests have been made against his restaurant on third-party delivery apps. (Google Maps)

Bell’s BBQ’s owner Eric Lipsky told FOX 5 Las Vegas he’s noticed more refund requests have been made against his restaurant on third-party delivery apps. (Google Maps)

Although, Lipsky and his team try to be thorough when they fulfill orders, he says items can be marked as incorrect. This method can usually result in a partial refund from most delivery services.

A spokesperson from Grubhub told FOX 5: “We have no tolerance for misconduct, and if we discover that a customer is misusing our platform, we will promptly block their account. We review refund requests to determine the best course of action, which is often Grubhub providing a refund to the restaurant owner for the cost of the meal.”

Meanwhile, DoorDash has a similar policy that is meant to protect restaurants from fraudsters.

“At DoorDash, we work to ensure that we are always offering the highest quality of service to merchants, Dashers and customers,” a DoorDash spokesperson wrote to Fox News via email. “As such, we actively monitor the platform to prevent the misuse of our credit and refund policy. If an issue arises, we will work with all parties to find a resolution.”

Postmates and Uber Eats did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment, but both online delivery services have webpages that state there are policies in place to address potential fraud.

Not all is lost for Spoon By H, however. A GoFundMe was started for the restaurant on Thursday by a customer who frequented their establishment. In a span of 6 days, more than $71,720 was raised to save the 9-year-old restaurant.

FOX 5 Las Vegas’ Enzo Marino contributed to this report.