Robert Marchetti assumed it was a mistake when the cashier quoted a higher price than normal for a soda he bought at a Wendy’s restaurant in Ridley Park, Delaware County Monday.
“That’s what I thought at first,” Marchetti told NBC10. “Or maybe they upped their prices a little bit. But I wasn’t quite sure.”
As Marchetti looked at his receipt more closely he noticed something else; a line for the ‘Philadelphia Beverage Surcharge’ charging him 45 cents, even though the Ridley Park Wendy’s is located three and a half miles outside Philadelphia city limits.
“Well we’re not in Philadelphia,” Marchetti said. “So why are we being charged for it?”
A spokesperson for Wendy’s told NBC10 the soda tax charges were a “programming error that was quickly identified and corrected yesterday only.”
The spokesperson said the Ridley Park Wendy’s had been miscoded in corporate computers as being within the city of Philadelphia and that for several hours Monday, every customer who bought a soda there was charged with the penny-and-a-half per ounce tax. The spokesperson said that all the customers who were charged are eligible for a refund and a free drink.
“I’m not worried about the 45 cents,” Marchetti said. “It’s the principle of the fact that, putting a new charge. A Philadelphia beverage charge? This isn’t Philadelphia."
The spokesperson did not reveal exactly how many customers were impacted by the mistake. In addition to offering refunds however, Wendy’s also promised to donate all the money it incorrectly collected to the “Boys and Girls Club.”